Hi Honey I’m home – Sitting sober on cloud nine is back in the building!!

Where do I start, its been a while since my last blog, convincing myself that I do not have a drinking problem because I don’t drink everyday and because there are so many people out there that drink way more than I do.

Well the fact is I do have a drinking problem. My problem is that I know drinking makes me feel like crap, it makes me tired, stressed and agitated and yet I still do it!! WHY?????

I use the excuse that it helps me to relax, but I know that’s bullshit!!! It’s the wine that is making me stressed in the first place, not to mention making me fat and lazy to boot.

No matter how many times I say “I’m going to stop drinking once and for all” I always seem to end up back in the same place….me sat on my sofa, drinking red wine. It never used to be more than a bottle, but more recently that one bottle has turned into two. which is really scary!!!!

As I sat heavily in my hangover yesterday, unable to do all the things I had intended to do, I knew that something has to change. So I am back here in blog writing mode starting my journey to sitting sober on cloud nine once more, hoping that this time will be the last time I have to start over.

My plan is to go back to the gym and start working out again. I’m going to make sure I am treating my body with the respect that it deserves because when I eat the right food, exercise and mediate, I feel amazing…my body needs this!! I need this!!!

To help me stay on track I am going to get back to writing regular blogs about how great life is when you are Sitting SOBER on Cloud Nine.

See you soon L xxx

What is drinking in moderation

When you tell people you no longer drink, they usually assume you have quit because you had an alcohol problem, otherwise why would you quit????? Alcohol is so good Right????

More often than not, when I go into more detail about my personal reasons for quitting, people will ask things like “but you will have a glass of champagne at a wedding?” or “‘you can still have a glass of wine with dinner?”.

The most common line I have heard since giving up the booze is:

Everything in moderation’

(This is normally said by someone who doesn’t actually drink in moderation, which makes me smile.)

So what exactly is drinking in moderation????

I live in the United Kingdom and our National Health Service (NHS) drinking guidelines are as follows:

“Men and women should not exceed 14 units of alcohol a week, this is the equivalent of 6 pints of average strength beer (4% ABV) or 7 medium glasses of wine (175ml, 12% ABV)”.

They also say “if you drink less than 14 units a week, this is considered low risk drinking. it’s called ‘low risk’ rather than ‘safe’ because there is no safe drinking level.

MAYO CLINIC defines moderate drinking as:

“Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults is up to one drink a day for women and up to 2 drinks a day for men.

They go onto say “even moderate drinking isn’t risk free. Light drinkers have a tiny but real, increased risk of some cancer”.

I know loads of people who don’t drink every day and they rarely go over the 14 units a week, so they are moderate drinkers right????

WRONG!!!!!!

Drinking 14 units of alcohol all in one day or over a weekend is binge drinking and binge drinking is classed as heavy drinking…like it or not!!!!

So with that information, I can honestly say, I don’t know a single person who is a moderate drinker. However, I know a lot of people who believe they drink in moderation.

When the risks of heavy drinking (including weekend binge drinkers) includes cancers of the mouth, throat and breast, stroke, heart disease, liver disease and brain damage not to mention a higher risk to poor mental health and personal injury.

I have to ask the question:

WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DRINK????

The reason is we are all addicted to alcohol whether we choose to believe it or not!!!

Parenting is not easier with wine!!!

Last night after a productive day in the office, I left work and made my way to school, to pick up my children. I’d had a good day and I was feel pretty blooming happy. I was looking forward to my seeing my two babies and finding out what they had been up to all day.

The school pick up went smoothly. I got two lovely cuddles and bonus for me they approved of my plans for dinner that evening (chicken fajitas). They didn’t even fight about who was going to sit in the front seat of the car. WINNER!

What could possibly go wrong???

We enter the house and Elliott runs out into the back garden to get his bike, he then proceeds through the house with his bike, making his way towards the front door. “Where are you going?” I ask, “out to play” replied Elliott. “You have a swimming lesson in half an hour, go and get your swimming kit ready“. (His brother at this time is up stairs getting his swimming kit ready as we had been discussing swimming lessons in the car journey home from school, so it wasn’t as if he wasn’t aware).

I can literally see the anger rise up from Elliott’s feet to his face as he turns bright red and lets out a god awful scream. A scene I see all to often and always reminds me of the incredible hulk, when he rips through his clothes and turns green. Elliott drops his bike to floor and starts jumping up and down on the wheel, like something you would see in a cartoon. He is screaming at me “I want to go out and play, I don’t want to go swimming” .

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear our pet name for Elliott is ‘Wreck it Ralph’!!!

I calmly tell him I will phone the pool and check his swimming lesson is still going on. While I am on the phone, Elliott is still throwing a tantrum, kicking his bike, the door the walls. Turns out his lesson has actually been double booked.

HOORAHHH!!!! End up tantrum right?……….WRONG!!!!

I try to tell him his lesson has been cancelled, so he can go out, but he can’t hear me because he is screaming to loud. I lose my temper and send him up to his room to get changed and to calm down.

Big mistake sending him up stairs!!! Innocently getting his swimming gear together, Bradley (Elliott’t brother) has now become Elliott’s new target.

3, 2, 1

MMMMUUUUUMMMMM!!!!! ARRRRRRGGGGHHHH Elliott’s just…….. I can’t hear what he is saying because he is crying, but I am betting Elliott has just done to Bradley what he was just doing to his bike.

I march up stairs and send them both to their rooms, telling them they are grounded. Bradley screams “I didn’t do anything” and slams his door on me. Elliott just screams!!!!

Now, this is the part where I rejoice at the fact I no longer drink, because since giving up the booze, I no longer turn into an angry Mummy who shouts and screams because she has lost control of the situation. I don’t scream at the kids to stay out of my sight because I have had enough. I don’t march back downstairs in need of a glass of wine so I can calm down.

Instead I stop, I breath and think about how I can turn this situation around. I walk into Bradley’s room and tell him he is not grounded and that I made mistake. Bradley is happy!!!

I now just need to control Elliott!!

Elliott at this point is in his room trashing the place, or at least that’s what it sounds like. I sit and wait for him to come out. He has worked himself into such a state he can’t even talk. I tell him to come and have a cuddle and calm down. He tries to talk but he is crying to hard, I tell him to be quiet, just to give mummy a cuddle and calm down. I give him a huge hug and tell him I love him, but his behaviour has been unacceptable. I tell him he is grounded so he is not going out to play, but he can come and help me with dinner if he likes. (Elliott loves helping me in the kitchen). Elliott is now happy!!

5 minutes later, we are in the kitchen cutting up vegetables for dinner and talking about our days. As I stand there, I suddenly become very proud of myself. Situations like this one, happen a lot in my house. I have two children who fight like cat and dog daily. I used to drink wine to cope with the stress of being a parent, but the fact is I cope so much better without it!!!!

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!!!!!!!


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.