Saturday, 31 December 2016

Hope.

Wishing each and every one of you, a wonderful, hopeful, sober New Year...

Hope.

WB xx

Friday, 30 December 2016

Financial Sobriety

Ugh, money stuff. Debt, bills, payments - historically my relationship with money has been no better than my relationship with booze..

Financial Sobriety

WB xx

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Sober Ever After- Chapter One.

Sober Ever After is now available as an Audio Version

Here's Chapter One. (narrated by me. Meryl Streep was busy)

Sober Ever After - Chapter One

WB x

Friday, 23 December 2016

Here's One Item You Should Include on Your Vision Board for 2017..

Tis the Season for planning, goal setting, resolution making. If you are self employed, you will probably also be looking at your business targets for 2017.
Here's something you shouldn't overlook...

Here's One Item You Should Include on your Vision Board for 2017.

WB xx

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tis The Season....

Jingle Bells all the way.....but if you are not feeling the festive love yet, check out my new post, and maybe download my super-sparkly Guide to Hangover Free Hols with bells on!

Tis the Season

WB xx

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Fake News!

Fake News ! Donald Trump Won! - just kidding, that's real, but there's lots on social media that's not...

Fake News

WB x

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Why Don't You?...... Recharge Your Batteries...

I gt it. Winter is all about Carbs and the Couch.....but there must be a better way to navigate this season and protect our sobriety..

Why Don't You? Recharge Your Batteries.

WB x

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Controlling Our Choices

Sometimes we feel powerless. Can we overcome that?

Controlling our Choices

Here's an article I wrote this week for Henpicked, I'l love it (and so would Henpicked) if you would leave a comment, thx)

http://henpicked.net/is-that-extra-glass-of-wine-really-worth-it/

WB xx

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Moderation Debate

Let me be clear - I love being sober, and I don't want to moderate. BUT, I do think we shuold talk about it a bit more, instead of being fearful.

The Moderation Debate

WBxx

Monday, 10 October 2016

You're Disgusting.

Not often do I post twice in one day, but I couldn't let this doozy of an email get past me without a reply.

You're Disgusting

And my earlier post today is here,

Spiraling Out of Control

Phew, now I'm off to watch some telly with a cuppa.

WBxx

Is it All Spiraling Out of Control?

Like many Canadians, we rushed home to witness an event that we have absolutely no control over whatsoever....but we can't stop watching...

Is It All Spiraling Out of Control?

WB xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Friday, 9 September 2016

Friday, 2 September 2016

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

All the Others...

Watch out for "nuns" and "frolicking" in the same sentence in this post. Waited a long time to get those two words in a (relevant) sentence

All The Others

WB xx


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Hormones and The Hard Stuff - Guest Blog

If you need any further prodding to quit the booze, this might be it! A fantastic Guest Blog from the lovely Kathy Payne - Women's Natural Health & Fertility Coach.

Hormones and The Hard Stuff

WB xx

Friday, 12 August 2016

Friday, 29 July 2016

If I had a Time Machine..

What would I say to Younger Jackie? What can we do to make it easier for our young people to be sober and still 'cool"

If I had a Time Machine

WB xx

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Want to Save the Planet? Give Up Drinking Wine...

We all care about the environment right? Simply by giving up that bottle of Merlot, you've already made a huge positive impact on the planet..

Want to Save the Planet? Give Up Drinking Wine

WB xx

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Monday, 11 July 2016

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Monday, 13 June 2016

Drunk Driving - Time for a Radical Solution

Drunk driving is stupid. We can all agree on that. So why does it still happen, and how can we stop it? Apart from the obvious answer...

Drunk Driving - Time For a Radical Solution

WB

Friday, 20 May 2016

If it is to BE, it is up to ME...

This may sound a bit harsh, and this may be unpopular, but we ALL go through this to some degree and the sooner we admit it to ourselves, the better..

If it is to BE, it is up to ME

WB xx

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Send Your Thoughts and Prayers to Anne (Ainsobriety)

Fort MacMurray, Anne's home town in on fire today. Wildfires have spread very quickly, and the whole town is currently being evacuated.

