I want to be free!!!

So today is day 7 of my 100 day sobriety challenge. I feel completely motivated!!! rather than saying “I’m never going to drink again” 100 days is so doable. I’ve done it before and I felt fantastic for it.

This new found motivation came from my latest read ‘A Happier Hour’ by Rebecca Meller. This is by far my favourite sobriety book yet and I totally recommend it to anyone who wants to cut down on their drinking. It was as if her book was written just for me!! It addressed all my current concerns about getting through special events without an alcoholic drink in my hand.

On New Year’s Day, I’d been sober for just over 2 months and I truly believed because I’d got through Christmas and New Year without a drink that I would never drink again.

How wrong was I???

I’d been sober for almost 6 months when I was tempted to drink again. I was on holiday and everyone drinks on holiday right???

Thank fully, as soon as I got back home, I stopped and didn’t touch another drop until my friends Hen Party last weekend.

This has made me ask myself the question.

Is it so bad to have a drink on special occasions??

Especially if I can stop drinking as soon as the special event is over.

What’s the problem??

The fact is, I don’t want to drink anymore. I don’t enjoy drinking and it annoys me that I seem to drink for the sake of it.

When I drank on holiday did it make my holiday more enjoyable?

NO!!! Being hungover on holiday is not enjoyable at all, especially on a boat.

When I drank at my friend’s Hen Party did it make me have more fun?

NO!!! I ruined an amazingly fun day by throwing up at the end of it.

I have a lot of special occasions coming up in the next 100 days. A holiday, 3 weddings, a festival, my birthday, my husband’s graduation and another hen party.

I don’t want to drink, so I am setting myself a challenge that will see me sober through all these special occasions.

Then in 100 days, hopefully i’ll have realised that special occasions are more fun sober. Allowing me to be free from alcohol once and for all!!

My Why

October 2018

3 am, its always 3 am when I wake up sweating, in desperate need of water and a trip to the toilet. When I return to bed I struggle to get back to sleep and tell myself I need to stop doing this to myself. I love my sleep, I need my sleep!!! Yet my current eating and drinking habits are doing everything they can to make sure I don’t get any sleep.

My alarm goes off at 5.30am. I drag myself into the bathroom and take a good look at myself in the mirror. My skin is horrendous, its red, blotchy and bloated. I’m covered in breakouts, I used to be so proud of my young-looking skin.

I step onto the scales. I am 20kg over weight. I am a mess!!! My husband has turned into a total body conscious fitty over the last year. He looks amazing and in response I have rebelled and turned into a big fat slob.

Way to go Lynzi!!!!

This needs to end now!!!

Will quitting the booze really be the answer to all my problems, will quitting the booze help me sleep, make me fitter, healthier, HAPPIER?? If I stop drinking will I start to look the way I want to look. I want to look good, its vain I know but I do. When I look good I feel good!!

I feel fat and ugly at the moment. I feel tired and lifeless. I want to be full of energy, I want to leak happiness, wellbeing and confidence the way I used to.

I remember several years ago before children and the stress of everday life took hold, my boss coming into my office and saying, “I love coming in here, your positivity and happiness is infectious”. I was so confident back then. I loved the way I looked, I loved the way people looked at me. I loved being me!!

The difference between then and now – I looked after myself then. I ran every day, I ate a healthy diet, I read lots of positive thinking books and I meditated regularly. I didn’t get involved in negative chit chat. I was happy and a joy to be around!!!!

That is what the problem is here. I don’t love myself anymore, I don’t respect myself anymore and therefore I don’t look after myself, I drag myself through one day to the next, living for the weekend when I can drown my stresses in wine and junk food

I know what I need to do, I need to stop drinking and eating junk food every time I feel slightly stressed or unhappy. I need to start eating right. I need to drink more water and get a good night’s sleep. I need to stop watching crap TV and start reading more books. I need to do more exercise and start looking after myself.

