something wonderful in recognising what I now know

 

swanpic

Gratitude to this swan for sharing her update.

 

So I’ve had an upsetting conversation with my 14 year old son this morning who chose the moment to say “well you were an alcoholic weren’t you?”
I know AA and for a lot of people they find this terminology fine and I’m not sure where or if there is a line drawn. However I don’t like labels this was my response in s message for my husband, two sons and my daughter …

As its been brought to my attention that not everyone is on the same page as me regarding my quitting the booze I want to discuss it with you. It’s fairly long but important to me so bare with me please.

Over the past 20 years on and off I have drunk alcohol. The quantity has increased as is the way of an addictive substance. What can start out as an odd glass can lead to more if it is what you are using as your crutch. People all over the world have different crutches to get through life especially at difficult times, some healthy, some can be unhealthy and often addictive, some legal and some not.

If you’re having a stressful day and go home to a tub of ice cream however it is not frowned upon despite sugar being more addictive than cocaine and a major killer. You are addicted to sugar, be it in your cola, chocolates, donuts or sweets you are not a sugarhollic. To give it up you would find the first week very tricky you would have headaches and feel crap.

If you light a cigarette as long as it’s outside you can smoke as many as you like you are not classed a nicotinehollic you are addicted to nicotine and people accept it. Again to give this addictive substance up is tricky and again there are side effects.

These are all legal addictive substances. Alcohol is another one. Over time if you take it regularly enough during stressful periods your body craves more of it.. Just like sugar and nicotine .. One is not enough… You need more of the substance to ease the craving.. One chocolate bar, one fag would not be enough if you were addicted to the substance.

Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it any less harmful. The government don’t want to ban or stop people from using it as they get too much money from these industries but they are no less addictive than heroine or cocaine some just suck you in faster. Why can some people have one glass of wine not more ? It’s the same as a person who can have one piece of chocolate or one cigarette .. The addictive substance hasn’t taken a full hold as they don’t have it regularly enough or use more than one crutch but it would if they did. Like coke and energy drinks once you’re sucked in it gets harder to have a day or two without it and you will get a headache and need to get it out of your system. The more you have the harder it gets.

Back to me. If I was to have a glass of wine now .. One glass would be enough but if I continued to have a glass of wine each day I would need more. I stopped because I was having a bottle of wine most days .. More if we had a party or with friends at weekends. I knew the stuff was going to grab me further and further and if I didn’t break the habit I would get worse and worse and not be able to work or function. I have friends who have gone that far and it’s sad to see what this addictive substance can do but I was lucky I recognised it and after a few attempts I moved it out of my system. It took about 7 days to get rid of it now it’s just the habit not the substance of going on holiday and to parties and not drinking that I’m learning to crack but I can honestly say I’m glad I don’t drink anymore. It makes me sad to see people using this substance but everybody has to learn themselves and those who have healthy crutches like exercise, sport may never need to find an alternative addictive crutch.

I hope this all makes sense and I wanted to say it how I feel as I don’t like labels and I certainly don’t feel like I’ve done anything short of something wonderful in recognising what I now know 😘😘

How Alcohol Impacts Your Hormones

Extracted from:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20588/boozy-weekend-got-you-down-heres-a-1-day-hormonal-reset.html

Women retain fluids longer than men, and metabolize the chemicals in alcohol at a slower rate. That means that in general, the impact of alcohol is much stronger on women.

At the same time, alcohol forces the liver to dip into your store of antioxidants and vitamin C to break it down — leaving you vitamin and mineral deficient. It’s also dehydrating, and you lose hormone-balancing magnesium and B vitamins.

Plus, alcohol raises your estrogen levels, which can worsen symptoms of estrogen-dominant health issues like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, fibroids and endometriosis.

And although we tend to reach for a drink when we want to feel happy or sexy, alcohol is actually a depressant — it drains the adrenals and causes you to feel tired and down.

Lastly, alcohol disrupts your blood sugar function. And when we drink, we also tend to make unhealthy food choices, which further exacerbates the problem.

 

Detox suggested in the article:


First thing in the morning:

  • Take a B vitamin complex, and have a glass of warm water with lemon to flush your liver.
  • Drink a 16 oz glass of my favorite liver support juice. Combine a handful of spinach, one carrot, four stalks of celery, half a cucumber, half a bunch of cilantro, one-third a bunch of parsley, half a lemon with rind and half a green apple in a blender or juicer.
  • Enjoy a breakfast of two poached eggs, a half cup of quinoa, half an avocado and two tablespoons of sauerkraut.

