Spring is around the corner

I cannot believe it’s going to be the 1st of March tomorrow. Where is this year going? February has flown by and I’ve hardly posted at all because things have been busy, busy, busy.

The big thing that happened this month is that I told some real life people about my blog. Eeek. Not just any old people either – my parents. For various reasons, it suddenly felt like the right time to do so. Needless to say, it was a nerve-wracking experience, but all is good. I have been cringing a bit, thinking of the things they have read and subconsciously I think this may have put the brakes on me writing anything else for a while. But all in all, it feels great to be a bit more honest about things. Much of this blog is about drinking in secret and then getting sober in secret. All that secrecy had become a bit of a burden.

In other news, I have a new job. Well, a part-time job to be precise. As some of you will know, I have been trying to change careers for a while, but my biggest problem has been working out exactly what it is I want to do. I don’t want to write off journalism completely, but my current job definitely isn’t right for me anymore. I think stopping drinking has played a big part in me realising that. My new role can mainly be done from home, but it’s part-time enough for me to juggle it with my full-time job, for now at least. Eventually I hope it will provide a bit of a financial cushion if I decide to leave my proper job or take a year out. Who knows?! It feels like I have lots of options.

This past month hasn’t all been hard work. Last week I had a very chilled few days at a fancy spa. It was incredibly posh: think stately home, surrounded by beautiful countryside. I went with a friend and we knew as soon as we arrived that we might be a little out of place because the car park was like a Range Rover showroom. Apparently the spa has a few permanent residents who live there all the time, waited on hand and foot everyday. Can you imagine?!

My friend and I went to the spa primarily to relax, but once we arrived it became obvious that most people go there to lose weight. The food, whilst delicious, was very, very healthy. Everything was fresh and cooked from scratch. There were lots of salads, herbal teas and fruit to snack on. But incredibly, the spa also had a bar. I looked at the menu and noticed it was mainly organic wine and champagne. So no beer or spirits. But still … alcohol? In a wellbeing spa?

We were eating dinner one evening when one of the reception staff came over to our table. There had been a problem with the shower in our room and the receptionist was very apologetic about it. She wanted to get us a complimentary drink from the bar by means of apology. Would we like a glass of champagne, she wondered? My friend, who does drink, said yes. I explained that I didn’t, but that I could murder a Diet Coke or a tonic water. The receptionist looked at me like I’d just asked for a Big Mac and fries. “We don’t serve those kind of drinks here” she replied, shaking her head.

Now I know that diet fizzy drinks, loaded with artificial sweeteners, aren’t the healthiest beverages. But they must be better for you than champagne, which is loaded with empty calories and contains alcohol, a POISON. It was very tempting to point all of this out. But I didn’t. After all, the receptionist was only trying to be nice. So I took a deep breath, ordered a sparkling water and resolved that if I ever went back I’d smuggle some Diet Coke in with me …

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33 thoughts on “Spring is around the corner

  1. FitFatFood February 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm Reply

    I’ve been wondering where you were- good on you for telling your parents! Very very brave 🙂

  2. wren1450 February 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm Reply

    Great post. Congratulations on the new job. I laughed at the spa incident. Go figure. I guess if there is ever a diet organic Coke, you’ll be ok.

    • soberjournalist March 2, 2014 at 6:33 pm Reply

      You know, one of these days they probably will invent organic Coke…I’ll be first in the queue to try it!

  3. graysgrogblog February 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm Reply

    Good to hear something from you :o) I thought you’d gone into hibernation ;o) great to hear things are all pointing nicely upwards (so to speak)
    G

    • soberjournalist March 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm Reply

      Thanks. I see you’re doing rather well too, so congratulations!

  4. jenisthesoberist February 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm Reply

    Ha! That’s so bizarre. People are really odd about alcohol, aren’t they? Hello…it’s not actually very healthy. Sounds like a nice time, though! Nice to hear you are taking some time out for relaxation and congrats on the new job! xx

    • soberjournalist March 2, 2014 at 6:36 pm Reply

      Without getting too preachy about it, I am constantly amazed at the double standards people have when it comes to booze and “healthy” living! Hope you’re well x

  5. Drunky Drunk Girl March 1, 2014 at 12:31 am Reply

    Yes, you should have asked for natural soda! Haha… Good for you on the new job front–I am trying to reconfigure my situation, too, to suit the “new me” better…

    • soberjournalist March 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm Reply

      Ooh what kind of thing are you looking to do? I feel a bit like I’ve sleepwalked my way through the last couple of years and woken up in a job I don’t enjoy any more. But there are still elements that I like. Figuring it all out is taking ages and I am trying to be patient (for once)!

