Friday, May 16, 2008

Just checking in ...

I know I haven't been here posting for a while - for a long while - but I wanted to come in today to say that the lessons I learned when I was here posting and reading every day are still lessons I take to heart.

Every day I pray and thank God for the day He has given me, for the strength and love He has shown me. Every day I ask Him to look after me tomorrow has He has done today - and every day, He does.

I'm not a church-goer, or a regular worshipper, but I don't need to be. Since admitting to my dependence on alcohol, and seeking His help, he has never let me down. I've let Him down, I've lapsed, but He loves me, and takes me back every time.

If there is one message I can pass on, it's this. Ask Him for help, and He will give it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where has the time gone?

It's been such a long time since I posted, and I've popped back to find such lovely comments on my last post that I wish I hadn't left it so long. I've been so wrapped up in life that I've kind of ignored the friendship and support I've found here.

So, how have I been doing so far these past few months? Well, not brilliantly, because I have had a drink on several occasions, but not terribly badly either. If I find I have a real craving for a drink, I make sure I don't have one, because I know that one is never enough when I feel like that. I know that the night before my period, or the first night, I have such an urge to drink myself into a stupor that I make very sure I'm either out/busy/have no drink in the house. I volunteer to drive all my friends when we go out (which isn't that often!) because I know that will stop me drinking.

I'm sober now, today. I haven't got falling down, throwing up, can't-go-to-work-in-the-morning drunk at all this year, but I have had a drink regularly. I've still beaten last year's total of 100 alcohol free days, but I can't call myself a non-drinker.

I'm still taking it one day at a time. Some days I win, and some I lose, but I still keep fighting.

And I'm going to keep coming back here. I'd forgotten how good it feels to be able to write down how I'm feeling, and how I'm coping. I'm sorry I left it so long.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Reasons to be cheerful?

I had two horrible shocks last weekend and I coped by taking a drink. I'm not proud of that and I shouldn't have taken the two shocks as an excuse to open a bottle, but I did, so I'm back to square one.

First shock was a colleague leaving a message on my mobile on Saturday morning asking if I was free for a chat. She's a colleague, not a friend. She's prickly and stand-offish and I look at her and I see myself 10 years ago. Actually, 5 years ago. Maybe a year ago. Anyway, I was a bit worried about her because she'd been off sick on the Friday so I called her back and she told me the reason she'd been off on Friday was because she'd taken an overdose. She told me some of the things that were bad about her life and I listened and gave names and numbers of counsellors (her own was on holiday) and promised to cover for her at work and offered to come to her house and take away all her pills and booze and hold them for her. After we'd hung up I sat and talked to myself: once upon a time I had been as desperate as she was but never taken an overdose because I'd seen what a suicide attempt could do to a family (my mother attempted it when I was 15 and blamed me - my head told me that it wasn't my fault but my heart broke all the same). Once upon a time I'd been that desperate but no more. I didn't have a drink. I knew it would solve nothing for me, nor help me to help her.

The following morning I had a telephone call from a friend to say that a mutual friend had committed suicide. News of 2 suicides in less than 24 hours? I'm not that strong. Despite prayer, reading, positive affirmation ... oblivion through the bottle was all that was in the back of my mind so I'm afraid I fell off my precarious perch on the wagon and have had a few drinks since then. Not every day, not to excess, but that's not the point. I promised myself I wouldn't drink, and I've gone back on that promise to myself and to God.

I could not have prevented my colleague's suicide attempt. I could not have prevented my friend's suicide. I might have been able to prevent my mother's suicide attempt - after all, my childish act of sticking chewing gum in my little brother's hair was the straw that broke the camel's back - even though the adult in me knows it wasn't my fault. All the same, it's been a difficult week. All the same, that's no excuse for drinking when I made a promise not to.

I'm making that promise again today. I will not drink alcohol.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Has it been 3 weeks?

... Looks like it ... looks like it's been 3 weeks since my last post. Actually, it might be more, or it might be my cycle going haywire. Last time I had a binge and posted my whining poor me entry was the day I got my period. (Sorry any men logging in - we ladies have a monthly excuse! And if you don't believe it, imagine someone jumping up and down on your balls and NOT STOPPING FOR 7 DAYS!)

So yes, it's THAT TIME, and I'm sober. I wasn't expecting my period on Monday so I just carried on my life but by today (the Eve Of Doom) I was thinking, well, I must have a drink because tomorrow is the day I should have been getting my period. So, let's look at this.

When my period is due I start planning to drink to alleviate the a) physical pain and b) the emotional upheaval.

When I don't realise I'm getting my period I carry on as (sober) normal.

Once upon a time (35 years ago) when I first started my periods, the only solutions were a hot water bottle applied to the belly (not very useful if you had to go anywhere) or a heap of pain-killers (not very helpful if you had to concentrate on anything like school or exams) or a stiff upper lip until you could go somewhere and lie on a bed and drink loads of vodka to kill the pain.

Somewhere in that scenario I plucked out the words VODKA and KILL PAIN.

