Spoiler alert: this post is entirely shallow, frivolous and self indulgent.
I have come across the expression 'self care' in many of the articles, books and books that I've read.
Here, on day 52 of the sobercoaster, where it's all a bit bleak and a little 'is this all there is to life?' it is, apparently, important to exercise some self care.
I'm pretty sure that self care is all about healthy nutrition and exercise - beginning to repair the ravages caused by years of 'lack of self care'. When drinking (a lot), we also tend to eat badly, and who on earth wants to exercise with a hangover?
I do now feel so much more 'in tune' with my body - having, literally, drowned out all it's natural signals for years, I'm now aware of when I'm properly hungry and thirsty (for water, not alcohol!). I have loads more energy for exercising too, plus it's a great way to take your mind off the not drinking thing.
But I have broadened the definition of self care to include a little 'self indulgence'. Hell, I think I deserve a bit of that by now.
I sat down for the first time ever, and calculated how much I used to spend on wine. I didn't drink cheap plonk. In my head, if the wine cost over £10 a bottle it made you a connoisseur as opposed to a common old garden lush.
So I spent, on average, about £12.50 per bottle. And I drank (this is a conservative estimate) about ten bottles a week. That's £125 per week! More than £500 per month! That is a MASSIVE proportion of my total housekeeping budget.
I must have been aware of how much I was spending (I have a degree in Economics for God's sake!), but because it was filed in the 'total necessity' part of my brain I never stopped to question it. There I was, week in, week out in the supermarket looking for the buy-one-get-one-free offers and swapping expensive brands for own labels, and yet I was spending more than £500 per month, £6,000 per year on booze!
That's the terribly, awfully, embarrassingly bad news. Here's the good news:
I have now saved myself £500 a month!
Yay! Go girl. Let's shop! Here's where the 'self care' comes in:
Every week I now buy fresh flowers for my house (1 bottle of wine)
Last week I had a fabulous pedicure (orange toenails - how spring-like is that?!) (2 bottles of wine)
Right now there is a really lovely cheerful lady spring cleaning my house! (4 bottles of wine)
Next week I'm going to a big charity ball so have booked a professional blow dry (2 bottles of wine)
That all adds up to three weeks of self-indulgence, a really clean house filled with fresh flowers, and a well groomed SoberMummy for the same cost as one week's wine. The other £250 saving is, sensibly, going to help pay off the overdraft.
Over the last few years I have not bothered very much with 'grooming'. All that waxing, tweazing, tanning, blow-drying nonsense was way down the pecking order compared with buying, and drinking, wine. Plus I was so grumpy, bloated and lacking in self respect that whenever I did do any of that stuff it felt (to steal a phrase from Sarah Palin) like putting lipstick on a pig.
But now I'm feeling just a little bit sexier. I have more time. I have more cash. So now, dear friends, I'm saying 'farewell, ugly ducking, and hello swan!'
Love to you all.