So far there are no reports of any casualties, but many properties have been completely destroyed, including schools, gas stations and whole suburbs. The fire is not yet contained, but many fire crews are on the ground.

I emailed Anne earlier, before we were aware of the severity of the situation but clearly she has far more important things to do.

Anne is such an important member of our community, I know that you all will be sending positive thoughts and prayers her way.

If I hear anything further, I'll post it here,

Jackie.xx

PS. Apparently everyone is being evacuated to a Suncor Camp - they have room and infrastructure to cope with all the evacuees.

The Opposite of Addiction...

Turns out that the answer is very simple...

The Opposite of Addiction, 

WB xx

Friday, 29 April 2016

A Few Days "Unplugged"...

Heading off to Quadra Island for a family wedding and a few days "unplugged". I'm packing my notebook, my Tarot Cards and my camera...and er, a few changes of clothes.

This will be the first few days away for what seems like an eternity.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Me and my podcast will be back next week...completely recharged xx

WB xx

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Wine Shaped Hole

Filling the void that wine and drinking used to occupy is essential in the first fragile days of sobriety

Filling the Wine Shaped Hole

WB x

Friday, 22 April 2016

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Friday, 15 April 2016

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Is My Higher Power lurking in the Greenhouse?

I hope so!

Is My Higher Power lurking in the Greenhouse?

My podcast will be back tomorrow.....I seem to have got a croaky voice today...too much talking probably! xx

WB xx

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Upside of Addiction.

Sobriety isn't the Magical Land I thought it would be, and Addiction (in some ways) did have it's upside.

The Upside of Addiction.

Have a lovely sober Weekend,

WB xx

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Bending Spoons.

Anyone remember that guy who could bend spoons with his mind? Hands up who spent hours trying...or maybe that was just me...

Bending Spoons.

WB xx

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Car Camping and AA.

Only another ex-drinker can understand Magical Drunken Thinking....followed by Bizarre Drunken Behaviour...

Car Camping and AA

WBxx

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Monday, 28 March 2016

Breaking The Circuit..

What you can do about the constant loop of drinking, hating yourself, bargaining and then drinking..

The Circuit Breaker.

WB xx

P.S. When I re-read this post, after publishing, I noticed that the tone could be misconstrued as a bit harsh. That was not intended. xx

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Monday, 21 March 2016

Setting Healthy Boundaries

It's always been difficult for me to do this. But I've learnt that it is essential for my wellbeing and to protect my sobriety.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

WB xx

Tequila Will Mend a Broken Heart, Right?

Messages from the media.....that drive me mad...

Tequila Will Mend a Broken Heart, Right?

WB xxx

Monday, 14 March 2016

Fragile Sober Moments

There are still vulnerable moments, no matter how your mindset has changed, and no matter how far you are on your sober path..

Fragile Sober Moments

WBx

Monday, 7 March 2016

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Podcast..

I thought I would try something a bit different - get out of my comfort zone, so I started a podcast!

Here are this week's episodes (be gentle with me, hopefully I'll improve!)

Sober Sassy Life Podcast

When Boozing isn't Fun Anymore

The Big Secret about Alcoholics

Let's Make Sober Great Again!

Have a lovely sober weekend,

WB xx

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Back In the Clutches of the Wine Witch...-

Arrgghhhh....

Back In the Clutches of the Wine Witch, 


(Don't worry....I'm like Bobby in the shower, in "Dallas". You have to be a certain age to get that reference)


WBxx

Friday, 22 January 2016

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Wrong Side of the Road.

When I moved to Canada, I had to re-learn how to drive, and take another test.....that includes parallel parking....wtf!!

The Wrong Side of the Road

Sunday, 17 January 2016

On Any Given Weekend...

Some thing weird is happening around here...our weekends used to follow the same routine...

On Any Given Weekend

New Video Blog is up....

What Grandma used to say   ...Hint, - doesn't always make sense...

WB xx

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Stealing Time.

My birthday - totally sober! Yay!

Here are some musings about ...TIME.....

Stealing Time...

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Perils of Naked Holidays....

