Sunday, 29 November 2015

Effortlessly Sober?

Someone left a lovely comment on one of my posts a while back. It said something along the lines of "you seem so together"

And I am beginning to feel 'together'.

But it wasn't like that for a long time.

A few years after emigrating to Canada, my relationship ended, after fifteen years. I ended it. It was the right decision. But my drinking problem (that I kept firmly under control, apart from a few lapses), spiraled.

I made bad decision after bad decision, including a particularly toxic rebound relationship. And I doused everything in copious amounts of wine.

Very soon, my already floundering career in Real Estate rolled to halt (thanks in part to the recession, and to my lack of interest and permanent hangover), so the small amount of cash that I had received from the relationship break up, was quickly gone.

I ended up working in a Beer and Wine Store (cruel irony), and it was easy to compare my "enthusiastic wine appreciation" against the "real alcoholics' that frequented the store.

In private, I vowed again and again that I wouldn't drink so much. And every time, I failed to make good on the promises I had made to myself.

Eventually, I convinced myself that I was drinking "due to the stress" and once I had got my life under control, the drinking would stop...all by itself...

The happiest intervention by the Universe (or God), who clearly decided I needed a break, was to put my now husband firmly in my path.
Thank God I wasn't too drunk to notice!

My drinking continued, but I justified it to myself by ''s happy drinking!"

Physically, I was beginning to notice that I was forgetting things. Like whole conversations. Or getting to bed. And I was worried about weird pains in my arms. Some nights I would wake up, dehydrated, and worry about having a stroke, or a heart attack.

So I tried to stop.

I tried to only drink on weekends.

I switched to beer

I switched from beer to white wine.

I challenged myself to not drink for two weeks.

I tried to stop FOR GOOD, again and again and again.

I put crosses on the calendar for all the days I didn't drink, hoping that there would be more crosses than not, at the end of every month. There never were.

I read sober literature (as I was drinking wine)

I googled 'Am I an Alcoholic" and lied my way through countless questionnaires.

And then finally, I stopped.

No DUIs, no interventions from my very patient husband, no medical emergencies. I can't even tell you what I was thinking.

On Day Three I started this Blog. I had no idea if I would make it to Day 4 or Day 10....or Day 100.

So why share this now?

Because I read so many blogs where people are reverting back to Day 1 and feel so shitty about it. I read the desperation, the panic and think to myself......I remember that...

If you read my blog and think "wow, she seems so together", I thank you. I really take that as a compliment.

But there is only one difference between you and me.......I wasn't brave enough to blog about all the times when I smacked up against the wall of alcohol. I wasn't brave enough to share the times I had to pick myself up , feeling shitty and desperate that I wouldn't make it. But you ARE brave enough to share that. Thank you.

You are all an inspiration to me. And I know that you are all going to make it.


Saturday. My favourite Day. Except for Sunday. And Monday's not bad.....

Every day is much improved, now that alcohol no longer features in my agenda.

And I have been busy.

Its a recurring theme. I seem to be trying to make up for the years of procrastination. It's not working.

So this weekend, I decided not to declutter, reorganize, write and attempt to finish a massive 'to do" list....I just let yesterday come and go.

I was in my PJs at about 3.00pm. I read a bit. We watched 'On Golden Pond" and then I watched "The Seventies".

We ate snacks. 

Today is much the same.

I cleaned the house a bit. I did plan next week a bit ( I have a new job - more about that in another post).

I have some ideas for more Video blogs, and I may or may not record them today.

I wrote a blog post for an entirely different blog it here if you like

I felt like writing something that wasn't connected to sobriety. Not because I don't like writing about it anymore, it's just that sometimes, I find myself thinking...

"Oh that's a cool thing to write about - oh wait, it's not really relevant to a sober blog..."

And then I realized..."I can write anything I want"

So I did.

And it is kind of relevant, because I would never have done that while I was drinking....

Have a great week, 

WB xx

Thursday, 26 November 2015

We've always had the Higher Power...we just have to learn it for ourselves...

