100 ways to be sober

Apologies in advance for this initial post as it isn’t particularly descriptive, a lot more needs to be said (and will be) but for now I am taking life one day at a time. Looking back across a long period of time is difficult at this stage and I need to do it in smaller chunks.
I will be elaborating much, much more… but for now this is just a small introduction to a new phase in my life:

So this has been a long time coming.
I had successfully convinced everyone that I was part of a socially accepted mum club called ‘wine o clock.’
Well, there isn’t actually a physical club (perhaps there is) but with 1.4million posts about it on Instagram alone, it’s definitely a ‘thing’.
Even I bought into the idea for a very long time.
I genuinely thought – with the help of social media, friends, adverts, films and books – that I was just doing what every other mum in the world does to chill in the evenings, and if every other mum in the world does it, it’s fine.
Right?
Well it got to the point where I was drinking an entire bottle of wine to myself.
7 days a week.
Yes.
Every. Single. Night.
About a month ago, after waking up in a bad, hungover mood again, with no energy, a stomach full of anxiety and 3 children demanding my attention after 5 hours sleep, I knew it was time to have a word with myself.
I couldn’t wait till lunchtime for my brain to kick in anymore, I needed to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.
Time was slipping away and I wasn’t enjoying life.
So I decided that I wouldn’t drink that night.
But I did.
I lasted until the kids had gone to bed, but bedtime didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped and the calm and relaxed, sober evening I had envisioned felt impossible with the knots of stress in my stomach.
At around 7:45pm I left my mum with the kids in bed, hopped in the car and drove to the corner shop for a bottle.
A few days blurred past and I tried again, but I still found myself in Tesco’s wine Isle saying ‘I’ll do it tomorrow, I have had a particularly stressful day today.’ whilst quickly slipping a bottle of Β£4.50 Pinot into my shopping bag.
I couldn’t even last one day.

‘I have a problem.’

Society portrays alcoholics and addicts to be falling apart, clearly messed up, tattered and torn, unable to hold it together, drinking whiskey in the mornings, stealing to fund their habit etc.
While there are addicts who unfortunately do end up down that road, there are high functioning addicts who can maintain a seemingly ‘normal’ life whilst still being a victim of this disease, fully and completely.
On the outside, I was a competent mother.
I did things with my children, I was sober throughout the day, looked happy and content, drove my children to animal sanctuaries, parks, museums, playdates, did the shopping, cooked decent meals, all the things you would expect from a mum who has her shit together.

I wasn’t falling apart on the outside.
But I couldn’t not have a drink.
I couldn’t survive an evening without alcohol.
Doing everything I did during the day was easy because I had the promise of escape later on.
From about 2pm everyday I would count the clock and anticipate that first sip of cold white wine.
The thing is, I didn’t even start to enjoy the taste until I was one glass in, I literally forced myself to drink it until I felt my muscles relaxing and my mind blurring.
I would take a sip and hold it in my mouth for about 15 seconds until I was prepared to swallow it.
After that first glass, I would glug the rest of the bottle easily within about an hour and a half.
Drinking to get drunk.
Every night.

So, I established that I had a problem and I knew I needed to take drastic measures to stop.
Not just cut down, I had tried that plenty of times before and ended up back at the same spot so cutting down or trying to control it was not an option.
I am an alcoholic.
An addict.
I need total abstinence.

I searched the internet for help and came across Russell Brand’s new book Recovery.
I downloaded it on my Kindle app and binge read over 3 days.
It was a huge help in putting me in the right frame of mind and showing me what I needed to do, but that didn’t mean that it was going to be easy.
It took a few weeks and plenty of failures to get to where I am now.
9 days sober!
I opened a new Instagram account and decided to document my journey right from the beginning in the hopes of getting support and giving support to others.
So if you want to see my journey up until now it is now live and I am committed to updating everyday with total transparency and (sometimes painful) honesty.
I will also be writing about it in more detail on this blog.

Here’s to new beginnings!
Cheers!
*clinks mug and sips coffee*

Amy

View this post on Instagram

Coffee has become an integral part of my mornings again. I'm not sure i'll ever give up caffeine! At the moment I only drink one or two cups a day so that's no health issue, but I have heard that people tend to swap one addiction for another and caffeine can become a problem so I will be keeping a close eye on myself here! πŸ’™ This morning I woke up to my sobriety app congratulating me on 3 days sober 😍 Those who do not have a problem with alcohol would not see this as a huge deal, but those who know, know it really is! I am feeling pretty strong and not just because I have made it this far but because I have made it this far with many obstacles. One of them is that I am unable to attend meetings due to being a single parent with sporadic childcare. I am hoping that this account will help me keep going, and that I will make some good connections and have people to talk to, help and support. It's still private at this point, I suppose I am still a little scared to open up about it. My goal is being a week sober and then i'll commit to this account and start motivating myself and others πŸ™‚

A post shared by 100 ways to be sober – Amy (@100waystobesober) on

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