Off course it was easy. It’s day one – if i failed now I’d be signing up for AA or the pan fellowship immediately.
I couldn’t sleep last night, my head was spinning with all the information i’d shared at therapy and all the great plans i have for my new sober life. I kept thinking about my birthday, which is 2 months away, how healthy and happy i’d be by then. I don’t want this to be just another phase in my life. Oh look she’s going through a ‘non drinking’ phase. Isn’t she being good. I want it to be just part of my identity. I want people to act normally around me but remember the fact I don’t drink. Just the same way I don’t have milk in my tea or sugar in my coffee.
I eventually woke around 11am, having missed my initial doctors appointment and 4 work related phone calls. My head ached, my mouth was dry and my limbs felt lifeless. The air in the flat was freezing, I cautiously lifted the edge of the bedroom blind to see snow drifting down upon disgruntled looking Londoners. Brrrr, i dived back under the duvet and fell asleep for another hour.
Mid day, Mid day for goodness sake. Up, music, coffee, bath on. Returned phone calls, second coffee in the bath. Amazing i thought how i struggle to drink even one glass of water a day and yet three or sometimes 4 coffees slip down a treat.
I brushed my teeth and took a good look at myself in the mirror. ‘Who are you and why are you so unhappy sometimes’ i said out loud to myself. I then gave myself a pep talk, during which i cried but never lost eye contact with myself. ‘You deserve to be happy. You are not a bad person. It’s not all your fault. Be kind to yourself. You will allow yourself to love yourself’
I dressed, applied makeup and tied up my dirty hair. Threw the window open to allow the lingering stagnant air of last nights wine and cigarette smoke out and the freezing sobering air of a new day in.
I invited my mother and sister for a simple lunch; Soup, cheese and tea. Not the fancy affair i’d normally do with everything laid out beautifully and plenty of money spent on the preparations. Simple and honest – just the way I want to go forward with my life. I talked openly about my session yesterday. About the therapists concerns with substance abuse and his suggestions that I join a 12 step program or the Pan Fellowship. My sister immediately scoffed at the idea, commenting that a 12 step program was for people with real problems. My mother wasn’t so quick to shun the idea but didn’t think the Godly nature of the Pan Fellowship would suit me. An opinion I agree with greatly. I am a spiritual person but an athiest all the same. I felt embarrassed at first talking about it but soon realised nobodys opinion really matters. This is MY life. it’s up to me to decide how i move forward from here and they will support me no matter what. that i really do believe now, after the traumas and dramas of the past few years. My sister asked if i was giving up with the idea that one day i’d be able to have a glass of champagne at a friends birthday. she doesn’t get it, nor does she realise how much of a dependancy i have. No, i told her. “when someone becomes a vegetarian, they’re not working towards being able to eat a bacon sandwich one day”
I spent what was left of the afternoon watching a few episodes of ‘the affair’ the program that makes me long for warm summer nights, sea swimming and to be kissed and held by a tall handsome man!
I spent the evening at my mothers flat, where i am now… sober and in bed at a reasonable hour – well its midnight but at least its not 3am. We watched ‘Captain Fantastic’, film about a man and his children living in American woodland, a peaceful idyllic life from the outside but so removed from reality and the challenges of ‘everyday’ life.
My mother is so proud of me. I reminded myself that this is not for anyone else but myself but still it was lovely to see her looking happy at me smiling rather than concerned for me. Day one. just day one is over…