That is exactly what I did!!

April 2019

I have been alcohol free now for nearly 6 months and I feel amazing!! Stress is pretty much something of the past. I still have the occasional bad day in the office or with the kids, but I can identify my feelings and tackle them head on. I think so clearly now. I meditate and exercise regularly. I have lost 11kg. I spend the money I save from buying wine on monthly massages and facials. My skin is looking so good I can go out without wearing foundation. My hair is soft and shiny. I feel amazing. I feel healthy, I feel happy!!

So why oh why did I ruin this feeling by drinking on holiday and at my friend’s hen do last weekend?

I’ll tell you why!!

I had forgotten my why!!!

I feel so good now, I had forgotten how bad I felt six months ago. I don’t ever want to go back to feeling that way so I need to promise myself that I will never forget my WHY again!!

A health magazine said that?????

Today I read an article in a health magazine which has really annoyed me. The article in question was printed in a well known health and wellness magazine, which is read by thousands of people. This month it features a Working Mum asking the following question….

I don’t think I drink to much, but I often use wine as a reward after work. Could this affect the way my kids view alcohol’?

The reason I am so annoyed is because I see myself in this woman. I knew for 6 whole years I didn’t have a good relationship with alcohol, but when I questioned my drinking with medical professionals, they would always say – just cut down, there is no need to quit. Exactly the same advice has been offered in this article today.

The fact is the sheer nature of alcohol and the fact it is an addictive drug makes it really hard to cut down, hence the reason why most people drink more now than they did 10 years ago.

Anyway Lets get back to the article and break that question down;

I don’t think I drink to much

Well she probably does and shes probably knows it, that is why she added that particular comment to her question. If she didn’t believe she drank to much, she wouldn’t have tried to justify her drinking, which is exactly what she did when she said…………………..

I often reward myself with wine after work

Alcohol is an addictive drug that causes thousands of deaths a year. Why on earth would anyone reward themselves with such a thing. Alcohol is only good for 4 things. It is an anaesthetic, a detergent, an antiseptic and a fuel.

It DOES NOT have any health benefits…FACT!!!!

It DOES NOT cure stress, it DOES NOT make you more confident, It will NOT help you relax or have fun. It offers you NO joy or support at all!!

Any benefits you think you are getting from alcohol are all due to the brain washing you have received about alcohol from a young age. Brainwashing that starts during childhood, watching your parents drinking habits.

So in answer to your question

Could this affect the way my kids view alcohol?

YES of course it will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I work with a lovely girl called Rachael, we often go for coffee together and put the world to rights. One day we were talking about why I’d decided to stop drinking and we got onto the subject of her drinking habits. It turned out she hardly ever drinks because she doesn’t like it. Her parents were against drinking so it wasn’t something she was ever bothered about.

Now lets look at me, I used to drink every weekend. I don’t remember my parents ever getting drunk or drinking every night, but I definitely remember them drinking at social occasions where we would all have lots of fun. On one particular occasion (I think in may have been New Years Eve) An assault course was set up in the living room and we all got in teams and raced remote control cars around the living room. It was great fun, as a result I grew up thinking alcohol is fun.

The woman in this article drinks wine as a reward after work, In other words, she drinks wine to relax and relieve stress.

I’ve said it before and I am sure I will say it again.

Alcohol does not relieve stress or relax you. It causes stress and anxiety. She is basically teaching her children that their problems can be solved with alcohol.

The Wellbeing expert in this article replied “It is important for your kids to see you enjoy a healthy relationship with alcohol”

There is no such thing as a healthy relationship with alcohol because it is an addictive drug with no health benefits what so ever.

People drink because they have been brain washed into believing they get some kind of joy or support from alcohol. The brainwashing comes from adverts, television and people around us. That brainwashing starts when when we are children

If you don’t want your children to drink alcohol. Don’t drink in front of them, or better still, just don’t drink.

