Accident And Emergency!


Most of my posts have been written in humour because I feel it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself.

This week the humour is a little lost!

I mentioned in one of my posts that I was not the greatest role model for my kids where alcohol is concerned.

They have always seen me socialising with a glass of wine in hand. Seen me many times drunk. Witnessed my hangovers.
Is it any wonder that they grow up to think this must be normal and socially acceptable.

So when you know one of your kids has a drink problem at the age of 17 what do you do?
Apart from everything and anything to help them avoid the path of self destruction. Counselling, referrals to support services, GP’s. Nagging, not nagging, tears, worry.
I then take on the guilt trips and start blaming myself.

This week I get a phone call at 4.30am whilst on my night shift, to say my son was very drunk and had been beaten up. The police had found him and taken him to the nearest A&E department.

When I arrive at A&E I don’t see a 21 year old man lying on the stretcher, I see my vulnerable boy, my battered and bruised boy :(.
Battered and bruised because of alcohol.
The fumes coming off his breath are toxic. I look at his tiny framed body (all of 7 stone) wondering how his poor liver is able to cope with the weekly binges.
As I poor my heart out to the doctor asking her to refer him for help, she asks my son questions, he acknowledges to her that he thinks he has a problem with drinking (no shit).
The doctors words to him still play in my head, she said…

“If you don’t do something about it, it won’t end well for you”!

I decided to give up alcohol because of the negative affect it was having on myself, those around me, my well being, my self esteem. I was already on a path of self destruction, drinking way too many units a week, being overweight, always tired.
Why did it take until I was 49 to finally do something to change. Was I really so afraid of giving up something that I believed helped me get through the stresses of life, but knowing it was really the devil!

My son is almost 21 and yet I hope every day he will want to change enough to do something about the way he drinks.

Amy Winehouse was at an awards ceremony having been clean for some months. After she was announced as the winner of an award, she whispered to her friend “this is no fun without drugs”.

I want to be a role model for my kids and prove to myself and to them that you can have fun without alcohol.

Life IS an adventure and for my second half of it, I want to remember it all :).

Lost 1.5 lb this week.
Total so far 17 lb.


Fish And Chips!

I never realised just how much support is out there thanks to social media.
Having found sites such as Club Soda Together, it’s great not to feel like ‘your alone’!
Folks of all ages, from different backgrounds, struggling at varying degrees to kick the drink join the Facebook support sites.

Someone on the Club Soda site asked us what we would say to our ‘Wine Witch’ if we could meet them face to face (metaphorically speaking).
There were so many comments in response to it.
This particular one stood out and I felt compelled to share it (permission was obtained from Russell and he was also happy for me to use his name :)).

Russell meeting his ‘Wine Witch’

Hi How are you?
Please take a seat.
Look I’ve been thinking… Its not working out anymore I’m sorry.
Its not you its me totally.
I feel I need to go in a different direction and explore.
Oh where abouts am I going to go did you say?
Well, largely anywhere you’re not tbh. If I’m honest the controlling behavior has been a bit much, you might want to think about that…Also while we are on the subject…
You do have a tendency to be destructive, dramatic, egotistical, bullying, selfish and demoralizing. I hope you can accept this as its intended.
I want you to perhaps reflect upon my observations.
Now I am going to insist that we can’t be friends either. This is a permanent break up!
Oh don’t be sad its ok you’ll find another victim, I mean person…. Oh don’t you get me going now…Oh wait, wrong emotion.
I’m very happy about this, this is good.
Oh would you take this too on your way out…What is it you say?? Hmm that’s pity…Pop him in the trash on your way out. Thanks…Bye Bye 👋

Written by Russell Grieg-Bartram

I could write something similar over my ‘food witch’ this week.
I’ve actually surprised myself so far, by how well I’m coping not drinking alcohol.

I am obsessing over food at the moment.

As the weeks are rolling on, my momentum is slowing down and it has felt especially hard this week sticking to my plan.

I went to my weigh in on Thursday and was told my weight had remained the same 😭😡. What ever stopped me driving straight to the fish and chip shop after that I will never know.

I have just over four weeks left to lose 12.5 lb, which is basically 3lb a week to hit my target.
How I long for it to be March 20th right now and at my goal weight.
Wouldn’t it be great to go to sleep for a few weeks in some sort of pod and be woken up slim!
Where is the Starship Enterprise when you need it…beam me up Scottie FFS!

