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Sober: Day 100

Well I’m really happy to report that I’m still going, still sober and celebrating 100 days.

From day 90 I was having a few minor wobbles, with thoughts of “maybe I could moderate, maybe just one now and again wouldn’t hurt”. But I already know the answer to those questions. Tried moderation, didn’t work and just one, no, can’t do that either.

I’ve decided to repledge for another 100 days, maybe drinking is a bit like giving up my cigarette habit (now 158 days), I haven’t told myself I’ve given up forever but it’s highly darned unlikely that I will take it up again.

I’m still regularly reading quit lit – the current book is Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck which is a great read with a very compelling argument against drinking.

My lack of imbibing seems to be having a positive effect on the husband too – weeks ago he cut out beer completely, he still drinks wine daily but only a couple of glasses with dinner. A positive step I feel.

Still stranded in Cyprus as UK flights not allowed in until 1st August and even then Brits will only be allowed in if they can produce a negative Covid test certificate. The good news is though that we have a flight booked for the 2nd August. We have to return to Scotland via four flights so it will all be a bit tedious, but late Tuesday afternoon I should arrive home after just over five months away…

One of my favourite beaches near Akrotiri, I’m going to miss this!

Sober: Day 33 to 50

Well, here I am still here and still sober. Can’t even quite believe it myself that I’ve now made it to 50 days!

I’ve also passed the landmark of now having had more alcohol free days this year than days on which I drank – not continuous but if I add together the 30 days I did in January and my current run.

I’ve been able to get out a whole lot more since lockdown ended, it’s been so lovely to go out early in a morning and not return until late afternoon.

I’m thinking about drinking less and less, which is good. Though I do seem to get odd, sudden, strong cravings at random moments but it’s usually when I don’t have access to any booze anyway and they soon pass, thankfully.

Weight is coming off slowly, I’m unable to weigh myself so have to judge by how my clothes are fitting and they do feel a little loser. I’m still sticking closely to wholefood plant-based and have subscribed to some new YouTube Channels which have been very handy: Plantiful Kiki, Chelsea Mae Cullen and High Carb Hannah.

Ulcerative Colitis is settling down nicely, very few symptoms now – considering that when I’ve had flares before they’ve taken 6 months to settle down. Food as medicine really works, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Still stuck here in Cyprus, the airports are open but planes from the UK are still banned because of the poor virus situation there…

Enjoying a cup of tea and some water at the beach at Limassol
Beautiful Venetian bridge up in the hills

Sober: Day 32

21st May 2020, Thursday

Oh my goodness, after 57 days of living under strict lockdown here in Cyprus we are free to go out! Of course there are still many restrictions in place but movement is now unrestricted and no permission required!

OH spent all night outside, he said he didn’t have a bad nights sleep. After running to the bathroom at least seven times after I woke up this morning I managed to leave the apartment and we headed in the car down to the coast. Fabulous, freedom!

Walked about a mile and a half by the shore, it was so lovely to be out. Drove up to the dam too and had a look up there, very quiet, no-one else around. Then by 11am it was starting to get very hot so we returned to the apartment.Iced coffee for me plus plenty of water to rehydrate. I’m so going to enjoy this freedom thing.

So, i’m still here journaling daily, I did say that I wouldn’t post so much after 30 days, and now that we are able to go out and about won’t have so much time for writing.

Remained hot until late evening, had our weekly Zoom call with our friends back home – received an update on how my house plants are doing (I grow cacti and succulents because they thrive on neglect…). My friend had repotted some of them for me, only one had died.

I’ll post again on Day 40

Sober: Day 31

20th May 2020, Wednesday

Up early as it’s so hot. OH had a very bad night he said he was too hot and he felt dehydrated.

Last day of lockdown today. My insides feel a little improved again. I spent some time going through the videos in the McDougall Starch Solution Course which I found out recently is currently free a special offer because of lockdown. I thought it would be a good refresher for me and help to steer me back to good wholefood plant based eating habits for the sake of my insides – the crap I’ve been eating these last weeks since being in lockdown, ugh, it’s no wonder my ulcerative colitis is flaring up!

More bad news this evening, my friend of 30 years found his partner dead on the bathroom floor this morning, they’d been together 25 years and he’s totally devastated poor guy.

OH decided to sleep outside tonight, his feet are still swollen and he said it’s too warm inside for him so set himself up on the sunbed. When I went to bed at 11pm he was snoring away out there. I wouldn’t have minded doing the same but if there are any bitey/stingy insects out there they’d have a feast with me!

Meaningful May: Reflect on what makes you feel really valued and appreciated. Probably when someone does something for you without you asking them to, or does something unexpected like a small random act of kindness or kind words definitely. Also thinking about this – how can I make people feel valued and appreciated? By doing the same for them as I would like them to do for me.

