So last week at this time, we were surrounded by bags in a bus stop in the french alps, this week, same bag, but I'm sitting curling my hair on a train to London about to go meet some new sober inspirational friends. Well what else to do on a long journey when you're excited and nervous, self care in the form if hair styling!? Why not. Never a dull moment in this sober life eh? And, here we are at the end of another sober week. It's been reflective and not too many challenges for once a quiet week. And after last week, and its challenges, it's been needed.
Sometimes like this Azalea, I feel like I'm calmer, sometimes like I'm coming into my own. But I know whilst this is my state, I've still lots of life 'hangovers' from when I was drinking that are nagging at me, stopping my happy heart blossoming. So I know I need to take my sober head out of the sand and start to look at those things I'm still putting off, nagging like a hangover from my less sober life. I know they're blocks to be finding more contentment and perhaps, inner happiness.
Again as always we've (the very royal 'we' me snd the mutts) have been walking a lot this week, often alone, sometimes with friends. Instead of wine glasses we're sharing chocolate and tea.
It's different but somehow it suits us all more. Maybe, it's our new normal? Daytime activities without booze, walks instead of boozy suppers? There's definitely more chocolate and tea than booze, that's for sure these days, with the few friends I've started re-seeing after putting myself on house arrest in early sober. Although I'm mindful there are still friends I've not seen in real life yet as they are some of my harder core drinking chums. And, I'm still not sure how to deal with that, so I've not yet, aside a catch up on the phone and I ok with that for now. But it means I'm spending a lot of time walking or on my own, for now, that's ok. Aside muttering my way along beaches, hunting for driftwood and treasure, talking to myself or the dogs like a crazy lady. I found this rock.
I like heart shapes things and often try to see 'hearts' in rocks on the beach. I think I'm a bit obsessed with the idea of 'whole-heartedness' so I search for mine, everywhere. Even in my porridge.
And, I'm mindful of self care and porridge is perfect self care on these cold mornings. Breakfast is a new and big thing in my life, as are vitamins, fruit and looking after myself. I like this new routine. Breakfast before everything. Who knew fuelling your sober body early, instead of soaking up residual booze with caffeine and carbs and a dose of painkillers, who knew that made you feel better? Well, thankfully, I do now. Breakfast rocks. As does brain self care.
I did both therapy and group session this week. These were well needed sessions as I'd missed the last week. Afterwards I then helped a sick friend by taking her dog on my sober stomp afterwards. So for a while we were three dogs, one sober girl. Being sober means I'm more up for listening to other folks, instead of drowning in my own head. I use to think I was a good friend but at the end of my drinking all I really cared about was me, my wine glass and how to keep filling it. All my head would listen to was my inner woes and paranoia, keeping me pretty isolated from other people and their stories. Keeping me isolated let wolfie (my wine monster voice) keep me safely locked up in my toxic booze blanket, in my boozy layer. Now, even just 4 months into sober, I'm more available, I actually listen, I'm more real, warts and all, I'm here. I like that.
It also means when my partner wants to take a day off for an impromptu adventure (in Scottish snow, which can be hard and icy) for once I can say yes, I'd love to, rather than looking for any excuse not to go. Not resenting the invasion into my drinking time. Not wondering if I can drag my sorry arse into an activity after two bottles of wine the night before. Or how I hide it all. It was all just so tiring, so much thinking about booze, how to get it, hide it or mitigate after it. It's fucking exhausting all that deceit, all the planning, all the excuses. When really a yes or no is all that is required now. Yes I'd like to go, no I don't. Life without booze is hard, but its so much simpler.
Yes I can drive at anytime, no notice required.
Yes I am available for you 24/7, just wake me if I'm sleeping, I'm here.
Yes, I'm trying my hardest (mostly),today I'm my best me. She's not great, but she's ok.
So I said yes to an impromptu day off and despite myself, my nerves around an activity day slightly out of my comfort zone, I was brave, I was engaged, I took things at my own pace and guess what, I had fun. I stopped when I'd had enough and that was ok. And I had a book so i sat in a cafe for a bit, really not as glamourous as the alps, but ok, despite the proximity of marginally hot macaroni pies, a scottish skiing delicacy (yuk) nested beside the sign for 'hot wine'. I just avoided both of those, as quite frankly, neither appeals. It was a good day and I bonded more with my partner rather than find excuses not to do things because I wanted to drink.
And I still fit to sneak a sober quiet walk in later. Win, win.
So today I find myself up, at stupid-o-clock sitting at a train station, before 7am, about to head on a new sober adventure to meet some new sober friends. I hardly slept with excitement.(and nerves) I'm noticing I'm available more for my life rather than for babysitting my corkscrew. And nursing my wine glass in my boozy layer. Booze takes away almost everything and keeps us isolated. It's a bastard.
So when it finally arrived, (after a cancellation and a lot of swearing about how I could have got up a bit later) I sat myself on a train, popped my packed breakfast beside me and thought about how excited I was (if a bit scared) to be having a sober adventure, early on a Saturday morning. And, how lucky I was to be going. How home would be OK for two days and how much I was grateful hit this past week.
Enjoy your weekend folks! Hugs! Hope you find some sober fun.