Thursday, 31 December 2015

Day 1 - Un-happy New Year

Happy New Year 2016! Or is it?

So yesterday we can say the wobbles of a newly sober being came up against the voice of Auld Acquaintance and indeed I shamefaced did share a cup of kindness yet for the sake of auld lang syne. More than a cup indeed (hangs head in shame) all alone on the sofa, not really enjoying it as much as one would have hoped.

Am I proud? No! 
Will I take this as a defeat? No! 
Do I regret it? Yes! 
Could I have avoided it? Yes.
Did I want to LIE to you all and pretend it was Day 6? Hell yeah!

So taking inspiration from the last verse of Auld Lang Syne I say to you that the last verse sums it up perfectly for everyone starting anew in 2016 with regrets and worry and shame and fear -

 And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
The hands of the trusty friends are the sober buddies that did not drink last night and resisted the urge to drink, the voices in their head, the wine witch beckoning them on.  They are the ones offering a hand to hold when things get rough, tough and scary being more than willing to help us through the early stages when we need it most. 
I had some great advice today(yesterday) from some amazing people who were trying to show me that the path I was on was the correct one despite the twists and turns and bumpy terrain but I CHOSE to follow the path of least resistance and I am back to the beginning. It's like snakes and ladders when you get so far along and think 'Ha ha I am winning, I have beaten you' and -whoosh- you slide down the snake and you are on the first square again. So sad, so silly, so back to Day 1 :-(
We have taken our last 'good-will draft, for auld lang syne' now please follow me in taking the hand of a trusty friend (all the sober bloggers cheering and wiling us on) and know that we too can 'take a cup of (NEW) kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne. 
Without looking for sympathy or excuses I feel like I have let myself down and my cheering section, especially Sober Mummy, who is so diligent in offering support to any and all who need it. If you are reading blogs - comment, start blogging yourself, get involved. It doesn't necessarily stop you drinking immediately but it makes you pause and realise you have to account for your actions good or bad and that you are not alone, you are NOT alone!
To anyone getting on the sober wagon in 2016, I wish you success and happiness. It is simpler than you ever thought - just don't drink, but it also harder than you maybe thought - just don't drink.
To all you sober bloggers out there encouraging us, motivating us and cheering us on, I say thank you. Thank you for taking time to try and shine a light on what you are enjoying and what you wish for us to experience. There are so many of you who day in day out hope to inspire and deter just one person from losing faith or hope in the millisecond when resolve wavers. I believe you have helped far more people than you know and for me, even in my moment of weakness, I want to thank you. You all remind me of when you have a child learning to walk that keeps falling on their butt. You don't say 'Get up stupid, can't you get it! Everyone around you can walk, why can't you?" No! You are very patient and kind and encouraging while all the while letting us know the power is within us and only we can do it. Thank you for tirelessly encouraging us even when it makes you want to tear your hair out.
And so it begins January 1st 2016......
Day 1, yet again!!!!!!
Peace and big love
Ginger Groundhog

Day 5 (part 1) - A bad case of the Tomorrows

Oh boy! I have a real bad case of the tomorrows, like real bad. It is terrifying.

I got up early-ish today considering I am off work til next Monday as my poor dogs have conjunctivitis. I took them out for their walk at about7.45am and even this early the voice was revving up. "You should just start tomorrow, have one more big blow out and see in the NY with a bang. You have made it 5 days so you know you can stop". So there I am in the middle of a muddy field before 8am thinking about how much booze I can pour down my neck in a last goodbye, farewell session. This despite the fact that I have done this for the last 5 years unsuccessfully except last year when I was delightfully sober and delightful happy in that glorious land of wonder and health.

Since then I have been playing sobriety table tennis in my head For - Against, Drink - Don't Drink, Binge - Abstain, it is so troubling and I don't know how to shut it down. I know all the things I need to do and that I just need to wait it out but oh my goodness is this some powerful evil witchcraft going on my head. I am going to keep busy busy busy today to try and ward off the voice.

Tomorrow hasn't come yet - figuratively, so why would I try and convince myself it is any different this time. Kids are afraid of the monster under their bed, adults are afraid of the monster in their head. Maybe I can kill it with kindness, talk to it the way Louise Hay might. Whatever I do today, I will be pulling all the tricks out of my bag because tomorrow I don't want to start 2016 with the first thought, oh I let myself down again! Re-enter Groundhog Day all over again.

