going through some dark days here at Primrose Towers. casseroles on the doorstep. eye makeup a distant memory.

and I am so used to pouring my woes out on here that it feels odd not to be blogging about it. but it is too close to the bone. too personal. and because I feel like I am undergoing open-heart surgery without an anaesthetic it is quite understandable not to want to do so in the window at Woolworths. I don’t mean you reading this, obv. but the blooming robots following my blog. ugh.

but it also affects my sober letuscallit journey. so there is a place for it here. because it helps me to write it out and it might just help someone else too.

so, imagine that thing that you worry about happening. whatever it is. it could be something you could anticipate happening, or not. let’s call it The Thing. so if your husband does run off with that pixie faced primary school teacher with the billion dollar legs who always dresses as Peter Pan on World Book Day (grrrrrrrr) then remember my wise words:

there IS no big magnet.

what worried me about The Thing was anticipating that when it happened I would immediately feel an irresistible, unstoppable pull to drink, proportionate to the emotional pain caused by The Thing. like Wile E. Coyote and his big magnet. coming out of nowhere. not fightable.

that did not happen. there was no change in my underlying feelings about drinking. and that may be because The Thing wasn’t significant enough, or because I have enough sober time under my belt (eight and a half months now) to have some true perspective on drinking. but there was no huge pull to combat at a time when I am feeling incredibly low and vulnerable. enough to fight, here, so thank goodness.

you know your comebacks already.

there was not a pull to drink. there was a repeated voice saying, “You can make this pain go away. Just for one night.”

but that statement contains its own fallacy. because we know now that the pain will not go away. and that the pain and regret that would arise from drinking over The Thing would compound our misery a thousand fold. and so we Do Not Drink.

it’s a good time to take out the trash.

think I first heard this phrase on the West Wing, describing the possibility of burying bad news within other bad news.  so, if you have the urge to soberbomb a conversation, feel free, as it will be missed in the general emotional carnage.

“No, I gave up drinking ages ago, it just suits me better.”

transl: just move on, folks. there’s nothing to see here, fuck you very much.

you are stronger than you think. IF you don’t drink. 

because nine months ago I was dragging myself up in the morning to shower then being unable to make myself get dressed and crawling back naked into bed to cry, hungover and desperate. and this morning I was back from my run by 7am. only difference is losing the booze. just don’t drink, folks!

*post-edited to add – on re-reading that last line, which was meant to sound emphatic, sounds, um, complacent. smug. or as if I think that notdrinking is simple. which is pretty much the last thing it is. if I re-wrote that line it would say: ‘so – don’t drink. it may be the hardest thing you have ever done but with the right support you can do it, and it will be worth it.’*

getting sober is not the last major change that will take place in your life….

and getting sober can be a blueprint for other difficult changes. because the first thirty days will be like hell warmed up. and then over the next couple of months it will get easier. and then, going on transition theory, it may well get harder again. and over the first year you will knock all the firsts on the head. and then after the first year is over…the work really begins. which is, you know. fine.

…..but it is the change that enables you to cope with all the others.

being sober is my strength and my shield. I have my Christian faith, the love of a good man, and enormous support from family and friends, both in real life and online, for which I am hugely grateful.

but being truly present during a crisis is the biggest gift sobriety has given me. and that’s already a bloody long list of gifts.

I am still sober. still reading sober blogs. love you guys. thanks for everything. xxx