‘Staying Vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection’Brené Brown
I’m really doing this, its happening. My brain told me about 50 times already that I really can’t write a blog (and that was just in the time it took me to sign up to create a blog), waste of time, no one will read it, you aren’t special! Damn it. It’s tough, I’m writing one, boring or not, special or not.
The loudest voice in my head says ‘don’t do it! the blogging community will reject you, you dont know enough about it all, you can’t write and eventually everyone in the blogging community will laugh at you and you’ll be in so much pain when the crushing and complete rejection comes at you’. WOW thanks brain that’s super nice to hear. Thankfully these days I’ve very slowly (and somewhat painfully) been forced to actually address this utter nonsense I’ve been telling myself even if it’s simply acknowledging it. Sometimes it hurts me so fast and so deep that I actually have to shout FUCK OFF, in my head obviously, I try not to swear too often out loud for no apparent reason, it freaks the kids and the cat out. Note to self: log into mindfulness app later.
‘Quit That’ app tells me its been precisely 34 days since I drank any alcohol, thats 34 days ‘sober’ I use air quotes because it feels weird, it feels like I don’t even need to class myself as sober and from what I’ve been reading and listening to as I’ve thrown myself into the sobersphere it seems a common problem, to not really feel connected to the term sober, maybe because it’s been so demonised. Stone Cold Sober-because I burned my life down and ruined alcohol for myself (little bit from column A, little from column B); because I’m different and can’t be trusted with alcohol the way everyone else can. I hate that vibe, but whatever I still want to quantify it and give myself a shiny for all the milestones I’m going to reach on this journey.
I don’t see quitting alcohol as the end of one thing and the start of another but more of a messy squiggly journey, I don’t have one defining moment ‘rock bottom’ but I obviously have had a moment where I did decide I was never going to drink again, it’s a decision I think I’ve wanted to make since age 6, weird that it took 24 years to realise that but ok. So this is the middle-ish, I’ve recognised that my drinking career was all squiggly but a little while ago in the past and everything is still squiggly but it’s happening right now and I’m learning new stuff every day, getting strength, confidence and just extra every day, I thought I’d maybe reach some kind of zen state where I absolutely will not need to know or learn any more about sober living, mindfulness, yoga, parenting, growth mindset, gratitude etc. Like the knowledge just reaches capacity and boom your done! lessons learned enjoy your life. BUT, mind fudging blown because all that stuff IS enjoying your life, shit! Ive been trying to get to the ‘end’ like level up, reach level 100 and its done you’ve got your best life, then what?! In my mind maybe I thought quitting drinking was level 100. I’m actually secretly thrilled and free’d to realise that there is no level 100!! I’m feeling excited about this because I’ve given myself permission to just be happy, right now today and stop doing some of the things I thought I had to do to get to level 100.
So I’ve read all that back about a billion times now and I still don’t think it’s any clearer as to who I am and what I’m doing her.
Here I am 34 days sober, hitting 30 years old, going forward sober but looking back to heal. I feel weird, I feel like all through my 20’s I’ve been looking for the answers and somehow in the last 12 months I’ve drunkenly stumbled into sobriety and exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve started this blog I guess, in a really long winded round-a-bout kinda way, because I want to scream to everyone and no-one that I DID IT!! I got sober when no one thought I needed to, I found the right answers for me and I keep finding out more shit every day and it’s blowing my mind.
I’ve got some stuff I need to say, so I’m going to say it (fuck you self-loathing she-serpent). Which reminds me of Clare Pooley’s ‘wine witch’ (read sober diaries, amazing!). Well my one of those looks like a cross between when Jafar from Aladdin turns into a snake and Penelope Python from ‘There’s a snake in my school’ possibly obscure references and not quite as succinct as ‘Wine Witch’ but my brain wants what it wants and that’s to put a slightly ludicrous edge on a painful internal struggle between me doing what I want to do and me doing what addiction wants me to do. Not just Addiction of course though, she jumps up when I decide to create blogs, talk to mums down the school, meet anyone new that I might either want or need to make a deeper social connection to aaaand those times where I’m also about to eat way too much food in a really tiny space of time for no reason other than feeling my feelings too much and listening to the self-loathing she serpent for too long.
So that’s it (probably) I’ve got some stuff I want to hash out. Some info I want to share and a whole host of stories ranging from funny to tragic to embarrassing, some relatable shit like social anxiety, binge eating, addiction, healing and maybe most importantly just spreading those hope seeds wherever they fall that you’re not alone, I’m not alone and we can do it!
and hey if the fact that I decided to publish a blog on a Friday night isn’t pretty much the opposite to stealth falling asleep after half a box of wine having pissed my partner off I don’t know what is, so I can be pretty fucking proud of that.
Podcast listens this week: Bubble Hour, This Naked Mind, Where Should We Begin
Audio book listens this week: American Gods, Alcohol Explained, Out of Your Mind.