One of the reasons that many people are a bit "put off" going to AA is the supposed emphasis on religion - the surrendering yourself to the "Higher Power". The "leaving it to God's Will".

I've not been to an AA meeting, and it's for a variety of reasons, but not really anything to do with religion.
As a one time student of psychology, I've always considered myself to be "scientific" rather than "spiritual", although as I get older, I acknowledge that there is a grey area, a blurring of the lines between the two if you like.

And during my own sober journey, the lines have become more blurry and the grey area a little wider.

I've recently finished reading a "scientific" book about Habits. I thought I would find some useful "tools" for my sober toolbox, and brush up on some psychological theory.

I learned some good stuff from this goes with my summary...

  • Our brains are bombarded with new information all the time. It has to find a way to efficiently deal with it, otherwise we would be gibbering idiots. It does this by "chunking" together bits of information, so we respond on "auto -pilot" to certain 'cues', so that we don't have to constantly review the same information over and over again. So for example, when we learn to drive, there is a massive amount of new information to take in - we have to remember to look in the mirror, signal, brake, change gear, etc in certain situations. When we first learn, our brains are on overload - buzzing with activity. As we do it over and over again, our brain are 'oh whatever, we've done this before, what's for dinner tonight?"...and we are driving, responding automatically to driving situations...without consciously thinking

  • This is essentially the same process when we form a 'habit" - good or bad.

  • A habit is formed when we respond to a "cue" with a repeated action, which results in a "reward". When this process is performed over and over again....the repeated action becomes a routine, and we begin to anticipate or crave the reward.

  • So to apply this to my previous drinking habits....the "cue" was the end of the working day "Wine O'clock", the routine was to drink wine, and the "reward" was the relaxation and elimination of the day's stress. I began, over time to anticipate the pleasure of the relaxation, to crave that, and my habit or routine to gain that reward, was to drink the wine.

  • To break that habit, we merely have to change the find another way to get the reward.

  • Are you all still with me?

  • So, if we can establish the "cues" and the "rewards", we can, be repeated actions, re-wire our brains to automatically follow new routines...This is the "Golden Rule" - almost any behaviour can be changed if the cue and reward stay the just insert a new routine

  • So my "cue" is the end of the working day, the reward is relaxation, and my new "routine" is writing this blog, or going for a walk, or whatever, over and over again, until my brain tells me without thinking, that I need to walk for relaxation - and I have replaced the wine drinking habit with a new walking habit.
AA uses this Golden Rule The emphasis on regular meetings, the "90 meetings in 90 days" concept, is really a way to instill a new "routine", a new response to the 'cue".

(For those of you who are saying...hang on a minute, what about the alcohol, isn't that an addictive substance? Yes it is. But the alcohol leaves our body completely after about 5 - 10 days, and the physical cravings cease. What's left are the psychological cravings for 'rewards")

Step Four in the Twelve Step programme (which arguably should be Step 1) is to "make a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves".

When we do that, we look to our own behaviour, the causes and reasons for our behaviour - our yearnings and our cravings - in effect, we are acknowledging the "cues" for our behaviour and the "rewards" that we seek.

Many of us drink to escape stress. Our cue could be an argument with a family member, the craving or reward we seek, is escape from the emotional turmoil - the routine or behaviour is our drinking.

As we start to recognize the cues - some of them could be deep down in our emotions - we can then begin to change our routines. Change our drinking habits into sober habits.

Sounds like hard work right? Doesn't sound much like we are surrendering to God's Will does it? Putting all the shit into His Hands?

No. The secret lies in our Brain. This magnificent, intricate, delicate piece of human machinery that works in ways that we have barely begun to understand despite our advanced scientific endeavours.

We have no idea how or why we have such power. Why or how we have evolved in such an advanced way compared to all other species on the planet. Almost like a Higher Power. We might have got it from God, the Creator, the Universe, but somehow, we've got it.

Glinda the Good Witch said to Dorothy " You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself".

For me, that's what Bill Wilson meant.

We do surrender to a Higher Power, the one that's already within us. Working the 12 steps, or just one of them, confronting ourselves, will lead to success in sobriety.