One advantage of being in lockdown is that I think I’ve explored every inch of the gardens of the complex here.

Sober: Day 30

19th May 2020, Tuesday

Wow! I made it one whole month, 30 days and very happy about that too. This last week has sped by and, dare I say it, it has felt pretty easy. Oh, i’m pretty sure the wicked wine witch isn’t done with me yet but my strength against the old crone is growing immeasurably.

Another hot one today, it’s forecast to be 43C again. Woke feeling slightly dehydrated, it was so hot in the middle of the night and I woke at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep.

The letter I wrote yesterday to my friend had a good response, she loved it and loved the idea of doing it and was going to do the same for a couple of friends. She also said “I’m just off to the Post Office with 23 packages of items that people have ordered via my Facebook page” I was so happy for her and hopefully my little bit of sharing her details had a small effect on that.

Being a landmark day today it was easy not to drink! OH wasn’t feeling well in the evening, he is still drinking quite heavily (500mls beer followed by three or four sizeable glasses of wine). His feet are swollen, he felt nauseous, said his vision was blurry and that he just generally felt like crap. He has also been suffering with sleep apnoea and waking up gasping for breath and I think his disturbed sleep is making him feel tired when he wakes in a morning. I personally think he is drinking too much, especially in this heat but he wouldn’t welcome my opinon so I keep quiet. He’s an adult and can make his own decisions.

Meaningful May: Find a way to craft what you are doing to have more meaning. As I’ve been taking lots of photos I’m in the process of putting together a photo book of our visit to Cyprus.

Woodlark

Sober: Day 29

18th May 2020, Monday

There will be a couple of landmark days this week: tomorrow will see me 30 days / 1 month sober and on Thursday, hopefully, the Cyprus government will remove all movement restrictions and we’ll be free to go wherever we want, whenever we want. I am both looking forward to free movement and also looking at it with some trepidation after some 50+ days in lockdown. I can quite understand how people can become institutionalised. In many ways life has been so simple the last couple of months.

Coronavirus figures here are still looking good, still only 1 to 5 new cases a day. There will still be many restrictions in place of course – our so-called “new normal.” Restaurants and cafes will open up but only for dining outside at socially distanced tables and numbers restricted, small retail shops and open air markets opened just over two weeks ago but still no malls or department stores. All retail staff in shops to wear masks.

Sitting under the ceiling fan today, writing and i’ll work on the computer shortly. I usually write this journal/blog entry in two or three goes throughout the day.

Sad news this evening of the passing of a very good friend, he died suddenly and unexpectedly but doing the thing he loved, birding. So many happy memories. My only positive thought in this is, if there is a heaven he’ll now be reunited with his wife who he always referred to as “our lass” who he lost nearly 15 years ago, I don’t think he ever got over that. RIP S ❤️

Meaningful May: Handwrite a note to someone you love and send them a photo of it. I wrote a note to my friend J, love her to bits, she’s probably the loveliest person in the world, not a bad bone in her body. I think if it wasn’t for her and her husband P I wouldn’t be here now – the love and support they gave me after the loss of my son is what got me through the dark days.

A bird, specially for S 🙁

Sober: Day 28

17th May 2020, Sunday

Hot, hot, hot! Thank goodness for the ceiling fan. Last night it was window wide open and ceiling fan on the go. Just a thin cotton sheet on the bed but mostly I wasn’t underneath it.

Don’t want to speak too soon but I think the WFPB diet is beginning to pay off with regards my ulcerative colitis. I don’t want to give you the gory details but my symptoms (touch wood!) seem to be a little improved today. Time will tell…

Didn’t actually do much today: reading, writing, some work on the computer, messaging with friends, online Scrabble. As soon as you move it’s “boooooofff” instantly drenched with sweat. Drinking plenty to keep hydrated. Did some online Christmas shopping – I usually try to start getting organised at this time of year, just small things and only for the daughters and grandsons.

Nothing to complain about today, feeling well hydrated. My weather app reported 42C… That’s pretty warm… Quite honestly the thought of drinking wine this evening, in this heat, repulses me, I can’t imagine how horrible I would feel in this heat with a belly full of alcohol. Progress is being made!

Meaningful May: Take a positive action to help in your local community. Well i’m not actually resident in my home community at the moment but feel I can help so I spent some time on social media sharing and promoting the business pages of friends on the islands who run small companies and who are currently struggling. Hopefully they will get some online orders as a result.

I’m fascinated with this derelict building nearby, I took the photo with the Tin Type camera app
I really love the WTForecast app, it’s not for the easily offended though 😂
Back of camera shot, even the House Martins were struggling with the heat, they were clinging to the wall in the little bit of shade.

