I used to love Star Trek but am by no means a Trekkie now. dear sweet Lord, the number of Trekkie websites I came across while looking for pictures…
one of the bits I remember most fondly is the part at the end of each episode where Kirk settles back into his chair and issues the ‘warp speed’ order. it was a sign that order had been restored to the Universe, all aliens had been either despatched or thoroughly kissed, and that now the adventure was over, the Starship Enterprise would cruise on its way, until next time.
am in ‘warp speed’ mode at the moment. twenty months sober yesterday and over a few recent humps, I think. btw this looks like it might be a long post so settle down into your own Captain’s chair with a cup of tea!
I’ve been reading some marvellous posts in the last few months about what it’s like to be at this stage of sobriety. since one of this blog’s many functions is as a scrap book, here are extracts from just a few:
Almost Two Years by Amy at sober-bia:
I discovered something amazing: I was really good at being sober. Being good at it didn’t mean it wasn’t hard, sometimes heartbreakingly so, but I keep practicing and so I keep getting better and better. Being sober makes my life livable. It makes it so I could deal with the things that happen on a daily basis that threaten my sanity. I’ve learned to recognize when I need a minute or a weekend to hibernate and shake myself back out. It’s given me the patience and courage to rebuild my relationship with my husband and my parents. It’s taught me who I was, who I really am, and then it taught me to be just fine with that. It gave me my love story of a life time. Mine + Me.
So this morning I am sitting at the kitchen table, listening to the hum of the dishwasher. It’s spelling bee time again. My oldest will be ten (ten!) in ten days. We all had scrambled eggs and pears this morning, argued about crazy eights cards and no one wanted to put their shoes on. My life has gone on even though at first I thought I could never ever ever make it without wine. I have made it and put two years of consistent sobriety together on my own. I have something I only dreamed of: an alive life. I am what I never thought I was: capable. Honest. Sober.
Development of a Sober Infrastructure by Rachel at soberisthenewrachelblack:
Rachel runs through a list of all the ways in which being sober has ‘consumed and infiltrated every aspect of her life’ and then says:
‘All of a sudden it seemed that my whole life was set up and around not drinking. It just no longer fit in and it was certainly not worth all the effort it would take to shoehorn back in.
To begin to drink again would be as big a change now, as giving up was then.’
Most recently, Jen at The Soberist wrote in A New Story:
‘Quitting was a huge leap of faith, but there was some sort of inner knowledge, an intuition, telling me that there was more for me if I stopped sabotaging myself. Now that I am creeping slowly upon two years of continuous sobriety, I am seeing more and more of what that might be. The universe is a mysterious place, and my new story leaves plenty of room for wonderful surprises. It’s not all perfection, of course, life is hard sometimes sober or not, but I am so much more open to my truth than I once was. I am becoming more and more aligned with my values and creating a life that reflects that. It just keeps getting richer and deeper. I am excited about what is in store for me, while constantly working to be present, grateful, and authentic in the moment. Not easy, but so much easier than it was at first.’
These, and other thought-provoking posts from other bloggers at the one to two years stage of sobriety, have really started me thinking.
so – what purposes is sobriety serving in my life?
because sobriety, by its very nature, is still a decision every day, whether conscious or unconscious. and the clarity that sobriety has given me not only enables me, but prompts me, to turn it over, curiously, to check that it is still serving me, in the same way that I now examine other aspects of my behaviour. as I’ve said before on here, every behaviour has a purpose. and as it’s all up for grabs, kids – then I want to be sure that I’m deciding to be sober for the right reasons.
I’ve decided to break this topic down into three posts… the second one will examine the positive purposes that sobriety has in my life. nothing too controversial there, I hope. in the third one – and this is where it gets a bit tricky – I’ll look at the negative purposes. because there are some, you know. and – spoiler alert – my conclusion is that I need to stay sober. so in terms of triggeriness I hope that won’t cause anyone any problems. but if you have any, any inkling that reading a post about the downsides of sobriety might give you a wobble, please, please don’t read part 3, okay?!
what I’m trying to do, I think, in this process is to reduce my own uncertainty about my choice to be sober. I’ve been doing some reading around about decision making and uncertainty. there’s an interesting (long) paper here by Michael Smithson, who is a Professor in the Psychology Department at the Australian National University. he gives some interesting ways of thinking about uncertainty:
‘In closing, let us return to two popular metaphors mentioned earlier, both invoking the notion of knowledge as covering terrain, but with nearly opposite views on the progress of knowledge. In one metaphor, the border between the known and unknown is a wild frontier. Learning and discovery push back the frontier. The advance of knowledge diminishes uncertainty. In the other, the unknown is an ocean and knowledge is an island. As the island is made larger, the extent of the border between the known and unknown becomes larger as well. The advance of knowledge increases our awareness of what we do not know.
A third metaphor that captures the sense of a question-answer-question sequence in the process of inquiry could be called the ‘dark room’ metaphor. This metaphor is expressively used by the mathematician Andrew Wiles to liken the experience of doing mathematics to the exploration of a darkened mansion. There is a long period of stumbling around in the first room, bumping into things and gradually becoming familiar with every object in the room. Eventually the explorer finds the light switch and turns it on. Everything in that room is clearly visible now. But there is a door that leads into another dark room. And perhaps the mansion has infinitely many rooms.’
perhaps I am still stumbling about in the dark, here – but then, I do live in an infinitely roomed mansion!
happy Friday, folks! Prim xx