Category Archives: going sober

I wish the world was safer

I love night lights and I love the night time. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of cities but I have spent pretty much all of one night in a motel room looking down over a city wharf and the night lights as all the machinery operated through out the night. I wish I could go out walking in the dark and even take my dogs for a walk just before bed but sadly it is not safe for me to do that after dark on my own. I would love to be able to walk the streets in our city at night with my camera and go crazy taking photos of things in different lighting and colors different to daylight. Night times are so different when you don’t have the background noise of the day to day activity of a city. Images, lighting, cool air, quiet streets, heck even the smells are different at night.

I’m still smiling as I type this though because when I was drinking this wouldn’t of even occurred to me that I might enjoy doing that and it wouldn’t of been possible. Heck I would of been to drunk and it would of cut into my drinking time. Hmmm I wonder if there is away I can figure out how I can do it.

First Sober Friend

When I first stopped drinking I was excited to find a friend that didn’t drink and said that she just didn’t have time for it and didn’t like it as it made her feel gross. I was excited because all my current friends were drinkers and I just wasn’t able to be around them as in the first part of me giving up I just totally avoided any situations that I knew would have alcohol in them. I really like this lady and admire her for being so smart, independent and very hard working. To hear that she didn’t drink and that she didn’t even like it gave me hope that I had found someone I could spend time with and not ever have to worry about booze. In the early days it actually helped me to stay focused on not drinking because she showed me how you could have a great productive life without it.

Funny thing was when I hit around the nine month mark of being sober she started to let it slip that she was drinking and that she would drive herself to the beach and drink in her wagon. Sometimes she had been working so hard that she was would have some and then climb into the back of the wagon and fall asleep for a while. I was first off concerned for her that she was so stressed that she was drinking to escape it and REALLY concerned with the fact that she would drive home afterwards. She is a very head strong person and you can’t tell her what to do if she wants to do something but I did lecture her about the driving part and how it was dangerous not only for her but for the other people on the road. I don’t know if she did it again because we never discussed it again but I do see images going up on her social media of her with or showing off what she is drinking.

I would be a liar if I didn’t say that at first I was totally gutted that my first found sober friend who I looked up to and kept in mind whenever I thought of drinking was drinking after telling me how much she hated it. I was hurt and really surprised that she had been so adamant about it and then to be drinking like that. Now looking back I think wow that was really rude of me (hmm I don’t think that is the right word because I never told her of my disappointment) to project the weight of my sober journey onto the shoulders of a friend. It’s her journey, her choice if she drinks or not. Thinking about it now I think the timing was still perfect, her sober life was what I needed at the beginning of my journey and the fact that there was nine months like that to help get me started was a total blessing. I haven’t actually hung out with her much over my two years sober hmm only a handful of times and the rest of our relationship has been via text, email or messenger. It’s odd I still love her but it is different without that sober bond.

Thank you universe / higher power / God what ever it is that you call him / her for bringing me what I needed when I needed it most.

Soberversary Eve

Haha is that even a word, I don’t know and don’t care it’s where I’m at and I’m owning it. This time two years ago I would of been sitting here drunk and possibly passed out by now and if not it would of been very close. I would of also been very scared and nervous and probably talking to myself saying tomorrow your starting day one again. This is the sort of talk that would of been running through my booze fueled mind. Tomorrow you are going to resist when your body screams out for you to go and buy more alcohol and your going to tell it to shut up you little alcoholic bitch. But for now, for tonight maybe I should of brought more booze so I could finish it off with a bang, shit have I only got a couple left I fucken knew I should of got more, what a dumbarse. But guess what you pathetic bitch you couldn’t even go and get more now if you wanted to, you can’t drive drunk and there is no, nudda, zip in the bank you have maxed out everything, and overdrafted to the limit everything you can just so you hopefully won’t figure out another way to pay for booze when your body is screaming for it. I do remember waking at some ridiculous hour and finding that I still had 3/4 of a bottle left, shit don’t waste it and tonight is the last night remember so I drunk that to before I waddled off to bed. I was so sad and desperately lonely and the self loath and regrets where all at an all time high.

Can you see now just what a sad person I was, I was terrified of how life would be without booze as my coping mechanism. I was scared that I would be even lonelier if I didn’t have the booze to numb myself and to drown out the lonely feelings. I was scared that my depression and anxiety would both go off the charts without the booze to numb it and give my mind a rest and escape from it all. I honestly had no idea the journey I had ahead of me and I had no idea how much work I had to actually commit to in reaching out for the help I needed and to be honest and admit my own problems and insecurities. It really is still a work very much in progress. Tomorrow I will wake up and it will be my 2 year soberversary and I know right now that I will be waking up hangover free and proud as hell with myself.

Functioningguzzler No More??