Sober: Day 27

16th May 2020, Saturday

We went shopping at 7.15am, it was quite busy, I think everyone is getting things done before it gets too hot. The Met Office here have issued an extreme heat warning to run initially from 12.30pm to 5.30pm. It was already 32C when we left the store to return home at 7.45pm.

Feeling homesick a bit today, probably a combination of things: ulcerative colitis not very good still, it’s so hot and i’m missing the cool sea breeze at home in Scotland, i’m missing being in my own kitchen with my own appliances and being able to make the food that I know will sort out my u.c. I miss my bike, I’d love to go for a bike ride, I miss the solitude of heading out on my bike with all my gear and spending the night in my tent.

I don’t think I’m well equipped mentally to be cooped up indoors with another person, for weeks on end, no matter how much I love that person. I value freedom and solitude very highly. It resets me and makes me a better person to live with.

Meaningful May: Look around you and find five things you find meaningful.

1. The almost complete baby blanket that I’m knitting for my new grandson. I should have been home and had it finished well before he was born. I forgot to bring a cable needle with me and all the shops here have been closed for weeks so I haven’t been able to buy one.

2. My diary – it’s a five year “one line a day” diary and I’m on the second year of making daily entries. I really like looking back at the previous year to see what was going on with me – sometimes happy stuff, sometimes sad. It was OH’s idea to get these diaries and he also keeps his up to date too.

3. My binoculars, they go everywhere with me.

4. My iPad, especially at the moment, not only is it where I keep my full written journal (iPad app and Apple Pencil) but it is also my connection to family and friends through various means: Zoom, Messenger, WhatsApp and playing Scrabble.

5. The view from my window. I’ll never forget my time this year in Cyprus, I’ve really enjoyed being here, even being in lockdown, despite the homesickness. It’s been a great apartment to stay in – a good balcony which overlooks the gardens, a field and in the distance the sea. There are plenty of birds around which makes life interesting and full of sound.

Sober: Day 26

15th May 2020, Friday

Wow, it’s so hot today, i’m drinking gallons (water mainly) and not feeling much like eating. It’s like stepping out into a furnace when you go outside. It stays fairly reasonable inside the apartment as it’s out of the sun for most of the day. Tonight will be the first night since being here that we’ll sleep with the windows open – we have insect screens on all the doors/windows thankfully.

Not much to report here today really. Still feeling good, no wobbles about not drinking. I’m making Never Question The Decision (NQTD) my go to motto.

Meaningful May: Find out about the values and traditions of another culture.

So as I’m currently in Cyprus it is the obvious choice. I have noticed that the Cypriot people are very family orientated, very sociable and also go out of their way to be kind and helpful.

https://www.justaboutcyprus.com/traditions/

The Cypriot Way of Life: Cypriot culture is a unique blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern; it has been moulded by centuries of rule by different nations that have coveted, fought over and possessed the island. Family life is considered of paramount importance and respect for the older generation remains strong. Despite an outwardly relaxed attitude towards religion, the traditions and values of the Orthodox church (in the South) and Islam (in the North) still play a key role in society as a whole.

Lonely Planet

Sober: Day 25

14th May 2020, Thursday

Again, another day of taking things easily. Another really good nights sleep, I feel so refreshed in a morning now and ready to face the day whatever it brings.

Once I reach 30 days sober I may not update this blog on a daily basis, unless i’m struggling or trying to work things out in my mind. I feel it might get quite repetitive day after day – “well here I am day xx, still not drinking” you get the picture… At the moment i’m feeling good about not drinking and don’t currently have any desire to start again. I know, after multiple goes that I now have to face the fact that I cannot moderate, I just end up right back where I started and I really don’t want to be in a cycle of multiple day 1s. Been there, done that.

I actually told my OH at dinner tonight that I’m never going to drink again. I think he was a bit shocked. He said “what, not ever, not Christmas, or birthdays, or when we go and see x and y?” I told him, no not ever again, I mean it and also talked to him about my inability to control or moderate drinking and that I don’t want to return to an unhealthy level of drinking again.

A fun Zoom call this evening with our friends x and y (mentioned above), they were both on the wine but I was on water and OH by then was on coffee (after a beer and 4 glasses of wine, not that I’m counting. OK I am). After the Zoom a really fun WhatsApp quiz with my sober buddies group, we had such amazing fun, so many laughs and not a drop was drunk. Love those girls, we’re getting to know each other really well.

Meaningful May: Show your gratitude to people who are helping to make things better. I expressed my gratitude to our sober group leader and mentor who had compiled this evenings quiz and who encouraged us to take part. I told her that I feel so lucky to have found such a wonderful group of other sober people who support each other, hold each other up when one of us is down and exude so much positivity, it’s wonderful

View from the balcony, I took this photo a few weeks ago at sunset – everything is looking a lot browner and drier now!