Seriously distracted and deranged right now

Ginger Groundhog

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Day 4 - Something is missing

Day 4 has been accomplished.

I say that like it is some triumph of good over evil but truth be told I am still cocooned in the house, not exactly scared to go out but not actively seeking to put myself in danger again - see Day 2.

So today I was sitting watching a movie and it just felt like there was something missing, ah yes, WINE! I thought to myself yes, that is what is missing but then on the back of that thought came another. I realised that actually wine/vodka/alcohol in general is what I have used to replace what is missing and what I have always felt was missing. That thought seemed to fit and resonate with me.

It's not that alcohol filled the void but it was a different sensation, a blurring of the edge or a distraction so I didn't realise the 'missing' was always there. I wonder if that is why I and so many others seem to get to a certain period of not drinking and then suddenly throw the towel in, go back to drinking because it loosely veils the fact that there is a void in us deep down that we cannot fill or just don't understand. Let's fill it up with booze, food, drugs, sex, shopping,chocolate whatever is your key to dissociation. Boy does that make me want to drink right now! That is how it is at the moment I think a thought good or bad and my brain or the voice launches straight into the rose tinted version of my drinking. I think right now it is because I shined a light on the 'missing'.

For me I am never quite sure what is missing. Like many people I can find things that happened in my past that have affected me but it is knowing if that is what left this vague sense of missing-ness in me. I know this is all a bit pop psychology and I seem a bit blasé about the whole thing but I guess in between drinking and not drinking over the years I have tried to dig around in my psyche to see what has made me who and how I am. When the voice/wine witch/Wolfie is whispering in your ear I think it is more the missing asking to be dealt with.

Somethings aren't for blogging I think and whilst a lot of stuff has come up for me now, I don't feel secure enough to throw it out there. I am aware it is all very raw in these early stages and lots of stuff is bubbling to the surface and I cried today watching a really bad, cheesy movie that under normal circumstances i.e. me not hiding from life, I would have turned it off as it was a waste of two hours. For about a month on the build up to Day 1 I have been a hair's width away from tears. Partly as I was in need of a well deserved break from work but also because so much stuff just seemed obvious, like needing to stop drinking, like I have led myself into mild financial difficulties through drinking, like the fact I was (am) only living a half life, barely present for anything. All these realisations and more coming at me left me more wobbly than ever. 

I work in mental health so I am very used to talking about feelings and throwing around insights about myself to colleagues as and when something comes up and I know that makes a lot of people uncomfortable, especially Brits. I have written down a few insights that I may or may not add later, like I said I am a bit raw and don't want to regret anything I write here. So far so good. As you can observe from earlier posts I do share a great deal and am want to ramble on but for now I am keeping some stuff just for me, after all the blog is about not drinking but there is always so much more than just the drinking.

Don't feel quite so beaten today but the fatigue is still dragging me down like a lead weight. Day 5 tomorrow yay! 

Peace out

Ginger Groundhog

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Day 3 - Feel beaten and bruised

Yes day 3! Yay for me for this minor/major achievement depending on how you view it.  I can't say it is a resolve of strength, it just is what it is today. I started the day again after a deeeeep sleep, that sleep of someone who hasn't slept properly for 9 months. I do not feel refreshed yet but it is early days yet. Against the advice of many blogger I have also launched into my food regime, the one that works for me. I have heard and read that I should only focus on not drinking, nothing else but not drinking but........ I know me and I know when I have certain other things in my diet and life it leads me to be out of control and I have been increasingly out of control for too long now. So I have jumped in with both feet.

Physically day 3 feels like I have been battered and bruised, my skin hurts like when you have the flu coming, my joints ache, despite walking twice a day with my dogs it is hard to get any momentum to my stride. Worryingly my breathing has been getting worse due to my quite dramatic weight gain again and my increased drinking, I am back to the wheezing, exhausted waddler that I was 18 months ago. I ache when I walk upstairs and make groans and moans when I bend over, lift something or get up from the sofa. Drinking disguised all these aches and pains and I was able to just get on with things a bit tipsy. Part of the reason I stopped drinking on Dec 26th was it would give me a period of time at home off work to detox a bit and not be a moaning groaning wreck of a woman. 

