This is from my diary in May last year. I wrote a lot when I was hungover and sick of my drinking and resulting bad behaviour. It helps to read it on days like today, when it was really, really difficult not to have a wine after work. I probably would have had one (I didn’t have any). That would have made me think I could have two tomorrow. And on Friday, enough to make Saturday morning feel like this:
I am here on a Saturday morning. Shaky, hungover, crying, ashamed, wishing for the world to swallow me whole. For not the first time in recent weeks, I am wondering how to escape being me and those thoughts are dangerous and extreme. This is what I have done to myself.
I am achingly sad. I don’t know how to keep putting one foot in front of the other with this heartache. I try to breathe through it, run from it, write it out in my diary, talk it out with the shrink, drown it out with alcohol, stretch it out with yoga, numb it with antidepressants, focus against it with work – and I still cannot escape it. I don’t know what it will take to feel normal again, to not feel as if I have been cut adrift from gravity with no solid place to stand.
My stomach churns. My head pounds. My heart aches. I hurt. Everything hurts.
I emailed Belle this morning and asked her to reset me on the 100 day challenge. I emailed my gorgeous friend Primrose who, miraculously, still seems to like me after all the complaining and false starts I have subjected her to. I posted over at Living Sober and, as usual, received encouraging replies almost instantly.
The sober community is a brilliant place to be. There is so much love and welcome. It is the reason I keep trying. Even when I am in the midst of yet another disastrous phase of moderation, I keep reading everyone’s blogs and they help.
Anyone who has read this whole thing may well be sceptical about my ability to string more than 4 days without drinking together. That’s okay. I’m still here. I will get this. It might be this time, or next time, or on the 299th attempt. But one day, I am going to wake up in the morning after a long stretch of sobriety and feel prouder of myself than I have ever felt before.
Here we go again, friends. Hold my hand.
Lately I have been becoming a bit less like Kate Moss and a bit more like Beyoncé, booty wise. There’s nothing wrong with Beyoncé at all, but the booty suits her a lot more than it suits me. I have put on about 5kg in the last few months and I am not entirely thrilled with it. I am still a healthy weight and quite fit, but there’s a weight at which I feel happy, healthy and confident and I would really like to get back to it. Being the height of a hobbit doesn’t help. I only have to put on a tiny amount of weight before it becomes obvious in the way I look and the way clothes fit me.
I know that alcohol has played a significant role in this weight gain. The empty calories, subsequent poor food choices and days when I am too hungover to exercise are adding up. I also have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is pretty well controlled with medication but does make my metabolism somewhat unpredictable.
I printed out some photos of me and the kids at Christmas and I do not look how I want to look. I really hope this very shallow motivation is going to be significant in my attempt to quit drinking for a good long time. I know it will help, actually. I care a lot about how I look. So I am going to try and be grateful for these few kilos and lose them in a way which is kind to my body and puts me in that happy medium, somewhere between Kate and Beyoncé.
In more serious news, I am reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and I highly recommend it to everyone. It has made me consider a three-day trek in the Blue Mountains, once I find someone crazy enough to do it with me. I am also going to join a choir. This is the year of trying new things, filling my life to the brim.
Forget the previous resolutions. Let’s just stick with this one. Keep going. Just keep going.
It has not been the sober start to the year I had hoped for, but I am not going to kick my own ass over it. It is just time to get up, pick up my load and keep going until this road gets easier to tread. And it does get easier, and I do feel happier, and I feel there are good times ahead if I can take a few difficult first steps.
It doesn’t matter what the date is. As long as I start, right? And as long as I keep going.