Duped by Holiday Mentality

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you will know my recent holiday saw the return of my old holiday drinking habits. Despite being sober for almost 6 months and feeling amazing for it, I gave into the cravings, telling myself “I’m on holiday” and “One glass of wine won’t hurt” (not that I only had one glass).

In hindsight, going on a Canal Barge holiday probably wasn’t the best idea for someone trying to abstain from alcohol, seeing how the whole point is to sail from one pub to the next. However, I genuinely believed my days of craving wine were long gone. I hadn’t craved wine for almost 6 months and I have been in many situations where wine was readily available.

I now realise, although I am no longer fooled by the brainwashing that alcohol relieves stress, I was clearly still fooled into believing you can’t enjoy a holiday without drinking.

As I sat in the little canal side pub, drinking my latte by a crackling fire. I watched my husband drink his pint of lager and suddenly started to want a glass of wine more than I have ever wanted one in my life. As I looked around the pub, everyone was drinking. A tug a war started in my head “don’t have a drink you will feel better for not having it” “You’ve been doing so well” to “you are on holiday, having a few wines on holiday is not going to hurt”. I didn’t have a drink in that pub, but disappointingly I did in the next one.

The purpose of a holiday, whether going abroad or staying at home is to recharge our batteries, to reduce stress and relax and to spend quality time with family and friends. I can tell you right now I did not come away from that holiday feeling recharged and relaxed. I came away from that holiday feeling like hell and beating myself up for giving into my wine cravings. (I need tp be clear here. I didn’t land myself in a bucket every night. I drank two or three glasses of wine with my dinner, but that was enough).

As for spending quality time with the family. Well, neither my husband or myself do hangovers well, we spent moments of our holiday not talking to each other or snapping at each other and if you can call shoving phones into my children’s hands to keep them entertained while we had another drink in the bar , then yes we spent quality family time together. (I am actually being a little unfair, we spent a lot of good quality time together as a family, but not as much as we would have done if we took alcohol and hangovers out of the equation).

Brits spend roughly £45 billion on holidays each year in order to recharge their batteries, but how many of us waste that time for relaxing and unwinding by spending our holiday either drunk or hungover. I have heard so many people over the years say they need another holiday to get over their holiday, because they have over done the alcohol.

A friend of mine recently went to France and she like me (in my drinking days) was looking forward to drinking large amounts of wine and eating lots of cheese. We can buy french wine and cheese in the UK so why didn’t either of us just save ourselves a couple of hundred pounds and get drunk on french wine at home.

After a week of binge eating cheese and downing french wine do you think either of us felt relaxed or recharged. Of course not, we both felt like crap!!!

If holidays are designed to relax us and recharge our batteries, why do so many of us come back feeling worse than before we went??

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Thankfully I have returned from my holiday and have seen the error in my ways. I have gone on a 5 day detox to try and get the toxins of alcohol out of my body as soon as possible and have now been sober for 3 days.

If I am being totally honest though, I still don’t feeling great. I have a headache, I cannot control my temperature and I feel totally exhausted. All I want to do is go to bed.

I am a far cry from the full of life person I was before I went on holiday!!!!

Although I am disappointed in myself for giving into my cravings for wine on holiday, I am also proud I have picked myself up, dusted myself off and am once again on the happy path to sobriety.

Alcohol does not in any way shape or form bring me joy, not even on holiday.

I will not be duped by alcohol again!!!!!!!


First ever sober holiday

As I sit here in the beauty salon, waiting for my pre holiday manicure and pedicure, it suddenly hits me that this will be my first sober holiday in 22 years.

My last holiday, where my friend and I took our kids camping, saw a bottle of wine being opened the second the tent was erected and more wine being consumed every evening there after. It was what we did, we entertained the kids during the day, then in the evening we drank wine.