We already have the power. We just have to believe it. And that, my friends, is sometimes harder than the science.

It's a Leap of Faith.

Love WBxx

P.S. The book is called "The Power of Habit" and its by Charles Duhigg.

Edit - suggestions for New Habits here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

If You Thought the Wine Witch was bad...

(I wrote this post after receiving a few nasty comments on my video blog. I am re-posting it here, because I think our sober space is awesome, it keeps me sane, and I consider you all friends)

If you thought the Wine Witch was bad....

......then you should meet up with a few Trolls.....
I started writing a sober blog on Day Three after I had quit Booze for good. At the time I had no idea that it would be for good, I just knew that I was afraid for my health and my marriage and terrified that I couldn't seem to escape the clutches of the Wine Witch.
I both loved and hated wine.

I was relieved everyday that I managed not to drink, and I mourned the loss of my beloved wine, like the passing of friend.
I was then, and at times, I still am, vulnerable and sensitive about my "problem" and the stigma that surrounds addiction, and let's be brutally clear here, my mental health issue.
So why write a blog?

In the beginning, I wrote for my own accountability. I needed a new routine. As Wine O'clock struck, I fled into the office and began to write. Some days the posts were really personal, some days I did a little research around the topic of alcohol, and dependency.
I also read Sober Blogs. I found a whole on-line sober world, of brave, funny, inspiring people, some of whom were literally fighting for their lives.
Not very long after I had started to write my blogs, I got some comments. Just short ones, like "Good for you, made it to Day Ten!", and "Great Post, keep it up" .  I began to get regular comments, people started to follow me, and before I knew it I had a circle of friends. People just like on here

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Grandpa, can I Borrow Your Crack Pipe?

I am going to be a Grandmother..again!

*Gasp* I hear....she's so young. 

I am actually a step-grandmother to two teenagers, and now one more on the way,( he/she is percolating nicely, and due next May).

I met the first two when I was dating their Grandpa...

" So, do we call you Grandma?" said the eldest
"No!" I said "I'm Grandpa's special friend..." And so Grandma I have remained ever since.

They're both basically good kids, but like all teenagers they have their less adorable moments. Like last summer, when the oldest boy decided to go camping for the weekend.

Camping by the river is a rite of passage for most teenagers in our part of world, they build a fire, maybe do a little fishing....but the main objective of the entire adventure is to drink alcohol away from the prying eyes of parents and the police.

Grandpa picked up our boy on Sunday morning.

One look at him, and I said......"You're hungover. What did you drink?"

 No answer.

"OK", I said, where did you get the alcohol?" ..bearing in mind that he's underage.

In thirty seconds he caved in to interrogation......and threw Grandpa under the bus..

My husband argued the point..."He's seventeen, he's going to drink anyway, this is better than him stealing it from the liquor cabinet, and it was only 6 ciders...."

Exasperated with my husband, (who's known in our family as "Uncle Buck") and determined to "teach a lesson" to my white faced, queasy Grandson, I gave him a bottle of water, and set him to work in the garden.

"If you're old enough to drink, you're old enough to deal with the hangover..."

It wasn't a happy day for any of us....

Grandson felt like shit.

Grandpa got shit from me for providing the booze.

And I felt like shit.......because I had my own hangover going on....

So, you might think, that's a fairly typical scenario right? Sure it is! Teenagers do this all the time.

But, just for kicks, let's run the scene again, but this time, let's change the substance....

Grandpa picks up Grandson....

Me : "Oh my God, you look like crap! What have you been taking...
Grandson (sullenly)....."Nothin'.."
Me "Oh've been smoking crack haven't you!
Grandson " Just a tiny bit...
Me "Where did you get it?

Grandson says nothing, but glances at Grandpa....

Me "Oh you've got to be kidding....YOU gave him the crack?"

Grandpa "Well, he was going to try it anyway, this way at least he gets the good shit, not the stuff laced with rat poison..."

Not quite the same is it?

