Welcome to Recovery! A Beginners Guide to Making It (This Time).

Fit Recovery

If you’ve already grown tired with the incessant self help commercials, the get fit fast diet, the drop weight with our exercise equipment barrage that begins about two minutes before the ball drops on the new year, but you’re nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of knitting grannies on rocking chairs because you’ve finally sworn off alcohol and drugs, fear not. Read on.

If you know someone who’s finally quit and they’re as described above, please send them the link to this post.

Now, with the perfunctory hoo-hah out of the way, let’s get right to the good stuff.

More recovery anniversaries begin on or about the first of the year than any other few weeks of the whole year. It’s an easy place to muster up the will and energy to finally swear off booze (and/or drugs). The problem is what comes next.

Most will last a…

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Do you know who I am?


No,not in the obnoxious, person standing in the queue kinda way but as in I could do with some help here.

Since finishing up my job 3 months ago I’ve come to realise how much I defined myself by what I did. I had a sort of interesting job where I met interesting people but the payoff was headmelt so I got out of there. It was only in the past few weeks when someone asked me “ What do you do? that I started  to get stuck. I went into some long winded blah about what I HAD done and I’m pretty sure they regretted asking me.


Then more recently after signing up for a triathlon I realised my running career is most likely over due to a long term back problem. UM convinced me that I could still train for it by swimming and biking. But yesterday I pretty much made up my mind that I really don’t want to race having only half heartedly trained. In fact I can’t imagine at this very moment doing a triathlon again. I have a swim coming up too but I’m cool with that as I love swimming. But I’m no longer a runner…or a triathlete( which was a bit of a stretch as I’ve only ever done two) Oh and I really need to change the tag line on the blog.


But suddenly I feel a bit lost, I guess at my age ( 49) a lot of people feel this way. It reminds me a lot of my 20’s when I was at home with the kids. When I did get the chance to socialise I felt I hadn’t anything really interesting to say. I realise this sounds a bit ungrateful but it really got to me yesterday. I picked up my iPad and thought “ Jesus, you even think you can write” and went to delete my blog. But part of me still thinks I’m entertaining ( the deluded part)

I guess it’s really about change and looking at the unknown as an exciting opportunity, taking risks and putting myself out there. I’m starting a course in a few weeks that I’m only really half invested in but I’ll give it a go. Meanwhile the only answer I can come up with is “ I’m a pretty average, fairly good natured woman who loves her family, Black and white films, vintage clothes, cycling, singing, taking photos,dancing ,reading, swimming and the odd cigarette ( thanks Cat, you made me rat myself on that one)It’s the bold child in me🙂

Me, wondering who I am…crack’d

Just want to end in this note…We had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with fellow blogger Cat Bradley when she and her lovely fella visited Dublin, what an absolutely wonderful pair, love you guys❤️

It’s the end of the world as we know it…and I feel fine.


Every now and then in sobriety you get one of those wonderful moments where something good you are doing for yourself reflects something rubbish that happened in your drinking life( I suspect there’s a word for this, in German probably) Answers on a postcard.

Myself and UM have just signed up for the rather worryingly named “World’s End Triathlon” in August. It’s fantastic to have something to work towards. It’s kind of difficult for me to train for nothing in particular 🙂 But I had a little smile to myself when I remembered an incident at the similarly named pub in Camden town, London .

I was about 19 and meeting up with some friends who had moved there. We drank at the airport, we drank on the plane( even charming the air hostesses into giving us extra drinks). We drank on the tube, we got off the tube early to go to the pub to drink. We got back on the tube…and drank. We got to the pub to meet our friends , no. I tell a lie. We stopped off at a pub on the way to the pub( no shit) THEN We got to the pub where I  climbed  onto a barstool right by the door and promptly fell off and out the door onto the street. Just lovely.

The funny thing is the name of the pub was the World’s  End just like the triathlon…as I said just one of those moments. Grateful today…and still slightly nervous about why it’s called The World’s End Triathlon.




Off now for a non training  related swim, take care S x

Repealing and celebrating the number 8.


First of all thanks to Dawn and Ceejay for nominating me for the mystery blogger award, sorry I haven’t gotten around to it yet but as you will understand, I’m sure, it’s been a busy old time. But I am extremely flattered.

