Saturday, 10 September 2016

112 Days - Content.

Day 112 and all is well, very well to be honest. I am on the first day of 2 weeks leave, needed and deserved. It is the first morning in months I have woken up relaxed as my daughter is not working today so I can relax in bed with a coffee before I launch into the day ahead.

I had no idea it was so long since I posted I thought I would give myself a day or two of not posting or readin to focus on other things and here it is 12 days later. Having a 12 day hiatus has made me realise how infrequently I think about drinking now and I can't say for certain but I think a good 9 of those had barely a conscious thought about drinking or drink. I did have a very big craving the other day but even that was nothing in comparison to a few weeks back when I wanted to claw my face off rather than sit with the feelings. That night I was just very aware I would like to throw the whole thing away and drink to my hearts content even to the point I thought " I'm going to be sooo hungover in the morning I won't risk driving, I'll call in sick" so you see for me that is not romantic thinking about a glass of Rioja, mine is drinking for taste and to get to a certain level of numb. I will say I probably missed quite a good opportunity to delve deep into why I was feeling like that all of a sudden but it was quite a quick escalation and I made the decision to dash to the store to get some Becks Blue which really shuts the craving down for me. Sure enough it worked immediately.

Recently I have noticed that there is an emerging confidence in me also, it is slowly unfolding and it is happening with awareness. Some of it feels good and some of it, because it involves challenging the status quo, does not feel very comfortable, some of it feels so alien I actually don't know what to do with it. Example being, my boss the Clinical Psychologist is somewhat histrionic herself and although borderline genius is a bit of a 'nutter' (that is the clinical term for it, really!!) part of the reason I do my job so well is I am able to 'manage' her, several others cannot cope with her style. 'Managing' her means putting up with all of her quirks and temperament and picking out the relevant bits to actually get on and deal with things. She is very fond of me and realises that I have to put up with her shit and that I understand her and more importantly forgive her the quirkiest of her quirks.

However...... Through the 100 days I was getting more and more irritated by her and starting to hate my job and hate her to a degree and as I have documented before, my mood was dropping and dropping. In part I think it was because I was managing soooo much; me, my sobriety, my daughter, the house, the builders, my sobriety, the dogs, paying bills, work stresses, car troubles, decorating, my sobriety, my boss going through a crisis, ad infinitum....... at one point I thought I just couldn't cope with her any more, she really is very very high maintenance. Thankfully I have bounced back probably largely in part to the anti depressants and I am seeing things from a much clearer perspective. This is where the discomfort comes in. I am noticing I am causing a shift in the dynamic between my boss and myself as I have changed my reaction to how I respond to her. The discomfort is mutual because all of a sudden she is noticing a shift in my reaction ( positive in my mind, maybe not so much in hers) and she is not sure how to deal with it. It is very hard to explain but the simplest way I can say it is when I react differently there is this pregnant pause where I know as a psychologist she is searching her brain for the logical explanation and how she should now react. I don't know if I will ever be able to capture the essence of the discomfort for you but it is all to do with me growing as a person, that being mutually acknowledged internally but neither of us speaking about what is happening.   It is a liminal state for both of us.

So Ginger is doing ok, making changes and making plans. I have lost a great deal of angst, anxiety, gripping fear or that stomach clenching panic that seems to control you when you are in the grip of daily drinking or the early stages of quitting. Ironically when you are drinking daily the only thing that makes that feeling go away is in the evening when you have that first drink, often guzzled rather than sipped, and the clenching feeling seems to unfurl. Sober now and post 100 days I feel unfurled most of the time with only the occasional clenching grip, so a complete opposite to the old way of feeling. Today I feel completely open, ready for anything the day will bring, happy to plod along or ready to spring into action should the urge come on me. This too can be yours if you make the 100 days of self discovery to get here. Blog, blog and blog some more. Take the risk and spill the contents of your head and you could help both yourself and others reading. It is possible, it's simple but not easy.

Ginger Groundhog


12 comments:

  1. Yay, Ginger, great to read! So true about just getting to that 100 day point...it definitely does something...somehow...

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  2. Hey Ginger - such a lovely positive post! And as for your work colleague, all I can say is that that she will adjust to the new Ginger! Maybe the shift is that you are putting yourself first, and letting her deal with her own shit - rather than constantly adapting to her high maintenance needs? (which sounds exhausting!)xx

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    1. Oh Jackie it is so exhausting! I feel confident that my work relationship with my boss will establish a new normal, she is capable of adapting as much as I am and ultimately it may help her as much as me.

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  3. Hi Ginger!
    I hope you are having a lovely weekend!
    I know when we change, the people around us are forced to make changes too.
    When I react calmly to a situation, then I find hubs reacts differently, too!
    xo
    Wendy
    PS Love Day 112!!

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  4. Great post! It's great to be unfolding and growing even if it's sometimes hard work.

