The sober sailor is back!

No need to tell you where I have been as I’m sure you can all guess. But I will tell you anyway. I fell off the wagon and lost my way. I’ve been stumbling round for nearly a year now, trying to get back on that wagon. Yesterday I did, and I finally feel I will achieve sobriety again.

So what happened? After five months sober I simply thought I was able to have one drink now and then. In the beginning I could. I’d have one and it would be days, some times a week or so, before I wanted another one. But it quickly crept up to being a drink or two everyday. It swiftly went from there drinking in excess daily.

Three times this year I have tried jumping on that wagon and each time I only held on to it for 1 week. I suppose I just wasn’t ready. I am now, I can feel it.

I’ll tell you something. I have never been as bad with the alcohol as I have in this last seven months. I have simple not been able to handle alcohol at all…. one day last week I did manage not to wipe myself out. That was the first time in about a month.

My poor husband has seen me get smashing drunk almost every night for the last two months – drunk to the stage I fall asleep, can’t walk, can’t talk – but keep trying to.

My body just doesn’t seem like it can metabolise the alcohol quick enough anymore. Two drinks and I am already at the stage where I will not make rational decisions. Like maybe I’ve had enough to drink? Or nobody else is going another drink but I will anyway!

I fell last week in the cockpit of the boat when we had people over. I don’t even remember leaving the restaurant and it took two people to walk me back to the boat. When we arrived back at the boat I pulled out the tequila, rum and probably half a dozen other spirits. I then proceeded to throw back straight tequilas until I finally fell off my perch bruising my nose, lip, arm, thigh and knee in the process. I’m lucky I didn’t knock my teeth out. I’m still sore even though the bruising has gone and I think I’ll have a lump in my lower lip to remind myself of that night for a long time to come.

Anyway, so the sober sailor is back. Day two today…. and you know something, I didn’t even once have a craving for alcohol yesterday. I know it will happen and happen a lot, but I will be prepared. Maybe I will just feel the lump on my lip and think about how easy it would be to accidentally kill my self when drunk, or maybe I will just have to remember my husbands words which went something like this…. “it is breaking my heart to see you like this every night.”

Cheers me matey!

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12 Weeks Sober – why is it easy?

Ok, I’ve done it! 12 weeks sober… or should I say 3 months sober? Which sounds better? Which sounds like the longer time? Do I keep counting weeks or now go on to counting months? These are just some of the fun little dilemmas that consumer my thoughts now!

On a serious note though, I can honestly say that drinking or not drinking really doesn’t take up a lot of my thoughts anymore. I barely think about it. I am surprised by this. I expected it to be harder. Don’t get me wrong, I did have some hard days, but all in all it has been so much easier than I imagined.

Here are some of my thoughts on why it has been easier than expected

  • I didn’t hide from socialising at the beginning.
    • I think this helped because I learnt to deal with the difficulty of not drinking alcohol when everyone else was around me, right from the start, while the reasons I wanted to give it up were fresh in my mind.
  • Meeting new people.
    • As I have mentioned on my home page and about me page I am a sailor and a live aboard cruiser which, I believed, was going to make giving up alcohol very hard… and I still believe it made it very difficult for me to take the first step to give up and it constantly puts me in an environment in which drinking alcohol is almost obligatory!  BUT, whereas I thought meeting new people and not drinking would be difficult, I have found that if they don’t know me as “a drinker” then it is actually easier not to drink.
  • I’m not in Australia.
    • I say this for two reasons. The first is that when we lived in Australia we entertained once or twice a week, went out once or twice a week and celebrated or enjoyed a quiet drink once or twice a week. Alcohol, food and friends were a big part of our life and habits had formed. My life now is very unstructured so I find that breaking the habits of the “afterwork drink”, the “pre-dinner drink” and the “lets kill time at the pub drink” easier than if life had more routine.
    • The second reason is that I love red wine… I mean really love the stuff! And Australia has some of the best! I know that is bias but I really doubt I could have given it up if I was still in Australia and could go to the bottle shop and by a good red wine for a reasonable price. Here in Southeast Asia, where we are at the moment, the affordable wine is unpleasant and I have discovered my homemade ice tea tastes better!
  • My blog.
    • I believe my blog has helped me exactly as I was hoping it would. I don’t have a big following, but it was never about that. It was for me to keep a diary, jot down my thoughts and correlate information I thought would be useful. It was a lifeline when I needed it – the guiding light of a lighthouse when the night was dark and the seas were wild – it kept my head above water. I don’t need it quite as much as I did in the beginning…. grasping at it like a drowning sailor to a life ring. My blog/diary is here for me when I need reaffirmation of why I am now teetotal; I can read back through my thoughts. And of course this blog has given me the support and feedback from others that I found invaluable. Thank you to everyone that has read, liked or commented on my blog.

So there it is! The first 1/4 of a year done and dusted. I know it is not always going to be easy and that there are, and always will be, hard times ahead. I also know that in my new sober state I am stronger, healthier and more determined to succeed with my goals.

 

9 Weeks Sober – No Regrets

If you are an alcoholic, or have ever been a heavy drinker or unable to control the amount of alcohol you drink, you will understand why I say I have NO REGRETS really really loudly.