Emotionally I feel somewhat detached and a little bit shambolic in my thinking. I keep thinking odd things and wondering "is that how I really feel?" I am not going too deep with anything right now (despite my long, potentially over-sharing posts) but it's like my brain is trying to prioritise and re categorise things without fully understanding the brief. The brief is DON'T DRINK, NO MATTER WHAT just in case you weren't sure. 

The Voice, has been very quiet today thankfully and the was one point when I was reading someone else's blog and they mentioned vodka that I thought "Mmm vodka" but it passed.

Now horror of horrors, I have spent nearly all day in bed with a book and perusing the internet. I got up walked my dogs, a good decent walk as for once it was sunny and not blowing a gale. When I came back I just decided to go back to bed and do nothing more strenuous than turn the pages of my new thousand page novel. Thank you Mr Ken Follett. Self care is how I am looking at it.

That is all I have today, short for me but a basic summary of my day 3

Peace out

Ginger Groundhog

Monday, 28 December 2015

Day 2 - Wobbling like a Weeble but not falling down

Here we go with the teethe gnashing and hand wringing ! So soon?

So day 2 brings a different vibe. It all started off really well when I woke at 8.47 after an uninterrupted night sleep -bliss. I slept about 10 hours as I had ended yesterday early to just get it over with. My daughter's boyfriend was coming over so we launched straight into cleaning and tidying. Normally I would be moaning and griping about why I had to be involved in this, after all it's not my boyfriend (not that I have one due to crippling lack of self confidence and a feeling that anyone that thinks I am good enough for them must have something wrong with them - but I digress) but instead I was happy to help out as I didn't want her embarrassed about how the place looked. 

Off to the shops I go to get a few bits and look for post festive bargains. Went around town and all the shops feeling just fine. Went to Asda and did a full walk up and down all the aisles except of course the booze aisle, I passed them a flickering glance but felt strong and buoyed on with day 2 freshness. On to Aldi just for a bargain scan and WHAM! Ker-Pow*! BAM ! (Please do your vintage Batman impression here if you are over 35) "What if I had some Baileys? I could share it with daughter, she likes Baileys. Actually maybe I SHOULD just wait til January 1st, that seems like the most sensible idea. After all everyone will be doing it and then I will have others to riff with and encourage"  and there it was THE VOICE. I left the shop with a punnet of raspberries and some mayonnaise thankfully, though not to have together, this is not some weird combination that quells drinking cravings.  Driving home though that's when the voice started up again "what about just for tonight, or maybe til new year, you get it out of your system and just have what you want, some vodka, some whiskey, some more red wine. Yes do that" arrrrgggghhh stop talking to me. 

The amazing thing is this is only the beginning and the voices will only get louder I imagine, well I know because I have been down this road so so so so many times. Many of us have, some have carried on down the road whilst others, myself included have been persuaded that tomorrow is ALWAYS a better day to start but tomorrow keeps coming up after every today. It truly is some kind of delusion we create and reminds me of that expression if you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got. I am sure people without any addictions must just find the whole thing bizarre and quite unfathomable, wondering why we just don't stop and stay stopped. It is not judgement as such, it is just they cannot understand why others can't act and behave like them. I do it myself but with say domestic abuse thinking why don't they just leave or with say families who complain about having little money but have a new baby every year. These things are outside my understanding and seem simple and obvious but I am not living it so I can't fully see it from an insiders perspective.  Also these things are none of my business unless I am offering to help or being asked to help. I have no control over them but I do have control of myself and I must do whatever I can to stay in control especially in these early days - Wobble, yes! Fall, no!

Now if I knew what I was doing on this here blog-y-majig I would be able to add a link (maybe) to a very upbeat song I listen to when really really want a drink, this has helped me in the past and may help someone else. Check out 'Daniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats -S.O.B' it is awesome, first time in my life I have bought an album off the back of one song and I love the whole album. I read an article about him and if I remember he has some drinking demons himself and several songs document drinking issues but please don't be put off as they are weirdly upbeat and inspiring. That's all for now folks I feel another cup of Pukka tea coming on - lemongrass and ginger I think.

Peace out

Ginger Groundhog

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Day 1 - Again! let's face it there have been many day 1's

So today was going to go one of two ways easy peasy or teeth gnashing, hand wringing. Luckily it went the easy peasy way - Phew!

