Gratitude

A lot of great sobriety things have happened this last week. Mostly, I found the blogs and finally have those stories and people to check in with every day. Thanks to Belle I realised  I’d hit 500 days (I have never counted days before). I posted this milestone on Facebook and got around 50 likes and lots of well dones. A couple of people I’ve not seen for years joined in to tell me they had done a year, or a day, or in one case 12 years! These were some serious reprobates back in the day, too. I guess we are the people you better hope have sobered up by now. Anyway, it certainly warmed my cockles and brought a tear to my eye.

So I have been thinking what to blog and I decided to do some gratitude. I don’t go with AA any more, but they have a lot of stuff right. Being thankful is surely one of those things.

So:

I am grateful to AA for having so much amazing stuff in the Big Book – the sneakiness of alcohol, the impossibility of moderation, gratitude, responsibility, keeping it in the day, keeping my side of the street clean.

I am grateful to my friend, who was the first I knew who escaped and who inspires me every day, though I don’t see enough of him.

I am grateful to my first and only sponsor, for listening and believing. I couldn’t take the steps but she remains a beacon of possibility and strength.

I am grateful to another friend for being the first sober friend ‘on the outside’ and for being from the same place of loopy chaotic pursuit as I (if he can do it, so can I).

I am grateful to my amazing non alcoholic husband who can take it or leave it but mainly leaves it, without complaint, to stand by me. I might have been able to do this without him, but without the changes he has made with me, we couldn’t have done it together. My rock, my heroine, my sweetest and best friend.

And lastly for today I am grateful for all the amazing people I have found through these blogs. Hilarious, cheerful, realistic, optimistic, brave and thrilling souls that have collectively made my last week or so just that much brighter and more hopeful. I realise now I have never been alone, just hiding.

Thank you universe, you are full of shit but also diamonds! Tiaras all round!!

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Room Service

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Room service is my saviour, travelling alone. I am not ready yet to eat solo without wine, or tag along with drinking strangers. Always remember to ask about alcohol in desserts! This is all that remains of a trio of toffee apple. The cream would have had calvados in it (unknown as it’s the dessert of the day and there’s no listing). I asked and they sent me one with virgin cream just for me. My treat!  Hope you’re all finding your own ways to a little indulgence tonight. Happy Wednesday sober folks!

Something Changed

I’ve tried to give up before, keeping the same patterns and the same friends. Glugging down pints of diet coke until I get the shakes, dancing and laughing… and seething with resentment. Every time I fell off it was at a party (twice at festivals). I tried to go to festivals! With the same friends who were taking 2 litre bottles of home made cocktails, just like I used to. Recipes so killer and divine I wouldn’t dare repeat them on a sobriety blog.

It doesn’t work, it won’t work. In AA they rightly tell you to protect yourself from wet situations in the early days but the promise is held out that one day you will be so far released that you will blithely sit in the centre of a drinking maelstrom and suffer no ills.  I don’t see it, or at least not for a very very long time.  I read somewhere that it takes the same amount of time to get over a relationship as was spent in that relationship. I’ve been binge drinking to blackout for 25 years, so I reckon I’ll be safe in pubs around age 70. We should be nearing peak oil by then so we’ll all be on curfew and the pubs will be looted and burning, so it’s a moot point.

So, now there’s no more late night pubs, no more rowdy house parties, no more hotel bars after the conference has kicked out. No more dirty gigs in basements, actually no more places I can’t get a chair and a decent view (but that’s more age than sobriety, no doubt). All these things I can do without. But I wonder still, does this mean no more dancing? No more festivals? I picture myself in a field at sunset, beautiful orange light casts shadows of gyrating bodies, a rhythm pumps, guitars crescendo. Is this lost to me? Could I be there (me, the queen of the 2 litre cocktail) and be sober, free, dancing, happy?

I don’t know the answer. My new sobriety is all eggshell and puppy eyes, vulnerable and crushable, adorable, mine. I can’t risk it for a chance at clean euphoria. Maybe one day, maybe if I ever find my sober compadres.

But for now no, I guard it all, jealous as a dragon. 

Tomorrow I conference alone, which would have once meant something very different but now means this:

1. close attention to the programme, 2. checking if the hotel has a gym, 3. packing a novel and 4. ordering room service.

Everything changed. Everything had to.