Thursday, February 28, 2013

Donate Life

I had no idea until just right this minute that this week is DonateLife Week. It started last Sunday 24 February and goes through to Sunday 3 March so I'm getting in late with this post but organ donation is an issue that is better discussed late rather than never.

Organ donation is something that my family has talked about openly for as long as I can remember. I have memories of going through my mum's purse as a child and noticing that it had on her driver's license that she was an organ donor. Mum explained to me what it meant: That if she was to die in a car accident (or any other way) any organs that were still viable could be given to a person who needed them.

I don't recall ever feeling weird about it because I know, and have always known, that the wish of every member of my immediate family is to be an organ donor should they die.

What I do feel strange about is that everyone else doesn't necessarily feel the same. As an organ or tissue donor, one person could transform the lives of more than 10 people. If I was to die tomorrow it would be my honour to help someone else in need of a new heart, say. Or maybe my liver could help someone? I haven't had a drink in five years, this baby is fully restored and in great working order, or so say the doctors.

Now I know this is no laughing matter and I guess there are people out there with different beliefs to me and my family. The important thing though is to have that conversation with your people and find out what their wishes are in regards to organ donation.

If you want to register your wish to be an organ or tissue donor go to this link right here.

Make it official!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stilnox: My experience

That horrid sleep drug Stilnox is back in the media again after it came to light that the Australian men's Olympic swim team had used it to get high before competing in London last year.

What the f-word (as Noo would say)?

Stilnox is a horrible drug. I've had a fair bit of experience with hypnotic prescription medications such as the benzodiazpines Zanax, tempazepam, Valium and I even once took half a Rohypnol, but never did I feel more out of control as I did when I was on Stilnox.

Stilnox has been linked to up to 91 deaths in Australia
"including 31 poisonings and two falls from great heights involving abrupt or bizarre behaviour".

Don't get me wrong, it felt good at the time, but the next day I felt like shit. I couldn't move my limbs because they felt so heavy. So much so that I had to call in sick for work. I had only the vaguest recollection of the night before and when I checked the Stilnox box I discovered I'd taken four tablets, instead of one. That was the scary bit.

I was staying at my boyfriend's place at the time. I was supposed to just take one tablet and go to sleep but it must have felt really good and I swallowed another. I remember feeling like I was on a floating bed on the sea. I felt chilled out and relaxed and euphoric, kind of like being on ecstasy but without the speedy edge. I must have taken the other two not long after and floated around until I passed out. I was just lucky I was in a safe place.

I actually didn't take the drug to get high. I was prescribed it by my regular GP as a sleep aid for my first flight to London. In the week leading up to my departure I was anxious as hell. I was about to relocate to the other side of the world and I was leaving Australia for the first time in my adult life.

In 2003 when I had been prescribed Stilnox I'd never heard of it. I had a routine appointment with my doctor to get all my check ups done, like a pap smear and breast check, before heading off to the UK. I asked my doctor for some help to sleep on my 24 hour flight across the world. My doctor told me Stilnox was considered the better drug over tempazepam because it wasn't as addictive.

I'm pretty sure that advice has changed over the last decade as more research comes to light suggesting that Stilnox is not a safe drug. In this article from the Sydney Morning Herald the misunderstanding that Stilnox is the safer than benzos is discussed further.

When the time finally came for me to leave my family and friends and head overseas I had my trusty little pack of goodies in my bag for the flight: lip balm, moisturiser, magazines, and Stilnox. In the airport I was desperate not to cry. I was doing possibly the most scariest thing I'd ever done and my anxiety was through the roof.

As soon as I was seated on the aircraft and the seatbelt sign was turned off I proceeded to make my way through several Jack Daniels and dry. The aircraft was half empty which was a blessing as I was seated in economy. I had three seats to myself and I remember stretching my legs out across them, bourbon in hand, while watching the movies after having popped a Stilnox and waited for sleep to take over. I just wanted to close my eyes and wake up at Heathrow.

Just as was my previous experience I didn't fall asleep. I was careful on that first leg as I knew I had to disembark in Singapore and then reboard for the final stretch to London so I only took one pill. I drank a shitload though. Free booze, what can I say?

Back on board and I was determined to sleep the remaining 12 or however many hours it was until we arrived in London. Still alone in my aisle I continued to drink and pop pills. I vaguely remember sloshing bourbon all over myself and asking the crew for cloths to wipe myself down. I must have been a right sight.