Middle of the day:

  • Eat a big lunch — brown rice, miso glazed salmon and kale or bok choy in soy sauce — to replenish the micronutrients you have lost and balance sodium levels.
  • Drink coconut water to replenish your electrolytes, and take a magnesium and calcium supplement.
  • Step out into the sun for 15 minutes, with no sunscreen, to boost lost vitamin D3 stores.

Evening:

  • Drink bone broth or have chicken soup to soothe the inflammation from the booze.
  • Do yoga twists. These moves will help to detoxify your internal organs and prevent a backup of estrogen.
  • Head to bed early to detoxify your brain’s immune system.

Remember: Once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that work for you.

 

Milkshake

 

Thank you to this swan for her update on her recovery.

milkshake

All’s still going very well.  I am happy and a lot calmer in my life and with those around me.  I am finding it a lot easier to be open and honest with those around me, which has been noted by most people who come in contact with me.

Myself and my partner had a rough week a couple of weeks ago, due to a few insecurities I was dealing with. I had a therapy session to deal with these issues and now I am pleased to say we are back on track : ) I feel on a weekly basis I am growing and learning about myself.

It’s not all plain sailing.  I  am working hard at it, but it is becoming more natural to fit the tools into my daily life, sometimes without even realising I have used them, till after the fact . Last week I went into town with a girl friend and drank mocktails and milk shakes…was bloody lovely.  My friend was very drunk and I was very sober and extremely proud of myself. In fact I felt I was the better person for not having that need to drink. I was having fun without it.

I have tried many things over the years to cut alcohol out of my life and failed big style. I’ve tried AA and community counselling; just didn’t work for me, as I felt it focused too much on alcohol and that I was getting it rammed down my throat and that brought it back to the  forefront of my thoughts, and then I was obsessing about it. Just wasn’t for me.

In my present therapy we have barley touched on the subject of alcohol, but we have focused on me. We have worked on how I think and act, how I feel, how to deal with me –  and this works for me. I know it won’t be for everyone, as we all have different needs.

We deal with the whole me not just alcoholic me and it works and it’s fun. I am more me than I have been for the last ten to fifteen years and yes, it’s nice to have me back and to love life again.

So I say there is something out there for everyone – you just have to find it and when you do, grab it and run with it, with an open mind . My time is now and I’m loving it xx

Navigating Nights Out – Part 2

What a difference three days make! I was so, so low last time I wrote. I had suicidal thoughts and I hadn’t had a drink, which is insane. My mind was in overdrive, not being able to sort out one thought before eight more descended without warning. I hadn’t really spoken to anyone at all and left with my own thoughts and not able to share them – it’s a recipe for disaster. Overthinking everything and not being able to let it out with anyone I trust was a burden I could have done without.

But here I am today, it’s 4.30am and I feel great. Ok, ok – I got up at 12 noon so shouldn’t feel too bad, but even so – credit where credit’s due! The anomaly is that I haven’t really done anything to help myself per se, but I feel 70% better than I did three days ago. 70% is good…for me.  I’m at 4 months, 3 weeks, 5 days sober – which is pretty close to 5 months!  Eek 🙂

So what’s different? I haven’t been on the support site that I find extremely helpful very much, so can’t attribute it to that…but I had plans! I was keeping my mind occupied. Not letting thoughts eat away at my entire being. I decided to come home (away from The Olds who were driving me mad with their very particular ways) and have some actual fun, sort out some necessary stuff, see my best friend, see my favourite rug rat and there’s still more to come! 😉

All of which brings me not very neatly to last night. I had been invited to the 40th birthday party of an old school friend that I haven’t seen for about 20 years. She and I both moved from Warwickshire to Manchester and having discovered that we don’t live that far from one another via Facebook, I thought it would be great to pop in and see her and wish her a happy birthday. When I got all the necessary greetings out of the way, I was sitting with a couple of her very good friends and their partners. And they were drunk. Drunky drunk.

