A good friend – let’s call her Coachie, as she coaches for a living – invited me to this little group exercise via WhatsApp called “21 Days to Abundance”. It’s Deepak Chopra something or other and normally this is the sort of thing that makes me vomit a little in my mouth, but I’m trying to be more openminded these days. Another good friend – and we’ll call this one Danish as she is bound to come up again – actually suggested I come along to this buddhist thing she goes to where they chant and stuff, but that’s another story. Oh, I intend to go, by the way. Drunk Me would fucking die, but Sober Me is happy to embrace these things. But back to the abundance thing.
Each day there’s a little exercise followed by a short, guided meditation that Coachie sends to the group and today was the first day. Because Hubby and I were just sitting around drinking health smoothies – WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING TO ME??! – I suggested he join in, so we both did it. You list 50 people who have in some way had a positive impact on your life and then scan through the list reflecting on the goodness they’ve brought you. I didn’t list all my family and best friends or anyone else simply because I love them, I selected the people who have in various ways taught me really important lessons. I actually added Bully-Face because I do believe I took valuable, and very positive, lessons away from that period of my life. On my list were also several bloggers I follow and clients who were at the rehab I worked at (listed only by first initial because I consider myself to be a woman of integrity), e.g. a woman who will NEVER know just how much she inspired me and how often I’ve thought of her. She truly embodies “anything is possible” for me.
After I had read my list out loud to him with comments about each person, Hubby smiled at me, a knowing look on his face. Oh, and those beautiful, soulful eyes fixed on me. *swoon*
“What strikes me is that half your list are people from these past two years you’ve been in recovery,” he said.
I guess what it shows, not that it needed spelling out, is how I only really started living just over two years ago. No, that’s exaggerating – I did live before and life was mostly pretty wonderful, I’ve been truly blessed in countless ways, but getting sober was like someone switched the light on again. I’m not going to dismiss everything that happened, everyone I knew and everything I did during the drinking years – not at all – but what I’m saying is my world is now full of colour and light that perhaps weren’t quite so present before. Well, I wasn’t so present before.
Sometimes… No, make that often. Often, I’ve worried that Hubby might miss the wilder, crazier version of me. The version of me who was over the top, uncontrolled and, it has to be said, at times totally hilarious and so much fun. I’ve sometimes… Sorry, I’ve often worried I’ve got too boring. Not for me, because I love my life the way it is now, but for him. And then I read the card he got me for my two years sober, with “Congratulations, you legend!” on the front. In it, along with his unwavering words of support, admiration at what he calls my achievement (I beg to differ as it implies sobriety is difficult and mostly it’s been the opposite) and love for me, he had also written:
“I’m so grateful for you, and I’m grateful for your sobriety.”
And there was my answer. He’s also got me a little trinket, this chain with a bunch of pendants on it.
It’s funny, isn’t it? I mean, now that I think of it… Actually, I’m going to ask him RIGHT NOW. He’s ironing his shirts whilst I’m sitting here writing. Why not just clear this up once and for all?
“Have you ever wished, in the time I’ve been sober, that I wasn’t? Or that I could drink with you still?”
“Uhm, at times we had a lot of fun, but that’s not the same question as would I prefer you to still be drinking. No, I wouldn’t.”
“Do you ever miss it?“, I ask, heart in my throat.
“Do I miss us heading down to the river on a summer evening having a Rekorderlig and a chat, absolutely, but we still do that and you have sparkling water. But it’s a different thing to say do I wish you were still drinking because absolutely not. I never, ever want you to drink again because of what it does to you and you’re all the better for not drinking.”
He says the last bit about “never, ever” with emphasis and has his stern work-face on, the same one he has when he’s on work calls.
“So me not drinking, has that has ANY negative impact?”
He chuckles and makes a funny face at me.
I knew it, he’s a fire escape pervert! Dirty boy. Jokes aside, however, sex is definitely different these days. Firstly, I am keenly aware of my actions and do care who might see or hear. Secondly, I remember it, which is nice. Thirdly, I’m not numbed by booze and for that reason it’s SO much better. The subject was bound to come up sooner or later and there it is. Shit-faced I turn into an absolute deviant. I mean, when you’re out of it, it HAS to be wilder, more extreme, kinkier and everything else for you to even feel it. Sorry, not sorry – that’s the truth of it.
Wow, didn’t expect it to end up on that subject but there we are. Full disclosure, no filter. Now, there’s something that hasn’t changed! I think God had run out of filters the day I came along.
Well. It’s important I think, especially when I find myself being really anti-EVERYTHING to do with my life before I stopped drinking. It wasn’t all negative. There were lots and lots of good bits. Fact remains though, that those good bits were just a tiny few drops in a huge, stormy ocean in which I was drowning. Those good bits are the same as saying “well, at least the weather’s nice” when you’re lying on your death bed. I mean, it’s so irrelevant because you’d rather have rain every day and get to live on. And I would never want to go back there. Because, truth is, all the good bits I still have. And the really wild bits? Well, no. Truthfully, no. Why miss things that were the very things that made me cringe the following day? The things I always felt embarrassed about? No thanks.
It’s all good. Really. Uhm, now it sounds like I’m trying to convince myself as well as you guys. I’m not. I’m just trying to tell you my truth. I’m not going to say that life sober means I have no problems or never feel sad. But equally, I’m not going to say I find it anything other than the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If someone were to offer me a pill and tell me that once I’d taken it, I’d no longer be an addict and instead I could suddenly drink like a “normal” person – I wouldn’t take it. Honestly, hand on my heart, on my son’s life, I’d refuse and laugh out loud. Because as much fun as I’ve had drinking, none of it comes even close to the fun I have now and the life I get to have sober. I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Long may it last.
And if I am wild enough to consider abundance exercises and chanting, perhaps I can have sober sex in the fire escape too? I mean, why not?
Today I’m not going to drink.