Freedom fighter

It’s Friday. The sun is shining. And I feel GOOOOD.

There’re my triggers to drink – all three of ’em, in one shiny little package. A perfect storm to pick up.

But… I went to a support meeting this morning and I have been reading good recovery stuff. The weekend I was to have away with work (full-on schedule, possibly around party animals) has been cancelled by a crazy unforseen circumstance. I am not feeling shaky, although I must admit, the thought of drinking has of course crossed my mind.

So, I’m six days sober. I know it’s not a lot but for me, well, it IS. I don’t want to mess this up, and I know I am at a very, very vulnerable stage. I keep playing the drinking tape forward in my head, and the ending is not pretty: something like waking in the morning with a ginormous hangover, quite possibly regretting something I had done or said the night before, not being nice to my children, lazing around all day feeling like crap and eating shite. Weekend wasted. It’s just not as alluring to me, today, as it usually is.

I had the same feeling last night, when I was at my favourite beachside cafe (beaches and sunshine are huge drinking triggers .. hard when you live on an island). There was a bunch of drinkers on the deck, the ocean twinkling behind them. It looked attractive briefly but I didn’t give it much thought once I had a soft drink and got busy feeding the kids and talking to my friend. We had a lovely time on the beach later and I drove home thinking, ‘I am free’.

If I had drunk at the cafe I would have been obsessing over how many wines I could have before I couldn’t drive. Should I have more and just get a taxi? What will I do with my car? Should I just chance it and drive? Have I got more wine at home? Is there enough? Who can I get to come over and keep me company? The evening would have been taken over by drinking and thinking about drinking. The lovely talk I had with my friend and the enjoyment I had watching the kids play on the beach would have been mere irritations or distractions – something to do until I could get home and relax and drink PROPERLY.

Sobriety is freedom – not a sentence. This is new thinking for me: I have always been of the mind that not drinking is a punishment. I am now starting to realise it’s the opposite. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to get it – maybe it’s the evolution of suffering (there’s been a lot of that, no doubt mainly self-inflicted) or perhaps something has finally clicked for me.

Anyhow, early days yet. Got the weekend of sunshine to get through. Have a good one, folks.

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