Seriously I struggle to contemplate if I could have drunk today. I had so much to drink yesterday, yet worryingly did not have a hangover AGAIN, that really does bother me. I woke up after a pretty restless boozy sleep and lay there pleased that I had reached today. I am on a first day pink cloud that I think is just sheer relief that I am not filling up on alcohol again. I don't expect it to be all sunshine and roses every day but just to have an anguish free first day is great.

I will say that my body does feel a bit wrecked and internally I am sure it is way more than just a bit wrecked but I am taking it very easy today and tomorrow. No plans bigger than walking my dogs although today was a real struggle as I felt like a balloon on legs I am so bloated. I am downing lots of fluids today to start the flush and hopefully I can lose some of the bloat in the next few days. I am my biggest ever!! 4lbs heavier than I have ever been which whilst not surprising is silly and ridiculous considering I lost 45 lbs and have gained back 49. 

I am a bit bored today, not really interested in the TV and feel too antsy to start the book I got for Christmas. It is that body hangover thing where you just feel a bit disconnected and detached. I may call it quits early tonight and end the day as soon as possible. I keep checking the blog stats thing as I am obsessed with how many people have read my post yesterday and I have been a bit freaked out by it, especially since I emptied some of the contents of my mind and even said how worried I was to expose myself. Well it's out there and I haven't self combusted yet and truth be told I can't even say I regret it too much but I am still freaked out about how people found it and seemed to have read it. It scares me to be honest but then that is a whole other dysfunctional mindset I have about "big brother" watching our every move etc. 2 years ago I would not even have commented on a blog as I would be putting my private thoughts into the public domain but now I seem to have jumped right into exposure therapy.

I am very uninspiring today and probably quite boring to read so I will leave it for now.  Ask me today and I will say I will never drink again but I know only too well that some time maybe soon the voices will start again"why not have one and start again Jan 1st, that's a good day" or something along those lines. What a terrible thing addiction is, so sneaky and manipulative. 

Peace out

Ginger Groundhog

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Unedited Brain free flowing on excess alcohol

There is a natural resistance in the body to ward off excess, however it is not strong enough to deter sabotage. When one chooses to push through that natural resistance, it signifies an UN-natural imbalance of the mind and how that then feeds into the body.
The body reaches a point with everything where it has had too much and we have a built in safety mechanism that can stop the excess in it's tracks. Hyperventilation will result in fainting, staying up for 36 hours will result in a coma like state until rest is restored, overeating will result in vomiting as will excess alcohol but when your self sabotage = a mind creation, chooses to push through the safety mechanism it can cleverly manipulate the body into submission. If you consistently overeat, you wil stretch your stomach, if you drink too much alcohol initially your body will recognise this flood of poison and will react accordingly and activate the safety switch inducing vomiting to rid itself of said poison. However, if you are determined to trick your poor body and you introduce that same poison over a prolonged period of time, the body is confused into submission and you "successfully" manage to poison yourself. Does that sound demented? Well isn't that what we do over and over, time after time? I know I do and I take it even one step further by layering food on top of this insult to injury.
What madness is this and from where did it come? That!!! Is the real question.
I feel like I have broken my excess threshold, that my body has given up trying to maintain homeostasis and has accepted that I am on a self destruct course with no safe way out. To write what I have consumed today is an act of bravery in itself without detracting from real bravery in the face of death, abuse, war, terror, trauma, violence and depravity.
My fear is being discovered and exposed, I have been hiding in plain sight for so long hoping to pass muster and avoid exposure and shame. Oh the SHAME! I am such a shabby fraud. Now I want to smash the shame shield and expose myself worts and all as a drinker and faker who has been trying to keep her head above water and present a "normal" facade to the world whilst all the while being terrified of exposure and accountability. I have lived in the shadows afraid of participating in life for fear of being pointed at and ridiculed as less than and not worthy of. How dare I feel I was entitled to the same happiness as everyone else, didn't I realise I am not allowed to be happy, to succeed, to live the lives others are privileged to. I am lesser than, not good enough, damaged and distorted. I am broken and unwanted and only fit for the scraps of others. I have learnt I must be over-grateful, over-thankful, over - compensate for when the world gives me good fortune because I am undeserving and lest anyone realise there has been a blip in the universe and someone BAD has received some good fortune therefore it must be over-acknowledged because it must be a mistake as I myself am a mistake so therefore unworthy.
Pay me a compliment and I will tell you how foolish you are or how polite you are for following the rules of convention and polite social interaction. You can't possibly mean it because I don't deserve it as I am unworthy, unloveable, inhuman. I realise the sadness in these words and I don't always take them 100% true but many times when I am feeling low and less than, 
this is the soundtrack in my head. These words leap out at me and make a mockery of any good I have achieved, any right I have wronged, and success I have earned or any good deed I have performed. All for the sole purpose of cutting me down to size, denying me my soul purpose which may be to touch someone else's life or make a difference. So hard to make a change when you feel unworthy in the world.
So in the spirit of reclamation and self progress, today, Boxing Day/St Stephen's Day December 26th 2016, I have had 2 bottles of red wine, 1/4 bottle of port, 1/4 bottle of vodka and one glass of whiskey - and I am still standing! How scary is that??
I also feel beyond drinking, that is,this is a totally unacceptable existence and it will not suffice anymore. That it is time I banished these thought of self hatred and annihilation once and for all, like slaying a dragon and all I have to do is not drink anything. That in itself is not the end of the journey, just the beginning to allow some clarity in so I can see what is the next step forward but it is a massive step and the first footfall is due tomorrow December 27th so I had better be ready.
Ultimately the problem with presenting a semi-together front is that no one, even those nearest and dearest have no idea what chaos is going on inside and even those who try to understand may have no concept of how deep and pervasive these feelings are and how they infiltrate and alter the perceptions one has on life. This revelatory expose of my mind is an ice breaker for me of sorts since I have tried for so long to keep each and every one of these thoughts/observations secret for fear they would destroy me if made public, that by admitting a weakness or fear or shameful secret I would suffer immediate and explosive repercussions. Only by coming clean and volunteering this madness can I hope to make progress. That by shinning a light on it even in the rabbit warren of the internet blogosphere, the exposure will somehow set me free. Tomorrow is a new day, hopefully a sober day and potentially a day where I will re-read this and be overcome with embarrassment temporarily but realise that some perceived retribution is not on it's way to take me out in a shower of hells fire and brimstone. I have a problem with confidence, alcohol, eating and shame. Doesn't that make me somewhat normal in today's society?? I will await my fate in the morning.