In December 2017, my husband and I went on an all inclusive holiday to Cyprus. I got so drunk on the first night on all inclusive cocktails that I couldn’t leave the room for being sick until 2pm the next day. Not exactly how I planned to spend my holiday.

My normal everyday life is so much better now I no longer drink. I am less stressed, I feel healthier and I’m so much happier. I cannot wait to see how much more enjoyable an alcohol free holiday will be.

I will keep you posted.

Doing it for the kids

With Mother’s Day passing last weekend, it has really made me think about how my sobriety is not just improving my life, but improving my children’s lives too.

If you asked me 6 months ago (when I was still drinking) “Are you a good Mum?” I would have said “YES!!!” and I was, but I’m a much better Mum now I am sober!! I am less stressed, I spend more quality time with my boys, we have more fun together and best of all I hardly ever shout at them anymore.

Now this maybe because my children have magically turned into little angles over night or maybe, just maybe, the fact I am no longer suffering the effects of alcohol (hangovers or withdrawal) makes me see they are not little demon children after all, they are just children, being children.

Mothers Day in the past would be breakfast in bed and lunch out somewhere where I could drink wine. This was how I chose to spend my day!! I could have done anything, but I wanted wine.

However, when I drank wine in the afternoon though, I would need to continue drinking into the evening or a hangover would start to kick in and i’m sure we can all agree hangovers are not very nice. So I would either end my Mothers Day being passed out on the sofa, smashed or feeling really rough, agitated, tired and generally shouting at the boys for daring to still be up and in my face.

This year, the kids got up and made me breakfast in bed, we all went for a family walk in the woods before going to KFC for a lunch we would all enjoy, not just me. When we got home the kids wanted to go out and play with their friends, giving me the chance to sit out in the sunshine with a cup of tea and a good book. We later enjoyed a lovely family meal together before getting the children ready for bed.

This year my Mothers Day didn’t end with me in a bucket. It ended with two beautiful cuddles from my two gorgeous boys telling me how much they love me.

What a perfect way to end Mothers Day!!!!!

I can’t believe I’ve have missed that perfect ending to my day for the past nine years because I believed the best treat on Mothers Day was going for a posh lunch and drinking wine. What was I thinking????

If someone asks me now “Are you a good Mum, I can say with absolute pride:

“Hell Yeah!!!”

I Blame Carrie Bradshaw

So alcohol is an addictive drug that is responsible for killing almost 8000 people a year in the UK alone, but yet people still drink alcohol and don’t see it as a problem. In fact, I am viewed as being weird and boring because I choose not to drink this addictive drug.

What is that all about?

So I have to ask the question; Why do so many people still drink alcohol and what made me start drinking?

I started drinking because of peer pressure, all my friends were doing it and it just seemed to be the normal thing to do. Why I carried on drinking? Well for that I blame Carrie Bradshaw!!

Carrie Bradshaw and her Sex and the City pals were the kind of women I wanted to be. Stylish, Intelligent, Successful, Confident women. I would watch in admiration as they went out to lunch and dinner in their posh restaurants ordering their posh cocktails in the coolest city in the world, New York.

When I eventually got to New York myself, it will come as no surprise to hear that the first words out of my mouth were…….

“I’ll have a Cosmopolitan please”.

Let me tell you how un-stylish, un-intelligent and un-successful I was when I drank cosmopolitans in New York.

It was January 2007, I had gone to New York to visit my parents who were living there at the time. My Aunty and Cousin were also visiting, so we decided to make a girly weekend of it. A bit of shopping, a Broadway Show and of course a little bit of sight-seeing. I managed to get us an amazing deal staying in the W Hotel and we all had things we wanted to do. My cousin wanted to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, My Aunty wanted to go on a horse and carriage around Central Park and I wanted to see Wicked on Broadway.

My Aunty had just been on holiday to China and it seemed that nothing New York had to offer was anywhere near as good as China and I was getting sick of hearing about China, it was really getting on my wick.

