“I have worked hard at my sobriety.”
– Kim Richards, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Season 5 Reunion
Yes, I know, wouldn’t it have been nice to quote someone a bit more… ..not sure what the word is… But, see, that’s a mistake right there I think. Here’s me thinking there’s more weight to the words if they’d been spoken by someone like Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, perhaps Michelle Obama or in any case someone who has made a more serious mark on the world than having made a spectacle of themselves in the murky depths of the arguably shallow and superficial world of reality TV. And I don’t mean Richards personally here but rather all of them – I think they are all probably smart and classy ladies (except for the astonishingly vacuous Dorit who seems to have the IQ of a slug on valium – she really does take ‘trashy’ to a whole new level we’d all hoped didn’t exist but hey-ho) but fame via the reality machine is decidedly non-smart and non-classy as far as I’m concerned. Nothing less attractive than catty women, yet it’s strangely addictive (figures!) in spite of the fact that I sometimes watch from behind a cushion as if it’s the Blair Witch Project. Well, it kind of is, only there’s a whole bunch of them. Sorry. But no, it’s not often I’d select a reality “star” to find a quote but Richards fits the bill for what was on my mind just now and that she hasn’t won the Nobel Prize in Literature doesn’t mean her words are worth any less than those of e.g. Morrison.
I should start off by saying I have the deepest respect and admiration for anyone who struggles to stay sober manages to do just that, so I’d be the first to take my hat off to Richards. She is more than worthy of praise and I think the fact that she has a level of celebrity stateside and has gone out publicly with her problems is not just brave but freakin’ awesome. Kudos to her. Besides, out of the housewives she comes across as the nicest one and that says a lot given a lot of her air time she’s plastered. Well, her air time before coming out as an alcoholic, that is. I like Richards. And I admire her greatly for staying sober and facing her demons in a very public way.
Her words about her sobriety made me think about how I worked hard too, only it hasn’t been sobriety I’ve had to work hard at – it was my drinking. I look back and shudder. How did I do all that? How did I function when I knew in my heart that it was only a matter of time before I’d drink myself to death. No – seriously. I’d often worry about how it’d hurt my loved ones that I’d have been One of Those Alkies, a dirty addict. I’d worry about it happening when hubby was away (he often is) as it’d be my son who’d find me and how that would destroy him. Imagine a life when keeling over isn’t just a possibility but a PROBABILITY and you live with the constant knowledge that your consumption of ethanol would already have been more than enough to kill a horse so you’re already on borrowed time. THAT is hard work.
What’s also hard work is all the effort that went into planning my drinking – everything from where I’d buy the wine from to how I’d get it home without everyone seeing just how much booze was in my bag. Then rotating the shops I’d get it from in case cashiers would start to recognise me. Oh, it gives me a headache thinking about it.
What was the hardest work of all though? The hangovers. The merciless, never ending hangovers. I’d be so fucked I was scared to even walk from my office to the toilets for fear of aforementioned untimely demise to occur en route and I’d die on my employers’ kitchen floor – how embarrassing. I’d be so fucked I had trouble forming any coherent thought and if I were given instructions that involved more than one sentence I’d struggle to understand and remember. It was horrific. It was a version of Groundhog Day recorded in hell.
I could go on. Drinking fucking sucked horse balls. It was nightmarish on every goddamn level and I am so grateful that I’m free of it that I could just kiss the sky, Jimi Hendrix style.
I will no doubt come back to this, because there is a lot more to say. Hubby and I had a little chat about it a couple of days ago, actually it was specifically about AA and whether or not it’s useful for me or helpful in order to stay sober. I think AA is magnificent, truly amazing, but I just need (and want!) to continue to feel gratitude at how absolutely wonderful sobriety is and feels and do my best to remember what was actually the hard part – drinking. I don’t yet know what part AA plays there for me.
Yep. I will doubtlessly come back to this one… For now though, all I can say is that today I won’t drink. I’m meeting up with Blue, actually! She was struggling a bit so it’ll be good to see her, see what’s up.
Here’s to another day of… …..LIFE.