Peace out.

Ginger Groundhog

Boxing Day -last day drinking

So the plan is today is my last day drinking. I have been worried that I would extend it to the 27th because that is a Sunday and why not start on a Monday, right? Having said that, there are two reasons why not,
1. I have been playing the "significant day" stopping i.e. Stopping on the 1st of the month or 15th of the month, Easter, my birthday, every Monday etc for way too long.
2. I feel DONE to be honest. I've been feeling more and more aware of how bad my drinking has become that it feel I do need to get this started.

After yesterday, Christmas Day I have woken up late but with no hangover and far from being delighted about that, I am a little terrified that I don't have one. Does this mean my liver is so screwed it hasn't processed the booze? My daughter asked me for a drink yesterday (she's nearly 18 and doesn't seem that bothered by alcohol) and all I had was my strong red wine. I gave it to her in a port glass and she took a few sips saying she wished it was sweet. Obviously me being a wine lover, I have developed my taste for various grapes over the years and I imagine a teen wants something sugary and alcopop like. We talked about it and I said how I drank too much and felt weird giving her alcohol but she said it was ok and she just wanted something for the dinner. I know she has only drunk a few times with her friends (she's a bit of a hermit and doesn't go out much) but doesn't like to go past a certain limit as she is very in control and hates being embarrassed. I think she has seen enough of her friends antics to know better - for now. Interestingly enough she does NOT think I have a problem and thankfully has never seen me drunk per se. She sees me when I am probably way over the limit but I have never liked to get wobbly drunk. I drink my wine of an evening and maybe a vodka but it is very steady and I just reach mellow and still relatively in control etc.  I find it strange that I think I have such a massive problem, well I do actually, and she doesn't think I have a big problem. Not sure if I am grateful that I have hidden it well or that she has seen me like that for so long she thinks that is how I am. Hmmm? Not going to dwell on that for now.

I also had a strenuous discussion with a friend who when I stated I had to give up "for real!!?," this time! argued that I didn't have a problem I nearly shouted that I am an alcoholic but explained calmly but very firmly that I do have a problem and that is effecting me daily and I cannot continue any more like this. Bless her, she did go on to explain that she will help me and asked what she could do to support me when I stop. I asked her to never, ever offer me a drink again. I know it is hard for her to understand because she was married to an alcoholic but he still do this day doesn't believe he has a problem. He's French and as my friend points out, he drinks like they do in France, she goes on to say that my drinking is what most French people do daily and over there I would be normal. I take no comfort from that because over the years and my trips to France I have often thought they drink too much ha ha, it's only now that I drink like the French (sorry for the huge generalisation folks) that I have realised I need to stop. And stay stopped!!