I’m trying to decide whether to change the name of my blog as I’m not really the Functioningguzzler anymore and thank fuck for that. I am a fifty something year old who is an alcoholic and has maintained being sober for just days shy of two years. Notice the careful use of words there as I have maintained being sober previously for a period of three years but this time around my sobriety feels so different and I honestly don’t feel like I’m struggling to maintain a life without booze anymore. Now I’m not standing here swinging a big sober flag over my head going fuck yeah I am so freakin awesome and this is a piece of piss. I have to be honest people that continuously rant on about how wonderful sober life is and it’s all a bed of roses make me eye roll and move onto the next blog. It could be just me but I get bored unless they also write about normal living and include the down moments, the boring moments and combine it with the good moments. I just struggle to think how can their life always be perfect just because they are now living it sober. Normal life doesn’t stop and you still have to navigate raw emotions, day to day living and the stresses that come along with it. Now I’m not trying to sounds like negative Nancy here and honestly if someones life just is so awesome that it’s always like that OR (this one just came to me as I typed) maybe they are the sort of people that only want to focus on the good which is cool as well if that’s what they want to do. Heaven forbid I am not telling anyone how to blog or what they should share on there because it is really your space to write what you want. I’m far from an expert and I can’t even believe that some of you follow my dribble lol. Okay off on a tangent there, bring it back, bring it back.

Okay back, whew sorry that was a bit of an uncalled for rant hope I didn’t offend anyone because I think your all awesome! Anyway I am a 1000 years away from who Functioningguzzler used to be and yet she is also still inside me. I don’t want to write about my drinking all the time as I find it more healing to deal with the ups and downs of my life now and part of releasing that stress also helps with my sober journey. A huge part of that is the support I get from you all on here. Hmmmm if I was to change the name of my blog I am struggling to think what I would call it now. Any suggestions anyone? I am totally happy to blog about any part of my drinking, non-drinking if it helps anyone and more than happy for anyone to ask me to write about parts of it in a post but I do not want to make it my focus anymore. I am sure there will be times when I do post about it as it will always be a part of me, but there is so much more to me.

The Toll Alcohol Takes

People might think this is silly being that it is almost 2 years since my last drink but I think for me personally I am spot on. I think that with being an alcoholic for twenty plus years that I was so bloody numb not only in my mind but in my body. I numbed out EVERYTHING and the signals of pain, again mentally and physically, were totally blocked out. Slowly the signals have been getting through and it is the weirdest thing that I think they have been lining up and just waiting to take their turn to let me know they have been waiting for me to be conscious enough to listen to them. I have no doubt that there will probably be a price to pay for the amount of alcohol I have put into this system in my life time but thank fully all the things that I have finally been noticing are treatable. Thank goodness I have managed to find away for each of the type of specialists that I need to help me. I feel that some of my issues would never of developed nor lead to further complications if I had been living a life aware and conscious in mind and body.

The toll that alcohol takes on you as an alcoholic are huge and although you think your are aware of the price it’s not really until you stop and start living without the noose around your neck that you really see exactly what it was costing you. Alcohol is not the cure it all, alcohol doesn’t make you funnier, less socially awkward or anything remotely like that YOU are that person already. Being sober you can still be funny and sadly for me I’m still socially awkward but I have grown and my friends that I spend time with have different values and don’t make get hammered every weekend the goal SO your social interactions are deeper and more meaningful. These are your people because they like / love you for YOU not for the alcohol fueled person that stumbles through life.

Twenty Plus Years Of Numbing Myself With Booze

I was thinking today as I often do about how my life has changed since I became sober this time around. In a months time I will have been sober for 2 years and I really, really wished I’d done it sooner and did it how I have this time around. For over twenty years I drunk myself to sleep / pass out just about every night. I was keeping myself numbed from feeling bad things that had happened to me in my life. Thinking about it now though I was numbing myself but I was also delaying myself from doing any healing. I spent so many years in that haze that I really didn’t need to I could of been free a long, long time ago.

If your out there and you are drinking to numb away something painful I really feel for you. I understand you and I see you and your pain. If it was at all possible I would reach through this screen and take you by the hand, pull you through and give you a big hug. If your reading this and thinking this is me I pray that you to find away out like I did. For me there was no magic, there was no AA, there was no turning religious (but for those that there was I think your awesome, just whatever it takes and what works for you) for me I was just tired. I was sick and tired of being drunk, depressed, suicidal and my life was out of control. I started blogging on here and that alone can be a powerful tool if you use it wisely. By wisely I mean be honest, if your having a shit time say it, if your happy say it, just keep coming on here and making yourself accountable to turning up and typing it out. Try therapy, I would of been the first one to roll my eyeballs at that one! No thanks, no siree, not for me I’ll deal with my own shit thanks. Guess what it ended up being one of the best things I did and it didn’t take that many sessions. I’m not “fixed” but I have a healthier way of thinking about everything. I still have really shit days, I can drop back into depression without any warning, I still have periods of self loath. I also have stronger relationships, happy days some really happy days, days that are full of gratitude and even times when I think shit you know what I’m a pretty awesome person.