I’m dreaming fish and chips when I go to bed.
Never mind the wine or sheep, I’m counting chips jumping over the fish straight into my mouth. 1 chip, 2 chip, 3 chip, more!
Wafts of salt and vinegar soaking into the freshly cooked batter on the cod make me salivate just thinking about it. Torture! Such torture!

After my weigh in this week, I have to drive past our local fish and chip shop.
I’m like a deranged stalker if someone comes out the chippy loaded up with steaming hot bags as I drive by.
I’m looking longingly back at them in my rear view mirror, imagining what they have just bought.
My head goes in a spin thinking of battered cod, chips, sausages, pies, mushy peas, the smell of vinegar and the taste of salt arrrrrgh….

STOP IT! Think slimmer and healthy thoughts.
Think of those dresses hanging up in my wardrobe just waiting for me.
The dresses i’ve not worn for years because they don’t fit. Think how amazing it will be to get the zip done up on my wedding dress….OK, maybe a little ambitious for March 20th.

Remember not being out of breath walking up hills and going up long flights of stairs.

Think of the beach and not having to worry about who I park myself next too!!
Think of not having to worry anymore about the long walk down to the sea edge in my tight swimwear.
Even better, not having to worry about walking back to my beach towel (then again, looking like Dudley Moore hot rodding over the hot sand is somewhat unavoidable at any size)!

Once, I crawled out the sea as it got shallow on my hands and knees because the small pebbles hurt my feet to stand on them. Can you imagine what a sight that must have been for onlookers wondering if they were witnessing a new species of beached whale?!

FOUR WEEKS. Four short weeks left to go.

I can do this (she says with a wobbly smile).



Flying: Any Drinks Or Snacks?

Its my 7th day of blending!

I have to admit, the first couple of days on my Blend challenge I wondered how I would get through it due to the sudden onset of headaches.
On day 3 the headaches stopped (thank goodness).
Allowing myself a coulple of black coffees a day have helped.

Ive lost 5 lb weight in 7 days, whoop whoop and 5cms round my waist.

Have also saved £196 being Alcohol free so far.

Starting to feel lighter and healthier.

I decided to reward myself (and hubby) by booking a very cheap flight to Malta in March.
Neither of us have been to Malta before and the flights were so ridiculously cheap. An impulsive wave suddenly came over me, and as I hit the purchase button, I saw the scenario of the flight play out in my head….

I’ve been fortunate enough (or unfortunate if you hate flying or hate cheap flights) to have flown on a few no frills flights.
Once in the air, I sit waiting for the ‘happy’ air hostess and her drinks trolley.
The longer it takes to arrive the more twitchy and impatient I become looking up and down the aisle to see where it’s got too.
Can you imagine if the air hostess announced on the loud speaker, “Could all those people who depend on alcohol to get through the flight, please raise your hands so we can serve you first”!
How many hands would go up?
I’m sure most of us would remain stiff upper lipped tightly strapped to our seat, being typically British not wanting to admit to such a thing and jump the que.
Or maybe a whole sea of hands would rise up one by one, speeding up gradually like a progressive standing ovation.

I decided to overcome this waiting game on flights (and expense) by filling a couple of miniature bottles of spirits with gin to take on board, mixed with a soft drink purchased at the airport. Thus saving myself the anxiety of waiting on board.
Not good practise but it was also rather satisfying saving a few quid in the process!

Then of course I see myself at the duty free.
OMG I had forgotten the duty free!
The duty free is a ritual.
The obligatory purchase of booze to take on your hols.

I will have to overcome this ritual by treating myself to a new fragrance (as if I need another one), but buying a new perfume is a better idea for the new sober me :).

This ‘new’ scenario now plays in my head…

I buy my purchases of fragrance at duty free (notice I said purchase’s’, can’t assume there won’t be a buy one get another half price on offer!) Avoiding all of the booze.

Armed with my free newspaper you get with a bottle of water purchased from WHSmith at the airport (note: if free, bound to be all gone) I board the plane.

Seated, relaxed, with (hopefully) free paper poised on my lap, I DON’T wait and look for the ‘happy’ hostess and her trolley.
I have no miniature tipple ready for decanting, just water to hand.
Calm is the mantra playing in my head, breath, suck a sweet, “WHERES the sweets”? I need to suck a sweet before my ears explode. I FORGOT the bloody sweets. Looking to hubby for reassurance, I see he already has his eyes shut and mouth wide open! Huff huff.

