Sneaky lurky booze

Today I passed my driving test – woopie! Something I should have done 10 years ago, but it’s probably a good thing I didn’t because my younger self probably would have got behind the wheel drunk at some point or another.

I should be feeling happy with myself, but I’m feeling pretty fragile and shaken up from all the nerves and adrenaline. I made so many stupid mistakes and worked myself into such a tizz I’m surprised I didn’t vomit all over the testing officer.

Afterwards I was thinking I should celebrate, and of course my mind went straight to popping open the bubbly. It’s frustrating that alcohol is so tightly woven into every aspect of my life. It’s like it’s lurking around every corner waiting for me to fall into its trap and I can’t see any let up in sight.

It’s tiring. Today I’m tired. My brain is tired and I’m tired of constantly having to be vigilant against booze and it’s sneaky, lurky nature.

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Candy Floss Fog Mocktails

The other night I watched Jamie’s Sugar Rush and was horrified to see the insane amounts of sugar they manage to pack into one little bottle of soda! I watched slack jawed, feeling smug in the knowledge that I rarely let even a sip of coke cross my lips.

….err and then I remembered I am an alcoholic and will happily let entire bottles of sugar laden wine cross my lips every single day.

But not today! Today is another day of sobriety and tonight I whipped up a mocktail that I created a few weeks ago – the candy floss fog

Unmixed

I’ve found that a lot of substitutes for boozey drinks are far too sweet, but water is too dull – this mocktail is thirst quenching but the watermelon gives it a unique flavour.

You’ll need:

  • Watermelon syrup
  • Soda water
  • Limes
  • Fresh mint

Ingredients

I used Monin watermelon syrup. I love the monin syrups – their gingerbread syrup is to die for – and it also comes in a sugar free version.

MoninWatermelon SchweppsSoda

Pour a good slug of the syrup over ice

Syrup

Squeeze over a couple of limes (I like mine pretty limey so I use a couple per glass)

And top up with soda water (wee hee zero calories!)

Soda1 Soda2

Easy peasy lemon lime squeezy

You can leave the syrup sitting at the bottom for a pretty gradient effect or mix it all up into a pink fog.

Mixed&Unmixed2 Single

As pretty as a picture

SingleAbove

Riding the highs

I’ve had ants in my pants all day because we’re off on holiday in a few days. Today was my last day of work before we leave and I’d already checked out mentally by 10am. Staying sober was a doddle. The day breezed by and I didn’t crave a drink once. I wish all days were this easy!

I’ve been having these good days and bad days, highs and lows over the past few weeks. Maybe it’s just that I’m beginning to feel my feelings again after so long quashing them with alcohol… Whatever it is, both states of mind are alarming. When I’m happy and content I worry that I’m being lulled into a false sense of security and that it’s too good to be true. When I’m panicky and angry I lose all sight of the point in stopping and have to white knuckle it through to stop myself caving in.

Next time I’m having a bad day and the cravings are coming on thick and fast, I need to try and remember that there are lovely, happy, easy days made all the sweeter by the absence of a hangover and a clear head.

Plus, with all the cash I’m saving now that I’m not buying bottles of plonk everyday I can treat myself. The other day I bought this bag I’d been lusting after for a while. Before I stopped drinking I would have poured the equivalent of this bag in booze down my throat every fortnight… and the only bags I would have had to show for it would have been under my eyes… so technically, it’s like the bag was free!

Let’s hope I can ride this high into tomorrow!

P.S. shit shit shit shit shit – how am I going to get through a holiday and stay sober?? I need to work on a plan.

Crashing on take-off

A few weeks ago I put a stop to the daily cycle of downing an entire bottle of wine every evening. To be honest I’m not entirely sure that it was intentional. I didn’t set out that day with a plan to stop drinking, I simply got sick and tired of the tug of war going on inside my head as I stood in the supermarket debating with myself whether to buy wine.

