I forgot to breathe! Needless to say that’s not sustainable and so with fresh air in my lungs and calmly allowing myself to inhale, exhale, I feel more centered again, more balanced.
Hahahaha, no sorry, OK, I just read that back and it made me snort my coffee out of my nose a little and it’s now on my pretty cashmere jumper damnit – balance isn’t my thing, that was bullshit and I promised to be honest. I don’t know where that came from but I’m as balanced as the Pope is a protestant. I feel RIGHT again. I feel good. There. None of that balance nonsense, sweet Lord. Phew, moment of madness OVER. Good times.
It’s six weeks today. The six week anniversary of yet another hangover so severe I couldn’t get myself in to work. More importantly, it is the six week anniversary of when I knew beyond any doubt that I was done with alcohol. I knew I couldn’t do it anymore, but most of all – I no longer wanted to. Gone was the futile desire to try to control my drinking only to fail and fail again, and the reasons why I would drink in the first place started to fade too. I’m not saying I’m safe because I’m most definitely not. And I’m not saying I’ve got it all figured out because that is absolutely not the case. But I felt I was done with it and landing in that spot where I had to hold my hands up and admit I’m an alcoholic didn’t carry any of the shame I had expected it to. It made my heart break a little but that’s not so strange when you’re up against something that will never, ever go away and your life has to change completely or you won’t have a life anymore. That’s quite a humbling experience, so yes, my heart broke a little. However, most of all it was the biggest relief. You see, being a drunk is NOT enjoyable. Incredibly – because it does seem incredible when I look back now – I knew for a long, long time that it wasn’t just “a problem”. I knew I was hurtling towards a bad place with each sip of Sauv. Imagine forcing yourself through life with that constantly at the back of your mind – it’s not living. So the 23rd January 2018 will forever be a beautiful day for me, because it was the day I turned it all around.
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll never drink again. I couldn’t sit here and tell you that I won’t relapse. I couldn’t even say that I won’t drink myself to death. I don’t know any of that. But I feel wonderful NOW. Right now and since I got sober there is no part of me that wants to drink. The devil did dig its claws into me and I thought in the moment all was lost and cried tears of joy when I realised I had strength I never knew I had. Who knows? I don’t. I just know that right now, in this moment, I don’t want to drink – not today, not ever – and I’m so, so excited about life and what it has in store for me. A few more wrinkles, cellulite and a dodgy metabolism no doubt given I’m into my 40s but who fucking cares? I was baby faced into my 30s and I look much better with a bit of living etched on to my face. I’m good at denial, see? Nah, I do like older me. It’s weird because I always had the feeling that my 40s would be the best years yet. I didn’t know why exactly but perhaps I thought that it’d be when I either wrote a bestselling novel or stumbled upon another amazing fortune of some kind. Turns out that this decade might be my best one so far because I quit drinking. I nearly wrote “gave up” but I can’t in all honesty see how that would be accurate as quitting drinking is a gift I am receiving and very far from giving anything up.
Rewind, say, five of those weeks, and I was really anxious to “guarantee” my chances of staying sober. AA meetings had me thinking it would be hard, horrible and such drudgery that no more had I invested in the Big Book and dutifully read it at any given opportunity than I collared this lovely chick and asked her to be my sponsor. I figured, why wait? I’m so sure of this so let’s go! I was and I still am, but I think I just went in a bit too hard, as I always do. I should have become a rally driver, I’d fucking ace it every time. Go hard or go home. I might get that as a tattoo actually. Anyway, along the way I forgot to breathe and as a result I was beginning to feel cornered, pressured and stressed. That ain’t good. So I had to reconsider, evaluate and start again. Not ready for the sponsor thing yet, I need to allow myself a bit of time to land in this strange new Land of Sober Living. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here, but I need to just chill out a bit and learn the language, see the sights, understand the culture and settle in to my new abode before I get a job and permanent residence status. Just need to find my feet a little. Sparks was as expected lovely about it and I felt such relief coming off the phone.
And would you believe it, once I pressed the panic button and drew breath, I felt really good again! I can’t wait to give Ivy a call later, I’m looking forward to a coffee with Emerald on Saturday and Willow is clearly psychic because she suggested going to a psychic fair and that is precisely what hubby and I were talking about doing last night. She’s bugged my home, I knew it! No one can be this much like me, I swear the chick opens her mouth and I want to report her for theft of my thoughts! Ah, my shiny new bird of a feather.
Actually, let’s stick with the willowy Willow for a moment. I think I figured out why I fell in love with her on the spot like that. She reminds me of Lopez, my best friend, given the nickname Lopez on my other blog due to a fabulously round, gravity defying arse that at the time made me compare her to Jennifer Lopez. Not just similar accents (although Lopez is Canadian, not American) but how they are wired. Lopez would disagree with me, but to me she is a very strong person. Open, honest and laughs as readily as she cries. To me it is brave to allow your feelings to show. It’s what to me makes people real. It makes me trust people, and I admire the fuck out of anyone who has the cojones to stand up and say “I’m hurting today” and not be ashamed to cry.
Being the emotional little hurricane that I am, it’s perhaps not strange that I am drawn to those who also feel strongly and are perhaps sensitive and over analytical like I am. But mostly it’s the ability to be themselves. It’s why I love Lopez and why she had me at hello, it’s one of the countless qualities I love about my husband alongside his perfect bottom, and it’s why I was immediately drawn to Willow. Yep, that’s what it is. That, and how she is suggesting a psychic fair, the freak. Apart from my lovely hubby (and his beautiful bottom) who is always a willing participant in crazy shit he or I come up with, it’s fun to have people around who are as bat shit crazy as you are.
It’s stuff like that that has me panicking a bit knowing Willow is here to work out if she wants to live in London. Lopez moved back to Canada, after all. How fucking selfish, by the way, some nonsense about quality of life for her two young children – what about ME? Nah. I know one thing which is true for the little handful of best friends I have. Time and distance doesn’t matter and every time we see each other it might be that years have passed but it only feels like days. Although I very nearly fainted with joy when Lopez suddenly walked through the front door when hubby unbeknownst to me had flown her in for our wedding day – I felt the years that had passed then and never wanted to let go of her as I cried into her hair and snotted all over her. Gosh, my heart still does a funny little flip when I think about that. I’m so fucking lucky.
So yes, life is pretty awesome! I am breathing again and today I won’t drink.