Next thing I knew I was asking for yet another bourbon and dry when I was curtly told by the cabin crew that we were shortly to arrive at LHR and would I please take my seat for landing. But we were just in Singapore! We'd only just left, hadn't we? How could we possibly be flying through British airspace already?

Confused and bewildered I sat down. Looking out the window it was clear that it was in fact morning and I had arrived in the country that was to be my home for the next two years. Scary.

I have never taken Stilnox on a flight since or in any other situation and I never will again.

Now, back to those silly swimmers, what were they thinking? All those taxpayers dollars to send those kids over to London to compete for Olympic Gold and they spend their "bonding" time wasted on Stilnox and Red Bull. Not good, fellas. Not good.

Have you ever tried that evil drug? What was your experience? What do you think about our Aussie swim team living it large on prescription meds and energy drinks?

Hope you're all having a great weekend.


Friday, February 22, 2013

What about the high life?

Have you ever taken a close look at my blog's banner?

The subtitle to is "From the high life to parenthood via rock bottom".

I've written a lot about that filthy place called Rock Bottom and a lot about parenting but next to nil about the High Life.

Despite where it got me (ie on the slow train to Rock Bottom) I actually had a lot of fun while living the High Life before it all turned to shit. And believe it or not I miss it sometimes.

Me just before heading off to a music festival on New Years Day 2007

This morning Noo and I were driving around looking for a place to park the car in the inner west of Sydney because I was gagging for a good piccolo latte. While swearing my way around several blocks of Marrickville (Sydney's latest centre for good coffee) we were listening to my favourite radio station, Triple J.

Zan Rowe, who does mornings, had a couple of the fellas from The Cat Empire on the show talking about some of the all nighters they'd had and their top five favourite tunes to party on to. You can check out the podcast here if you want to listen to it. The Cat Empire absolutely rock!

Anyway, the show got me thinking about the all nighters I used to have. Boy, have I had a lot. In the almost four years I lived in London I would guess at least once a week I missed a night of sleep because I was out and on it. Or in and on it. At least once a week.

I guess I've never written about it here because I don't want to glorify drug taking and boozing. I also worry that I couldn't do the stories any justice if I didn't.

Those were heady days as the cliché goes. Debauched, risky, exciting, arousing, demented, exhilarating. An escape from reality that I don't get any more. There's a reason why people get addicted to the party life. When you're on a high, up all night, breaking all the rules it feels fucking fantastic.

In rehab they call it "dry drinking". Basically talking about past experiences of drinking and drugs can give a sense of euphoria with just the memory it. You're not allowed to talk about using while you're an inpatient. It's counter productive to getting sober.

I enjoy it. Not that I do it often but I can sit with my buddies I used to take drugs with and talk about our past nights out until the sun comes up. It makes me feel good. I get tingling body sensations as the memories shoot through my brain, travelling along the same neural pathways that used to be filled with alcohol, cocaine and ecstasy.

Just writing this post is having a mild affect on me. But, don't worry, I'm not gonna run out and try to score. For me those memories are just that. Ghosts of my past.

I don't yearn for drugs any more or for booze. I don't even crave cigarettes which is amazing. But I would never be tempted by any of it lest I get hooked once more.

There will need to be stories written one day. Perhaps I'll veil them loosely as fiction. Names will have to be changed to protect the guilty.

Until then I will just savour my fond memories alone.


PS. I just want to say thank you to all those who read and commented on my last post about my anxiety attack on the weekend. You have no idea how wonderful you all are and what relief you provided me with your acknowledgement of my blog and support for what I tried to express. A million times, thank you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Anxiety, you arsehole

Anxiety, you arsehole, you can go away now. You're not welcome here. You have never been welcome.

Yeah, you! I'm talking to you, Anxiety. You've lodged yourself in my head and on my chest and you're making it hard for me to breathe, to function.

Everything was going along so well and you had to come and crash my party. Again.

Why do you do that to me? Just when everything seems to be going along so well. I had plans, you fucker. I stood up and I declared this was my year and you took one look at me attempting to stand outside my comfort zone and you pushed me to the ground and said "get back in your box, bitch".

You first showed your ugly face again when I attempted to go back to work in an office environment, you know, to challenge myself. To stand up to you. Three days in and you beat me. Kicked me in the guts. Made me cry and stripped me of what self confidence I'd built up over the six months previous.

