Tuesday, 2 June 2015

THREE MONTHS SOBER!

First thing this morning, still lying in bed, I celebrated 3 months by playing 'Sober' by Kelly Clarkson (here's a link).

Three months and I'm still sober.
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers.
But I know it's never really over

And I don't know
I could crash and burn but maybe
At the end of this road I might catch a glimpse of me.

Well, I've picked a load of weeds - both literally (see Gardening) and metaphorically, and found flowers that I didn't even know were there. I've caught not just glimpses, but whole chunks of me.

Anyhow, half way through Kelly the husband stuck his head round the bathroom door and yelled "What's all the terrible caterwauling? Can we have the Today programme back on please?" Back to real life.

The children went back to school yesterday after ten days of half term. Ten days of non stop running around - entertaining kids, entertaining friends, constant cooking, clearing up, cleaning, revision (exams this week), playdates, dog walks etcetera etcetera.

Two things struck me:

(1) I am a better mother.

Still not a great one, but a better one. Without the low level hangovers, the itchy angst waiting for 'wine o'clock', or the blurry, distracted partial drunkenness, I am more patient, more even tempered and more present.

That may not sound like a major revolution, but if you've spent any time with small children you'll know that being (properly) present, patient and even tempered is the sine qua non for a good day.

(2) You've got to have 'me time.'

I hate the expression 'me time.' It was all over our creative briefs in my ad agency in the 1990s, resulting in loads of advertisements showing women wrapped in fluffy towels with cucumber slices over their eyes, or soaking in bubble baths surrounded by candles.

"Oh for f**ks sake!" I'd yell silently. "Haven't these women got anything better to do?" It seemed, to me, terribly self indulgent, and a total waste of time.

Perhaps no surprise then that I ended up using alcohol as a way of switching off. And I wasted way more time and money getting drunk than I would have spent slathered in a face mask having a massage once a week!

Anyhow, I suspect that part of the reason for my attack of the PAWS (see Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) a few days ago was that half term madness had given me no 'me time' at all.

Our bodies and our minds go through a major upheaval and healing process when we give up alcohol, and increasingly I understand why people say that you have to 'be kind to yourself'. They also talk about 'self care' being crucial.

Even if we don't feel like we're doing an awful lot, we are exhausted by the silent physical and mental effort of not drinking.

So yesterday, for an hour, I ignored the mounting chores and paperwork and lay down (yes! Horizontally! In the afternoon!) with a novel. I read for half an hour and dozed for half an hour, and today I feel fabulous.

Three months and I'm still sober. Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers.

Love to you all.

SM x

26 comments:

  1. Congrats on 3 months SM. That's awesome!! I really hope I get to 3 months. You are doing so well. A x

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    1. You will Angie! We're all rooting for you!

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  2. Well done you! I am heading towards one full month and using your blog to help me as keep referring back to each stage. Thank you xxx

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    1. Woo hoo! One month! That's great! Love SM x

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  3. That is beautiful. Keep the flowers...

    I really felt that when I became a mother that my role was to serve my children. To make sure they had a great life. To sacrifice myself for their good.
    Um, where did that thought come from? I want my children to grow up with parents who are strong, smart and their own people. Because although I might be a mother, I am also still Anne and Anne has some important things to do with her life. To teach yoga, to have a career, to be happy to enjoy my life as the gift it is.

    Sacrificing everything for them left me feeling so insignificant. Unloved. Taken for granted. Mad and resentful.

    In reality, I was sacrificing for them and then blaming everyone for not giving me credit for doing it.

    Self care and self awareness make us better parent. We can be the role models for the kids, and our struggles to realize this only make it more important.

    Life takes some work.

    Congrats on 3 months. Keep doing what you are doing!

    Anne

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    1. I am so glad I'm not the only one who felt that way about the kids! Thanks xx

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  4. Excellent work getting to three months. You are a role model for so many people.

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    1. Thanks so much R! It's the readers and posters on here who are keeping me on the straight and narrow, so thank you! X

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  5. Congratulations SM on 3 months. I am nearly there with you! You are such an inspiration. Thank you. x

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    1. And you T! Did you see I quoted you yesterday? X

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    1. Thanks moosey! How are you doing? X

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  7. 3 months sm that's wonderful !!! Hasn't the time flown by ( well mostly apart from those horrendous long drawn out early "wine o clock" bewitching hours ;-) nearly the magical one hundred days - I hope you have a very special me time planned for that day x I realised today that my 100 day sober anniversary coincides with the first day our gorgeous little puppy can have his first walk out - I'm not sure what is making me smile more at the prospect x hope you had a great half term - I too felt much more present and alive - how did we ever manage to function and drink ? X big hugs

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    1. I was thinking of you just before you posted this Kags, hoping you were ok. We must be telepathic! We're clocking 'em up, aren't we? Big hugs to you and the puppy! X

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  8. Way to go on 3 months!
    Being present for you and your family is the best!
    I feel the same about being present for my husband!
    xo
    Wendy

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    1. Hugs to you, lovely Wendy. He's a lucky man!

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  9. Happy 3 month anniversary! Oh how rich our lives are now compared with BS. I still haven't lost a sodding ounce of weight (damn you Cadburys!) x

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    1. I've put on weight over half term LNM! Still, one battle at a time, eh? X

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  10. Get you! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I check your blog first thing every morning. An inspiration. x

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    1. Thanks mtts. I'm enjoying yours loads too!

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  11. Fantastic. Sober Mummy Extraordinaire :) x

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    1. And congrats to you on 80 days Bea! Love the Jules Verne ref. xx

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  12. Congratulations SM, you should be extremely proud of yourself. 3 months is only the start I'm sure x

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