As a grown up I know now that vodka is not as an effective painkiller as paracetemol or even yoga exercises. But the bottle is still a strong pull at this phase of the moon.

So this period I am doing yoga exercises and drinking water.

It may not help my womb, but it's helping my liver ...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Back on track

Taking one day at a time, working hard, keeping busy, making time for the things I enjoy and taking care of myself, thanking God for each sober day and asking Him for help for tomorrow: it's working. I haven't had a drink since my binge about 10 days ago, and I don't intend to have another. I know I can't have just one drink, enjoy it and put the bottle away. It's depressing to think I can never have a drink again and I don't know if I can commit to that, but I know I don't have to. I just have to commit to staying sober today. I can do that.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Day 1

I got up today feeling thoroughly ashamed of myself and decided to delete last night's blog entry. I didn't want anyone to know how stupid I'd been after my smug assertions that I could control my desire for alcohol.

But how could I delete my entry when it had prompted such kind words of support and encouragement?

I still feel ashamed of myself, although maybe I shouldn't. All I did was lose a fight I was never destined to win.

So it's back to square one for me and that feels like the right place to be.

Thank you so much for your support, I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I need help

Oh, I am so clever! I did 100 alcohol free days between 1 October 2006 and the end of 2006 (those 100 days had to include the few days I'd managed from 1 January until 30 September.)

Aren't I clever? Aren't I so well-controlled? Haven't I got this alcohol bastard beaten?


I never wanted or intended to give up alcohol forever, I just wanted to CONTROL it (oh, ha ha ha, you can all laugh at me now!)

So I had a few drinks at Christmas and New Year - just a few, nothing like I used to put away.

I had a few drinks at Easter - after the 40-day abstinence of Lent - and then a few to celebrate ... celebrate what? I don't know - by then I didn't care.

My old friends don't want to know me because I don't want to drink with them any more (I know to avoid old bad habitual friends and places) but my internal drinking buddy (ME!) is my best friend, and there is no escape from her/me.

I thought I was clever, I thought I had it conquered. How bloody stupid was I to think that?

I am so sorry that I haven't been there for you, responding to your blogs, your questions, your requests for support. I have no right to ask for your support now, but ... I am ready to say it:

My name is Linda. I am an alcoholic.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The best things in life are free!

Now that I'm not spending time too inebriated to concentrate in the evenings, I've been checking out free stuff on the internet, and I've come across this offer - only open to UK residents but there are probably similar incentive programmes running in your country too. Read on, please!
A lot of people are selling Ipods and other items on Ebay that they've got free by using an incentive programme - no purchase necessary! A colleague of mine (an accountant with her head screwed on the right way) has done some research on it, and so have I, and we've both come to the conclusion that it's genuine. My colleague's put a listing on Ebay but I thought I'd go the friends/family route because they're more likely to believe me than some stranger on Ebay!
Basically, you follow the first link below and sign up for an offer, enough to earn a credit. Some of them are free, so those are the ones I'd recommend (LoveFilm, for instance). By using my link below, I get a referral, and once I get 12 referrals, I get my free Ipod! I might keep it, but, to be honest, they are selling around £200 on Ebay, so I'd be more likely to sell it and then try a different incentive programme to get another one.
The 2nd link below shows a TV documentary about how these incentive programmes make money, and gives the experience of some college boys in the US. Although it doesn't specifically mention this incentive site, it does set my mind at rest about the business reason that these companies can make these offers.
There's nothing to stop you getting an ipod - or any of the other items on the Apple site - just please go through my link in the first instance to sign up! And if you'd like to circulate my link and this explanation to all your friends and family, that would be great! After all, wouldn't you like to be the one who helps them get a free Ipod???


Saturday, March 24, 2007

First time for everything

It's been a month since my last post - a sober month. There is nothing new to report, except one thing.

The hardest part of not drinking for me was seeing people drink on television. Every time I saw someone drinking spirits I would be able to taste it, and I wanted so badly to pour myself one. Tonight I started to watch The Shawshank Redemption, and in the opening sequence the character Andy Dufesne is drinking a half-bottle of whiskey. I sat and watched and felt nothing as I sipped my no-cal, caffeine-free cola, except the pleasure of seeing again a film that I've always enjoyed. No disappointment that I couldn't drink. No mouth-watering desire to go out and buy a bottle of Bacardi.

It make seem like a really small thing, but it's a sign to me that my desire not to drink is growing stronger than my desire to drink. That can only be a good thing.

Stay strong, everyone.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Small successes

A few months ago I wouldn't have even attempted to install wireless connection for my computer on a Sunday afternoon, because I'd probably be having a nap, sleeping off a boozy lunch. No, hang on, there would have been no lunch involved - just lots of drink.

Well, it took me a while today as I'm not very technically minded, but I am now sitting downstairs, television on, gorgeous cat snuggled up beside me, with my laptop connected to the internet and NO WIRES!

And because I wasn't sleeping off several bacardis or a bottle of wine, I was able to have my niece over so I could help her with her homework, and be able to drive her home safely.

These may be small successes, but the best of all is managing another sober day.