There's no way that any decent parent or family member would provide their teenagers with illegal harmful addictive drugs, would they?

Yet, it's completely acceptable, even expected, that teenagers will experiment with alcohol.

First of all, it's hard to encourage teenagers away from alcohol, when we're drinking ourselves.
I was hardly in a position to "discipline" my Grandson when I had imbibed a bottle and half of "Grandma Juice" the night before and was nursing my own regular hangover.

Teenagers smell hypocrisy quicker than a shark senses blood, so that would have back fired, also regardless of how rebellious and anti-establishment most teenagers like to view themselves, they feel most comfortable doing what is acceptable and normal........

Lastly, we don't really worry about alcohol, do we? It's not like it's hard crack cocaine, or heroin...we all know about the horrors of drug addiction, the life of crime, the festering sores, the battle to get clean...

Yet, consider this....

In 2013, 55,000 people in the US died from addiction/overdose of crack cocaine, heroin, other illegal drug and prescription drugs ....combined

In the same year, 88,000 people died from alcoholism, PLUS another 11,000 people died in alcohol related driving instances.

In every year, about 18% of suicides are attributed to alcohol, alcoholics are 120 times more likely to commit suicide than any other sector of the community.....

Since I've been sober, last summer's "insignificant" incident has bothered me. A Lot.

Luckily, our Grandson is a lot smarter than his grandparent. He's into sports, healthy eating, and as far as we know, he doesn't drink.

It's tough, in a society that not only condones alcohol, it promotes it, and sobriety is seen as not normal. 

I am hoping, with my small sphere of influence, to change that.

At least, for this new grandchild, by the time he or she grows up, I won't have become


No, I'll be.....

"Sober - SuperCool - impossibly-young-looking-Grandma"

And hopefully, that will be the "new normal"

(I got all the stats from National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, and The National Institute of Drug Abuse...just so you know I didn't make it up).

If you're new here, and even if you're not....check out my video blog here...there's more new stuff every day.




Friday, 20 November 2015

Triggers and Toolboxes...

One piece of advice that I read when I first quit the booze...was "avoid Triggers", meaning that I should avoid anything that prompted me, or tempted me to drink...

I understood what the advice meant of course, and consequently, I didn't have a bottle of white chilling in the fridge for example...but the advice seemed pretty lame in the early days, as it was really hard to avoid "triggers"; like the clock ticking around to Five O'clock......Every Fucking Day!

A better strategy, I found, was to develop a kind of Sober Toolbox set about 'fixing" the triggers...

In my toolbox was (and still is) ...Fake Booze. This does go against much of the advice that I have read, apparently, for some people, fake booze can be a trigger in itself, but for me, it was a necessary part of my kit. I clung on to it like a hammer, ready to take a swing at the Wine Witch....

Together, with my fake wine/beer was a PROPER WINE GLASS/ BEER GLASS. Just because I have given up alcohol does not mean I have to drink out of a plastic beaker....I am not a child. 
Again, not a trigger for me, it made me feel normal.

It was hard to pick a tool to "fix" Wine O'clock......

I really needed a nail gun to pin the frickin' Witch against the wall when she came calling, but I chose ACTIVITY........during the summer, no weeds stood a chance in my garden, and I have read more novels this year, than in my entire adult life. I also tried adult colouring books (they worked quite well, until my brother-in-law (an actual artist) said gently..."I can give you some lessons if you like...)

It's hard to pick tools to fix other "triggers" like social events where everyone is drinking,....sometimes I use "Lying Through My Teeth", or "Brutal Honesty", depending on my mood....

Then there's the Trigger of Accomplishment........the times when you have completed an onerous task, and you get the  fleeting thought 'Oooh, I deserve wine" .......the "reward trigger".
For this one, I use CAKE...very effective!

You can pick and choose your own tools to go in your box, ( and it doesn't have to be a box, if you don't want, I saw some toolbelts in Home Depot the other day, they even have them in PINK!), but it makes good sense to have a variety of tools for different "fixes".

