Day 45 – Feeling much better today

I’m in a much better place today which is good. Maybe it’s because my back is feeling a lot better? Last night at work wasn’t too bad either. I’m nicely tired and just having a quick check-in online before I go to bed. My lovely cat is sprawled out on my legs and the house is quiet so I’m enjoying the peaceful moment. (*Edit* I should have kept my mouth shut, a few minutes after writing this my neighbour has just started some sort of random banging DIY noise – bugger!)

I decided to try a Beck’s blue alcohol-free beer this morning, mainly out of curiosity rather than any diversionary tactic. I know this is probably a fairly divisive issue – whether to drink ‘faux’ alcoholic drinks and I think I’d probably steer clear if I were having heavy cravings. Despite being in a bad place for a couple of days I’m not actually having much more than passing thoughts about drinking. I’ve accepted that I have some work to do on myself and my life and I know deep down that drinking won’t help sort anything out.

During a conversation a couple of days ago I referred to alcohol as my default coping mechanism which is actually a real misnomer. It could be more appropriately called a numbing mechanism, or a running away and hiding mechanism but a coping mechanism? – NO! I realise that there’s absolutely zero coping going on under the influence of alcohol – quite the opposite in fact.

Anyway, back to the alcohol-free beer… it tastes sort of like lager but it’s got an odd aftertaste. I can’t say it’s really doing much for me to be honest. There’s a certain ‘ritual’ satisfaction of opening a bottle and having a drink. I can imagine it might be good in a socialising situation where you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb or answer lots of questions about not drinking – I’d guess that most drinkers wouldn’t register its alcohol-free status at a casual glance. It may even be nice very chilled on an occasional hot sunny afternoon in a beer garden. I don’t think it’ll become a regular after-work treat though – a nice hot chocolate or sparkling water based mocktail seems to hit the spot better.

I’m looking forward to a bit of reading and hopefully a decent amount of sleep now. Night night, have a lovely day 🙂

Day 31 – A month done, cravings beaten and some plans

I’ve not been home from work for long and I’m celebrating finishing my working ‘week’ and a month of not drinking – with a nice mug of hot chocolate.

It’s been a mixed week. I’ve eaten far too much after allowing my birthday eating to go on for 2 whole days and have put back on 3 of the 4lbs I’ve lost. Hey ho, I’m going easy on myself, there’s only so much I can tackle at once.

I also had a bad craving session a couple of days ago. This ties in with the plans I’ve made for my creative/professional future. I decided to take a leap and spend a fair amount on some software to build apps. I’m going to try to build and publish some apps for android, apple etc and have it all planned out – in theory. I ended up spending about 4 hours messing about with my computer trying to get this stuff to work. There was a scary moment when I thought I may have wasted my money as I didn’t think it was going to work without me spending a huge amount more but in the end I have managed to get it set up and ready to go. Once I got it set up I was happy with what I’d achieved but after a quick look at the software I realised I have a huge learning curve ahead to even begin to make my plans happen.

I find messing about with tech really quite stressful – it’s actually the main reason I drifted away from a good career and now do unskilled work. I’m prepared to do this because I can do it at my own pace, I find my chosen subject matter really interesting and I really do want something better for my future. I learned it’s also a bit of a trigger point for me too.

I walked away from my computer pretty exhausted and wasn’t quite sure what to do next. You know the feeling when you want food but you don’t know what you fancy? I had that feeling about what to do next. It doesn’t happen to me very often so I find it really disorientating. There was nothing I wanted to do other than sit down and ‘reward’ myself for persevering with the software or ‘unwind’ from the stress with a mahoosive glass of red wine. Wolfie had crept up silently behind me and well and truly bitten me on the ass 😦 It came from nowhere and was shocking in its intensity.

I started up the Xbox and got busy shooting things and a little while later all the cravings had passed. I’ve been fine since then, no repeat attacks and I’m really glad I didn’t give in. I can now sit here and appreciate everything that a month off has given me.

My cat has just returned home from whatever cat business she was off doing. She’s pleased to see me and we’ve had a little furry, purring cuddle. I’ve fed her and am about to spend some time playing with her – I think she misses me when I’m off out at work all night. I’ve enjoyed my hot chocolate and I’m going to cook something nice for my dinner (breakfast to everybody else). There’s a little bit of sunshine peeking into my part of the world and I’m at a really good bit in the book I’m reading so I’m looking forward to a read tucked up in bed before I sleep. It’s the simple, gentle pleasures I’m learning to appreciate at the moment. I’m realising I’ve severely underrated them for most of my life.

Night night, have a good Tuesday whatever you’re up to.