I had to spend the first half an hour trying to understand why I was ‘brave’ to go on my own, as one girl would not stop telling me. Apparently she would never have gone to a party on her own. I don’t understand this because, if you choose not to be in a relationship with anyone, are you supposed to stay in? I don’t feckin’ think so. I’m single – not a recluse!!! I like going out. There’s nothing more boring than staying in when there’s a world of interesting people and places out there to discover. (This goes for if you’re single or in a relationship to be honest – it’s just that I’m single at the mo’!) Anyway, this person was not particularly interesting, but I decided to go for a cigarette with her (yeah yeah, bad for me, I know!). We somehow got onto the topic of the imminent world shortage of prosecco and I said, well they can’t blame me anymore because I stopped drinking. That was met with a look of utter disbelief and an invitation for a night with her to drink cheap prosecco from Lidl (I’m not sure why…but she could barely find her mouth with her cig so I wasn’t about to ask for an explanation). I explained again, a…little…more…slowly…, that I don’t drink, so whilst it would be lovely to go out with her one night (it’s fine, she wouldn’t remember in the morning…would she??), I’d be on soft drinks. ‘Oh, how about a champagne afternoon tea then?’ Oh Christ it’s hard work. I took it all in good spirit and realise that due to her inebriation she was less than able to compute, but it gets so tiring! And she then proceeded to inform me how much she drinks, why, with whom, when, what makes her puke, blah blah – needless to say, I managed to avoid her for one-to-one cigarettes after that.

Nightmare number two was her friend’s husband. Funnily enough, drunk. He was sitting right next to his wife – winking at me. He was 49 years old. He must have told me nine times and inbetween those, he was asking me to guess how old he was. So obviously I was guessing mid-50s…(I never said I was nice). When he wasn’t declaring, ‘Even though I flirt, the wife has got nothing to worry about, I always go home with her’ (poor cow) I would find him at the bar with fag lady, on the dance floor with fag lady, near the buffet with fag lady….you get the picture. It was awful. I felt so sorry for his wife – he told her more than once that she was a lucky lady to have him. I wanted to cry for her. I wanted to punch him. Which I would have if I had been drinking. Why are some people such arseholes? He asked me if I wanted a drink, so I asked for an orange juice. He looked perplexed. I never did get that drink.

Which brings me to fag lady’s date. He was very nice, had been drinking but wasn’t too bad and was quite funny. He asked me why I wasn’t drinking and it took every fibre of my being to stop myself saying that when I drank alcohol I would end up in the same state as his date. I told him that I can’t handle the drink and can never just have a few. He told me about losing his mum to cancer last year and having done Dry January this year, raising an amazing £900 for cancer research. Since then he has become a raging alcoholic (his words). He was asking me about not drinking and asked what was the final straw that made me stop. I could have said anything at all in a roundabout way to give him an inkling of why. But oh no, not me!! I blurted out ‘well, trying to kill myself about 8 times last year was an indication that I needed to do something about the drink’. Stunned silence from him followed by apologising. I felt so awful, but at the same time, relieved to be able to vocalise an issue that I had been struggling with just a few days before. He actually handled it well and I did apologise. He spent the rest of the night asking if I was ok. Grand…

There was a lot more fun and dancing to be had for the night and I believe the four people who now know my ‘issues’ will not have remembered a thing this morning. It was a great night, but I think I’m going to have to reign in my honesty. The thing is I find it hard to lie, to pretend that I’m on an even footing with someone who is really drunk when I’m stone cold sober. I tried it with fag lady who was telling all sorts of stories – they must have sounded great in her head, not so much in mine!! I can’t keep up a pretence of laughing at something that doesn’t make sense! So they cotton on to your sobriety and want to know more and more.

I guess the plus side is that, had I been drinking, I would have punched the narcissistic arsehole of a husband, given fag lady evil looks all night and tried to get off with her fella. So my conclusion is that I’m better off telling people a bit too much about me and letting them be the ones to make fools of themselves. Not very charitable of me, but given the way my mood fluctuates I could be at rock bottom again tomorrow and need to look out for me, however selfish that might seem.

Roll on more socialising and some business this week – I’ll take each situation as it comes and deal with it from there. What more can I do?

Enjoy your Bank Holiday Monday everyone 😉

Over and out and about xxx

How’s your Friday night?

Hello all, glad to get to Friday, just dropped hubs off at his night out and cannot help feeling a bit weird as I always do when there are scores of people arriving at an event with alcohol on their mind and I’m coming back home alone with memories of how I would have been there in the centre of it at one point…he did invite me too but I am still not at the point where I can go to such things and sit amongst it with a sparkling water and feel jolly…it’s times like this where the true enormity of what we have decided to do with our lives as sober people is rammed home and how unusual it really is to most other people. But again I pep talk myself and thank goodness I am not alone here on this earth lol, there are actually a lot of us who have decided that getting drunk on a Friday night and feeling shocking the next day is not a valid lifestyle choice and it is indeed just as real to say no to drinking, plenty of us have decided to say a big fat no. I know in the morning I will be glad and happy as before. I am grateful also not just for the strength to say no to drunkeness, wherever that has come from, but have also had a mind shift these past few days in terms of getting these last few pounds of weight off and feeling pretty steely about that too.