We have friends who have decided to go to a Nudist Colony for their annual trip to warmer climates this winter. After chatting with them on the phone, I said to my husband....

ME : "I couldn't go on holiday to a nudist colony. Too dangerous"

HUSBAND : " Dangerous? What on earth do you mean?"

Read the Rest Here.......The Perils of Naked Holidays

WB xx

Friday, 8 January 2016

I used to have FOMO, now I'm happy with JOMO...

Ok everyone. It seems silly to have two place on the interwebby, where I write. So I'm going to combine the two, over on my Website. Which is Wordpress, which I prefer.

But I will still post the link here. So sorry about the extra click. See you on the other side xx

I Used to Have FOMO, now I'm Happy with JOMO

WBxx

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Answer Is Staring Us In the Face....

"When was the last time you woke up and wished you had just one more drink the night before? I've never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you'll get through anything"

Meredith Bell.

I came across this quote and I felt like the blindingly obvious had just smacked me in the face - how could I not see this before?

I never, no not once, wished that I had slurped down one more glass of wine the night before. And for that matter, I have never wished that I had eaten one more slice of cake, or one more plate of junk food, or one more ice- cream.....

And that, my friends, is the answer.

We NEVER wish we had more of the stuff that's bad for us.....at least, after the event. The morning after, it's always regret that we feel

"OMG, wish that I had stopped drinking sooner"

"I sure wish that I hadn't eaten so much cake"

"I didn't need to eat that plate of fries..."

That's the DEFINITION of shit. Stuff that makes us feel bad afterwards.

Now let's look at the good stuff....

"I wish I had one more hour at the beach, it was so much fun"

"I wish that I could hug Grandma one more time"

"I wish I could spend one more day on holiday with my husband...."

See?

Bad stuff makes you feel bad and wish you hadn't done it.

Good stuff makes you feel good and wish you could do it more.

"Say this to yourself and you'll get through anything"

WBxx

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Blow in Her Face, She'll Follow You Anywhere....

Says an ad for Tipalet Cigarettes.

Gross.

Yet it wasn't in 1969. It was "alluring". Somehow suggesting that a faceful of cigarette smoke would loosen a girl's panties quicker than a Tom Jones hip swivel. (I'm old, OK?)

Smoking was sexy. Smoking was cool. Smoking was fun....

But that was then, before we knew that the big tobacco companies had lied to us, had tried (and succeeded) to get us hooked, and had made gazillions of dollars peddling their evil cancer sticks......

We're so much more sophisticated now. We don't fall for that bullshit anymore.....

And to a certain extent, we are.

As far as the harmful effects of alcohol are concerned, we DO know far more than the previous generation knew about tobacco. We are well aware of the dangers of drunk driving, drinking while pregnant, alcohol poisoning....most of us even know about the "safe" weekly drinking limits set by governments.

I knew all that. But I drank and drank and drank anyway.......

Why? Because it's normal. 

Everybody does it!

And somehow, we subconsciously convinced ourselves that there was safety in numbers. If we were all doing it, if it was normal, then all that health stuff must be wrong, right?

Well guess what? We did just fall for that bullshit again......

The alcohol industry hasn't misled us. They have actively participated in safety campaigns, made sure that they remind us to "enjoy responsibly", and they have refrained from putting out the "cheesy"ads that the tobacco companies pumped out half a decade ago.

We could argue that 'alcopops" were a cynical move to attract younger drinkers, that the industry has actively pursued the female market, and that argument would be correct.

But they've been far cleverer than the tobacco industry ever knew how to be.

They recruited us to sell their shit - and they didn't even pay us!

Most people drink because other people drink. I first started drinking wine in the afternoon because I had friends that did. I first started drinking wine rather than a cup of tea, when I got home from work, because everybody did that, right? Pulling out a bottle of wine at a kids birthday party was fine - we should have fun too....after the school run, after a business meeting, during a business meeting, at lunchtime, the afternoon, the evening..........we did it, BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE DID!!

This time, we can't shriek and blame big corporations for lying to us. We did it to ourselves!

Somehow, we have to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube.

If we did such a good job of convincing everyone around us that booze was "cool", then we can reverse that.