The title here may be confusing if you don’t live on this little island of ours but last weekend Ireland voted to repeal the eighth amendment which was fantastic. Then secondly I celebrated 8 years sober. It was a good weekend. Strangely enough, and I mentioned this to my sponsor, it was the first time in a very long time that I thought about a drink.As in,really kind of thought about one. There was a lot of emotion in the air because of the subject matter of the eighth ( check it out on repealtheeighth) and I guess that made sense. But it was a fleeting thought and I guess if I didn’t think about alcohol on occasion it would mean I don’t have and issue with it and we know that ain’t true,

To celebrate my anniversary and take our minds off things while we waiting for the result of the referendum we visited the National Botanic Gardens. UM is a pretty good walking talking botanical expert while I like taking pictures…

As well as my anniversary in AA it was also my birthday…and to celebrate(ahem) I rode shotgun( and believe me at times one may have been thought of) while super duper speedy gadget legs UM ran the 120 kilometers of the Barrow way. There were tears, I won’t lie. On my birthday, when I should have been eating cake in bed( yes) I was lugging a big old hybrid over shitty tow path. But that was the first 10 k. I had a little word with myself and once I’d done that, the whole trip was AMAZING! But… or should I say BUTT. Mine wasn’t prepared for the bumpy ride…


But(t) UM was such an inspiration. Watching him push himself gave me a newfound admiration for him and It was confirmed what I already suspected, that his pigheadedness knows no bounds. The journey the second day was beautiful and I realised I hadn’t taken many photos so threw a few in just at the end.

So it’s been busy, but I guess the biggest thing that’s happened is I finished up in my job of 6 years. It’s been a big change but the right thing. So my options are open now. It’s exciting and a bit scary but as the promises say” Fear of people and financial insecurity will leave us” I’ll leave you with a picture of me with the best bunch of girls I’ve ever worked with, It was my first real job in sobriety and the support from this lot was unreal. Love ya Retro Dollies…


High Anxiety, great film, not so great in real life…


So Father, it’s been 2 months since my last post. That’s probably the only good memory I’ll take from the rather scary ritual of Catholic confession… the short term relief it gave. Not that I feel guilt for not writing on my rather insignificant WordPress blog . But NOT writing, like not running, biking or swimming is a good sign that I’m a bit” under the weather” Also my creativity, confidence and general mood is down. And a warning of what might be “ in the post”

This is an actual place …only in Dublin.

Negativity feeds negativity so today it stops…just for today is what I can manage, like the first step which I can apply to ANY part of my life thanks to nearly 8 years sobriety.  It’s been an incredibly emotional few weeks and it’s taken it’s toll. Without going into too much detail, other people in my life, one who I love very much and another that I’m related to by birth are struggling with alcohol. In the middle of this to stop myself feeling helpless I started to work with a newcomer…who went back out( not my shit but sad)  Then comes the anxiety, insomnia and back pain…ffs.

But I’m a fighter, up the meetings and stay useful… My Aunt dies, but I can’t go to the funeral because of a family member in active addiction and I’m full of fear, here comes the guilt I’m letting people down but I have to protect myself. Decs Da has a stroke. Now THAT I can deal with. I am pretty practical ( now that I’m sober!) But it’s taken it’s toll…I am bollixed…full of anxiety, self doubt and the critical head is in full on mode. Just for today I will do small things, I’ll post that birthday card to my goddaughter that’s a week late, I’ll go for a swim, I’ll visit my father in law in hospital, I’ll go to the doctor and try get another mri for my back. I might even eat at some stage…

This has been a bit of a moaning post but like sharing at a meeting I needed to be honest about where I’m at. I have a couple of days planned cycle wise next month. I’m riding shot gun on Unironed mans mental ultra run. A triathlon is planned for August and a big swim in October. And speaking of cycling, here’s a photo of my new bike…



For those of you who know me, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve gotten over the fact that it’s got a splash of pink on it.🙂 She’s really lovely and I’ve yet to take her out for a proper spin. The first one didn’t go so well, for various reasons, mostly fear based and resulted in me telling a pedestrian to go f** k herself. Not proud of that but I’m human… As we say in AA , I’ll end on this…


We’ve come a long, long way baby…

Taken many years ago…

Just a short post… not a big fan of Hallmark/Valentines day but I am a bit of a softy so taking it as a chance to look at what I have and where I COULD be. Thanks to a desicion I made nearly 8 years ago to stop drinking and get a program I’m here today, happy. If you’d told me back then I’d complete a couple of triathlons, run, swim and rediscover my absolute LOVE of cycling I’d have shook my hungover head at you.

Heres to my lovely husband and family( and the fellowship)and thanks D for my lovely gift and the new bike that goes with it.





Drinking dreams/mares


Ugh… the plan this morning was to go for a swim but I woke up so banjaxed I decided rest was needed. As well as a horrible night with my back I had a drinking dream. It was so vivid I felt hungover when I woke up.

For me this is a “ freebie” It saves me the grief of going back out. Even after a good few years sober I have to keep vigilant. This is why meetings are so important. As I was explaining to someone yesterday, it’s not that meetings magically stop you from drinking but identifying with people who are just struggling with everyday stuff, work relationships, relationships oh and did I mention relationships 🙂, that’s what gives us hope when we feel that we’ve reached a wall or are feeling “ flat”. The fact that we see how others in recovery can deal with major crap and not drink. I remember when I was drinking even an imaginary slight from someone was enough to send me reaching for the bottle(s).

January has been a fairly difficult month. Historically it’s not great for me and on top of that I’ve  been sick and not much running ( none) But I’ve had a few swims and it’s looking okay for me, hoping to do the Killary swim later in the year. They chuck you off a boat and you swim to shore. Also have just bought my first proper bike, a trek . Very exciting.