 

Really bad cravings for sugar today were resisted, dizzy spells, which reminded me entirely of the first days of the horrendous cravings for alcohol when I finally made the decision to stop drinking, the doubts and wondering ‘why’ on all sorts of levels, the years of habits which I had thought of as ‘my life’ but then turned around completely and decided no more drinking was my future.

 

So rambling a bit, sorry for that,but thank you for listening to my thoughts. It takes incredible courage and determination to say no to something that was once the centre of your life and if you are facing any kinds of doubts tonight and on the verge of thinking, I just want to feel good, please know that you are never alone and you really can do this and feel better for it eventually, maybe not now, but it will happen. Respect and value your decision,it is the bravest thing you ever did, and you are truly amazing. xxx Binki

 Thank you to Minky for this wonderful quote.

Nia Jenkins's photo.

 

my simple AF (alcohol free) pleasures

From a member of the swan network – thank you, Binki xxx

My simple AF pleasures.

– Singing really loudly in the car.
– Afternoon naps.
– Climbing into a freshly changed bed.
– Choosing pampering bath products.
– My sons quirky sense of humour.
– Chocolate and midget gems.
– Being chatted up by a customer at work (compete swamp-donkey but it still counts!).
– Watching the sparrows in my bird bath.
– My work colleague (77 year old cleaner), in all innocence, announcing that she’s sorted out her back passage and just has her front entrance to do!
– Being part of this amazing group.
xxxxx

If you don’t mind Facebook and would like the support of like minded people who choose to live life without alcohol, please friend Binki Laidler and she will add you to the secret group.

It’s been a while…

Hello! Well, I haven’t been here for a while, but I thought I would say hello. Day 94 and I’m feeling proud of myself for that! I am full of disbelief – I knew that I was finding it easy, but there was a niggle of doubt as to whether I would be able to stick it. It is a massive achievement, given some of the shite I’ve had to deal with since I stopped drinking alcohol and would normally have turned to alcohol to help me deal with said shite.  I can only pray that I continue to have no cravings or moments of weakness.

My mum made me feel awesome today (mums can be quite good at that most of the time but this was something else for me!) She has been very forthcoming with words of praise since I stopped drinking alcohol. ‘I’m really proud of you’, ‘You are doing so well’, ‘Keep up the good work’. We went out shopping today and my mum likes to go for a drink (usually on a Saturday, but Good Friday is fine too). While we were out, she asked me if I was ok with her and my dad having a drink – it was absolutely fine with me. I sat and sipped my elderflower pressė. Then, back at home later on this afternoon – out of the blue – she says, ‘Do you know, what you have done is better than anyone else in this entire family has been able to do and followed through with it?’ (Ooooh, this’ll be a long list, thought I!! Jokes) ‘What’s that mummy dearest?’ I replied, in the polite manner that we always talk to each other… ‘You recognised that you can’t handle drinking alcohol and you sought help and did something about it. No-one else in this family as EVER done that’.

I suppose I should point out here that my family are all big drinkers. BIG drinkers. Apart from the ones that aren’t and those ones don’t drink AT ALL. We’re an all or nothing family of drinkers, it would seem.

My uncle is coming to visit tomorrow and I actually can’t wait to tell him I’ve stopped drinking. He likes a drink and if the slightest thing sets him off when he’s had a few, he turns into a nasty drunk. Which is what happened to me (among other things) when I was drunk. I had already thought last week that I can’t wait to tell him that I can’t handle alcohol, that I suffer with depression and recognised that I had to make a change. My mum saying what she said today made me feel so happy. Happy that it makes her happy, happy that people recognise it’s no mean feat. And I also felt a pang of sadness, because I think my mum would have liked it if more of the family had been able to do the same a lot earlier on. I’ve achieved a major goal and I’m going to bloody well share it!! At least I know The Olds are proud, and that really matters 😉

Hope you all have a peaceful Easter, feel proud of your achievements and don’t be afraid to share them with your loved ones.  Alternatively, grab a ladder, climb up to the roof of your house, and SHOUT ABOUT IT!!

Toodle-oo for now xxx