(I showed this post to my husband and he said (not helpfully)..." You should have duct tape to stick across your mouth if you feel like drinking..ha bloody ha....)

If you are new here, you might also like to see my post about the almost immediate improvements to your life when you quit the booze........You can Read it here

And if you like, I've dropped a new video into my new video blog about counting days.........

You can view it here  

(Warning- sometimes I wear makeup, sometimes not!)



Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Worry Wart.

My brother was talking to me about his daughter, my niece. I am sure she gets fed up with the amount of people who tell her that she "looks just like your Auntie Jackie..." and hopefully the poor girl will grow out of it.

"She is just like you" my brother said .."she worries about everything...".

What a horrible characteristic to pass on, I thought....and immediately began to worry that it was in some way my fault.

I worried about everything.

I worried about dying, about my English homework, about spiders in my bedroom, about forgetting my best friend's birthday, about those new jeans - are they 'cool" enough?, about not having a boyfriend, about not being invited to the party next weekend, about breaking rules....

I longed to be someone who didn't care.  I didn't belong to the A list, those beautiful girls with tanned legs, who knew instinctively how to put on makeup, and I didn't belong to the rebel bohemian girl gang, with their eyeliner and fuck you attitude. I was a neurotic ball of worry, bouncing around.....

Of course, when I grew up, I found the perfect antidote to the incessant monkey chatter in my head - booze! For awhile, the monkey shrieking was dulled down to white noise, drowned out by wine,  until 3 am in the morning, when  Radio Worry would kick in at full with a whole pile of peanuts for the mind monkeys to feed on.

I didn't worry about the Big Stuff. Because there wasn't any. No horrible tragedies, no intolerable circumstances, no reason at all, except the "what if..." scenarios that I concocted all by myself . How self absorbed!

After a while, drinking stopped helping. Because I worried about that too. And then I worried about giving up.

I worried more about giving up than I ever did about the actual drinking. I worried about people categorizing me with "actual alcoholics", I worried about the embarrassment of explaining that I had a "problem". I worried about how to behave at parties, what to say or do if I was offered a glass of wine, I worried about being boring.

And then, I stopped. I got tired of it. I got tired of second guessing myself. I got tired of navel gazing. I got tired of standing in my own way. I got tired of my own small bullshit. I spoke sternly to myself, the same way my mum did when I worried about people looking when I changed into my swimming costume on the beach.."just get on with it. Who cares who's looking?" 

I've started a video blog. And of course I have worried about the way I talk, look, and what I say. if I sound stupid. And, bizarrely, if I'm sober enough yet to help anyone. 

And then I thought..."just get on with it....."

I read a comment on my blog from Anne, who said "someone might see me and think, If Anne needed to quit, perhaps I do too"....and these wise words got me thinking....

Maybe, if someone sees me, they won't be looking at my hair....they'll think...."if she needed to quit, maybe I do too..." And maybe I can help someone not to worry as much as I did.

You can find my video blog at

And you can take a look around some other stuff I've been working on. I hope it helps. And please don't worry. I do enough for everyone.

WB xxx

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

What's Black and White and Blue all Over?

I love the clarity that sobriety brings. My life back in focus. The sharp, defining edges of decisions made, tasks completed, priorities set.
But with my sober clear- sightedness comes a new grey fuzzy area.

Nothing is black and white anymore.

I used to know what an addict is...

 the thin hollowed out, pock marked derelict on the government posters.

I used to know what an alcoholic is..

The bag lady drinking cheap cider hidden in a paper bag

I used to know how to react when someone is arrested for a DUI

How irresponsible.....

Now, the addict could be that guy in a suit in the line up at the bank, maybe (he was sniffing excessively).....

The alcoholic? That well dressed lady with two bottles of wine ( she spent a long time explaining about her dinner party to the check out girl)

The DUI?

Thank God I never got caught.....

( a penguin holding it's breath )

WB xx.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

I Used to Love Nostalgia....Back in the Old Days....

Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.
Don Draper.....Mad Men.

