I have been thinking about how my life has changed since I stopped drinking. Mr So keeps saying “you’d never have done that when you were drinking” and bless him, he sounds so appreciative. He seems genuinely pleased not just at the improvements to our family life but also the difference he has seen in me. I am very very lucky to have him.
My list so far includes:
Reading – I used to love reading. Nothing high brow just chick lit and the occasional biography – Stephen Fry and Derren Brown spring to mind. Both are on my fantasy dinner party list (along with Louis Theroux, Liam from 1D and Robert Peston – that would be an interesting evening!)
When I was drinking I didn’t read because quite frankly I preferred wine and most evenings I was too pissed to do much. When I hadn’t had a drink I couldn’t sit still for long or concentrate so anything more than a page or two was beyond me.
Now I have started reading again and I love it so much. I have just finished Dawn French’s “According to Yes” and now I’m devouring Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train” which has a strong drinking theme. If you haven’t read it – do.
As well as reading, I have watched TV. I was never one to slob out on the sofa drinking wine – I preferred to do it standing up in the kitchen. Like my taste in books, my taste in TV programmes is not exactly sophisticated but having started with Embarassing Bodies and Dance Moms (my daughter’s choice) I have been watching Undercover which I love.
I love mornings now. When I drank I slept really badly and would wake exhausted with a pounding head, dry mouth, not entirely sure exactly how I had got to bed. Now I wake refreshed, with a clear head and full recollection of the evening before. I enjoy sharing breakfast with my daughters and seeing them off to school. I get ready for work in a calmer frame of mind and because my skin is better and I no longer have dark circles under my eyes, I need less make up to achieve a better result.
Although my self confidence is still low at least I no longer feel ashamed and guilty. I have regained the control alcohol took away.
My daughters need ferrying from various activities, sleepovers, appointments and school stuff. When I was drinking I would do my damnedest to avoid having to drive them. I would be the first to offer to drive their friends to evening activities in the hope that someone else would offer to drive them home. That way although I had to delay starting drinking, at least once I started there was no need to stop.
Now I am happy to drive. I enjoy being the one who can help out with lifts rather than always cadging lifts off everyone else. It feels good.
I am not even vaguely tech savvy but somehow I managed to set this blog up all by myself. It took me almost a day so it wasn’t exactly speedy but I think the end result looks Ok. Mr So who works in IT, seems very impressed especially when I breezily refer to widgets and plug-ins.
Even more amazingly I am actually writing AND people are reading what I produce. What is more I am enjoying blogging. I would never have had the inclination to do this when I was drinking, let alone the drive to see it through. I have really surprised myself.
Looking to the Future
Just two months ago I was completely caught up in the turmoil of drinking. I was convinced I was going to have a seizure or develop cancer or liver failure. I felt like a ticking time bomb. I avoided having blood tests because I was scared of what they might show. I thought about dying almost constantly. I imagined my daughters without their mum and my husband remarrying and replacing me. And I knew it would all be my fault.
Now I have stopped drinking those fears have subsided. I am no longer fixated with dying and I can see a future. I have hopes and dreams again and it feels wonderful.
This is only the beginning. I have just bought my first pair of trainers in at least a decade and I have booked my first spinning class. I certainly wouldn’t have done that when I was drinking!