I don't mean by being 'evangelical" and smug about how wonderful a sober life is (although it is, and I must admit, I do sometime feel a bit smug), not by preaching and pushing it down everyone's throats...

Remember how annoying those reformed smokers were, when they banged on and on about how wonderful everything smelled and tasted? Didn't you just want to punch them?

No, not like that.

Lead by example. Enjoy every moment of your life. Do stuff.

Live Your Best Sober Life!!

And maybe some day, getting all drunky drunk will be as uncool as huffing your fag * smoke over everyone....

WBxx

* "fag" means cigarette in England, my American friends. Otherwise that sentence would be weird.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Why I'm Proud of My Husband......

We got some positive news today, about my husband's business venture. It's not set in stone yet, we don't have any paperwork yet (my husband isn't big on paperwork), but it's a step forward. A really good start to the New Year....

I am proud of my husband. He kept going with this venture, in the face of almost impossible odds. People doubted, people laughed, people down right disbelieved him and trust me, it's been a struggle sometimes, as cash flow dried up, and we sat looking at each other, wondering how long we could keep going.

Luckily for us, in among all the naysayers, were some extremely important cheerleaders. They know who they are. And we are truly grateful.

My husband is grateful too.

But there is one person who stands out. One person who doesn't really understand about the business, and who couldn't have contributed a dollar, even though she would have donated all of her money, if she had any.

So this morning, after we got two exciting calls, my husband phoned his mum.

And that there, is why I'm proud of him.

Not because he has this amazing ability to create products, not because of his determination, not because of his sense of humour in the face of adversity, but because of his gratitude and love for his mum.

You can tell the measure of a man by the way he treats his mother

My mother-in-law is very religious. Her "other" family is her church. She is devoted, to the point that she pays a tithe, even though she is not far off the poverty line herself.
There are some, my husband included, who regards this particular Church as a cult. And certainly, it would seem that my mother-in-law made some harsh parenting choices, as a result of her religious fervour.

She was a disciplinarian, and was certainly not afraid to use corporal punishment
She insisted that the kids all go to Church every Saturday
She disapproved of just about all "normal" teenage activities.
She was blind to the dark side of the Church, the injustices and the cruelty.

She was also married to an alcoholic (although my late father-in-law sobered up, later in life), and was often responsible for feeding and clothing of six kids with virtually zero income.

When I speak to her now, there is not a trace of bitterness towards her late husband, although his alcoholism left them in debt, and her in poverty when he died.
Her hatred is directed towards alcohol itself.

"I've seen what alcohol can do" she says..."It's evil and destructive"

She's not just talking about my late father-in-law. She witnessed violence and abuse fueled by booze in the community where she worked as a teacher.

She was very supportive when I told her I was quitting drinking.

"That's marvelous, you'll be so much happier. Alcohol never brought anyone any happiness"

My husband often says...'if it wasn't for mum, I would never achieved anything, because I've no idea where we would have ended up....."

His gratitude translates into practical help for her these days. When the business takes off (and I know it will), top of the "to-do" list is to make sure we can provide a comfortable lifestyle for her, for the rest of her life.

So would I still be proud of all my husband's achievements, if he didn't hold his mum in such high regard? If he didn't take care of her?

I don't know. I wouldn't have married him.



Monday, 4 January 2016

Identifying Your Tribe - Action Notes for the Newly Sober.

You have a shit load of....well, shit to think about when you first become sober.
  •  Strategies and activities to banish the Wine Witch at five o'clock,
  •  New shopping routes to buy NA beverages rather than the liquor store or the booze aisle,
  •  New sleep patterns
  • Strange "healthy" feelings from a newly hydrated body
  • No morning scramble to delete embarrassing social media posts from the night before
  • No faking knowledge about the new episode of Game of Thrones because you can't remember watching it...
Lots. Of. New. Shit.

But it's mostly good. In fact, as time goes on, it's the small things that start to make you feel bloody marvelous, and you start to believe that YES, this SOBER SHIT IS AWESOME!!

Until........PEOPLE....start to FUCK.IT.UP.