It was such a relief to say no for once. No to slaving away to keep my inner addict appeased; no to all the guilt that comes along with giving in to something you know you shouldn’t be doing; and no to the excuses you make to yourself like a schizophrenic having an argument against your better judgement.

After a couple of days with no booze in my system and a clearer head I thought I would stop for a few days, and that turned into a week, and then two. Some days were easy, I’d get through the rough patch of cravings after work and the itch for wine would fade away by the end of the evening. And then there were other days where I had so much anger and panic coursing through me that anyone in my vicinity was at risk of a good stabbing to the face should they even so much as breathe in my direction.

And then after nearly three weeks, I decided I was long overdue for a drink. I’d done more than the two weeks I promised myself and I was curious how I’d react to a night of drinking. So I had:

  • A Friday afternoon wine at my desk (went straight to my head and a little bubble of pure joy bubbled up inside me – lovely)
  • Off to the pub for another wine. Nothing to eat all day, so going to my head way too quick.
  • A mini bottle of bubbles at the pub – feeling very tipsy, this is great, why did I stop?
  • Back home after the pub to make pizzas with my sister and boyfriend. Picked up a bottle of bubbles on the way.
  • Drinks 4, 5, 6… getting sloshed, wishing I’d eaten something that day.
  • Missing my glass and pouring wine all over the bench. I certainly didn’t need another, but I poured myself it anyway.
  • Everyone went to bed, but I still had wine left so I stayed up. Once it was finished I dragged myself to bed, but the room was spinning and I had to get back up to vomit. Terrible vomity, fragile hangover the next day.

Of course I wasn’t doing this every night when I was drinking daily, but it was a regular occurrence and this wee foray back into drunkenness was a not-so-lovely reminder of the pitfalls of drinking.

So, with that in mind, I have decided that I quite like this sobriety malarkey and I’m going to put some work into removing booze from my life from now on. Fingers crossed everyone around me remains un-stabbed.

The List

Lately I’ve been coming around to the conclusion that I need to remove alcohol
from my life. Lots of the blogs and sobriety sites I’ve been reading have
suggested writing yourself a list of your reasons to stop drinking – the idea
being that you can look back on it when the going gets tough and your
willpower’s waning.

So here are my reasons for stopping:

1.) The daily tug of war goes away. The decision has been made already and you
don’t have to face the tiring internal ‘battle of wills’ as you wind your way
through the supermarket towards the booze section.

2.) The never-ending vicious circle of guilt goes away. Waking up every morning feeling yucky and guilty and sincerely thinking ‘today I won’t drink’, only for the hangover to fade and the cravings to take over.

3.) No more hangovers. The aches, the tiredness, the retching in the shower while trying to get ready for work. Spending entire mornings craving water, junkfood, sleep, while everyone else carries on, making progress, achieving goals.

4.) Vanity reason #1 No more dry skin and chapped lips, i.e. more lipstick options.

5.) Vanity reason #2 I’ll remember to take off my makeup and clean my teeth every evening. (That one may come under basic hygiene rather than vanity.)

6.) Vanity reason #3 The rapid process of aging before your time will come to a halt. I’ll still age, but gracefully as opposed to rapidly.

7.) More money to spend on face creams and handbags.

8.) I won’t embarass myself by saying horrible things I don’t mean while pissed. Even if I’m dull while out socially, at least I won’t be a rude loudmouth drunk.

9.) Alcoholism is progressive. If I don’t stop now, it’s only going to be harder down the track. I am lucky I only have to get through dinner without wine. If I don’t stop while I’m young I’ll end up a 40 year old that can’t get through my cornflakes without vodka.

10.) I would have liked to achieve more over the past 5 years than I have. When the focus of every day is wine o’clock, it doesn’t leave much room for progress in other areas of your life.

11.) Vanity reason #4 weight loss! I will hopefully begin to look less roly poly after removing 600+ calories from my daily intake.

12.) I love a bit of competition, so there will be satisfaction in succeeding over something that controls me.