Happy Birthday to me! Fuuuuuuuuuck I forgot to pray. In the office it is… here goes… …done! Felt less of a twat this time but full of giggles, almost like it was as naughty as it would have been to take a swig of whisky. Which I never have by the way: drunk at work or swigged whisky, just not my thing. So anyway, my little prayer just now was what I’ve been asking for every day lately – another sober day. They are mounting up, by the way, and I’m just crossing the three week mark of being sober.
Yesterday was an odd day and it was the first time I sensed some of the little drink devil. It didn’t perch on my shoulder but it was definitely lurking in the wings, my fear in its nostrils and ready to pounce the evil little thing. But here I am, clear headed, happy and full of energy and once again so incredibly grateful that I once again woke up without a hangover because it could quite easily have been a very different story. Even as I headed for a meeting last night, there was a thought – fleeting, but still a thought – of not bothering and images of large glasses of Sauvignon Blanc topped with soda water, one after the other. As I read a few pages of the Big Book before falling asleep last night, the story I had got to contained exactly the lines I needed to read: it was about each time you romanticise what drinking would be like and instead remind yourself of what it was like towards the end. Very useful and something I will hold on to.
When I’d thought some more about the frustration I felt having to justify or make excuses for my sobriety I also realised it was all ME. No one so far has questioned my decision, not that I’ve really been in any situation yet where I’ll be saying “no thanks” to a drink. It’s in my head and because it’s such a huge deal for ME it seems I have this panic inside and freaking out about it. The reality is that the only thing that’ll happen is that whoever offers me a drink and has me responding with the dreaded “no thanks” won’t bat an eyelid. And why would they? All in my head, folks. But yes, yesterday was definitely quite a strange day and looking back on it now with my analytical hat on I can see that what was underneath it all was a bit of anger and a whole lot of fear.
And so here we are and perhaps, even though I’m really only focusing on one day at a time, tomorrow will be the first time since I was, what, 15 maybe, that I’ll wake up the day after my birthday without a hangover. Wouldn’t that be an amazing way to begin my 43rd year on this planet?
I’ve been given so many lovely gifts this morning. A cute necklace from my son that he picked out himself and surprisingly – ‘surprisingly’ because he is a 13-yearold boy – something I would actually pick out myself. Then again, perhaps no one knows me better than my child and he therefore knew instinctively what mum would love. Hubby was his usual amazing self and put out a pink helium balloon with ‘Happy Birthday’ on it and scattered my presents along with confetti on the bed whilst I was showering. He got me a DREMEL, yippie! OK, so it might seem odd for a wife to get excited about power tools, but I’m really into making silver and gold jewellery and this little baby will come in enormously handy for drilling, sanding, polishing and whatever else it does. He’s also taking me to a famous music bar at the weekend and gave me a book on European weekend breaks, like a promise that our life will remain just as much fun even though I’m off the Sauv. And my employers gave me a beautiful bracelet that I absolutely love. Yes, I’m getting spoilt rotten today.
The best thing of all might just be the present I gave myself three weeks ago – sobriety – and perhaps that’ll be how I’ll always remember my 42nd birthday in years to come. 2018, the year my life truly took off and everything went from awesome to beyond my wildest dreams. Because now that I’m not drinking, there’s nothing stopping me.
So with that said, all that remains is my commitment to myself: today I will not drink.