‘..it is fun to have fun
but you have to know how.
I can hold up the cup
and the milk and the cake!
I can hold up these books!
and the fish on a rake!
I can hold the toy ship
and a little toy man!
and look! with my tail
I can hold a red fan!
I can fan with the fan
as I hop on the ball!
but that is not all.
oh, no.
that is not all…”

that is what the cat said…
then he fell on his head!
he came down with a bump
from up there on the ball.
and Sally and I,
we saw ALL the things fall!’

I used to have a great fellow feeling for The Cat in the Hat at this point, having deliberately crammed as many things as possible into my life and realising that they were all about to come crashing down around my feet preeeetttty soon.

despite being intensely miserable in my final period of drinking, I never dropped all the balls at once. I am well aware that this is more by chance than anything else. never having needed to do a run to A&E after 6pm, for example.

I was once told by a carer who looked after elderly people with dementia that what most often precipitates the eventual transfer of dementia patients into a care home is their being hospitalised with an injury. because that move is struggled against for so long as being the last resort.

which is pretty much what we do with the decision to get sober. getting sober BEFORE the DUI or losing your job or passing out in Sainsbury’s seems rare. because it is perceived as the absolute last resort when all other options have failed. because it is seen as so extreme and counter-cultural.

I am increasingly conscious of caring less what other people think of me as I get further away from my drinking days. I feel sad now that I have not talked more openly to true friends about why I have stopped drinking. instead I have offered a mish-mash of semi-true explanations to different people, none of which are the simple truths that

  • I was drinking too much
  • it made me unhappy and sick, physically and mentally
  • I stopped drinking and it was really hard
  • I feel so much better now I don’t drink, and I plan to stay stopped.

I do not discount the fact that my past obfuscating is part of the solution I have currently achieved. I have made it as easy as possible for myself to give up, by not putting myself into a socially awkward position. and being more honest, or to be more precise, the anticipation of having to be honest, might have made it feel impossible to achieve. those to whom I have deliberately lied include my elderly parents, one of my siblings, my children, and all but two of my friends. ah. so that would just be Mr P, one sibling, one in-law, and two friends that I have told the truth to, then? ahem. yes.

so while I do not regret anything that has been part of getting me to nine and a half months sober (bloody HELL!) I do perhaps feel ready to be more open with those I trust, particularly if they ask me about it directly. however as I have distanced myself from the majority of my more festively minded friends, the remainder are moderate drinkers who don’t get it, so won’t ask. so am doomed to be perpetually misunderstood teenager in corner of party. bugger.

I do not have to be a poster girl for sobriety. all I am called to do is to be grateful that I’ve managed to clamber off that damn ball and put down the fish on the rake.

79 days to go to one year.