10 things I do instead of drinking (meme illustrated special edition)

Sitting around with nothing to do is basically like asking to relapse. I have found that I need to fill my day as much as possible with things that make me feel productive and happy. I am lucky in that I work part time, so some of my time is taken up with that, but the rest of the day can at hard times feel pretty empty.

Here are some of the things I have been doing to keep busy:

1- Spending time with my family. Making bacon sandwiches for my husband. Baking brownies with my son.  Helping with homework. Hunting for the Elf on the shelf (ours is called Jeff.) The little things actually mean a lot to me, as it was these kind of things that I neglected when I was drinking. I still feel tense about messing up ‘normal’ family life, and I probably need to try and relax a bit rather than worrying if I am doing an OK job all the time. In fact, I know full well that no one does an amazing job all the time, so I will try and be kinder to myself.


2- I printed out some photos of us when we were happy, and put them in frames. We also ordered some wedding photos, which felt to me like an unspoken commitment on our part to make positive progress in our marriage.


3- I have been knitting. God I am crap at it, but so far I have made a green thing. It is meant to be a snood, so far it does not look like one! I will post a photograph when I am done.


4-I have been baking, and then distributing cake to basically everyone I know. I have discovered that in December edible glitter is permissible on all baked good, and it makes them look kinda pretty/festive. Jingle all the way and all that!


5- I have been cleaning and tidying a lot. I think this is partly from the guilt of what I did, but mostly me trying to win back the favor of my husband and family. This is actually a pretty daft strategy, as for one, my kids have yet to notice and I get all huffy and feel taken for granted. For two, my other half is better at cleaning than me, and I think he just redoes it all once I go to sleep. *rolls eyes*


6- Running. Badly. After three months off I am basically back to square one on my running journey. Still, I don’t mind going out in the cold and the dark, and so I am hoping to build my fitness and distance back up over the next few months. I have volunteered to be a Run Director at Park Run (I am too excited about the megaphone!) and I am growing my confidence to enter a virtual race. I probably need kicking up the backside to do this, so feel free to boss me about!


7- Now my hands have stopped shaking, applying eyeliner and nail varnish is an actual possibility without me looking like a KISS tribute act. I was going to work towards 1 month sober (which is today! TA DA!) and treat myself to a manicure,  to get pretty festive nails, but the old negative self esteem didn’t think I deserved it. Maybe I will do it for two months instead.


8- I have been watching *a lot* of crap on Netflix. Actually this is quite positive even though it doesn’t sound like it. It gives my busy brain a bit of down time, which can be a blessed relief. I can recommend OITNB.


9- I have been writing. (I know you knew that- but I am Queen of pointing out the obvious) I think about 4 people read what I write, but it is actually very therapeutic. Old me, pre-disaster zone me, used to write, and be OK at it. It still feels quite new that I am sober enough to actually write anything that makes sense. Go team!


10-I have started having nice long baths again, and actually enjoy and see the relevance of taking care of myself. Bubble bath is one of the best things on the actual planet, and no one can convince me otherwise.


I know. I have not done anything ground breaking. Perhaps I should have run off to join the peace corps, or started an anti-Brexit revolution or something.


Quite frankly I am feeling accomplished just getting through one day at a time, and taking pleasure in the small things that used to make my life enjoyable. Over all it is all the small things that add up to a life well lived, and that is something I want more than anything.


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