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Swinging from the Chandeliers

20 Apr

In true addictive style, I have been playing this song by the wonderful Sia over and over today. Very apt, as it’s a song about addiction, specifically the cycle of living in the moment when drinking and then having to face the aftermath.

After Friday’s happy, sober contented post, I’ve had a tough weekend of cravings. I stupidly went to a huge street party/rave thing yesterday afternoon, which is NOT the kind of environment I should be putting myself in when I’m feeling like I’m missing out by not drinking.

I was turning over the idea of what would REALLY happen if I nipped into a pub to come out with a plastic glass of slightly warm flat beer when, as if on cue, two people I recognise from AA walked past. Thanks Higher Power, impeccable timing there eh?

It is safe to say I was absolutely crawling the walls yesterday afternoon and have been for most of today. I just want to drink. I do. Surely these cravings should, at 96 days sober, have died down a little?

I’ve got friends coming round for dinner tonight and I’m writing this as a guard against opening the wine that’s in the fridge. I want to dance around my kitchen and cook and feel the effects of wine. I know I’m romanticising it, that it would end with me waking up tomorrow full of regret, but that knowledge doesn’t take the desire away.

Two of the people coming for dinner are the friends I’ve told about being in recovery, so I couldn’t drink tonight if I wanted to, which is really bloody annoying.

I’m trying to just focus on getting my head on the pillow tonight sober, which i know I can do, but what’s really bothering me is the thought of just how much effort this is taking. Week after week I’m battling cravings of epic proportions and it’s pretty exhausting. Yes, I know life is way better sober. Yes, I know when I post about happy sobriety I am I’m bouncing off the walls ecstatic, but when I get these cravings my skin crawls.

Even though I am committed to my sobriety, it’s painful, and I don’t know if I can continue like this forever. Unfortunately, this option is better than the drinking alternative, so for now, my choice is to remain sober. It does get easier, right? I’m praying that the cravings will start to go. I’m my own worst enemy with my thinking, I keep building up drinking in my own head as this wonderful thing I’m missing out on. It’s not. We all know it’s not.

GAHHHHHHHHHH this is hard.

But I’ll do it and tomorrow I will wake up happy.

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Things only Sober People recognise

15 Dec

http://www.buzzfeed.com/video/lizziesam/party-moments-only-sober-people-will-understand

Today I’m wiped from too much sober socialising. I’ve absolutely powered through the December madness so far, but I’ve learnt a big lesson- 3 parties in one week is just TOO MUCH.

I feel a bit shitty and down, but this video made me giggle. Hurrah for being the sober one, as knackering as it is.

5 weeks sober today 🙂

Video

This LIttle Room

17 Nov

I’ve had the most wonderful sober weekend I am in a state of bliss. I never once wanted to drink, despite being surrounded by booze.

Something has clicked and I’m no longer fighting an urge to drink, I’ve just decided it’s a really bad idea, and that I’m quite content as I am, thanks, sitting here on my little pink cloud.

Sunday nights used to be a huge trigger for me- the evening stretching out before me, promising loneliness and melancholy which wine would put a little plaster over, until of course I woke up on Monday feeling terrible.

Tonight, I am content, calm and in control. Wine caused the loneliness. Caused the unhappiness. This room was hell on earth. Tonight, I sit in my little bedroom listening to this beautiful song by London Grammar alternated with some of Belle’s brilliant podcasts (http://fuckyouwolfie.com/sober-jumpstart/ – if you don’t subscribe you really should, they cement all the messages of her blog and really helped with my ‘click’) feeling anything but alone.

With my scented candle flickering in the background, a weekend full of friendship, laughter and love under my belt, my room feels like my sober cocoon I’m returning to, to get my energy back. I’m for some reason reminded of a line from one of my favourite John Donne poems about infatuation and love, aptly titled “The Good Morrow”:

‘And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.’

This sober cocoon is my ‘everywhere’ right now and sobriety is my new lover. This honeymoon period can’t last forever, but I’m damn well going to enjoy it while it does.

Video

Retrograde

13 Nov

This year through my break up and night after night sitting alone with my wine in my poky new room I have listened to one song obsessively.

‘Retrograde’ by James Blake has spoken to me in so many ways and inspired so many moods. I once joked to a friend that it is the only song in the world that can ‘make me feel every emotion, ever, simultaneously.’

It’s been my wallowing song, but also my celebratory one as a mourned my happy break up (there’s a paradox of a sentence for you). The refrain of ‘you’re alone now you’re alone now’ has been like a crystal that shines out different lights and moods every time I listen to it.

Last night, I listened to it again and heard it an entirely new light. These words for me have always been about breaking down, about the new alone world that I’d created for myself by breaking up with my partner, and the void I was filling with alcohol. But last night these words for the first time became about building myself back up:

You’re on your own, in a world you’ve grown
Few more years to go,
Don’t let the hurdle fall
So be the girl you loved,
Be the girl you loved…

I’ll wait
So show me why you’re strong
Ignore everybody else,
Were alone now
I’ll wait

Suddenly I’m hit!
Is this darkness of the dawn?
And your friends are gone
And your friends won’t come
So show me where you fit…

Every line took on a new significance. The world I’ve grown now, to me is the wonderful life I have when alcohol isn’t in the equation. I’m not a lonely person as I talked about last week on this blog, alcohol to me is loneliness. It makes me ‘alone in the world I’ve grown.’

And the next line…That ‘hurdle that I shouldn’t let fall’ is alcohol- when I drink, it falls, tumbles away and makes life seem easy. Until the next day. Sobriety is like constantly jumping over hurdles without ever letting them fall- it’s hard, but the more you train, the better your jumping gets, the less likely you are to tumble.

Every time I listen to it, one of the parts of song that has at times made me want to explode with emotion is the ‘suddenly I’m hit’ line, with the ominous drone of the synthesisers in the background and the echoing question, ‘is this darkness or the dawn?’ Apologies that this has become like a student’s bad poetry review, but something very special happened last night while listening to this section of the song. To me, this early stage of sobriety is like the darkness before the dawn when you’re lying awake in a state of insomnia. You know the sunrise is coming, you know you just have to wait, but you’re restless in your mind and body, simply exhausted. Meanwhile, the drone of the synthesisers rises with their ominous, alluring yet discordant sound vibrates on…

I’ve read people in the sober blogging world liken the call of alcohol to the Odyssey’s Sirens, those irresistible yet fatal women whose song lured men to shipwreck. What an accurate metaphor. In this song, those sirens almost drown out the promise of the dawn, but then fade. The parallel to my own journey at the moment hit me really powerfully because, as Belle says, everything is everything, right?

The ‘show me that you’re strong’ line will be one of my mantras and this song will be added to my sober toolkit of reflections. It’s been my soundtrack to 2013 and I hope as the year draws to a close, I’ll get closer to the dawn he sings of.

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