I am reading several other blogs at the moment and they are a combination of a. Stopped successfully and not looking back with rose tinted specs and b. Drinking and desperate to stop. I have been in both places, well I am in the latter right now. Last Christmas I spent the day with the aforementioned friend and her partner. I was stone cold sober and had been off booze for about 45 days. I felt great and not a thought of alcohol crossed my mind, they were drinking like fish and it didn't bother me at all. I was riding on the euphoric pink cloud and if you had asked me that day, I would have sworn up and down I would never have another drink again. After all when you feel that good and have so much fun sober why oh why would you think about drinking again. Anyway fast forward to this Christmas and it was a very different story. I had a very fat, bloated, biter day where I was gonna have my drink and enjoy it goddammit if it killed me ( which ironically it probably is) for all these reasons and more I feel done, ready, it's time. I worry a bit about the early days when I am white knuckling it but I hope to reach the elusive pink cloud stage again. Hopefully once I get to a certain stage I will have hindsight and can see the pitfalls ahead and realise the wine witch/Wolfie is never too far from the door..

Peace out for now

Ginger Groundhog

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Where is my memory? Cool title lost to booze again!

WOW I had such a cool title to this post but 2 glasses of whisky, 2 glasses of vodka and the start of a bottle of red have lost that stroke of genius to the ether forever.

I watched a documentary on Shane McGowan from The Pogues last night, his journey to getting a new set of teeth. As I do not know how to insert links to anything, please Google Shane McGowan's teeth to to understand why he should covet this surgeries. Anyway, I digress. The whole documentary was about how amazing it was that he decided to go ahead with this surgery and how it would help him enunciate much clearer, thus benefiting his music fans. What was woefully lacking was the acknowledgement that he was still drinking beyond belief and was a shell of his former self. It was painful to watch, especially since I had assumed he was getting his teeth fixed because he was clean and sober. Such a shame! His partner of 30 years is a life coach and as I understand it was trying to highlight that she was supporting him in his decision to continue drinking as everyone has choices in life i.e. Either leave if you can't deal with it or stay and just accept the person as they are. I was so upset by this as I personally felt that Shane was a doddering wreck of a man and his partner felt (to me ) enabling although I hasten to add I do not feel that that was her intention. I guess I was just looking for the happy happy ending "Yay, Shane McGowan is sober and taking care of himself and rejoining LIFE" but I came away convinced that everyone was just paying Hollywood lip service to this man and treating him like he was mentally incompetent (which he may well be) and they all sounded like carers speaking down to their charge rather than treating him as an equal. Gosh I was so let down.

Having said all that though, I wonder how I present when I have had a bit too much booze. I do not have "wet brain" which I think Shane McGowan MAY have, but I do know for sure that there are
times when I have that droopy eyed, drunk, trying to look normal look when I am struggling to keep up with the train of conversation. Oh the shame!!! As I approach this last phase for drinking, well that is the hope/dream, I become all to aware of my habits and behaviours and how they impact my day to day life. The ever growing awareness how stupid and ridiculous my drinking is and just how futile this escapeism is, it achieves NOTHING!!