We went to see Wicked, which I found amazing, but my Aunty did not “What a load of noisy codswallop that was” she said “When I was in China I saw……….” AHHHHHHHHH. I was furious.

To cheer me up and take my mind off it, my cousin and I made our way down to the hotel bar which was buzzing. Our English accents got a lot of attention and a lot of free drinks. I have no idea how many cosmopolitans we drank, but it is safe to say we were both absolutely smashed, how we were not arrested I will never know.

On returning to our room, my cousin threw up and I proceeded to start telling my Mum exactly what I thought of my Aunty. “She’s nothing but an old hag, she has ruined this holiday with her China this China that. who bloody cares about China and who the bloody hell wants to go on a smelly horse. I bloody don’t”.

Although I was in the bathroom when I was telling my Mum exactly what I thought of my Aunty, the bathroom did not have walls, it had plastic partitions, so my Aunty heard every single word I had to say. How embarrassed was I the next day when I finally got my backside out of bed.

Its not just Sex in the City though, all TV programs seem to be created around booze. British soaps for example, EastEnders, the cast spend most of their time in the ‘Queen Vic’. Coronation Street, the cast spend most of their time in the ‘Rovers Return’. In Emmerdale its ‘The Wolfpack’, in Hollyoaks it ‘The Dog’

Before starting my current career as a Careers Adviser, I was a Police Investigator, I can’t think of a single crime drama where the lead investigator doesn’t go home and immediately pour themselves a drink. Marcella with her bottle of beer, Vera with her whiskey, DCI Cassey Stewart from unforgotten and her large glass of wine. Last night I was watching Line of Duty and Superintendent Hastings congratulates his team for cracking the case by putting money behind the bar.

If all we ever see when we watch the TV is people drinking is it any wonder that no ones sees drinking alcohol as a problem.

Stress and Alcohol

The reason I drank wine was because I genuinely believed it helped to relax me, the same reason that millions of others drink it too, especially us Mums. After a week of fighting with the kids to get them out of bed, to eat some breakfast and to wash their face and teeth at the same time as getting myself ready for work and ensuring the dogs are fed, just so we could get out of the house on time and not be late for school/work. All before 7am and I haven’t even started my day in the office or tackled the after school fights of dinner time, homework, bath time and bed time.

Was it any wonder that by Friday I needed a bottle of red wine to relax into my weekend!!!!

The truth is, by drinking on Friday evenings,I was leading myself right into a Saturday hangover, I certainly wasn’t relaxed, i’d had hardly any sleep, I had a headache, I was dehydrated and feeling agitated. Not the perfect way to feel when you’ve got two children that want to spend a fun day with you.

I would want to rest in peace, therefore the kids would get sent out to play. Yes they have fun when they go out to play with their friends, but soon they will be too old and wont want to spend the day with their Mum, I was wasting that precious time every weekend.

Of course Saturday with a hangover and two children is stressful in its self, so of course by the end of the day I would be working my way through another bottle of wine, ready to have the same feelings on Sunday.

I gave up drinking in October 2018 because I wanted to lose weight and improve my skin, but I have learnt so much more about myself and stress in the process.

Alcohol never cured my stress it just made it worse!!!

I now use the money I save from buying wine to go for a massage and facial once a month. I treat myself to Lush bath bombs and have a candle lit bubble baths. I listen to my favourite music, sometimes I put it on full blast and dance. I’ll light a scented candle and read a good book. These things all help me to truly relax, but best of all they all help me to get an amazing nights sleep!!

SLEEP IS THE SECRET TO TRUE RELAXATION

Today, Saturday 30 March 2019 at 0745am, I am sat here, washed and dressed, writing this blog, ready for a full day of fun with my family and not lying in bed wishing my kids would shut up because i’m not ready to get out of bed yet.

The weekends are an amazing time to relax and spend time with the people we love. Don’t waste your weekend suffering with a hangover.

What is a hangover???

