I found a beautiful image online which illustrates perfectly how I am feeling at eleven months sober. it’s by photographer Julie de Waroquier. it is part of a series entitled ‘Surreal Streets’, which she describes as follows:

‘In our society, our private and personal identities are built in public spaces, especially in the streets, theatres of our lives. In this series, I confronted the inner self of several characters to the public reality of the street.’

In the picture, a girl stands on tiptoe at the foot of a rope of sheets descending from a tall building on the corner of a European city street. she is still in shadow, looking upwards. your thought on seeing her is, “ah, she has escaped. climbed down at great risk to herself because she knew she had to get away from what was imprisoning her.”

but then you notice: she is still clutching the rope of sheets. looking back to where she came from. she is dressed in thin clothes, unsuitable for the public eye and providing little armour against the weather. she is still looking back up. perhaps, even now, she could return to her captivity, to the safety of the confinement that is all that she has known?

the sunlight is only a few feet away, behind her. she needs to take a few more steps, away from her links to the past, and walk into the warmth and promise of a golden future.

the roads lead away around a corner. a road sign points down one of them – should she take it, or should she take the other road? choices to be made in the new dawn, when she is unsure of what direction she should go.

a lot of this for me is about the looming anniversary of one year. it has become a mental threshold for me of having reached a milestone, done a certain extent of work, and needing to get to that point before I can let go of the rope that binds me to the past and truly walk away.

thanks, as ever, for your support and friendship on my Great Escape. I appreciate it so much.

29 days to go to one year.

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