Two Months Alcohol Free and Busy as the Proverbial Bee

Let’s get the self pitying stuff out the way first.  It’s 2.30 am, the clocks have gone back which means in England; damp, dull, grey little England, we will be consigned to our days getting dark around four in the afternoon.  It gets worse, much worse- I have a cold! Not the greatest tragedy ever to afflict a person, granted, but I hate colds and they make me feel sorry for myself. Also it’s my blog and if I want to moan about a cold I can. Oh and to compound the misery I over ate last night using the “feed a cold” excuse to eat in quick succession: scotch eggs with rhubarb chutney, crisps, chocolate, yoghurt and then more chocolate.  Now I’m up becasue I have an upset tummy. Life can be cruel sometimes!

Ok that’s the self pitying done with so now where am I in this Alcohol Free adventure?  8 weeks AF today.  That’s OK, pretty pleased with that and just two weeks away from breaking the 10 weeks I went without a drink earlier this year. Yesterday and Friday also represented the first weekend where I did not suffer the anxiety pangs and cravings which I had every time I got to Friday evening up until this current weekend.  That association seems to be slowy dissolving.

So progress is good and yet it has been quite a while since my last post.  I suppose the fact that this going without booze is getting slightly easier means slightly less motivation to blog and yet I have been wanting to sit down and write a post, see how my other boozeless, blogging buddies are doing. So what is going on?

The simple answer is that I have suddenly become very busy.  My days are getting filled with things to do; appointments, deadlines, correspondence. It has left me little time for this blogging  and it takes an upset stomach in the middle of the night to create the time and space to sit down and write.  The busyness is a direct result of giving up the booze. Being sober, knowing there will be no hangovers, having more energy has meant that I started to

Screenshot 2019-10-27 at 03.51.57.png

Oh look, Jim’s a busy bee! 

fill my time and now I think I may just

 

 

have overdone it, stretching and commiting myself a little bit too much.  But then that’s how I am. That’s how I used to drink; just drinking that little bit too much, insisting we open just one more bottle of wine.  Yep, slightly excessive but at least now the excess is in doing productive things, things that give my life meaning and purpose, the holy grails for those of us without faith.

One of the things I’m overdosing on is Spanish.  I use a site called Conversation Exchange

It’s brilliant for finding people who want to learn another language and you learn theirs. I’ve been chatting to one Spanish guy on Skype for 3 years now.  Once a week we chat for an hour; 30 minutes in English, 30 minutes in Spanish. We have become friends, we improve our language skills and it’s free.  With my extra time and energy I logged onto CE to see if I could find a second person to chat with.  Trouble is I hadn’t  logged onto the site for three years and logging on again meant I came up first when Spanish speakers were looking for potential English partners. Without thinking things through I was getting requests to chat and being someone who finds it hard to say no, I have now got two new language buddies and another one scheduled for Tuesday. Having chatted to the two new people, (a retired guy and a successful business woman) I can’t suddenly cut them off but it means 3 or 4 new time commitments each week.  I’ll see how it goes because having to speak Spanish is fairlydemanding and exhausting, I have to think and concentrate! At least my Spanish should improve and in reality what a nice bonus from going Alcohol Free.  I guess I shouldn’t moan, I should celebrate but it does mean less time for other things.

The other area where I am getting busy is my therapy work.  I use a site to get my leads and there seems to be a big upswing in people looking for therapists in my area.  I have a room set aside at home for this but I only usually like to see a couple of people a week but now I have 5 clients and they are all sticking with it.  That’s good as I love doing that work but it does involve assigning a lot of time to it.  I tend to spend as much time thinking about clients, making notes and reading around issues as I do actually seeing them so I am spending a lot of time focusing on these clients and their issues at the moment.  But I wouldn’t change this.  It’s what I love doing. Being Alcohol Free has also given me a new found enthusiasm for what I do. Talking to clients about the possibility of change knowing that you are engaging in a process of change yourself feels very empowering and tangible.  Change can happen, it’s possible, it’s not always easy but with support it can happen.  I know giving up the booze is not like trying to overcome anxiety or a lifetime of feeling inadequate but it is similar in terms of developing the motivation and understanding to make small steps in changing in thoughts, feelings and perspectives.  Those things can instigate and sustain change.

So there we have it.  Two months without booze and the bonus of more time and energy. Time to improve my Spanish and developing my therapy work(and I never got onto the music which I also spend more time on) . I mustn’t in all of this “busyness” neglect the blogging and reading others’ blogs because it really has helped and the support on here has been wonderful.  I must also make sure I  do not neglect my very supportive partner who is becoming increasingly intrigued about what my going boozeless is all about. In short I need to monitor how I use this increase in productive time and not overdo things. I need to leave some unscheduled time and not overfill my time like I did my wine glass! Moderation, ah, if only.

Jim x

18 thoughts on “Two Months Alcohol Free and Busy as the Proverbial Bee

  1. nomorebeer2019

    “Talking to clients about the possibility of change knowing that you are engaging in a process of change yourself feels very empowering and tangible” HEAR HEAR !! :). Embodying change when you are helping others create their own is the BEST quality, and then you know that what you’re telling them is TRUE. I think that somehow they can feel the power (of conviction?) behind your words even if you’re not speaking about your own life. I know that in hypnosis believing in what you say is crucial for the other to believe you 🙂 So glad you are filling your life with such productive activities, Jim! I’ve been meaning to get my Spanish back to where it was when I left high school (19 years ago lol), which used to be pretty much fluent. Now I probably sound like Spanish Tarzan (unable to conjugate verbs) ^^ … I might give “Conversation exchange” a go ! Thanks for the link 🙂 And yes, I hope you can manage to make some time for your partner amidst all this bubbling-busy-bee-business 🙂 Did going AF make you closer ? (Sorry if that’s too private !!!) Anyway, great to see you back on WP, I always love your posts and they make me laugh xoxoxo Anne PS. Scotch eggs are the beeeeeeest !!!