  6. Annabelle March 1, 2014 at 1:08 am Reply

    It’s so amazing to me how people can look at alcohol and consider it more acceptable than a soft drink. What if your friend wanted a second drink of champagne? or a third? Maybe even a forth? Would they cut her off and tell her that they only welcome moderate drinkers? You could have 3 or 4 diet cokes and not stumble out of the bar but since diet soda contains artificial sweetners-how dare you ask for that!!! Crazy. No getting away from it is there? Only now do I see how in love with alcohol our society is. But, your trip still sounds like it was heaven 🙂

    • soberjournalist March 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm Reply

      Exactly, there are so many double standards! I don’t want to turn into the kind of person who gets all preachy about teetotalism but the attitude at the spa was confused to say the least. It was still a lovely break though, I’d recommend it! x

  7. carrieonsober March 2, 2014 at 12:08 am Reply

    Good on you for being brave and telling people about your blog. It is fabulous and you should be very proud of it and all of the hard work you have done to get this far. Not to mention the people you help with your writing.
    Congrats on the job and having the courage to embrace change. I am excited for you to see what emerges..
    Spa sounds amazing but honestly, it’s a joke trying to get something nice to drink in this country other than water or diet coke! Is it too much to ask for their to be a bloody grown up/healthy choice for those of us who want to indulge in a treat drink every now and then that doesn’t contain poison??
    Good luck with everything, nice to hear from you xx

    • soberjournalist March 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm Reply

      Thanks Carrie, it’s always lovely to hear from you Xxx

  8. melodyschofield March 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm Reply

    That’s great you told your parents!! I’ve still been keeping to myself and avoiding situations where friends would want me to drink. I did start going to meetings last week and was a really great move. Nice to hear from people going through the same stuff! Your blog is still my favorite! Can relate on so many levels. Also starting a career change. Nice to have goals and something new to look forward to. 🙂 So glad you’re doing well!

    • soberjournalist March 5, 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply

      Thanks for your message! I think it’s fine to keep yourself to yourself for as long as you need to, there’s no rush. I think you will know when it’s the right time to talk about it. Kx

    • soberjournalist March 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm Reply

      Thanks for your message! I think it’s fine to keep yourself to yourself if you want to. You will know when it’s the right time to tell more people. Good luck with the career change. Exciting times!

  9. soberp March 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm Reply

    Hello, I came across your blog when it was featured on the BBC website. I just wanted thank you by letting you know how inspirational and honest I thought it was. You made me see that I’m not alone in my struggles with alcohol and you’ve given me the motivation to undertake the 100 day challenge, on Day 37 🙂 I’m so pleased to hear that everything is going well with you. Good luck with the new job!

    • soberjournalist March 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm Reply

      Wow, it’s so nice to read this. It never fails to amaze me how much we all have in common – but when you’re drinking you feel like you’re all on your own. Huge, huge congratulations on reaching Day 37! (39 now?) That’s excellent news, well done. I hope you’re buying yourself lots of treats x

      • soberp March 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm

        Thank you 🙂 You’re right – when drinking, I felt like it was just me who had the problem, why couldn’t I control this? The great thing is now I see that other people struggle in the same way; that feeling of support is amazing! Yes, definitely – the treats help to perk up my day! I’m trying to experiment with alternative soft drinks so I now spend ages in that aisle of the supermarket as opposed to the wine aisle!! x

  10. Tess March 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm Reply

    I read your blog and want to say thank you. I too was (4 days sober) one to drink alone most of the time. I also drank with my husband and my frends but mostly alone. So over the past year and 1/2 to 2 years my public drinking has ended up with me a disgusting mess and blacking out. Yuck. Cause at home alone I didn’t have to be accountable for my ridiculusness. I was/am ashamed and disgusted but on day 4 I am processing it all thinking of it apologizing for it (silently to everyone) in my head and moving on. My husband hasn’t said anything about my not drinking (usually he’ll come home to a wife buzzed up on whatever was available but trying to act sober) and not fooling anyone. But soon he’ll offer a drink or ask why I am not. Not sure what I will say. For now I need and want this to be my private change. As far as my friends go they don’t live close so I ‘ll have to figure out how I will deal with that when it comes. Keeping in mind for last 2 years every and I mean everytime we got together I was either buzzed, drunk and/or in blackout mode. Thank you again on your blog and congrats on your sobriety!

