we do not see addiction for what it is, when it begins. we nurture the interloper in our nest and while our backs are turned it quietly pushes out all the other chicks. our families, our relationships, our careers – all pushed aside by the monstrous, insatiable cuckoo of alcohol.

and despite the fact that it has grown so large, and impractical, and no longer even looks like us: we continue desperately to feed it. because we believe it is part of us. that it is blood of our blood, bone of our bone.

but it is not. it is a parasite.

and then if our eyes are opened, we stop feeding it. and the cuckoo’s wrath and hunger is enormous. it flails and thrashes and squawks louder and more imperatively than ever:

“feed me. feed me. or I will die….”

and it is hard, so hard to close our ears to that call. to recognise that what we have raised and cherished and held close to ourselves for so long is in fact foreign to us. and we may falter and feed it again for a while. until the cuckoo shows itself in its true colours once more, and we see clearly again.

and the longer we do not feed it, the fainter its voice becomes. I am nine months sober today and my cuckoo is virtually silent. in her podcast yesterday Belle said something along the lines of:

“I thought the only way to quieten the voice in my head demanding booze was to drink – but in fact the only way to silence that voice is a prolonged period of sobriety.”

and she is right. Belle, you are wonderful and I owe you so, so much.

as my nine month treat I have decided to enter for an autumn half-marathon. it will fall a couple of weeks before my one year soberversary and the training will provide some welcome structure and focus in the next three months.

I was looking for an upbeat image to portray what running means to me, and found this brilliant one:

which is also why I am sober. not next year. this year. now.

I do love looking about the internet – the blog post that image came from is here – about a group of women doing the Dirty Girl mud run. all the photos on the post are great but the penultimate one is just fantastic.

I feel as if I’ve been on a mud run in the last nine months with all you guys. sober long timers, tenderfoots or even just thinking about getting sober. thanks so much for making even the tough spots fun!

92 days to go to one year….