The very next day I took action against you. Rather than hide under the doona I marched on. I registered the name for the home business I'm setting up. I bought a domain name and paid for a ticket to the Australian VA Conference. I was winning. I thought I was anyway.

And then I hit a brick wall in my endeavours to meet a man. I wrote a post about my yearning for another child and the constant feelings of rejection and disappointment Internet dating had been causing me and that gave you power. The words I let spill out became food for the sleeping Anxiety monster within me. Yeah, I'm talking about you, Anxiety, you arsehole!

I knew you'd been hanging around quite close to the surface but I'd been ignoring you, hoping you'd piss off. You made it impossible for me to come here to write about what had been going on. The words scared me. That was until I wrote this post about nothing over the weekend in an attempt to shrug you off and clear the fog in my head.

I thought I was ok but then I started feeling that tightness I get just before a mini breakdown. I had a shower, letting the warm water rush over me, to cleanse the murkiness in my heart. I'm ok, I tried to convince myself. There's nothing to feel bad about.

Most of the family had gone for a walk and I was alone. I stepped out of the shower, grabbed my towel and clenched it up to my face. My chest was heaving now. The bottled up emotions were trying to escape. You had grown strong while I had exhausted myself in the battle to keep you away.

My breath caught in my throat and I started to cry. I couldn't stop. I fought the tears, gagging on my towel. I didn't want anyone to find me this way because I couldn't explain what was wrong. I just felt bad.

Standing up I looked in the mirror at you and made an internal scream asking for you to fuck off. I brushed my teeth, put my contacts on, went through the motions. I got dressed, packed our bags because it was time to head back to the city, and tried to focus on the doing rather than the thinking.

The family started to return from their walk and when my sister asked me how I was going I lied. "I'm fine", I replied. She's had enough on her plate lately and I didn't want to burden her with your visit to me again.

By the time my sister's family left and Noo was playing happily in the other room I was sitting with my parents contemplating clearing the lunch things when I blurted it out: "I'm not feeling well today!" and burst into tears all over again.

They know me so well. Your visits to me come regularly and they are often the ones to help me exorcise you, if only for a while. Thankfully you don't come nearly as often, or for as long as you used to, but still you tend to arrive in this rude, abrupt and disruptive way about every three to six months.

I was babbling through the tears to my parents trying to explain what I was feeling and why. But I didn't have any real answers, you are just present. As I looked over to these people who I love so much and who love me so much I noticed my dad was welling up too. It broke my heart seeing their pain as they watched mine.

Noo could hear me crying from the next room. He came in asking questions wanting to know if I was ok. Dad and I were wiping away our tears as we all tried to explain to my gorgeous little four year old that I was fine.

"Let's go back to the city, you'll be happy in the city", came Noo's solution to my problem. We had to laugh then.

Back home in the city

Forced to ignore you Anxiety I was able to push on, to get in the car and drive back down the Mountains to the city, our home. Of course you followed me. Sat right next to me in the car the whole way but you were silent as Noo slept on in the back and I focused on the Sunday afternoon traffic.

It has been two days since and I feel a little better but still bruised by the attack.

I just wish you'd leave me alone once and for all.

Anxiety, you arsehole.


Linking up with #teamIBOT at Essentially Jess

Sunday, February 17, 2013


3.34pm Friday 15 February 2013

Dear Reader

First off, you are awesome. Thanks for stopping by. But...

No need to read this post. Thanks again for clicking on my link and all but you can leave now. Raise my bounce rate, that's cool. I don't care about it anyway (oh yeah, Vanessa?). This is all just stream of consciousness stuff trying to break my writer's block. I'm sure it will be boring so don't bother hanging around. There are so many more interesting blogs you should be reading right now. Your time is precious, don't waste it here.

I don't know what has got into me but I'm stuck and it is driving me crazy. Since my post about dating last week I haven't been able to write a thing. Right now I'm sitting here, up in the Blue Mountains of Sydney, in a quiet room that has a window looking out onto the garden. My family is upstairs. My sister and brother in law are there with Noo while my mum is having a nap with my niece Mala. My dad is outside doing his outside jobs.

I'm free for a moment. Free to sit at my laptop and write.

I flick over to Evernote and scan my notebooks searching for an idea from the copious amounts of links I have saved and bullet points I have written, hoping for that spark that will ignite a word storm.

