I’m pretty sure today is 60 days. I remember being at about 4 days and it seemed so monumental that I wanted to tell everyone; I’m sober! I haven’t drunk for FOUR DAYS! And then realising how ridiculous that would sound to a non-drinker, and refraining.
But the days do go by faster, and here I am at 60 days. I’ve moved house, I’ve had a birthday, I’ve weathered a pretty brutal spell at work. And I’m:
- Still fat.
- Not finding myself with ‘swathes of free time every evening and struggling to fill it’;every day I think oooh, what shall I do this evening? I could work on my patchwork bag, I could go for a run, I could paint the cornicing…and every day, by the time the kids are in bed and the housework is done, there’s an hour before bed and all I want to do is read. Which is what I always did; I’m just doing it without wine now.
- Still broke.
- Still stuck in a go-nowhere job, still not very good at being proactive and making it better.
On the other hand;
I look better. I feel better. Writing this blog has not only helped in the most immediate ways – plugging me into a community of sympathetic people – but it’s provided me with the best writing outlet I’ve had in forever. And writing is one of the best things I can do for my emotional health, and so I’m grateful to you lovely commenters for many reasons at once. My brain feels more alive than it has in years.
And more than all of that. I trust myself again. I expected to change more than I have, honestly. But I haven’t. And in a way, that’s great as well, because it means I don’t have to get to know a different me, and for the first time in a long time I can trust that how I am is actually me.
Mrs D wrote something a little while back about authenticity and at the time I wondered who the authentic me would be. It turns out that I always was. But I couldn’t trust that before.
I’m still pretty extroverted, and I still expend a lot of effort at parties to be entertaining. But now, when I make a joke, I’m pretty confident that it is actually funny, and I’m not worrying that actually I’m too loud and slightly hysterical and nobody else is going to get it. I still have moments of intense irritation at the children, and I still get swept away with love for them and overwhelmed with the desire to cover them in kisses. But now, I’m pretty confident that my irritation is just a thing that comes and goes, and that my love is genuine, and that I’m not bewildering my children with lightning mood shifts and maudlin drunken gushing. More than that; for the first time I’m pretty confident that it always was genuine, and probably normal, and I haven’t damaged them.
And also, I’d rather turn my heater on and sit on the couch with a bag of chilli lime cashews and read a book than go for a jog, or write the definitive Australian novel, or hand stitch. And I’m pretty much okay with that as well. Because I’m a decent person, and I’m nice to my family, and my friends like me, and I’m sober.
And that’s not bad.