    • learningtolive March 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm Reply

      Tess, just wanted to say congrats on 4 days! And I totally relate to your comment, esp. not being accountable at home and losing control out of the house. Stay here, it gets incredibly better! xo Lindsey

    • soberjournalist March 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm Reply

      Hi Tess, sorry for not replying sooner. I hope this message finds you on Day 6 or 7 by now. These first few days and weeks really are the hardest, so just stick it out – it’s so worth it! I think if you can tell your husband the truth it’ll be a real help for you. It’s great to have someone on your side and I’m sure he will be pleased you’re making this positive change. That said, I didn’t really tell anyone for ages, so it is possible. If you do decide to go it alone, make sure you have lots of support online. Read blogs, listen to podcasts, you could try forums like the Booze free Brigade? Good luck and let me know how you get on x

  11. Tess March 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm Reply

    I am hoping to be able to get to a point where I can drink responsibily again but not sure if I can or will.

  12. learningtolive March 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply

    Great to hear how life is shifting to new possibilities, Kate! Congrats on your new job! Your blog is the first I found (and my favorite) when I looked in desperation for an alternative to a local meeting (not for me). I love your honesty and point of view. Thanks to you and other sober bloggers, I’m 34 days AF and life has changed for the better and I’m excited to see what happens next! A huge thank you! Lindsey

    • soberjournalist March 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm Reply

      Wow Lindsey that’s great. I’m really pleased to hear you’re doing so well. It’s amazing what happens when you stop drinking. So simple really… but what a big change it makes. Exciting times indeed! x

  13. I just want to eat tacos and meatballs all day March 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm Reply

    Is it possible to give up alcohol? I try try try everyday…

  14. Lee Davy March 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm Reply

    I enjoyed this little ditty so thanks.

    I really connected with you on a few things.

    The first was sharing your blog with your parents. It’s really difficult to make the decision to write a blog and not write about experiences that involved those closest to you (especially if one of the purposes is to inspire others to change). So to share your blog with your parents is incredibly brave so well done.

    I also felt a connection when you talked about changing your job. I quit my job (held it for 19-years) when I quit drinking and I know that it was the decision that enabled me to maintain my sobriety for over four years. It’s so important to keep on improving other areas of your life when you take the decision to quit drinking because it helps alleviate any worries over cravings and triggers. Your choice of career will be the place of much stress and this is what causes a lot of people to drink so it has to be the right one for you.

    Finally, I had a similar experience to your health spa experience when I was in a Vegan restaurant the other day. People are vegan for a wide number of reasons, but I hazard a guess that health is one of them. From what I understand Vegans are very particular about what they put in their body, so to have a well stocked bar serving poison makes me very angry indeed.

    Regarding the diet coke. I urge you to check out Fat Chance by Robert Lustig (please read my review here…http://www.needyhelper.com/book-45-of-52-fat-chance-by-robert-lustig/)

    After reading this book I realised that the way I view alcohol (i.e. as a poison) was no different from the way I view soda. I realised that I was a hypocrite for drinking soda and not alcohol and this is because I believe alcohol offers you zero benefits and instead is a powerfully addictive poison.

    So what is diet coke?

    Anyway, read the book if you get the chance. It’s an amazing read.

    Good luck with everything.

    Lee

    • soberjournalist March 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm Reply

      Hi Lee, thanks for your comment and the book suggestion – I will check it out!

  15. Maggie Shores March 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm Reply

    Haha, I never got that, go to a spa and they want to hand you booze! I guess it’s the relaxing part? And good for you, for saying no! I love my DCoke too.

  16. drunkstuck March 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm Reply

    So funny about that double standard – what is up with our society? I used to be a terrible offender. I was a farmer’s market-loving whole-food-focused vegan who loved yoga and hiking. I never ate processed sugar or — the horror — fake sweetener. And then I took all that healthful nonsense and flushed it every night with a bottle or two of wine. Now I don’t drink but I’m much more lax about what I eat. (The amount candy I ate the first month after quitting was incredible! Such a help.)

  17. pp March 7, 2014 at 9:18 pm Reply

    wow you told your parents! very brave.
    The story about the diet coke at the spa is funny. Who would’ve believed that? Was fresh pressed juice available?

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