A hangover is the term we use for all the side effects that result from drinking too much alcohol. The side effects typically being a pounding headache, sensitivity to light and sound, sickness and diarrhoea, dizziness, shaking, irritability and tiredness.

I have had some stinking hangovers over the years, the worst one I can remember was after a cocktail drinking binge with our club rep on the last night of our holiday back in 2015. I’m not talking a Club 18-30s Rep, this was the kids club rep at Eurocamp, who seemed to be on a mission to get me and my bestie super drunk on dodgy french spirits.

Her mission was a success, I don’t remember going to bed that evening and I was still throwing up the next day, seconds before we had to check out. The drive from Eurocamp to the ferry was one of the worst experiences of my life!!! I swear I passed out at least twice, I remember begging my husband to pull over so I could get some water, only to be told we didn’t have time because we were already running late because I couldn’t stop being sick.

I swore I would never drink again!!!!!

That lasted three maybe four hours until I got on the ferry and realised I could get a free glass of champagne with my ticket……. “Hair of the dog anyone?”

What I don’t understand is why, if we all know what horrendous effects alcohol can have on us, why on earth do we drink it?? We are knowingly poising ourselves!!!

We wouldn’t consider taking arsenic or cyanide every weekend!! Why is alcohol so different? The symptoms are the same!!

Cyanide poisoning causes; confusion, bizarre behaviour, headaches and dizziness and Arsenic poisoning causes drowsiness, headaches, confusion, diarrhoea and sickness.

Whats the difference????

There is only one way to avoid the horrendous hangover:

DON’T DRINK!!!!

Why are you telling me that????

About 2 billion people world wide consume alcohol. I wonder how many of them question whether they drink too much or feel they have a bad relationship with alcohol? I wonder how many of them wish they could quit drinking but because everyone else around them does it, they just carry on? That is what I did for six years.

When I tell people I don’t drink anymore, whether I have known them for years or just met them 5 minutes ago, they always (with no exceptions) tell me how much they drink.

WHY?????

Oh you don’t drink” they say “well I only drink at the weekends, and I only have one or two”

I wonder if I said I don’t drink tea, they would divulge how often and how much tea they drink. I don’t think they would!!!

So why, when I tell people I don’t drink alcohol do they feel the need to tell me their drinking habits.

I believe it is because they know alcohol is bad for them and that they probably drink too much, but because everyone else around them is doing it, they just bury their heads in the sand and continue. Then when someone tells them they don’t drink, they feel guilty and feel they have to justify their drinking habits.

The fact is, I don’t care if you drink alcohol or not!!! I have chosen to quit drinking for me and only me!!

As it turns out, it is one of the best things I have ever done!!! I feel so full of life and I will never again have to spend another second feeling guilty for having one two many drinks the night before or wondering if I’ve made a fool of myself or upset someone.

I am FREE and I love it!!!!!!

I bumped into a friend in a coffee shop today and we were chatting about our journey to sobriety. She, like me was not what people would class as an ‘alcoholic’, but she knew for 10 years her relationship with alcohol was not good, but because everyone around her was drinking, it took her 10 years to do anything about it.

In 2013, after waking up in my husbands bad books because i’d been an obnoxious, inconsolable bitch the night before, I figured I should address my drinking and went for hypnotherapy. My hypnotherapist took note of the amount I was drinking and told me I didn’t actually drink that much and therefore didn’t need to stop drinking completely, I just needed to cut down.

From that day until October 2018, I knew deep down my relationship with alcohol was affecting my life and not for the better, but because everyone around me was drinking and I’d had confirmation from someone I considered to be in the medical profession that I wasn’t drinking to much, I just carried on.

If you wake up feeling guilty because you drank more than you intended to the night before, or like me and my friend, you know deep down you don’t have a good relationship with alcohol Don’t waste years of your life like we did, not doing anything about it. We both feel amazing now for kicking the drink and you could too!!!