Visualize yourself with friends on a sunny summer afternoon. Three of you enjoy a chilled glass of've got so much to chat about, your families, your careers, and you re-live all those memories from when you were are college order another bottle...lets celebrate our friendship!

It's Christmas Day. All your family is around you! the kids have opened their presents, Hubby is carving the turkey, you all raise a glass of wine...Merry Christmas!

Ahhh, it's so beautiful, the sun sets over the vineyard, you bask in the warm Californian evening...a second honeymoon. You chink glasses, and drink to your love......So Romantic!

Nostalgia is a beautiful a benevolent "Ghost of Christmas Past"........How about a touch of "Harsh Reality?"

After your third class of bubbly your lips are loosened somewhat, and you reveal to one friend, that her best friend slept with her boyfriend at college. Unfortunately, her best friend happens to be the third friend sitting at the argument ensues, you gulp down another glass, and break the heel of your shoe as you hurriedly depart.......

Christmas Day. You are hungover from the night before, the kids were fighting because they had to wait for you to get up before they could open presents, the turkey is overdone, and you're hammered and passed out before the Queen's speech. Hubby has to clear up the kitchen and is pissed off....Merry Christmas... 

You drink a glass or three too many at the Winery, so any continuation of your romantic evening is out of the question....or was it? You can't even remember getting to bed......

Nostalgia. Big fat Liar........

 Every time I see my cat licking its asshole I think about my ex wife. But that’s how nostalgia works, right? We only remember the best of the available memories.” 
 Jarod Kintz, 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

My Satanic Sacrificial Ring....

Yay! Finally a New Hobby!

Just kidding, I haven't suddenly acquired an interest in Devil Worship. At ALL (seriously, it was a joke, if my blog has just appeared in some FBI social media monitoring thingy, I really am joking, just read on....please)

Actually, I am referring to my new Gazebo, which is currently a work in progress. (Sideways Rain has stopped construction - for an explanation of "Rain Categories" that we experience in the Pacific North West (PN Dub) see lovely Suburban Betty's Blog Here) 

You may recall that this summer, we sat around a pretend camp fire, because of the drought, and there was lots of drunken drama, which didn't involve me at all.

So, I casually mentioned to my husband that it would be cool to sit around a camp fire in the dark, but wasn't it a shame about the weather, blah blah and before I knew it, he was busy sketching out plans for a gazebo with a "chimney" so we could sit out around a camp fire in all weathers...

Because my husband seems to know everyone on the Island, and 'trades' his custom smoked fish with them, the actual construction cost is minimal. Which is nice.

A thought occurred to me as I looked at my Satanic Ring ( so named because it's 6ft to the middle from each post, posts are 6ft apart, and the beams will be 6ft 666...).....

When I picture myself sitting around the camp fire, under my Gazebo which will have sparkly lights all over it, maybe in the snow,  I see myself holding a steaming mug of Hot Chocolate.....I no longer picture myself with a wine glass in my hand....

I think I may have turned a corner.

Here is a picture of my Gazebo footings if there are any G Men still concerned. We certainly won't be sacrificing the Virgin Connie Swales.......just the facts boys....just the facts....

Monday, 9 November 2015

Six Months! Who'd have thunk it?

Not me.

On the 9th May 2015, I had been barely able to string 6 consecutive alcohol- free days together. Six months wasn't just inconceivable, it was completely out of my realm of thinking.

If you read many of the other blogs written by brave, witty inspiring people, all of them will tell you about the many benefits to health, joyous changes to their relationships, the ability to deal with daily problems that, when drinking, seemed insurmountable. The Sober Life.

Some ladies have dealt and are dealing with adversity - serious illness, divorce, bereavement, and they've shared it with us. Some of you, who choose not to blog or comment are facing these issues too, I'm sure, and we're all here for you.

I've read blogs, some desperate, about trying and trying again, not understanding why they cannot seem to escape that iron grip on their life....and we've all been there too. We know. Hang in there.

Every one of us deserves a cheer. A hug. A virtual "high five!"

Today I am not only six months without a drink, this is also my 100th blog post. And when I was thinking about what to write - it would be nice to impart some wisdom, right? - it occurred to me that the biggest change in my life was staring me right in the face.