Luckily, unlike Shane McGowan I am sat on my couche alone with no camera crew positioning their camera at me to see my double chin when I am dozing off, see my droopy eyes and almost dribbly mouth, the slobby slouchy slovenly posture and the sad oh so sad sorry state of affairs I call me. The booze is one thing but for me it is a dual edged sword as I am a boozer and eater. Eating has always been an issue for me and has probably been my main coping mechanism throughout my life so the disappointment I feel with adding booze to this dysfunction is heartbreaking. Worse still is that it has been getting progressively worse over the last 5 years and despite an ever growing awareness of how pitiful I have become I have failed to make the necessary permenant solution. Temporary breaks = yes, attempts at stopping = yes, continued attempts at stopping = yes! even further attempts at stopping = well you get the idea. On again, off again ad infinitum it is all so very very pathetic really. Even as I sit here supping my wine, praying for a brighter happier 2016 I am wondering what last minute food bargains I can pick up in addition to the blue cheese and crackers, chips and dips, onion rings, pate, spring rolls, quality street, roses, pistachios, cashews etc etc so in other words enough food for all the refugees in Calais but intended for me only to eat (with a little for my 17 year old who is not that interested in food and watching her figure 😁) Believe me I do see the craziness in that statement but I am currently unable to do anything about it, after all 'life' is on pause until 27-12-15 when I quit this insanity train and everything miraculously falls into place and I am cured of the last 5 years struggle. It's a Christmas miracle I hear you all cheer or is that just alcohol induced psychosis. Yes I am being flippant as that is my default, I work in mental health and deal with pretty crazy people all the time so I have a pretty black sense of humour which many won't appreciate but it is how I make sense of some quite disturbing and sometimes upsetting situations. No offence to anyone. Besides I have my own mental health issues I struggle with which probably links in with the drinking and eating etc. although luckily, and I do mean that, I am able to cope even if it is poorly with my struggles. I think I am on a bit of a ramble and that was not my intention. I just logged on to document the thought stream that I have when on alcohol and that even when I am indulging, I am profoundly aware that this is an altered state and not one I wish to prolong.

Tomorrow is 3 more days!! The beginning of the end.

Still trying to work out how to use this blog properly. It may take until I am sober to figure it out properly. Gosh, what if I need to take a class Blogging 101? I joke but it may come to that.

Peace out.

 The Ginger Groundhog

We've all seen the movie right?

 Groundhog Day number 1974 (approx)

That is one thousand nine hundred and seventy four just in case you think I mean the year. That is approx how many days I have woken up and thought oh no, not again or oh I can't believe it or even at the sound of the alarm oh for fluffs sake! Yes, that feeling of here we go again, I have let myself down, I've not slept well, I have the whole day ahead of me feeling like this and even the classic "right, that's it I am never drinking again." And yet........ Groundhog Day arrives again.

Only in the last 2-3 years have I realised that my desire to stop does not match my will to stop, or stay stopped. I have the best if intentions and I have read all the books, and now blogs, yet I cannot stay stopped. I had an amazing run from November 2014 to April 2015 but then standing at the sink doing the dishes -snap- I thought "ah fuck it" and went to the shop and there went 5 months of successfully not drinking. I hasten to add that I felt amazing and was doing great, lost 45lbs by following something that works well for me, work was great as I was focused and totally with it etc etc etc, you know how it is when you are not drinking. Not sure what that moment was but I know I didn't really try to fight it I just decided ok I'll drink and start again tomorrow.

Here I am seven months later and I am in way worse shape than before, the drinking has escalated and I have added a couple of vodka aperitifs to my nightly routine only to be swiftly followed by the requisite bottle of red. I find it scary how much I can drink and a) not have a hangover b) not seem that drunk c) feel like I could still have more.  I do really worry about my health too as I have gained back all the weight I lost and just feel like poop all the time. I guess with my weight and bad diet on top of the drinking I fear for my liver, that wonderful regenerative organ that may just one day say "ok, you've pushed your luck sister. I quit! Now live with the consequences" To say I worry seems so silly given that I am the one slamming it day in day out with the ever elusive feeling that I am going to to quit soon so it will then be able to do it's regeneration thing. Currently that stop date is 27th December 2015. That's the plan anyway and I have been gearing up for it for months now, since my birthday actually when I had planned to quit because that would have been 100 days by Christmas. Needless to say that fell by the wayside so I have reversed it now and I have looked at it as being my last 100 days drinking. Please do understand I know what a slippery slope I am on and I realise I have said it all before but what's new is I am attempting to now document it and in doing so, make myself more accountable. I have 4 days drinking left (scary feelings inside) and then I have to flick the switch to sobriety and really commit to doing it. So I have gathered my supplies, substantial but not outrageous as I prepare for my last hoorah. I soooo want this to be a success and to realise what a great achievement I had made last time only to toss it to one side in a fit of pique without fully understanding how lucky I was. This time I might have to white knuckle it for a while but hopefully I will fully comprehend the seriousness of it and how something so easily cast aside has taken me seven months to restart.

An apology to begin with. I cannot punctuate, so if you have to read or re-read something to make sense if it I apologise. Once I have the drinking under control I will work on grammar and punctuation.

The Ginger Groundhog (picture to follow if I can work it out)