sitting with my hands hovering over the keys not knowing where to begin… it feels like a long time since I’ve written a substantial blog post here and I am a bit rusty perhaps.

five years sober is a mighty fine place to be. 

five years feels like a BIG milestone. in my head it has been very similar to the concept of being told one is in remission from cancer. as I write that down it seems illogical and based upon no actual medical knowledge. perhaps that doesn’t matter? perhaps all that matters is that I feel really and truly free from alcohol – that by getting to five years I can believe that my recovery is something solid and dependable.

in terms of effort I would say it has dropped to virtually nil. the idea of consuming alcohol again holds no appeal whatsoever. very very occasionally I will hear a bat-squeak from Wolfie but he is easy to ignore, these days, thank God.

Mrs D says that when we stop drinking we have to learn other ways of coping, and that those other ways work BETTER – I couldn’t agree more.  so nowadays I am considerably more open and honest with other people (and with myself). I reach out to others if I am having a crappy day. I run a lot and eat chocolate if I feel like it. I have used meditation, therapy and coaching to get me over specific obstacles. I have been writing a nightly gratitude journal for several years now which continues to shift my brain from a default grumpy to a slightly-less-grumpy state. I am continuing to work on having healthy boundaries with people who push my buttons.

as a non-drinker I am still navigating my way through the drinking world. it still drives me bat-shit crazy when others post alcohol-justifying memes on social media (and yes I have already unfollowed everyone I feasibly can who does so). my children are obviously five years older than when I first got sober and are making their own choices about alcohol along with a lot of other things (whoever decided that it was ok for kids to grow up has a LOT to answer for).

the other side of this is that over five years I have seen attitudes to alcohol consumption start to shift – for example the drop in the UK recommended maximum weekly units to 14 for both men and women, and the victory that has allowed minimum unit pricing in Scotland. I wonder where public alcohol policy will be in another five years?

I continue to do sober stuff every day to keep on track  – mainly listening to Belle’s podcasts while I do my morning stretches, but also reading any new blog posts as they appear in my email. I am regularly in touch with some truly fantastic friends that I originally met through blogging.

(that’s a lot of sentences starting with ‘I’…..)

so that’s where I am at the moment.

I gave myself five presents for this soberversary 🙂 a trip away last weekend, a jaunt today, a trip to London next weekend and a subscription to a magazine for the next year.

past, present, and future.….here’s to all the future sober days!

oh and if you are counting and thinking “that’s only four presents – Primrose has lost her marbles!” then here is my fifth present – a silver daisy necklace. apart from jewellery the other thing I do for soberversaries is choose a word for my next sober year. My word for my sixth year sober is going to be ‘flower’. as in the verb – to flourish, to expand, to open up and blossom.

thanks for your company, dear sober compadres. I am, as ever, so grateful and proud to know you all.

Prim xx