Monday, 19 October 2015

Changing Habits

I was on holiday last week and realised that 2 1/2 years into sobriety my habits and expectations have finally changed deep down. In fact I'm daring to wonder if this means my hard-wiring has changed!

Out at dinner one night I realised how far alcohol was from my mind when my OH ordered a beer, unusually, and this brought it to my attention. I had ordered my usual sparkling water and as I contemplated alcohol again and the lack of it in my life, I really could no longer see the attraction and felt an overwhelming feeling of 'What's the point?' because it changes absolutely nothing.

You see, I used to drink to make me feel glamorous and carefree and to make my evening exciting. This night I saw clearly that no matter what or how much I drank, I would still be out with my OH and the kids and I would still be going home to bed in the near future and that was the extent of it. Little excitement either way.

So what would be the point? Life is not changed by booze, certainly not for the better. Such a simple point but one that took me years to realise! I feel as if I've had a sudden moment of clarity. How could I have been so blind?

Friday, 9 October 2015

The First Official Review is in!

It's always nerve-wracking when awaiting a review of your written material by someone outwit your family friends and peer group; they have no reason to spare your feelings with the truth!

I felt quite delighted when I read the independent review of 'The Secret to Being Fashionably Sober and Fabulous' by Janet Mawdesly at Blue-Wolf reviews. You can see the original here.

When Rachel Black faced the reality that she had somehow managed to become an alcoholic while out partying and being the life of the party, it was a shocking wake-up call.
More than two years ago she had to make some very hard choices; keep on going the way she was and spiraling steadily downwards, or stop drinking altogether.
After several false starts, with many reasons to put off making the difficult shift from hung-over to sober, she eventually made the decision to make the shift to becoming a sober, responsible adult person.
Now two years on she shares her journey once again, from the person she once was to the person she is now, sober, fabulous and a full time member of her family.
Deeply personal and with no holds barred she has broken each chapter down into the introduction as to the event, how she would have been and handled the situation two years ago, to how she deals with the same circumstances now as a sober person.
Looking back paints a stark contrast on the then and now, with the now being so very much easier and although not simplistic, so much more relaxing than the then, ever could have been or become.
Suddenly holidays are easier to plan for, work commitments and stresses are handled far easier, her chocolate intake has risen but her weight, always an issue when drinking, is manageable.
As she has moved on and embraced ‘sobriety’, has she as a person, changed all that much? Probably not, as she attests to still being a person who does like a bit of personal space, enjoys having time to do things on her own, can still be demanding and insecure, but overall accepts that is who she is, but is now able to enjoy her children and time spent with her husband, so much more.
A quiet night in now takes precedence over a night out partying hard, coming home late at night, hung over or drunk is a thing of the past. Revisiting places she would once have reluctantly gone with her family, hanging out for the next glass of wine, has been replaced with the pleasure of seeing her children enjoying themselves.
She describes in a single word the effect alcohol once had on her daily life as ‘encumbrance’ but now, with it no longer being a constant part of her life, she feels ‘free, as if a heavy load has been lifted, no longer holding her down or back’.
For anyone who is considering the effects alcohol is having on their lives and wonders if, by giving up, will life as they know it change for the worse, take a read of Rachel’s journey, be heartened and assured that life can only go on getting better and better.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

How DOES she do it?

I read the book 'I don't know how she does it' by Allison Pearson several years ago. It was almost mandatory reading for my peer group in our have-baby-and-return-to-work-as-if-nothing-has-changed years. We hoped to find out the secret to having it all; gliding through life like a swan while paddling like a duck underneath the surface.

There was no secret to be found in the book. It merely confirmed what we thought; multi-tasking, cutting corners, delegating and being forever frazzled were to be offset by a well deserved glass of chardonnay at wine o'clock.

Excellent. I was definitely 'normal' and coping the same way as everyone else. Nonetheless, I was disappointed to find there was no magic way to suddenly have it all and manage it all. Until now.

Recently I've had a lot going on. I've reassessed my work life balance and reduced the time I spend in my day job to set up a new business where I will work for myself. It's busy, exciting and a very steep learning curve as my business and marketing strategy is all about trial and error.

So last week I met a friend in the pub for a catch up and filled her in on my new venture. Mid sentence she interrupted me.

'Do you ever sleep?'

I stopped, puzzled, not quite seeing the relevance of this question until she continued:

 'How can you possibly do all those things at once?'
because I don't drink
'Whatever you've got, I need to get some too'
Wrong. What you need is what I've NOT got.  

I've not got a large glass of wine in front of me.

So now I do know 'how she can do it'. She needs to realise that wine robs you of time, energy and motivation and makes life more difficult. The solution is not more wine, it is no wine. And by taking that brave step she will release the handbrake and allow life to flow without hindrance.

Follow @SoberRachel