Living life sober, raw & real allows you to feel, feel the good and the bad but you feel. And you deal, you stop numbing everything and you bring it out and slowly dissect it. In my mind I think of it as I have suitcases full of all my shit, I unpack each one and deal with what ever is in it. Some I don’t repack and instead I say it’s time to let go, you are part of what created me into the person I am today but I no longer want to carry you in my mind. Some things I want to repack and occasionally I might look in the suitcase and go, nope not quite ready for you and move on to another one. I am glad I stopped numbing and started feeling.

Ignorance is no excuse when you know better

I love animals, I love them so much that I think in a fire if I had to pick between saving my favorite person and my dogs I would save my dogs!!! At the moment we have Guy Fawkes happening and we have had bloody fire works every night for over a week now. One of my dogs is terrified of the things and it only seems to be getting worse the older he gets. It is really distressing to see as he totally losses his mind. He runs in a blind panic and he starts to hyperventilate, there is no comforting him as he is in total flight mode etc there is no where for him to run to so he can get away from the big bangs. I have been a bit luckier this week in that I have avoided the distress most nights by giving him calming herbal pills, rescue remedy and watching a concert on TV with the home theater up loud. But sadly some of the fireworks start without any warning very late at night and I can’t help him avoid them. Now I’m not wanting to sound like a party pooper but I really, really want them banned. There have been many pets lost & found as they bolt in fear trying to get away from them. There have been many with injuries after getting struck by vehicles as they bolt across roads. Farm animals have panicked and injured themselves by running into fences and gates. Rabbits have had heart attacks and died and even a zoo animal, a Nyala – a type of antelope, suffered a heart attack after being spooked by them. This is breeding season for the horses and there have been horses aborting their foals as they are too spooked. Seriously how can we allow all of these animals to suffer just for a brief period of what some call fun and pleasure?

It’s not just the animals that suffer either I have a friend who has served in a war zone and they find hearing their town sounding like a war zone terribly distressing bringing them flash backs of their terrible experiences. What about the people with PTSD that are vulnerable to suffering anxiety from the loud explosions and blasting flashes of bright lights?

And yet I have not seen anything for a long time that has caused so much arguing on social media. There is a ban them side, the ban them except public displays and the screw you fun police don’t take them off us sides. Someone asked me the other day but didn’t you enjoy them when you were younger. I think I did (remember I can’t remember my childhood lol) but rather than go into that I say yes I did BUT had someone told me about the suffering they would cause for other people and animals I would of happily gone without. I was ignorant but now I’m not so I personally would like a total ban and maybe for public displays etc they could do laser light displays. They are really pretty, safe, silent, no rubbish and no risk of fires or burning people through accidents.

Living life sober, raw and real is the best gift I gave myself this is another thing that from experience, learning and observing that I have definitely changed my way of thinking about and it is another thing I happily leave behind in my past.

Dear Social Media

Dear social media, you know how you keep asking if me if I know this person and if I want to add her as my friend or contact? Well yes, yes I do know that person as she is me but she is a much different version of me than the one you have before you today. You see she opened those accounts when she was drunk and the sober me doesn’t know what passwords she thought she was so smart making up. Some of the profiles were so she could explore the lesbian side of her. Some was trying to set up a profile for employment and some were just trying to break away from her past. Every time you keep asking me if I want to add that person to my list of friends or contacts I feel sad. You see neither she nor me can remember the passwords nor oddly enough the email addresses we used in setting up those accounts so neither of us can shut them down again either. It’s a little bit sad how you keep sending emails to my work email address as well because I can’t seem to login to shut down her account there either. Hmmmm don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it. At least when she use to do internet shopping while drunk it was a surprise when the parcels arrived, you know a bit like having an unexpected birthday or christmas present. At least most of the things that arrived were awesome. Hey social media you know how there is times you ask for a person to present ID to prove that your real?? Could you send her one of those please verify yourself messages? She is gone and no forwarding address, shut her down.

Living life sober, raw & real means that I don’t do stupid things like this anymore. Oh don’t get me wrong I can do dumb arse stuff like take the dogs medication and then find my own still sitting on the bench (didn’t itch for a month) sort of stuff haha but at least I do it now while not being under the influence. Nor do I do things like the above all while thinking I don’t have a drinking problem and I’m not an alcoholic.