I have now been sober for over 9 weeks and I am lovin’ it! I feel awesome. I have no regrets about being sober.

It is becoming increasingly easy. I now go out for dinner or socialise and very rarely think I am missing out by not drinking…. in fact, during these times, I very rarely realise that I haven’t had a drink…. you know what I mean? My life does not revolve around drink anymore. That includes not waking up with regrets in the morning!

Being a Sober Sailor? I’m Lovin’ It!

 

Seven Weeks Sober!

It’s been seven weeks! Yay! We are still on the road travelling through Laos and now we are in Thailand. Had a very long day. A boat from Don Khone island back to mainland Laos, and then a bus to Pakse, Laos, and then another bus across the border and on to Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Didn’t once think about a drink today. We have visitors arriving in Thailand on the 12th of July. They are coming to spend a couple of weeks on the boat with us. There will be some hard times coming up, but I am feel very strong.

sober

Six Weeks Sober, but…

I am now six weeks sober! And lovin’ it!

sober and loving it

That is not to say I do not get pangs of regrets and yearning for a nice glass of red wine! I do. Lately I have found that I don’t have many cravings and when I do, they pass quickly. BUT, I now find myself dwelling on the fact I can never drink again. NEVER! Now that just sucks. And I’m not entirely sure I can, or want to, do that. Having said that, never drinking again was exactly what I had in mind when I gave it up six weeks ago, and there was, and is, very good reasons for that. It is like now that I have been sober for 6 week I am beginning to think …surely I can just have one drink occasionally. YEAH RIGHT! That worked before didn’t it! OK so this is all the shit running through my mind on a daily basis lately.

So my next step is… what? Just to keep reiterating to myself why I don’t want to drink? How great it feels not to drink? Maybe that is what I have to do! Think about all the times I couldn’t remember the night before, or speaking to someone that was acting like they knew me…. but who are they?… have I met them before? They know my name, so oops it must have been the other night when we were partying at the bar. I hate being that person. If you meet me when I am drunk I would be extrovert, talkative and full of life. The next time you see me, I will act like I don’t know you because in reality I don’t… I don’t remember anything!

OK, I am already feeling better about never drinking again. Good therapy!

Now for positive reinforcement!

Now that I am not drinking I –

  • have lost a little weight
  • my skin is looking extremely healthy
  • the puffiness has gone
  • I am feeling very healthy
  • my blood pressure has gone down a bit
  • I am sleeping better
  • My hubby is not telling me off, every morning, about drinking too much the night before.
  • I don’t have to stress over having a plan to not drink so much when we go out
  • I am getting so much more work done on my travel blogging
  • Saving soooooo much money
  • And I am sure my liver, kidneys and brain are thanking me for it. 

So thanks for listening. xx

 

Day 18 – I Feel Terrible…

I feel horrendous. I am in pain (back, head, stomach), I am bloated, I feel nauseous, I have abdominal cramps and I have diarrhoea. Not 100% sure where all the symptoms are coming from. I think I may have a bit of food poisoning on top of other maladies. How would I usually deal with this situation? I would have a couple of glasses of red wine. It would greatly reduce my discomfort and remove my “care-factor”… I would relax and with the way I am feeling – completely wiped out – I reckon three glasses would put me to sleep. Sounds nice.

But I don’t drink anymore, so that is no longer an option.  Swallowing pain killers and anti-nausea medication when you feel nauseous is not fun. But that is what I have done… It’s taking a lot longer than the alcohol to work.

sick as a dog

We had people over for dinner tonight. I only started to feel really sick about an hour before people arrived so I couldn’t call it off – or more to the point, I didn’t realise how crappy I was about to start feeling! Anyway, I’ve had my whinge. I feel sick, I miss my 2 in 1 comforter and painkiller. But I have just notched up another day sober! And it was a tough one! So even though I feel as weak as a kitten, I proved to be a strong as a lion!

Day 17 – going strong!

I am about to complete my 17th day sober. I feel pretty good most of the time. I am not getting as irritable as I was in the earlier days. I know day 17 is still early days and that I have to stay on top of my game but I feel strong. In a couple of days hubby, Dill, and I are heading off for some inland travel. I know I will have some tough days ahead, but I will not give in! That is what I keep telling myself.

And guess what?! Dill had an AFD yesterday and another today (I can’t remember when he last had an day without alcohol, but it would have to be a few years ago). I am starting to have the positive effect on him that I was hoping I would have. Tomorrow night we have people visiting our boat for dinner and Dill has said he will have a glass of wine… but maybe he might stick to just the one.

Dill can see some of the benefits of me giving up already. He comment on my face and how my skin looks so much better, and I have lost a lot of the puffiness I was constantly plagued with. I have also lost a little weight; my clothes are already fitting me better. I feel good.

My plan now is to focus on the good things. The clear skin, the fewer lines due to rehydration, less puffiness, the realisation that I can fit into clothes I couldn’t wear a month ago, better sleep, no guilt, less depression and anxiety. I find I am also getting more done, remembering my days and don’t embarrass myself. When I think of all the positives (and these are only a few of them) I really believe I will remain sober for the rest of my life!