What is holding me back, I wonder? Usually I just sit here every couple of days and I write. I love writing but something has got in the way. Maybe a few things. I keep getting caught on words and my usually impeccable spelling skills are nowhere to be found.

I feel like my brain needs a wash. A psychic cleaning out. Something has muddied the waters of creativity in there. Something I heard or read somewhere? I don't know. Maybe someone said something to me that hurt my confidence. Usually when I am down this is the place I come to and the writing helps me process the shit I feel but I've been avoiding for a week.

I haven't been to bed much before 1am every night for a while. I wake at around 7.30 most days and my usual daily routine has been fairly unchanged. When I'm not looking after either Noo or Mala I'm in front of the laptop. Actually that's not quite true this week. My mum has been in town with us so I've been spending some time with her.

When I think about it I have been avoiding my laptop. I actually watched three movies this week (Two Days in New York, Silver Lining Playbook and Pitch Perfect). I hardly ever watch TV these days. Noo has become the committed little night owl staying up until 9.30 most nights which makes watching adult shows (I don't mean porn!) pretty difficult. It can be hard to write when Noo is still up but not that hard that I can't get a post out so what has been going on?

5.31pm Saturday 16 February 2013

Are you still reading?

Seriously, Alt-Tab over to somewhere else. I'm still babbling about nothing.

We are still up in the Mountains. Had a brief trip over to Katoomba today to...

Noo, the Valley, me and Mala - Blue Mountains, Sydney

12.24 am Sunday 17 February 2013

We've just had the funniest night up here. The neighbours came over for dinner and seriously we all laughed so hard we cried.

My sister, BIL, niece and Noo are all tucked up in their beds asleep. Mum and dad are beavering away upstairs doing the last of the cleaning up. Yo and I cleared the table through out the evening but they like to finish it all up in their own special way.

My parents are extraordinary hosts. With my mum in her 70s and my dad in his 60s they make an amazing team of home entertainers. Everything is done with the precision of seasoned caterers and event planners. Well, my mum ran her own catering company for 15 years so it isn't any wonder!

Recently they hosted 20 neighbours and friends at an Australia Day lunch here in their home. Three courses, with I don't know how many dishes per course, and they did the lot themselves. Some guests brought desserts and helped out a bit while they were here but basically mum and dad did the lot.

Seriously they are an amazing team. If you ever get invited to dinner, accept without delay. And bring good wine.

Right, I'm off to bed. We're driving back down the Mountain to civilisation tomorrow. I think someone is doing a pancake brunch in the morning before we go. I gotta get some sleep...

8.57am Sunday 17 February 2013

I've had two pieces of toast for breakfast, one honey, one jam and a cup of black coffee and five chocolates from mine and Noo's "Secret Stash" we have up here. I feel gross.

A friend of mine, who's kids' birthday party we went to a few weeks ago, tagged me in some professional photos she had taken at the soiree. I thought I was looking pretty good that day but going by the pictures on Facebook I look HUGE!

How do you feel about friends tagging you in ugly photos? Do you untag yourself to remove the offending photos off your profile? Or leave them there so you don't appear to be rude and overly self conscious?

Maybe it is just the wake up call I needed to stop fucking around stuffing my face with sugar and get serious about my first goal for 2013 which was to get on top of my health by losing 7kg.

Are you still here? You poor thing, listening to me prattle on.

Well, at least I got some words down. Hopefully this might get me out of my malaise.

If you have made it this far I hope you didn't fall asleep and bang your head on the keyboard!

I'll be back with better content soon. I hope.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Late 30s single white female wants man for relationship, sex, love and to make a family and all those other normal things that people want to share with someone special

Do you know what I've been thinking a lot about lately? Ok, yes I've been thinking about my five year soberversary coming up but there's also something else I've been thinking about. Yes I've also had work on my mind. And of course I am constantly thinking about my weight loss goals. Ugh! They nag at me constantly!

What I have been thinking about and what I want to write about right now is: I want another baby.

Really want one.

When my beautiful niece was born just over a year ago I really thought her arrival would sort of put me off the idea. Or at least quench the cluckiness. If you know what I mean.

Watching Yolanda and her husband suffer through the first year of their baby's life (as most parents usually do) was suppose to turn me off having another kid. But of course it didn't. That gorgeous child just awakened my ovaries making me as clucky as I've ever been.

