Elephants and Strong Words

How is it possible that sobriety is showing a whole new side to me that I didn’t know even existed? Not only do I seem to have patience (OK, fine, not exactly huge amounts) and an ability to stay calm (more so, anyway), but I also suddenly seem to be able to do that thing I always dismissed as “not me”: keep at it. What’s up with that? When I’ve made decisions in the past – read: when I drank – I shot from the hip, jumped ship without much thought and gave up on stuff the moment it didn’t go exactly the way I wanted. Now that my sister is about to finally get her doctorate and Mum asked me to help me write a speech for the occasion, I gave some thought to how I see my sister and how she has steadily and stubbornly worked towards this massive achievement. It struck me as the one thing I admire the most and also what makes her so different from me. She stuck at it. Years and years of research, mountains of work she has crawled through at a snail’s pace, plenty of set-backs and having to start over and find new ways – oh, just writing it makes me tired! Have you heard the saying “how to eat an elephant”? Well, it’s all about a tiny bit at a time. My sister has eaten an elephant, basically.

But lo and behold, there seems to be some of that in me too.

Case in point: I am working towards carving out a place for myself in the recovery support services. First of all I need a year’s sobriety under my belt and so long as I stay on this path, this won’t happen until 23rd January 2019, which means that’s when I can begin volunteering. Not can – will. Instead of tearing my hair out, huffing and puffing and throwing in the towel, I’m feeling all zen and peaceful about it and staying on task. Who knew? I’m also hoping to get stuck in with a lovely sober community with some writing and have been given a task to see if I can make it work. In the past I would have cobbled something together quickly (and drunk, probably), fired it off and later not only discovered a bunch of typos but also things I could have done better. Now? I wrote lots yesterday and then I let it stew. Looked at it again today and rewrote most of it. Checked through it and I think I’m happy, but I’m going to look at it again tomorrow and see if I still think it’s my best shot and if I do, THEN I’ll submit it. Drunk Me is quite literally pissing herself laughing at this, by the way.

Another case in point: I fucking hate the gym. I love running even when it doesn’t feel good so this I know I can keep up but the gym is another story altogether. I hate the environment, I hate the stupid techno dance music they play and I hate the people too – everything about it is rubbish and stupid and poo. It’s good when I go with hubby and we work out together, then I can stay motivated and it was also great when I had the luxury of Dimples being my personal trainer, but solo…. …oh my fucking Lord. No thank you. I went yesterday and although I work super hard, half an hour into it I just thought fuck this and left. I just couldn’t find the motivation to do the box jumps, wall sits, pull-ups and rowing that I had left. Given how I go at it, half an hour is still OK as I’d worked my legs so hard I could barely walk down the stairs on my way out, but when I’m with hubby or Dimples I not only do the whole hour and a bit, I also quite like it. Or, actually, I don’t totally hate it – like is too strong a word. Drunk Me? Well, she wouldn’t set foot in a gym in the first place so this is a bit of a ridiculous hypothetical scenario, but if she HAD, she’d cancelled her membership there and then and that would have been that. Sober Me though – fanfare, please – wants to stick at it and is now working out which days I can go with hubby and possibly also…..

HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA yes, I’m going to fucking say it and now Sober Me is laughing her arse off too:

…do the body pump classes.

I don’t know who this chick is, I honestly don’t. It’s like I’m being the adult version of me. At 42 years of age, no less. Late shall the sinners awaken. Nah, I’m still very much Anna, just a bit more balanced and measured and although those qualities aren’t very Anna at all, it’s all good and I like this sobriety thing. It’s doing me a world of good. It’s fucking crazy, I feel like I’m an alien who’s randomly fallen off her space ship and landed on this planet with a thud – wide eyed, bewildered and amused at what seems like a completely different world to the one I’m used to. The same in many ways but different. Perhaps it’s because I can see everything with much more clarity now. Obviously when you’re drunk things get hazy and when I was hungover my eyes were mostly on the floor, so perhaps this is just a natural part of getting sober?

Whatever next, though?! Yoga? No. I’ll never do yoga. I fucking hate yoga.

Today I’m not going to drink.

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