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  5. Yes! This too can be yours! This is not an anomaly, hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed the same results. Order now and we'll throw in not one, not two, but a lifetime supply of hangover free mornings.
    Ginger, do not, let your boss inhibit your growth. I sometimes find myself saying, "I wish I could do this, but so and so wouldn't like it." What?? So what if so and so doesn't like it, I'm getting too old to keep putting off doing the things I want to do and, more importantly, the things I need to do. You may outgrow this job, that's okay, I'll bet there's something better waiting for you. One that wouldn't have showed up if you'd kept drinking. That's how things seem to happen in sobriety. Opportunity was just waiting for us to be worthy of it.

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    1. I am totally on board with everything you are saying. I used to live by the rule; everything happens for a reason and things show up in the right time and order. Somewhere along the road I lost that as life became one big effort to drink or not drink. By that rule, my drinking did serve some purpose and with hindsight I see that through all that struggle and angst, I am a very different person that 8-10 years ago. I also say; out of this experience only good will come, so here is to all the good stuff headed my way.

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  6. What a fantastic blog - you are an inspiration to me. I am going through Groundhog Day or week myself. Wrote my first blog did 4 days and then drank. Back to square one. I did not drink today and want to get to day 100 or 112 like you. I am going to blog more and comment so I don't feel alone in getting sober. Well done you xx

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    1. Thank you for saying that. Sorry you are going through Groundhog Day/week, mine lasted months or even years but it really does seem hard to believe looking at it from here. What worked for me was saying "I won't drink today" and I did that everyday. I hope you are doing ok today, be kind to yourself.

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  7. Hello,

    First time ever commenting on a blog. Have read a few sober blogs, but your's hit home in its searing honesty and - initial - recurring failure to stop. I'm so impressed that you have now stopped. That is truly inspiring. Any tips that stopped you hitting the 'fuckit button' at 7.30 in the evening would be hugely appreciated. I'd love to know the hardest moments and how you white-knuckled them. I have tried SO so so so so many times to stop. And of course have done a night, a week, a few weeks. But other than pregnancies, have basically drunk too much on a nightly basis for so many years. Am a professional, nearly 50 year old mum of two. Classic drinking, professional middle class London that self-medicates with wine. Clues, tips, thoughts - all would be very gratefully received!

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    1. Hi 007mum, sorry for the tardy reply but I took a bit of a break from blogging. I wish I did have the "magic" answer or some amazing sure fire tip but for me it was very much a case of finally realising that I simply MUST stop as I was headed down. If you have read my 100 day post you will know I was drinking a considerable amount and I would advise you to take a goo hard look at how many units per week you are drinking. Mine on a bad week was about 150!!! That's proper alcoholic drinking but..... I was still pretty much functioning and I don't think it was really very noticeable as I was vigilant about covering up and pretending to be upbeat when really I was hungover. My only real advice is try to get to about 7 days then start one day at a time to 10 days, the key is to get a little way in so you can totally white knuckle it. I kept thinking I can't drink now, today but maybe tomorrow and then tomorrow came and I applied the same thinking. Once you have a good few days in aim for a number 30, 50, or as I did 100. SoberMummy retreats often that 100 days, roughly 3 months is significant and it is. You just have to keep trying and make it unequivocal- stopped means stopped. I know I am one drink away from drinking exactly what I was before, Billy Connoly says that if you start drinking again after a period of stopping, you do not go back to where you were but where you would have been if you never stopped. I hope you are still trying and i especially hope you forgive me not replying to your first comment ever! Yikes that is bad, so very sorry.
      Lastly, keep reading and commenting cos it really does help, it's the getting involved that helps you feel that sense of community and support. Good luck to you and let me know if you ever manage to read this.

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    2. Hello! I'm delighted you replied. I've been checking - like a bit of a loser - so am very touched that you've got back to me. Having read many blogs now and knowing what my own daily alcohol intake has been I've no doubt that your drinking was NOT any worse than millions of other women, including myself. And I too have functioned well while feeling utterly crap. I mean I've had a very good career, started my own business two years ago that's going well, live in a lovely house, husband, two kids blah blah blah. I'm now four days in. I've stopped for days and occasionally two weeks before - four weeks last October, but never for longer than that and mostly I've drunk a bottle of wine if not more, daily. So I do really want to get to 100 days and be free. So your advice is extremely appreciated and it's kind of you to have got back to me. Don't worry about replying to this since you've stopped blogging so regularly. Though on that note - I think when like people like me find a blog we like, like your's, Sobermummy etc, it's lovely to see an occasional update just to know the blogger is alive and well! Hugely impressed by your brilliant acheivement in sobriety. You should be bloody proud of yourself. It's not easy (though yes, it's simple!) Many thanks again. Oh - did you lose any wine weight? Am very curious. I've always been skinny, but last two years have definitely grown a wine belly due to necking endless bottles of sauvignon, so was curious about how abstinence has effected your body - weight, skin, eyes etc. Yellow eyes in the morning is enough to make one stop. Any road, many thanks again and good night!

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