Except for the worry that Mala's food allergies cause her parents that beautiful little girl is a pretty easy kid. And I didn't just watch from a distance while my sister was on maternity leave settling the baby, feeding her and all the other jobs that come with a new child. I was there helping out. Three days a week for six months and now twice a week I get to spend eight hours a day with her. It is bliss.

I absolutely love being Noo's mum and Mala's aunty but I want more. I want another child of my own. A brother or sister for Noo. He is four and I'm am nearly 40.

It is time.

There's only one thing missing.

A father. Where for art thou man?

I love being a sole parent to Noo but I don't think I can do it again for a second child. I'd really like to meet someone and go about the whole making babies thing the usual way: meet, fall in love, fall pregnant. I don't even care about marriage. A good relationship - yes. But I don't need a ring on my finger or the big wedding.

Like I wrote about last week in my Sober Guide to Dating, I've been 'out there' for the last 18 months. I did the numbers and I've met 10 different blokes in that time. There is currently one still on the 'maybe' list but none of the others have worked out.

I have heart and I know how to use it
Dating in so many ways is fun but on the other hand it can be demoralising. Meeting people via the Internet, while having its merits, is hard work. Trawling through the profiles of potential partners is frustrating as so many guys have been on there as long as I have. If I'm wondering what is wrong with them, they must be doing the same about me.

On this blog I always avoid talking about other people. I'm sure I sound totally self involved but this is my blog and these are my stories and I feel that it is not my place to discuss other people's lives. But I will mention abstractly that I know I'm not alone in this dating abyss.

I have many girlfriends who are in the same boat: 30s to 40s single and wanting to meet a nice guy to settle down with and have a family. Why the fuck is it so hard? We are awesome! We have so much to give! Where are all the good men in Sydney?

I can't help but constantly go over in my head what my faults are. Why has not a single man (except for one which I didn't care for enough in return) I have met and liked returned the feeling? What am I doing wrong? Do I play the dating game incorrectly? Is it because I am overweight? That I have a child? That I don't drink? Am I overbearing? Unattractive? Not smart enough? Too smart? Too opinionated? Is it because I don't work (even though I have an income)? Do I come across as too needy? Is it because I live part time with my parents? Am I too tall? Is it because I have tattoos?

Over and over again I wonder: What the fuck is wrong with me?

I also have to ask, where are all the good guys? The gentlemen? The men who know how to treat a woman? The confident blokes with interests outside their own careers?  The men with good taste in music and an opinion on politics? Why are so many guys I meet on diets? Almost every man on the dating site I am on 'works out at the gym 4-6 times a week' or at least says he does. I don't fucking care! I like a guy who cares about how he dresses and puts a bit of time into his appearance - a metro man - but seriously, dying out the grey in your hair? Women hate that shit.

I could just scream!

I just googled 'IVF for single women' and found this article from the Sydney Morning Herald last year that talks about single women in their 30s turning to sperm donors to have a baby. If I had plenty of money I'd do it. But it is still kinda sad. Why is this becoming so common? Why are my girlfriends single?

Despite my past and my baggage, I know I am a great person. In fact what I have been through in the past has made me who I am today. I am fun, attractive, interesting, intelligent, have great taste in music and I'm a fucking awesome mother. Yeah, I am not a size fucking zero, but is that all that matters? I have substance and heart. I'm kind and I'm generous and I'm a great cook.

I probably shouldn't even post this post. It is a brain dump. No thought has been given to where I wanted this to conclude. I just had to vent.

Should I publish?

Fuck it I will.


Monday, February 4, 2013

The BB top 10 benefits of living sober

As I my five year soberversary draws near I've been thinking a lot about the benefits of living sober. I keep asking myself if I miss drinking or not. Over and over again, in nearly every situation where alcohol is present, I realise I don't miss it all.

Why don't I miss having a glass of wine or a schooner of beer? There are just too many benefits to living sober.

Here are my top 10:

The top 10 benefits of living sober

1. Living sober means no hangovers! 

The first benefit to not drinking alcohol is not having suffered a hangover in nearly five years. Anyone who has had a night on the piss will know a hangover is a horrible disgusting feeling. You feel nauseous, headachey, dizzy, shakey, sweaty and just generally gross. Nobody in their right mind enjoys a hangover.

