I started 2014 with stress and grief. The same thing happened again today. But I practised everything a sober woman should: I ate cake, and I bought myself presents. To all appearances, just £10 worth of silly cheap tat, but each thing significant in its own way. A pink notebook in which to write my thoughts, a smiling tiger and a black glitter band to put on my work keys (so tigers and smiles and glitter is what I unlock my office with next time I have to face the place). Black candles to light when I return to my home, for the exorcism of darkness, anger and resentment, and a beetle set in resin because it reminds me of the scarab, which is rebirth.
And I thought positive thoughts, about my own self worth, about how I am far from a drunk loser now, that if I wanted to I could even choose to change my situation. That no one can actually, really, hurt me. Not by withdrawing friendship or by any other means.
And, finally, I reached out and found a confidant to share with, and I cried.
And then I felt better.
I’m so used to slipping into black despair, it still takes me by surprise that every time I face a bad situation sober, it gets easier to keep smiling.
It really is the gift that keeps on giving.