Starting from now

Today is day #38 (again). And today I am 33. 

I haven’t blogged much in the 55 days since my last relapse. Granted, it only took me 5 days to sort my shit out, but it really knocked the wind out of me, and it’s taken a while to drum up the confidence and motivation to start writing again. I won’t bore you with the details of how it happened – I took my eye off the ball, and it just did.

In the last few days I’ve been reading Belle’s ‘Tired of Thinking about Drinking’ blog, and it’s one of the few new things in my life that has inspired me to keep going. I’ve started from the very beginning of her story, so I don’t know what happened after the last post I read (currently in September 2012), but it is so refreshing to read a brutally honest, well written account of the early sobriety and the mix of emotions and experiences that it can bring.

Two days ago I came across a post which started with a sentence that really struck a chord, and frankly could easily have come from my own mind: 

‘the first thought I had this morning was “I don’t have time to be *sober* today, i’ve got too much to do.”’

https://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/2012/08/05/stay-alert/

I completely relate to this; trying to be sober is like a full time job. It’s not just putting the drink down (tried it – doesn’t work), the hard part is NOT picking up again. The real work comes when you start having to pick-apart aspects of your entire being, to understand: what caused me to drink in the first place?; why do I relapse even though I know what will happen?; who/what/where do I need to avoid in order to stay on track?; who the hell am I, anyway?! 

It’s exhausting, and sometimes you just want to kick back and forget about trying to stay sober, and get on with life. Unlike other full-time jobs, you can’t just “clock-off” at 5, collapse on the sofa and pour a glass of wine – you’re on duty ALL the time. 

Which is why I felt Belle’s piece of self-advice, where she writes a note to herself as a reminder to not to give into complacency, and that not drinking is totally worth it, was so important. 

Complacency is a word that I use A LOT (you should add this to your mental game of bullshit bingo, for when we next speak). It is, after all, my reason for relapse: I get a bit of time behind me, congratulate myself on doing so well and move on to more pressing issues like getting back into work, losing weight, finding Mr Right etc. etc. I never thought I had an ego before – far from, it in fact – but my complacency with drinking/not-drinking suggests the complete opposite (actual words to J in July: ‘look who’s doing a fucking fantastic job of “recovery” – ME!’). Combined with an equal dose of crippling self-doubt (weird duplicity, right?!) losing focus leads to no end of trouble.

So today, I’m with Belle on NOT giving it. Starting right now – on my 33rd birthday – I pledge to do something EVERY.SINGLE.DAY so I don’t lose sight of the importance of my sobriety. (And stop comparing it to a full-time job. This is not helpful, either).