WHAM

16 Jun

There I was, minding my own business, dancing to ‘I love Rock n Roll’ that randomly came on the radio and WHAM, there was the devastating thought: I can never drink again.

That song reminds me of one of my earliest wild nights out, about 15 years old, dancing in a nightclub and feeling truly free, emboldened of course by my beloved alcohol. Around that age, I worked like an absolute swot during the week at school and let my hair down and got drunk on double vodka and cokes at the weekend. We used to go to a grimy rock club where I’d dance and sweat and kiss boys and it was wonderful.

My reality now is quite different, I get my kicks from elsewhere, mainly running and yes, the occasional kissing of boys (still, for shame.) I’m so happy with my sober life day to day and yet, that one simple thought has crushed me tonight.

I know in sobriety we’re supposed to take things day by day, to avoid thinking in the absolutes that might lead us back to the bottle, and yet tonight all I can think is: those wild days are over. And I crave the craziness. Just one more drunken night dancing. Just one. Please.

Yesterday I was listening to an episode of the Bubble Hour all about coping with the summer sober. As they were listing their sober tools that would get through each tricky moment and day, it hit me that it is an ABSOLUTE BLOODY MIRACLE I have managed to stay sober for over 500 days. Those early weeks and months are a monumental challenge and it’s not often I’m reminded how hard they were. I often thank my lucky stars I’m not back there, but I haven’t reflected on what it was like to commit for the first (few) few times to sobriety. How I counted the minutes of each sober day.

Their reflections on summer also took me back to vivid memories- one summer in particular stands out. Two years ago I had a wild June and July bouncing between ecstasy and depression. And this was the summer in which I tried and spectacularly failed my 1st 100 day challenge. The day when drinking knocked me down so spectacularly I felt for the first time in my soul that I’m an alcoholic. I wrote to a friend, reaching out for help, I started this blog and I sought out therapy. But I would have 6 more painful months of drinking before I would finally be able to stop.

The days were hot, I was newly single and alone and rebellious and unhappy and joyful all at the same time. I went on dates and got wildly drunk and felt confident for the first time since I could remember, a soaring sense of self-love followed by crushing shame the morning after. I remember long nights alone in Ibiza, when I finished a bottle of wine alone on the balcony at 1am, and went out clubbing, alone, just so I could drink more. That holiday was the first time I drank in the morning, having a bottle of fruity cider before lunch daily, to help me over the hangover. It didn’t count because it wasn’t *really* morning, it was *holiday morning* which is entirely different. I remember running out of money at a cash-only bar and being devastated. Desperately slurping some of my friend’s drink on the way back from our final trip to the bar so I could get some alcohol inside me.

These memories are precisely why I don’t drink, and though bitter, they still have a sweet appeal to me. Life feels so different now, so much better, and I have made so much progress. And yet, it’s still hard. I still wish I didn’t have this disease. I wish I could enjoy drinks and party like a normal person, but, in frank terms, I CANNOT do that, and I have other things in my life that truly fulfil me.

I’m running a race this weekend and safe to say this will be on my iPod, fresh and ready to create new memories…

Happy Tuesday!

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6 Responses to “WHAM”

  1. lucy2610 June 16, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    Its like a punch to the gut when that happens isn’t it? But we know we’re just romancing the drink and it wouldn’t end well. Over 500 days – you sober goddess you 🙂 xx

    • FitFatFood June 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

      It nevers ends well. And writing always helps of course. As do kind words from my sober friends 🙂 Are you running a certain race on Sunday? 😉

      • lucy2610 June 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

        No I’m not as it goes – Dad’s day to oversea here! 😉

  2. ainsobriety June 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    It does pull at my soul a bit. The thought of those free, hot summer nights. Acting wild and spontaneously. Drinking shots and upside down margaritas on the bar in exchange for my bra…

    Sigh

    But I have grown older and wiser. I can’t imagine turning in my peace for another shot at youth.

    The truth that I believe is that normal drinkers don’t long for a night of unencumbered craziness. Maybe we (or at least I) did to help counter the need to do things the right way the rest of the time. That Anne alternated between hysteria and uptightness. And my last few years of drinking I was less social and more sit on the couch and sulk ish. Thinking I had missed out on life.

    So, we had our day in the sun. Now we have our iced tea in the shade. It’s better for our skin. And life is much more enjoyable. Every single day.

  3. primrose June 17, 2015 at 5:11 am #

    I’m not good at being told – or telling myself – “you shouldn’t feel like that. you shouldn’t want that.” that’s when the rebellious part of me wants to put two fingers up to it all and chuck it all away.

    there’s a Spanish proverb that says, ‘take what you want – but pay for it.’ I first came across it in Winifred Holtby’s South Riding. (there’s a wonderful book, by the way – with some great examples of how the choices we make affect our and others’ lives.)

    so I’m not denying the reality of that urge. you can spend as much or as little time unpicking it as you like. where it comes from perhaps is not as important as this – what I’d say to you is that we have learnt, now, that the price for it is simply too high.

    it’s a price I am no longer willing to pay.

    so I choose not to take that option. and in doing so I am not constrained, not limited – but as free and strong as I can possibly be. we are invincible!

    have a great run on Sunday and rewrite the script to that old soundtrack! masses of love xxx

    • FitFatFood July 7, 2015 at 7:23 am #

      I just found this comment- loving the proverb!!! Thanks

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