if you don’t know this phrase, it is one of Belle’s. whose voice is frequently heard in my head, thanks to my repeated listenings to podcasts. her voice is a vast improvement on Wolfie’s and the itty bitty shitty committee. and she is a very considerate lodger. she never leaves bicycles in the hall and her lemon bars are delicious. so I am quite happy for her to be there.
and yes, I did find this photo online and then decide to write a post about it 😉
why is/was it hard to give up alcohol for me?
I was thinking about this yesterday. the first obstacle, I think, is the fact that when you are drinking every day any decision you make is made while you have a hangover. you are physically suffering the immediate effects of drinking. for about the last three years of my drinking, every time I attempted to not drink for one day (which I did do on a fairly regular basis) or to moderate my drinking, it was like trying to run a marathon in leg irons – not impossible, but really, really hard and painful. getting to a day 1 is very difficult when you are hung over.
and so you get to a day 1. with your leg irons on, and all. (top tip: do NOT Google ‘woman in chains’. seriously.) and then you get the fun of physical withdrawal from alcohol. which again, is directly impeding your ability to make the right decision for yourself. like trying to go round Hampton Court Maze surrounded with a million men on stepladders yelling contrary directions. you try and listen to your internal voice, the one telling you what’s right for you, but it is so weak and unused to being listened to that you can barely hear it.
so then, if you have been persistent and brave and strong (by which I mean keeping on walking whatever happens however weak and crappy you feel) and haven’t listened to any of the siren voices telling you to turn back and give up and who do you think you are, loser, then, maybe, you get to the Funfair of Psychological Addiction. “Roll up, roll up! see the lady put her head in the jaws of the ‘But it’s Friday’ lion! Hold your breath as she swings on the trapeze a hundred feet above the arena, back and forth, back and forth. Will her partner catch her, support her, or will he say “you’re no fun when you don’t drink”? Gasp as she navigates an entire supermarket shop, adroitly dodging the bottles of cheap plonk placed at the end of every. fucking. aisle! Marvel as she grins inanely upon being repeatedly offered a glass of wine by the same waiter, repeating mechanically, “No, thanks!” (the ‘fuck the fuck right off and leave me alone you bastard’ is silent here.)
and then, suddenly, before you realise it is happening, the circus begins to pack up. the tents taken down in moments. the sorry caged animals back in their trailers. the spangles packed away. and the circus is off down the road to torment some other poor bugger. they have not gone far away yet, but the music is fading.
I am at, what, five months and a week, now? and I have been fighting really hard. it has taken a lot of energy and a hell of a lot of time. I struggle sometimes with how much time I spend in the sobersphere. how much is too much? well I used to devote say 5pm to 11pm every day to booze. so for the moment anything under 6 hours a day is fine 😉
I am a bit concerned that it is replacing booze as my go to compulsive behaviour of choice. the joys of the iPhone. a bit bored? quick, check WordPress… I would say I am now consciously devoting chunks of time to it – the early morning, another quick hit at lunchtime, and then the early evening. because when it comes down to it, you guys are my sober dialysis. I need you to boost my sober energy levels, clean out the bad thoughts, and to feel connected in ways that I had never imagined possible. you are my rainbow, guys – and I am so grateful.
Hugs to you all. have a happy Friday!