So heads up for February, fellowship and general fabulousness…leave you with a picture of me looking increasingly like my dog.


Starting the New Year with a bang, a cough and absolutely no running…

Yeah,yeah yeah. I know, nearly everyone you know had the flu over Christmas/New Year. This is not the beginning of a moanfest just stating facts and I wanted to get a blog in before January ended.


It was “ proper” sick. For the first time ever in my current job I took time off. It was a pretty quiet Christmas really apart from on the Friday after Christmas my daughter joined my husband onstage and sang 4 songs at his gig. Yes, my heart was bursting with pride. Note to self. If I’d been drinking this would have gone over my head #gratitudecheck

So  I’m gradually returning to normality. Back to work, back swimming,back blogging but no running just yet. I’ll be gentle with myself on that one, still have a pretty heavy wheeze going on. The constant taking of paracetamol is taking it’s toll though, I’ve got myself some pretty impressive dark circles under my eyes. On that note, it’s so important to check over the counter medication, some cough medicine has a very high percentage of alcohol in it. Not that I’m against medication when it’s needed,and to be honest if I’m going to relapse it won’t be on  night nurse…also I think after time in sobriety and rigorous honesty you know when you’re “acting the bollocks”with your recovery.



So a lot of time spent in bed reading and thinking…Jesus, the thinking. But I did get to read a lot of books and blogs. There was one post in particular from SoberinVegas that hit on something for me. I get moments in sobriety when I momentarily miss the “ bold me” The one that drank and smoked and didn’t ( appear) to give a shit. The tattooed, flame haired mad dancing crazy girl( to be fair I still tick a few of those boxes). Of course  I know this is all normal but SOMETIMES I feel like such a goodie 2 shoes! I mean what does that even mean? Society tells  me I need to be edgy…well actually try training for an triathlon, that’s pretty bad ass.


But I’d just like to end on this and throw it out there. I have lots of friends who are incredibly open about their sobriety and membership of AA. I think this is a good thing( I have to add here  that I have total respect for the right to remain anonymous , live and let live) I read in the comment section of another blog recently how AA “insist” on a God/Higher Power to stay sober. There are so many harmful misconceptions of the fellowship imho. The “anonymous “ part seems to arouse suspicion which is why I love when some Rock Star who has a “ cool” image comes out publicly as using the program. I know that may sound shallow but society is shallow. Wouldn’t it be great if sober was cool.

I’ll love yiz and leave yiz for now S x

p.s the “ bang” in the title refers to the sound of me falling on the bathroom floor after a particularly enthusiastic cough that put my sacrum out.

The sound of silence


It always makes my smile when I realise that there is a theme of some sort running through my life. For the past few weeks it’s been one that involves speaking, when to say something and when to shut your mouth and listen! Also noticing when I feel compelled to speak whether it’s because I think I’ve got something outrageously interesting or important to say or just to fill a           SILENCE.

Then there’s the noticing the self critical voice that tells me I have nothing to say and I’m full of shit( there have definitely been occasions) That’s a big one, it’s a mean one. And I didn’t pull it out of the air. Through working with a counselor I’ve really started to examine that one. She’s been telling me to find my voice. I thought this was hilarious as I never seem to stop “expressing “ myself. It’s only through working with her and truly understanding that it comes from never feeling heard or listened to and the constant chattering was (a) a very badly thought out way of trying to be understood and (b) an absolute fear of silence. Progress…at last.

So then there’s the filling the silence.



I’m not great at this one and I’m not the only one. I see it at meetings all the time. Again, I’m starting to understand what this is about, for me anyway. It’s part hating the awkward silence on behalf of other people ( I have no control over other people, places and things, note to self) and from a personal perspective, what that silence has meant in the past. Silence= what the fuck is going to happen next?

So it’s been about growth this month and very much also learning to listen. This is another theme that has come up. It’s seems to me that it’s SO important to almost everyone I know that they feel heard. It can be incredibly hurtful to share something with someone only to realise by the glazed look in their eye that they have not heard a word and are probably having a “ Homer” moment.

In other news, it’s Mo-vember this month. Where Tom Selleck is the honorary patron saint and my own husband is sporting his own moustache(hilariously comes up as moist ache in spellcheck) in aid of the men’s cancer charity. I have a confession here, I kind of dig it…shhhhh. As I can’t grow my own( no jokes) I ran the Mo run last Saturday in the Phoenix Park here in Dublin. A beautiful morning and a not so fast run but thats ok🙂 Plus there were cool medals…yes I am a child.



And to end the post a huge congrats to my super duper hubs who trained hard to get his amazing result in the Dublin Marathon, you rock honey, And also a shout out to fellow blogger Cat h Bradley who completed the New York marathon, you’re an inspiration. I’ll finish with a photo I took of the rather majestic deer that reside in our park who could not give one shit about awkward silences, love to yis all S x