2. Living sober means spending less money!

Not drinking saves money. Did you know it is about $7 for a bottle of beer out in Sydney now? A glass of wine at a decent restaurant is $12! Have a couple of those a few times a week and bam! I probably would have spent enough money to pay to fill our fridge with fresh fruit, veg and meat for the week. Then add on top of that all the money I've saved on cab fares in the last five years. That's a fair bit of dosh!

3. Living sober means saving face!

When you're sober, you're not going to do things you might have done when drunk. Like falling over on your arse in public*. Or like kissing someone completely inappropriate from your team when out at work drinks**. Getting drunk impairs your judgement and can make you think you're invincible. Being drunk can make you lose self control and do and say stupid things.

Living sober means I still go for 'drinks' with friends but I don't wake up and cringe at the thought of what I got up to the night before.

4. Living sober means being safer on the road!

Did you know you are twice as likely to have a car crash if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.05? We've all seen the ads right? Drivers affected by grog cause more accidents on the road then any other factor. Going to a mate's BBQ on the other side of town is no problem for me because I've got my car, I can come and go as I please without the expense of a cab and without the risk of having an accident.

5. Living sober means staying safer on the streets!

OK, so even sober people walking around Kings Cross in Sydney or King Street in Melbourne can get king hit by a wanker pissed out of their brains. But if you're not out at an unfriendly hour walking from bar to bar you are less likely to become a victim of an assault. In 2011 40% of all reported assaults in Australia were alcohol related, according the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

I've been a victim of two assaults when I was drunk. One I was mugged by an arsehole who came at me from behind, late at night after I'd been drinking and my guard was down. The second was much more serious. I was drunk, my drink was spiked and I was sexually assaulted by an unknown person in an unknown place, for an unknown period of time. If I hadn't been drinking that night it never would have happened.

6. Living sober means looking (and feeling) younger!

Researchers in Italy have found that drinking too much booze leads to premature aging. When I gave up alcohol the first thing I really noticed was that my eyes looked clearer. My skin felt smoother and I got way less pimples and cold sores than I did when I was chugging back the beers. I am blessed with good genes (my mum looks at least 15 years younger than what she is) but I really do think the fact that I don't drink is why people regularly think I'm only about 30-32 years old rather than 38. I know that is only a matter of six to eight years but every year counts as I head towards the big four oh!

7. Living sober means being healthy and living longer!

There's more evidence to suggest that regularly drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol can lead to health risks. So living sober can mean I am less at risk for getting some cancers and, more obviously, cirrhosis of the liver. Factor in that I gave up smoking around the same time as cutting out the booze and I'm looking pretty good for a nice long innings in the game of life!

8. Living sober means I am a good role model for my son!

I'm very proud of the fact that my son has never seen me drunk and never will see me drunk. I also think it is great that he will never see me habitually have a drink at the end of every day. A parent's attitude and behaviour with alcohol in front of their kids can play a big part in how a child learns to manage the issue of drinking and alcohol in the future.

I've never seen either of my parents pissed but I have watched my dad habitually have a beer and/or a glass of wine or two almost every single night that I've lived at home. I don't blame my dad for my drinking becoming a problem for me but I think that habitually drinking every single day is not good for anyone and it is not a great example to set for kids. Living sober means this isn't even an issue for me!

9. Living sober means a clear heart and mind!

Being a long time sufferer of depression and anxiety alcohol has no place in my life. Living sober means I don't have the added depressant of grog on top of whatever other issues are going on with my brain chemistry. I love the clarity I now have that was so absent when I was a drinker.

The day after a night of drinking was often so soul destroying for me. The come down, the guilt, the embarrassment and the shame were too much to bare in the end. Living sober means I wake up every day without any of that.

10. Living sober keeps me connected to my friends and family! 

When I was a heavy drinker I often cancelled appointments with friends and family because I was either too hungover to get out of bed or I was still out at the pub getting pissed. The lies and the excuses and the bad behaviour got to be too much for some people and a number of friends dropped off along the way.

Living sober means I never have to text a friend in the morning and say I can't meet them for lunch because I'm lying in bed with a rotten hangover or I'm still dancing the day away in some seedy club.

So when I ask myself do I miss drinking?

I abso-fucking-lutely do NOT!

Once again I want to say good luck to all the febfasters giving up alcohol for just 28 days!

If you haven't signed up yet, I think you still can so just do it!

