I will learn to love the skies I'm under

here I am. me. Primrose. it’s my day 180 today πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

and looking back over my blog it has become apparent that this path has gone from being about Not Drinking to be about Doing Life. which I very much did not anticipate when I started. I thought it would be like taking a toy away from a screaming toddler. that eventually I would stop crying, and forget about it, but that there would always be a chewed-giraffe shaped hole in my existence. but this is more like showing the toddler a whole shopΒ of new toys, and saying, “Here. Have these instead!” it would seem that the possibility of my life actually being enlarged, rather than detracted from, genuinely never occurred to me.

I have had a very few, very fleeting thoughts with coming up to this soberversary of “maybe I could drink moderately now?” but far fewer than around the 100 days.

At about 100 days I was having one of those conversations with myself. and I decided that, yes, I might be able to drink moderately now – in the same way that if I crossed a busy road blindfolded I might not be mown down by a car – but it isn’t worth the risk.

and now at six months sober I was revisiting that analogy (because you knowΒ how fond I am of Alice Analogy and her friends Milly Metaphor and Susie Simile, yes?)

and I am overwhelmingly, passionately grateful to find that the difference between three and six months is that now, on the whole, there is nothing I want on the other side of that road. and that is Time’s great gift to me.

so, what is my next big thing? well, I signed up for Belle’s 365 day challenge a few days ago, to reduce the chance of me falling through a crack between the sober floorboards.

NOT that sort of crack. honestly. soberversary high spirits can go too far πŸ™‚

I’ve been reading up online some writings by Terry Gorski (whom I came across via asecretplaceundertheivy, thank you so much!) in this articleΒ (well worth a read whatever stage you are at) he suggests that recovery from chemical dependence occurs at five levels:

  • abstinence
  • situational change
  • behaviour change
  • emotional change
  • personal belief change

this is like stripping off layers of wallpaper in an old house. our external behaviours change first, then you get down to the plasterwork of our feelings, and then finally to the brickwork of the core beliefs which supports the whole. I think that at six months I have being going through some of the changes in situation and behaviour, and I am now starting to identify and manage feelings and emotions, and to change self-defeating core beliefs about myself.

that feels like a pretty damn good next big thing to me.

and now we come to the next item on the agenda which is: “So, What Is Your 180 Day Treat, Primrose?” πŸ™‚

well, to be honest, when I was trying to decide what to give myself I was a bit stumped. I wanted something to reflect that I had gone through a fundamental, irrevocable change. and I’m not a tattoo kind of a gal. so I started thinking about other options. such as planting a tree… but what if it died because I didn’t take care of it? couldn’t handle the symbolism…

so in the end I decided to pass on the gift of fundamental life change to someone else, via a fantastic charity which provides wheelchairs to people in developing countries. I have bought someone like Oscar a wheelchair. that feels better than a weekend in a country house hotel. and let’s face it, I have enough sober jewellery πŸ˜‰ and I do hope this doesn’t sound like me boasting of how much I do for charidee….on a purely selfish note this idea has seen me through a couple of rocky points in the last few months, when a fuck-it moment was averted as I couldn’t let Oscar down, so thought I would pass it on in case it is useful to someone else.

the title of this post is the last line of the Mumford & Sons song ‘Hopeless Wanderer’. That album seems to have taken up permanent residence in my car as I charge along country lanes past billowing spring hedgerows. it includes the lines:

….’left a clouded mind and a heavy heart
but I was sure we could see a new start…

so when your hope’s on fire
but you know your desire
don’t hold a glass over the flame
don’t let your heart grow cold
I will call you by name
I will share your road…’

thank you so much my lovely, wise, funny and supportive soberverse friends for sharing this road with me. I’m really looking forward to finding out where it goes next!