FullSizeRender-15 I’ve been casting my mind back over the 500 days since 4 November 2013 (holy moly, 2013!) and here are some things that stand out for me:

  • signing up for, training for, and running my first ever half-marathon – and then another two, for good measure
  • feeling the prison of negative thought patterns begin to lift 
  • navigating some dark days and doing it all damn sober
  • building a fantastic support network of sober blogging friends and penpals, some of whom I have been privileged to meet in real life, which has done so much to unlock the cage of loneliness and shame that can keep us trapped in alcohol dependency
  • at around 300 days sober, starting to deal with my secondary demon, paperwork
  • celebrating my first year sober on a trip to Paris with Mr P: that utterly magical evening spent floating down the Seine on a dinner cruise, when I knew with complete and utter certainty that that experience could not be improved in any way by alcohol
  • the insights gained by a course of therapy which I didn’t even think I needed. ha!
  • most recently, becoming interested in meditation and starting to find out about the principles of Buddhism.

phew. that’s quite a list. and not of achievements, not of things ticked off a list of ways that I need to improve myself – but of ways in which I am growing and changing now I am no longer pickling my soul in alcohol. FullSizeRender-16 so, this silver key-ring is my 500 days reward to myself. the wording is taken from a quote in ‘How to Wake Up’ by Toni Bernhard, and refers to the Buddhist principle that there is no fixed self.

I find this concept immensely freeing… the idea that we as individuals are not born with a solid, inflexible identity, but that our true selves grow and flex throughout our lives. so if we are not a fixed self, then we cannot be broken – but we can heal. because when we get sober – we rewire our own brains. we are fundamentally altered in the most profound of ways.

it was only when I was trying to take photos for this post of the keyring that I recognised what an appropriate choice it was for a sober reward. because silver marks incredibly easily. it has surface scratches on it already which in no way detract from the beauty of the object. in fact as time goes on, as I carry it with me, the tiny scratches will form a patina which will be part of our mutually unfolding narrative.

so many thanks to you all for your support so far in the story. let’s see what happens next! Prim xx