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Hi Anne scotch eggs are indeed the best. Wish I could make them myself with a runny yolk in the egg but such a hassle! My partner is sniffing round the whole AF thing and I think it may be time to come out the closet. She’s used to me being extreme but she still thinks I’m just laying off the booze for a while to lose weight. She is impressed that I’ve not had much to drink but if anything I think she misses me having a few and getting tipsy. I was never an aggressive person when drinking, if anything I got more soppy and lovey dovey. I shall have to do the big reveal soon and see which Jim she prefers. Good point about the hypnosis. I use it very sparingly now exactly for the reason you point out. I only use scripts and methods that I believe in, have worked on me and which don’t promise magical results. I still get people asking me to do hypnosis to stop smoking as if it’s a magic bullet that can be used regardless of motivation. I always refuse although I will use aversion therapy to help someone who is committed to stopping but needs reinforcement. Know anyone like that?😉 x

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      1. nomorebeer2019

        😉 hehehehe re. a smoker who needs reinforcement but is commited? No idea who you’re talking about 🙂 Good that you’re thinking about being open with your partner. I’m sure that she’ll be understanding, cause if you like her, she must be wonderful 🙂 xxx Anne

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      2. Jim Simmonds Post author

        She’ll be pleased I’m sure to know I’m intending to stop entirely. She never pressures me and in fact said I should have a bit of scotch with my lemsip last night. She can’t understand why I ever overindulged. Just have a glass of wine and then stop she would say, ah, so naive.🙄

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  2. sobrietytree

    Ah Jim, if we’d met in person in the old days we would have been good pals! Opening that next bottle of wine and possibly slamming out a few tunes with the geetar.

    What a fantastic, inspiring post, I loved it from its “it’s my blog, I can cry on it (and eat scotch eggs) if I want to” beginning, to its uplifting end. Just fabulous!!!

    You are indeed a busy bee, and btw thanks for mentioning that language site and your process with it! A great resource! I might mention it to some French friends around here who are keen on learning English. 👌

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Ah thanks for the kind comments Nadine. Yes the conversation exchange site is great. I’ve struck up a good friendship with one chap I’ve been chatting to for three years now. He even visited with his wife last year. Great way to learn or maintain your speaking skills. Unfortunately my French is non existent as I was always mucking about in French classes at school.

      How’s your guitar playing getting along?
      Jim x

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  3. Dana

    ¡Usted está haciendo tan bien! Qué suerte tengo de conocerte a través del mundo del blog. Mantener el buen trabajo. Now, pls know, I am not a fluent Spanish speaker. I was raised in So. California and speak what is called “Spanglish”. However, I can write in Spanish with the help of Google. 🙂 But back to you…great post! Love your viewpoint about what is happening to you during this change for the better. You are an inspiration to me. My best, dp

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Gracias. Voy a responder sin google a ver como puedo escribir en espanol? Gracias por (or is it para?) tu comentario. That’s enough of that , I like trying to speak Spanish, not so keen trying to write. Love to hear how you are getting on at the moment. Good I hope? Hasta pronto 🙂 Jim x

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  4. Untipsyteacher

    This sounds great! Except for the cold!
    Very cool stuff you are doing!
    In my wise old age, I have learned there isn’t a perfect balance to life!
    Sometimes it’s too busy, sometimes it’s not busy enough!
    xo
    Wendy

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      I’m with you on that Wendy and on balance I prefer busy to not busy. But I need to learn to enjoy days with nothing there, just being. Think that’s why I miss running.
      Jim x

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  5. Addy

    Hope you are over the worst of your cold now. There’s a lot of it about! Wow! I am impressed at just how busy you are, but as you know, I have long said it helps to keep your mind distracted from other things (you know what). I might try out that conversation website – my German is getting rusty and I might be tempted to learn Swahili or something else.

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Hi Addy, I’ve certainly got enough distractions and yes you should give that site a go. Funnily enough I need to brush up on my German too as I’m half German and feel awful when I go to see relatives and stumble over the language. Give it a go!
      Jim x

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      1. Addy

        Mein Vater war Deutscher und ich habe Germanistik in der Uni studiert. Ich sollte zweisprachig sein, bin aber leider nicht! Ich habe nicht viele Gelegenheiten die deutsche Sprache zu ueben.

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      2. Jim Simmonds Post author

        Well your German is certainly much better than mine! I had to look up a couple of those words. I did A level German but my problem was that I refused to speak German at home and growing up in the the 60s I didn’t want to acknowledge my German side. I loved going over to see relatives but was in denial back home even though my dad spoke fluent German. I regret it now as I should really be bilingual. Now when I see my cousins they all speak really good English so I’ve become a bit lazy. Maybe after cracking Spanish I’ll try and brush up on my German. My mum was from a little town near Düsseldorf. The German side of my family are also massive drinkers, looking back I can see where I got the excess from!

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