Up until now, I have wandered through life, in and out of jobs, in and out of relationships, even in and out of continents, without any real purpose..

The only consistency I've really had in my life, was giving up when it all got a bit mundane, or a bit hard. And when it did, then I cast myself as the was never about me, it was always the other person, it was always the manager, or my partner, or or or.....

In fact writing 100 blogs may not seem like a huge achievement to anyone, but for me, it's BIG.

And I have no intention of stopping. I may write in a different genre, I may set up a website, there are a hundred possibilities popping into my head, but for the first time ever....I'm sticking with it.

I'm sticking with you guys. My new crowd. My tribe.

For me, getting sober started out because I feared for my health, I was overweight, I felt shitty the whole time, I was losing friendships, I was screwing up my marriage.....and you could be making the decision to change all those thing in your life too, and those are great reasons....and you can do it!

But somewhere along your sober journey, you'll get an "aha" moment, and you'll realize, like me, that it's so much more than you ever dreamed possible..and it was there in front of you the whole time.

I have no idea what will happen in the next six months. But I know it will be good. I'll be open for new ideas, new opportunities and new directions.

I'm looking forward to it. Why don't you join me?

Love, WB xx.



Sunday, 8 November 2015

Rain Stops Play....

Not really. If we put everything on hold until it stops raining, here on Vancouver Island, very little would be achieved.

I still intend to head out for a walk (new habit in the making) and then feel suitably deserving of cake. Or hot chocolate. Or a couple of hours with a book. Or all of the above.

I haven't really figured out what to do with the rest of my life, so I'm hoping inspiration will strike during my damp walk. (Now that someone has beaten me to designing fashionable PJ's for the Lady Executive).

I not worried. I'm open for opportunity.


WB xx

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Sometimes You just have to Kill the Baby.....

Or at least rearrange it's features.

Not a literal baby obviously.....just going through some changes, business wise.

Some things that I thought would work, haven't. And I discovered that I don't like doing some stuff, so I shall stop.
It's the joy and despair of being self employed.

I have nurtured this particular offspring, But it's not developing in quite the way I planned, and quite frankly, I'm not really feeling a mother's love anymore, so time for some drastic alterations.

When I was drinking.....and basically being "self -employed" was indistinguishable from "unemployed"....if anything didn't go as planned, it was just another handy excuse to say

"Fuck it, I'll have a drink"

And then, the following morning, I would trawl through the local job listings...which would inevitably lead to the following realisations:

1. I am Old.
2. I have very few marketable skills
3. I do not take direction
4. No jobs allow you to wear PJs.

I am, in fact, unemployable. So another handy excuse to say

"Fuck it, I'll have a drink"

These days, being unemployable is both liberating and challenging.

I have freedom and possibilities.

But I also have to pay the bills.

So instead of saying.....

"Fuck it, I'll have a drink"

I just toss the baby out with the bath water and get another baby. A better, prettier baby. That makes money.

WB xx

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Best Ideas were at the Bottom of the Bottle.......

........but unfortunately, I could never remember them......

It's another fallacy that we cling on to to rationalize our makes us more creative!

A kind of "Boozey Muse"

Ernest Hemingway, a famous Drunk and Author. Or a famous Author and a Drunk (depends on your perspective) is quoted often as saying " Write Drunk and Edit Sober"

He never actually said this, and according to his daughter, NEVER wrote while he was drunk. Apparently, he rose early, wrote in a very disciplined fashion for hours every morning, and then headed off to get shitfaced in the afternoon.

Being creative (as anyone who creates will tell you) requires dedication and perseverance. In fact the old adage "10% inspiration and 90% perspiration" does actually apply.

Of course, if you drink lots (like I used to) and always wanted to be creative (like I do), then the tendency is to cling on to the "Tortured Addict Artist" stereotype, as it serves you well.