As an official blogger I'm proud to support febfast in 2013, a challenge and a tonic for all drinkers, to see if you can take a break from alcohol for 28 days this February.

febfast is aiming to raise $1m to help vulnerable families and teenagers tackle serious alcohol and drug issues. Let’s band together and make a change—not only in our own lives and for our own health—but also for those who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

Check out the febfast website here.


Disclaimer: I am working with febfast as an official blogger. I am not receiving any payment for any posts I might publish about febfast. I am participating because addiction is an issue I deal with every day and my sobriety is something I love and encourage any person to give it a go, even for just 28 days.

*I've done this too many times to count.
** Ditto. Eek!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kiss smart: The BB goals for 2013 - For the soul

Twenty thirteen is promising to be a big one here at Too keep myself in line I have started a blog series on my goals for the year.

I've named them KISS SMART goals to remind myself to Keep It Simple Stupid and to make sure my goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

One month into 2013 and already my goals are wavering. Without getting all negative about it I'm writing to get myself back on board the positivity train.

A couple of weeks ago I outlined my first goal:

Kiss smart goal number 1: Health Basically, I have pledged to lose 7kgs by 30 June. To do this I will give up sugar, eat whole foods and exercise more.

Why is it always so much easier said than done?

Because life happens. Because, as the old cliché says, old habits die hard. I want to assassinate those bad habits and replace them with good ones - healthy positive habits.

I had a major setback a couple of weeks ago: I attempted to go back to working in an office and fell flat on my face again. I hate that shit. That feeling of going backwards. It totally freaks me out when I feel great and then something sends me back to feeling bad. I run. Get the fuck outta there. Eat shit to feel better.

Ah, what?

Eat shit to feel better? What is that? Self sabotage for an instant high is what it is. It doesn't work Vanessa (talking to myself through my blog surely means I'm losing it)! I never has worked.

But I have a plan to turn this thing around. It includes writing more goals in order to help facilitate that healthy eating/moving goal.

This is a holistic plan. Bare with me.

Which brings me to...

2. For the soul

I think a lot of people get caught up in the doing and achieving part of goal setting. What about the goal of relaxation? We all need to give ourselves time to rest and relax and take a moment to just sit still and do something we enjoy just for fun.

To nurture my soul I intend to do the following:

a. Continue with fortnightly therapy sessions

Someone told me recently I should lessen my reliance on therapy. Well that person is a doofus. Therapy keeps me in check. Whenever I take extended periods of time away from my check ins with Shrink I feel lost and out of control. And even when I do go there and I'm feeling fine, I walk away feeling even more confident that everything is on track.

b. Read more

This is going to be hard this year as I have so much going on. I'm enrolled to do one subject this study period for uni so no doubt there will be a lot of academic research to be read.

I have a lot of books on my Kindle that I've purchased and have either started and not finished or have not had a chance to open. Reading is such a great way to unwind and escape, especially if it's fiction you're reading. So I'm going to make more of an effort to escape with a book.

Rather than go to bed with my phone scrolling through my Twitter feed into the early hours which, considering it is an election year, will no doubt cause all matter of anxiety, I'm going to escape to Westeros and follow the trials and tribulations of the Game of Thrones gang. The politics there might be just as blood thirsty but at least it is in a make believe land rather than in Canberra!

c. Time with friends and lovers

The hardest thing for me as a sole parent is finding time to see friends on my own, and if I am lucky, maybe even a lover.

Even though I know a few great babysitters, it is still an expensive night out if I have to pay someone to look after Noo while I hit the town or the sack (hahaha - get it?).

Noo's grandparents absolutely adore him but they have really busy social lives too. And they live over two hours drive away most of the week. The key here is booking in Nanna and Pa well in advance and then try to book in drinks with the girls or a date with a bloke on those nights my parents are in town.

I love my time with Noo. We get up to so much fun but I do really enjoy hanging out with adults and forgetting about parenthood for a couple of hours or more. I plan to make this more of a regular habit this year.

OK, checking in with the KISS SMART pledge:

Did I keep it simple?

Goal: Nurture my soul
How: Keep up fortnightly therapy sessions,
read more fiction, spend more time with friends and lovers

Are my goals smart? 

Specific: See above
Measurable: Anxiety levels will determine if this goal has been successful
Achievable: Totally
Relevant: Absolutely
Time-bound: Yes, to be measured on 30 June 2013

Two down five to go. Check back soon for the next goal to be set for 2013: Finances. Eeek!

How are your goals or resolutions going so far? Sticking to them or have you fallen off the wagon like I have?