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Hi all! Episode 14 of the pod is now up, https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/love-sober-/id1379018341?mt=2&i=100042204595 We talk booze marketing. The unregulated social media marketing, insider info on alcohol marketing strategy. How this differs in France where M lives and how it is EVERYWHERE both obvious & subliminal messages that the only « normal » choice is to drink… #makeroomforsoberRead more about Booze marketing[…]

Archive – 21/09/2018: What does 400 days look like?

Archive – 21/09/2018: What does 400 days look like?

400

Today I have been asking myself the question, what do I like?
What did I like when I was a kid?
How can I get more of that good living?
I was brainstorming – What do I like?  I came up with a list: Art house film, creative arts, pretty colours – think Gondry, Paddington, Penelope. Thinking films, documentary. Comedy, contemporary dance, Theatre. Semi precious stones, collecting fossils, beautiful objects, my mum’s jewelry box. Making up stories, Disney films, flower fairies, the environment, lying in the garden in the sunshine. Swimming in the sea, swimming pools making up games. Books, learning. Activism – badges, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the TUC, the Labour Party, Feminism – The Pankhurst sisters, sheroes. Riding my bike, adventure, travelling. Sleeping bags and late night giggle fits. Friends. Collaborative cooking, making cakes. Sending and receiving letters and choosing gifts for people. Meaningful conversation. Debate.

This is what 400 days look like… A massive wide horizon of possibility, the self-love to allow yourself to ask these questions, the clarity to think about them, and the spirit to make them happen.

When I drank my world, my options and my world shrunk so small.

  • What I drank: English breakfast tea, white coffee, red wine (occasionally Champagne which I don’t like but did for effect) rosé in Summer – wow adventurous…
  • What did I do: Drink in front of the TV, Drink in a bar, Drink at a friend’s house, Drink at dinner. Yawn What did I think about: Work, kids, stress, fatigue, drink, how I got everything wrong, escaping. What did I talk about: How miserable I was, the past, when we were young, other people, gossip. What did I watch: Crap tv, easy things to understand, I don’t remember.
  • What did I read: The same paragraph over and over again.

That was my life, it had become so small, so limited and it had happened so slowly over time, and the self hate had creeped upon me so slowly that I had no idea what I was missing out on. I was missing out on life – opportunity and happiness.

Last night I was in a foul mood, I was snappy with my daughter, everything just felt disappointing, my day I said to my OH was a bit blah, but at 400 days I have the clarity to sit with these emotions and ask myself why? What’s happening here? HALT does that apply? Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired?

I realised that I had made unexpected expectations of others and when they hadn’t (unknowingly) acted in the way I wanted them to I got frustrated and turned inward. I sat there working it back, where had these feelings come from? Why were they there and what was I going to do about them? I had been in LA last week – more of that in a moment surrounded by friendship, warmth and connection. So I had decided to switch off social media for family time this weekend. I hadn’t really communicated that I wanted connection with my family, I just expected. So what happened was they went about their Saturday protecting my alone time, doing their own thing and I was lonely. So that lonely feeling turned into resentment, I had put myself out to spend time with my daughter (not that she had asked for it) and now I was alone with no friends! Poor old me!

But at 400 days, rather than letting these feelings get muddled, grow, fester and multiply until they overwhelmed me, much is the depressed mind and that screaming need to numb out build. I took it, looked at it and flipped it. Apologised for being grumpy and explained where my head was at. I planned a proper day with my kids today, we went swimming, then watched a movie all snuggled in it was lovely. This is what long-term sobriety gives you. Control, understanding and tools to manage your emotions.

This week I also went to my first yoga class. I have wanted to do yoga since I started sobriety five odd years ago, I knew that it would help me enormously but I couldn’t quite make time for me, but now I have.

We have a tendency to want to rush, to want it all now, to need results, if not whats the point right? We see if we are going to make this “sacrifice” of giving up alcohol it better be bloody worth it, we better be thinner, richer, happier straight away. At whatever point you are, not all those ideals might have been filled yet, but they will in time, and there is so much to fill life with, life is so vast that it will just get richer.

In the last 400 days I have set up a podcast with Kate, I have met sober people in real life, I have made friends around the world. I have quit my job and will train to be a recovery coach. I have written content for a book, I have been given a scholarship to attend the SheRecovers conference in LA where I met with 600 women all recovering from something be it alcohol, drugs, abuse, eating disorders, trauma, grief, burnout, depression, anxiety and so much more. We did yoga and meditation, listened to some of the most empowering women I have ever heard, and then had a fantastic meal dressed up to max in the ballroom where they hold the golden globes. I mean wtaf?? Can life get more inspiring AND NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF I HAD CARRIED ON DRINKING.

All this these amazing pat me on the back, I can’t actually believe moments are great, but what am I most proud of after 400 days?? That I finally sleep without medication, that I do sport regularly, that I talk to my kids, that I care again about the world and other people AND myself! That I am a good mum, friend and partner, that I am still learning, and I still fall but I now have the strength to pick myself up. I am me again, and I like me and I never thought that would happen. Life isn’t perfect but the horizon is so so much bigger now. Wherever you are on this journey whether its Day 1 – YOU ROCK!!! Day 7 AMAZING!! 3 months, 6 months, 1 year FANBLOODYTASTIC.

Let’s celebrate these achievements, where we have come from, life might not be all we want it to be yet, but it will never be as bad as it was and it is only going to get better M x

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