So half-term is almost over, and it has been an action packed one for me and my family!
A while ago I shared a post titled A Sliding Doors Weekend…..which basically was about life being so different for me after kicking the booze. And this half term has certainly been a “sliding doors” kind of week!
We started the half term at the beautiful Whinfell Center Parcs in the Lake District. I think holidays are a time when I definitely see a big difference in myself now that I am sober. We try to visit Center Parcs every year since we’ve had children, it’s just somewhere that we all love. Now the only time that I haven’t drunk on a Center Parcs holiday was when I was pregnant with my second daughter.
So for me normally it’s typical “holiday” mode drinking! Starting as soon as I get there to “start” the holiday off with wine at lunch, then a few beers in the pool, followed by wine whilst getting ready at the lodge and into the evening whether we are going in or out for tea. Needless to say I have had some horrendous hangovers whist I have been there, and normally would be counting down to a decent hour that I could have a drink to feel better.
The last two times I have been I have been sober and I have definitely noticed the difference. Take away the alcohol and you really get a feel for what Center Parcs is all about! I have had a weekend of feeling full of energy, we did so much more and seemed to pack our days full. I woke up every morning feeling raring to go, compared to how I used to sit trying to stomach breakfast, watching people run past on an early morning run and just not getting how people did that???? And now, that WAS me, early morning runs and feeling fresh after a fab nights sleep after falling into bed physically, exhausted. And when we came home I felt recharged, still tired after a full on weekend, but a weekend full of life not full of wine!
For the rest of the week we have been on bike rides, baking, pumpkin carving (obviously!), had dvd nights with home-made popcorn, been to Liverpool for a shopping trip, plus I had a girls night out on Friday.
Before I stopped drinking I still loved the time spent with my girls but drinking would slowly creep in, taking my focus away from them. For example I would want to get them to bed so I could ‘chillout’ and have a bottle of wine, I wouldn’t have the patience to sit through a dvd or make popcorn. I would make the most of not having to get up for the school run and drink every night, leaving me feeling totally rubbish the next day. We still did things together and went to places but my hangover anxiety would creep in and we wouldn’t venture very far!
On top of the drinking I would eat rubbish ALL week and just forget any ideas of exercise. Now this week yes I have had some lovely treat food (Café rouge thankyou for the best donuts with dark chocolate dipping sauce EVER!) and I have purposely had some rest days to give my body a chance to recharge, but I have also been active on walks, bike rides etc to balance it out.
People think that by stopping drinking that you are giving something up and missing out. Personally I feel (and I hope I am showing) that this isn’t the case at all! My life and especially holidays and times together with the family, have become even richer and fulfilled. I am getting more out of our time together (and with my eldest being a tween I am not sure how many more holidays she will want to spend with me!).
The thought of sober holidays can make you feel anxious and worried. Holidays are a time when we just know we will be drinking more, after all we ‘deserve’ it don’t we??? On average we drink three times more than normal when we are on holiday! That’s the norm, its just what we do isn’t it?
But ask yourself – was your last holiday a time that you recharged your batteries, looked after yourself, tried something new? Or was it just like all the other holidays, eating and drinking to excess, coming home in need of a holiday?
It’s also about what happens after the time off, when life returns back to normal and school and work resume. For me that used to be the worst! The horrendous anxiety and fear that I was going back to some sort of structure and early mornings again. Feeling drained but trying to plan to exercise and lose the weight I had gained over the week, attempting to detox my body. On top of that I am not one of these parents who look forward to the kids going back to school, (there is nothing at all wrong with being like that) it’s just that as I work from home it all goes very quiet when they go back and I miss having them around. So true to form I would be drinking wine as a last chance to make myself feel better!
So yes, I may feel a little sad that normality resumes tomorrow, but I am also feeling positive and refreshed ready to face the week ahead. We have had a fab week and made some amazing memories for my little family, and I am now ready for the hectic countdown to Christmas!
Have you got a holiday coming up? Or have you just had your first sober half term if you’re doing sober October, how did it go? Any sober survival tactics that you can share?
Wishing you all a fabulous hangover free week ahead!