“Mm, I get by with a little help from my friends“.
How true that is. Although when I looked up the lyrics just then I realised those naughty Liverpool boys also sing “mm, I get HIGH with a little help from my friends” too, which now makes me like this less from the perspective of quoting it in a sobriety blog. To be fair though, many of the music legends I love the most seem to have had rather serious drug addictions and you’ll have to admit the Beatles are squeaky clean compared with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin if we just look at the 60s alone. Jeez, drugs and alcohol have really extinguished the flames of some extraordinarily talented people. That saddest of lists really is endless. Just imagine where Joplin could have gone. I mean, that powerful, gravelly, wise-old-woman voice coming out of that messy looking little girl! OK, young woman, but still. Just imagine where she would have got to once she’d added more life, years, experience and grit. And this can be said of so many. In recent times there is of course the tragedy of Amy Winehouse, who even in her early twenties had a voice and song writing talent that eclipsed even the old school jazz legends – just imagine how her talent and music might have developed.
It strikes me that these are pained geniuses, that their talent and creativity are perhaps enhanced by pain. I mean, would their work be half as interesting had they been straight laced and privileged average Joes? Gosh, this sounds like I’m now saying they’re better because they were drug addicts and that’s not it at all – I just wonder if it’s their pained and tortured souls that give them depth, that’s all. Unsurprising, I guess. Just a shame that giving full rein to their musical talents wasn’t enough to process their demons and heavier anesthesia was required. Things will sooner or later turn to shit if you more than dabble with drugs. And sometimes even dabbling is enough to sign a death warrant. After all, I don’t know if a single addict deliberately set out to become one.
Gosh, I should make GET TO THE GODDAMN POINT my New Year’s resolution! Where were we? Friends!
I just read functioningguzzler‘s most recent post about hitting her 11 months sober and she’s listed 11 reasons why life sober feels like magic. And as I sat here nodding – given I can relate to everything she said as usual – I also suddenly felt super excited. FG is special to me, you see. I’ve followed her blog since just a few months into my sobriety and these days she is a friend in real life too *sniff* – she’s my very own unicorn and as far as I’m concerned she fucking shits rainbows. Beyond an amazing friendship I know will last for life, she’s also my sister in arms. We got sober around the same time and we’ve gone through all the weirdness, struggles, victories and epiphanies of early sobriety together. We’ve fought this shoulder to shoulder. When I read her post about 11 months sober I was hit by this sense of excitement, and because I’m me and an emotional hurricane, I keep having to force back tears of joy that threaten to overwhelm me. We’ll both be hitting that huge milestone around the same time – me in 19 days and FG about 10 days after that – and it’s so exciting to share this. I keep getting images in my mind about us reaching a finishing line after a grueling race together, or coming back from war. Or two women high-fiving each other because we got somewhere we probably didn’t think we’d ever be. Well, I certainly didn’t.
Sobriety and the sweet victory of reaching milestones is always ours alone, because no matter what there is no one else who can do it for you, but it’s pretty cool to cross that line with people who have been through the same journey.
Obviously it doesn’t end there. One year sober is just that: one year. And with any luck, I’ll be around for many more. If I make it to my eighties, there’ll be at least 40 more years. If I get to 86 years of age, it’ll mean the second half of my life was lived sober. WITH ANY LUCK. And work. And determination. And humility. Lots and lots of humility. Never forget, Anna, the nature of the Beast. It’s always with me because it’s inside me. So this one year will just be one small section of a life I hope I have plenty left of. Like the first kilo when you need to shed 30 I suppose – important, yes, and amazing, absolutely, but only a small part of a much bigger journey. And let’s not forget I’m not quite there yet.
A year ago, I was 11 days sober and getting to one month wasn’t at all a given – in fact, I was surprised when I did! I won’t lie, I feel a lot more confident now and my sobriety no longer feels uncertain and fragile but the road is (and always will be – it’s called LIFE!) full of pot holes that I could so easily fall into if I don’t pay attention. So pay attention I will and I hope you give me an earful if I ever appear to lose sight of the things I must keep in sharp, unwavering focus. Those things are basically my own fallacies. Pretty much how you might take care when you exercise – Hubby has a troublesome calf muscle due to an old injury and in order to keep fit he has to adjust his exercise accordingly and not head out for long runs too often and hit the gym instead as a lot of running aggravates it. Or how you adjust the radiators in your home because some rooms get colder than others. Work with what you have – it doesn’t have to stop you, it just means you have to know yourself and find the way that works. What I’ve discovered is true for me is that it’s usually something to do with balance.
As we’re on to anniversaries, today is 67 months for hubby and I. I got him a card that had on the front “I love you more than food“. They always exaggerate on those things, don’t they? So today it’s pretty sweet being me – sober AND the most amazing man in the world still appears to want to be married to me. I’m frantically doing fist pumps as I type this with one hand. Honestly. Teehee.
Today I’m not going to drink.