Yes, "people", all kinds of people in your life, that you thought you knew will start to behave in all kinds of bewildering ways, and if you're not careful, will have you second guessing all the hard work you have put into this new awesome lifestyle.

So to help you.....here is a brief guide, with ACTION NOTES....to help you navigate your way through the sea of false friends and assholes, and identify the your NEW LOVING SUPPORTIVE TRIBE......

"NORMAL" DRINKERS.

These are people that you know slightly, that previously you used to ignore. This is because when you used to offer them wine in the afternoon (to legitimize your own drinking) they used to say things like

"Wine? Gosh, what are we celebrating?" or
"Wine? No thanks, just tea for me"

They also used to do strange things like not finishing a glass of wine. Leaving a half-finished bottle of wine on the table. Spend their weekends doing "non-drinking activities" like hiking, or outdoor sports, or anything tended that compromise your drinking time...so you didn't take part, even when invited.

In short, these people CONFUSED THE CRAP out of you.

ACTION NOTES.
These people, over time will become part of your new tribe. At first they will be wary of you (because they are used to being ignored), but eventually, you'll be invited to all kinds of social events that will be fun. They won't make you feel uncomfortable because you're not drinking - because they rarely drink themselves!

SUPPORTIVE FRIENDS

These are your true friends that you abandoned because of their annoying habit of  Calling You On Your Bullshit.
Yes, the friends that used to say "I'm getting a bit worried about you, you texted me last night, were you drunk again?"
You ditched them, because they were FUNBUSTERS (or so you told yourself) and gradually they disappeared from your life, because you were rude, obnoxious, and self absorbed.

ACTION NOTES.
Start eating humble pie. Phone, text and email and APOLOGIZE for being a jerk. These people will be supportive and loving if you let them.
They will meet you for tea or coffee. They will check in and see how you are doing - they will be the CHEERLEADERS in your life, as you start to flourish and achieve things....without booze.


DRUNKEN IDIOTS

These people are basically annoying but harmless. They drink copious amounts, and say stuff to you like "Oh shit, are you still on the wagon?". But basically they don't care if you drink or don't drink. Because they are too drunk to give a shit.

ACTION NOTES
Basically do nothing. Just observe. That used to be you. Not pretty is it?

EVIL FREAKING ASSHOLES  (EFAs)

These people are stealthy. They come disguised as friends. At first they will feign concern "Oh poor you, do you really have to give up FOR GOOD?".
They will try to test you 
"Oh go on, just one won't hurt"
Then they will openly try to sabotage you......"Oh, you won't last....remember when you tried to give up chocolate, that only lasted a week, just have a drink for God's sake, don't be so fucking uptight, have some fun...."
These people have some power, IF YOU LET THEM....because they are often family members or people you regarded as friends. So it's hurtful.
There are many reasons why they behave this way:
  • You shine a light on their own dysfunctional drinking
  • You have stopped playing the "role" that they expect you to play
  • They suffer from JEALOUSY, and dragging you back down makes them feel better
  • THEY ARE JUST TOXIC ASSHOLES.
ACTION NOTES.
DO NOT try to explain yourself.  Do not try to "save" or "help" them. DO NOT play their games. Minimize CONTACT if they are family members, or better still ELIMINATE EFA's from your life COMPLETELY......

Very soon, you'll establish a new tribe. A new circle of positive people who love being sober and will help you love this life too. In fact, you've just started - welcome to Sober CyberWorld....



WB xx

Friday, 1 January 2016

My First Sober New Year in about 3 Decades....

Holy Cow! This is beyond awesome!

I thought I would share my New Year in pictures.....




Here is our finished gazebo with campfire. We managed to stay outside until about 10pm New Year's Eve, until our fronts were hot and out backsides were freezing....

Here is a little project that I finished yesterday - my Vision Board for 2016. I have never really attempted one seriously before, but it was fun, and I got to use glue and felt pens and scissors, and still feel grownup :)

Here is the Nanaimo River - we walked along the river today, completely hangover free, enjoying the glorious sunshine, a welcome break from the shitty rain.


It was a fitting start to a Sober New Year,

I hope yours was just as good,

love WBxx