And if you don't identify with Ernest Hemingway, there's a whole bunch to chose from... Hunter S Thompson, Dorothy Parker, Raymond Chandler, Dylan Thomas, Truman Capote.... the list of revered drunkard writers is seemingly endless......who must have created their best work under the influence....surely?

It's as ridiculous as saying "I drive much better after I've had a few......"

When I drank lots of wine, I truly believed (regularly) that I stumbled on the plot of a bestseller, invented ingenious products, and had grandiose business schemes........all fading away - if I even remembered them - in the wake of next morning's hangover.

This is my 97th blog posting. Approximately 50,000 words, the length of a short novel. I've also written about 40 business blogs, and several E-books for my business, nothing to set the literary world on fire - not even a spark - but a approximately 50,000 words, 40 business blogs and several E-books MORE than I ever wrote when I was drinking.

And those fabulous ideas? The ones at the bottom of the bottle?

I remember some with embarrassment, especially if they were accompanied by drunk declarations by text or on social media......all faintly ridiculous...

I don't wait around for inspiration to strike, I just write - even when I don't feel like it. I didn't feel much like typing away tonight, but something compelled me to sit down, and this blog came together as I started to type. It was inspired by the Hemingway quote (above) that I saw on Facebook this morning, and it just stayed with me, until I started to write....

The Boozy Muse was no more than the Wine Witch in disguise.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

And then we were hit by a Giant Pumpkin Asteroid.....

Or my Alternative Title for this post....."Life isn't a facebook meme....."

I am feeling quite restless. According to the Shamanic Monthly e-mail I get on the 1st of every month, which is supposed to guide me spiritually for the next 30 or so days ($19.99 gets you the accompanying daily audio), RESTLESS is the Theme for November.

Hence, I was not too worried about feeling restless....until I saw the news on the 31st October, (which no one else seems to have seen) when I learned that a giant asteroid (shaped seasonally like a pumpkin) was hurtling towards Earth, and would (hopefully) miss us by a narrow margin.

"Hmmm.." I thought..."That sucks..."

And second thought...

"What's the point of me being sober then? If I am to die like the dinosaurs? And why was this not mentioned in my Shamanic Monthly Newsletter? Would I have been notified if I had signed up for the audio?

I am restless because now that I am Sober.....I feel that I should be DOING something with my life....

I have been the classic underachiever for most of my life.

Could have gone to University and become a lawyer .....didn't ( as my mother reminds me at every fucking opportunity)

Could have stayed at my soul- less mind numbing job at the bank and reached the dizzy heights of "Manager" ......didn't (would DEFINITELY have died of alcoholism if I had done that)

Could have been a famous ballerina....didn't (failed my first dance exam when I was five)......and so on....

Until here I am, nearly 48 years old, and the two big accomplishments of my life (so far), are finding my lovely husband (having the good sense to marry him) and quitting booze.

I read so often about people who had a life changing experience...maybe a brush with death, maybe the loss of a loved one, and then they completely turned their life around and climbed Everest, or became President or something...

How many times have you seen a horrible tragedy on the news and thought to yourself....

"life is so short......I should do something with mine...."

And then the headlines go on to something else, and that fleeting thought was just that.....fleeting.

My facebook timeline is filled with "Inspirational Memes"......quotes on pretty backgrounds, intended to lift you up, and inspire you to great things...

"Life isn't a dress rehearsal!"
"Be All that you can be!"
"Live your Passion"

And most of us scroll by, or maybe "share' them, as if this tiny action, this sharing of the inspirational message is all you have to do....

A smart lady who runs the business group I'm in....posted in exasperation a few weeks ago, something like this..

"I glad you're all inspired, but inspiration is nothing without action...."

I probably "liked" the post and moved on, forgetting it until now, now that my Fate is completely dependent on the hurtling asteroid....

I guess what I am really trying to say, is that now I have finally climbed out of my wine soaked pit, I would like my Sober Life to actually mean something. So here is what I have resolved...

I will take Action.
My life will not be a Meme.
I will Accomplish Things.
I will Unsubscribe from Shamanic Monthly.

(providing, of course that we don't get struck by the hurtling pumpkin asteroid).