It was time to take off the rose tinted glasses

I often read blocks now and it’s quite common to see people discuss their drinking and to say that they aren’t an alcoholic and more that they binge drink when they do. It made me think back to when I started this blog and how I thought of myself and my drinking habits. In reality it was a long way off what was the truth and I guess that was another trick that my alcoholic brain was playing on me.

Definition of “Rose tinted glasses” as given by Collins Dictionary – If you look at a person or situation through rose-colored glasses or rose-tinted glasses, you see only their good points and therefore your view of them is unrealistic.

Looking back now I can see that I was seriously wearing some powerful rose tinted glasses. I was convinced that I wasn’t an alcoholic and in fact when I found out that my medical file had on it that I was I was livid. I was pissed that my Doctor had put that on my file when I didn’t believe I was an alcoholic but there was more to that story in that I had asked her for help and she didn’t think my problem was that bad to need help. So I was pissed that she didn’t think I was bad enough to need help but I was bad enough for her to put on my file that I was an alcoholic. But that’s another story for another time and my trust and confidence level in my Doctor will probably never be the same.

I was convinced that I was just going through a patch of drinking to much and that my biggest problem was that I was a binge drinker. I thought that I was just drinking because of all the shitty things that had happened in my life and because I was sad and lonely with no self esteem. Don’t know about you but I haven’t heard of a person that drinks every night for over 20 years (apart from when I was in hospital) in such away that come recycle day it looked like there had been a party at my house because of the amount of bottles overflowing from the recycle bin. No party had ever happened as I was to busy avoiding people so I could drink and not have anyone judge me, so all of those bottles was from little old me. Even if someone had told me I was an alcoholic I probably would of told them to piss off. Now it is so obvious and I can’t believe that I didn’t see it.

Now I sit here and I see people say “I don’t really have a drinking problem it’s just that I often end up drinking more than I should” or “I am sick of drinking but don’t know how to stop, I’m not an alcoholic or anything”. Now I’m not judging these people and I seriously from the bottom of my heart hope that you aren’t alcoholics because been there, done that and will forever be one even if I stay sober for the rest of my life! My own mind never fails to amaze me and this is just one more example, how could it convince me that I wasn’t an alcoholic. Shit my mind is powerful and now it’s not fueled with booze I am able to have better control, better thoughts and more inner peace than a mind that just doesn’t stop.

Living life sober is the biggest gift I have given myself and it simply couldn’t of come soon enough.

The Little Things

Well today was my favorite day of the week, oh how I love you Saturday the first day of my weekend. I had a lovely sleep in this morning and nothing beats waking up when your body is ready and not to the sound of your alarm. It was just so beautiful, no alarm, no hang over, no shitty dry throat or stinky alcohol breath I honestly never, ever want to wake up like that again. Anyway back to focusing on the now and not the then following on from my post talking about Friday and how even the just quiet routine feels awesome now I noticed the little things today which all add up to living such a blessed life.

  • Waking up in a warm bed with my dogs still quietly snoring beside me.
  • Being able to stretch and practice mindfulness before getting up.
  • Have a long, long hot shower.
  • Opening the curtains to find that it is a fine day.
  • Hang out the washing so it drys out in the sunshine and fresh air.
  • Taking the dogs for a lovely, long, peaceful walk.
  • Get breakfast for my dogs and myself.
  • Do some volunteer work.
  • Try to start the lawnmower – give up and vacuum instead.
  • Try to start the lawnmower – give up and do the dishes instead.
  • Try to start the fucken lawnmover – give up and hang out more washing.
  • Have lunch.
  • Start the lawnmower and mow the lawns.
  • Reply to an email from a friend.
  • Do some more volunteer work.
  • Take the dogs for another walk.
  • Do the ironing.
  • Make the bed (yah I love clean bed nights)
  • Get dinner for my dogs and myself.
  • Do more volunteer work.
  • Watch Americas Got Talent.
  • Chat online with a friend.
  • Do todays post on my blog 🙂

What a list ah?? Hahaha I am sure some of you stopped reading long ago and thought dear God get a life but seriously to me this is a perfect day. Look how much I got done and all at a cruisy pace which I would of been lucky to of got half of it done had I been drinking last night. Also I would be so pissed by now I hate to think what I would be typing here, actually no I wouldn’t be here I would be getting close to pass out stage in the next hour. today I noticed things like the beautiful flowers and even the smell of them in the air. I took time to smell the air after mowing the lawns and smelling the cut grass. Oh and the smell of laundry powder that smell is delicious (no I’m not a freak that would eat it but apparently some people do, my question is how wouldn’t it be like soap in your mouth?) and lets off a beautiful aroma when you iron it. What I am trying to say here is I live such a blessed life and now I am taking the time to notice and count my blessings which is something I missed by being an alcoholic. Sober life is the absolute best gift I gave myself and I am treasuring every moment of it.