the word doesn’t matter.

the word doesn’t matter a bit. it’s just a word.

it’s just quicker than saying, “As my life is a million times better in every way if I don’t drink and I’m going to live for a hell of lot longer.” because that is a bit of a mouthful.

you can use the word about yourself, or not. whatever works for you.ย personally, I don’t describe myself as that to other people, whether in meetings, or conversation with acquaintances, or with people I love best in the world. I keep it as a quiet, certain, piece of knowledge in my own head. in the same way that I know I love my children and my husband. in the same way that I know that I can’t dance (though I do, anyway) but that I do make a damn good Victoria sponge. I know it about myself, now.

I knew it on the first day when I went to bed, terrified and determined, on my first night without a drink and without any prospect of a drink in my future. because who else finds that terrifying, except an alcoholic?

I knew when I told my husband, on the fifth day, which was a Friday. (of course. although people do stop drinking on other days than Monday, I know – but the calendarical inevitability of starting a new life on a new week had me in its thrall, as did so many other things). when I told him fake-casually that I was trying an experiment to not drink for a while, nothing more than that. and he shrugged and said, “Oh, ok…” and that was it??!! the poor bastard had probably heard a version too many times before. I’m definitely going to cut down, this time. no wine in the week, from now on…ouch.

I knew it in those early weeks which felt like living crouched naked under the brightest, most powerful of search lights, with klaxons going off in my head demanding a U turn, a return to old ways, old paths. it hurt me SO BADLY and I would have done anything, anything to stop the pain – but I didn’t. I kept going because people ahead of me told me, that if I did, the noise would stop. and I did keep going. and the noise DID STOP. (oh,ย if this is you, by the way – keep going. the noise WILL STOP. pass it on ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I knew it when the freedom began, the addiction to alcohol began to lift and I started to see a shift away from other, seemingly entrenched negative thought patterns. because alcohol can mask other problems so you can’t even see that they are there, until is is removed.

I knew it when I lived through some dark days and compared how I would have handled them if I had still been drinking, and shuddered at the thought. because there is no day so dark that alcohol cannot make it darker still.

I knew it when I began to realise that I am experiencing emotional ups and downs and learning to sail my boat and navigate my emotions without the aid of alcohol. because who else other than an alcoholic has to relearn that in their late forties?

yup. that would be me.

“my name is Primrose, and I am an asmylifeisamilliontimesbetterin everywayifIdon’tdrinkandI’mgoingtoliveforahelloflotlonger.”

13 days to go to one year (cripes!)