so. am eight months sober today!
and the last month has been sooooooo s..l….o…….w.
slowbriety – a brilliant term from Lisa at Sober Identity (check her out here if you don’t know her!)
like the time between 30 and 90 days. when you want to shake your watch because it isn’t moving fast enough. because hell, shouldn’t you be feeling like a completely different person by now?
I have decided that you never suddenly feel like a completely different person. not when you lose your virginity, or leave school, or graduate, or get your first real job, or marry, or have kids (not necessarily in that order! except no.1 before no.6, obvs). because to feel like a different person would entail being able to simultaneously hold two states of being in your mind, and compare them.
and I am incapable of remembering my childrens’ current shoe sizes… let alone the bigger stuff.
so often we can only see that we have changed when we react to external stimuli in different ways. have posted previously about how my reaction to having a running injury changed when I got sober. and now when I am faced with life’s challenges I react in a way different to that in which I would previously have reacted. so I am different. which un-nerves me, sometimes. even though it is a difference I have struggled so hard to achieve.
had a deeply grim day recently, and did not feel a pull, as such, to drink. instead, I said to myself firmly, “I will go to bed sober tonight.” and I did. and I needed to say that to myself. to make a statement. because I am still not far away enough for it not to cross my mind.
but you know what Belle says about how when you start getting sober, the drinking you feels like the real you, and the sober you the fake you – and that eventually the sober you feels like the real you, and the drinking you the fraud, the impostor? well, in the last couple of weeks I think I am getting there. sober me feels real. solid. not a will o’the wisp, fragile thing, but the real deal.
the further I get away from drinking the more I realise that the decisions I made, both over how to act and how to feel, were more often than not made when I was under the influence of alcohol, whether anticipating my next drink, tipsy, drunk, or hungover.
they were not rational decisions. and rational sounds like such a dull, grey v-necked jumper sort of word.
“you’re being irrational” is an accusation routinely made by men of women (not by Mr P!). usually with an sneering implication of hormone based hysteria.
but rational is damn good. like a firm path under our feet: a straight Roman road taking us the quickest possible route to our destination.
which recalled this sinew-stiffening exhortation from the New Testament:
‘So, take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees! Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall, but become strong!’
marking out a straight if slow path now, for myself and for my family.
wishing the same for you, too. as ever, thanks for reading and for your support.