When the trolley arrives and I will hear those well known words, “Any drinks or snacks”? I shall ‘joyfully’ reply “black coffee and nothing else for me thank you”. 🙂

Despite the lack of sweets (reminding myself this is, after all, only the scenario in my head)….

All is well!

Including my ankles! They usually swell up on flights when I drink alcohol to the size I struggle to get my shoes back on if I have slipped them off.
So another plus, no more feet the size of an elephants when disembarking!

This is what will happen on the flight in March (must remember sweets ;)).

Onward and upward.

I should throw those miniature bottles away while I think of it. Where did I put them, oh yes, right next to my passport!!


39 days Alcohol free

Lost weight, 15.5 lbs so far.

39 days left to lose 28 lbs. On track :).

Yea yea yeah!


The Big Blend Up!

Well here we are at the beginning of February and for many that were doing dry January, they will have already been celebrating their achievement with a favourite bottle of vino!

Congrats to all those that completed dry January by the way!

I have given up alcohol, not just for dry January.

The last 30 days I have found giving up the booze not too challenging (surprisingly).
I think the fact my mind was mentally ready to give it up has helped.
I don’t feel I’m being deprived, in fact I actually feel very positive about gaining back control and not having to think or worry about drinking.
Free from the constant battles that were going on inside my head and the morning guilt trips when I knew I had drank too much.

I have kept busy with work and so haven’t done a lot of socialising yet. So I am expecting there is still a few challenges ahead of me, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it and be prepared as much as possible when the Wine Witch strikes!

Those following my blog will know I’ve given myself added motivation by setting a challenge to lose 28 lb by 20th March and have some sponsors in place.

One of my sponsors has enjoyed texting me pictures of burgers and chips. The sponsor is also a ‘friend’! Co-incidentally they have sponsored me quite a bit of money for ‘when’ I do succeed! So I shall hopefully have the last laugh.

Its now day 33 AF and I feel the weight is not shifting quick enough (I want to make sure I can collect all my sponsor money from the ‘burger’ messenger!)

Action stations, as I set myself a new challenge. Welcome Jason Vale and the Super Blend Me challenge!

Jason Vale also wrote the book, Kick The Drink Easily, which I read two years ago and it really inspired me to change the way I viewed alcohol. I am sure it has also helped the way I think towards giving it up as well.

I have read Clare Pooley’s book, My Sober Diaries, which I found very entertaining and also relatable.

Armed with the new Super Blend Me challenge book, which I have read from front to back in one day.
Ordered in all the ingredients online from the handy shopping list it gives you.
I’m now ready to start the 21 day blend challenge.
You can do 7, 10 or 14 days, but I felt I need the full 21 days (I figure if I don’t get results after 21 days, I still have time for surgery ahahaha).

And so it begins….

Day 1, and getting used to my new fancy blender.
This was actually a Christmas present to me, and I’ve not used it yet.
Its one of those machines that can do 158 different things but takes forever to fathom out how to do 3.
Gadgets galore and no idea which is for what…I’m not so hot when it comes to reading manuals. I usually guesstimate my way round as my learning process and hope for the best (I got that little time saving trick from my husband ;).
As long as I don’t have all the ingredients exploding out the top, this should be a breeze, or a mess!

First Blend of the day successfully made (without too much mess).
The drink is a satisfying thick shake but with the difference of knowing it’s full of healthy goodness (I sound like an advert!)

As I’m throwing in the spinach, cucumber, apple, advocado, pineapple, coconut water, before hitting the blend button mode (see, who needs a manual), it does cross my mind how it’s all going to taste, so it’s actually an added bonus when it’s very enjoyable.
Just hope I don’t get constipated :).

I’ve gone from drinking copious amounts of wine, to drinking mocktails, to drinking three daily fruit and veg shakes! What ever is it coming too!

I will worry if I start to hallucinate my husband looking like a juicy pork chop, or should I say he should start to worry :).

So here is to another sober month and starting the 21 day SBM challenge…

Day 33 Alcohol free.

Lost weight 11 lb so far.

46 days left to lose 28 lb.

Yea yea yeah!