In these days of social media saturation it can be easy for us to feel disappointed. Disappointed that we don’t have the right accoutrements for the ‘right’ life: don’t visit the right restaurants, live in the right house, take the right holidays, wear the right clothes, you know the drill. The danger of comparison and succumbing to the green eyed monster. If you were to actually believe the carefully constructed glimpses of life crap you see on Instagram it would be enough to drive you to drink.
To be honest, I’ve never given a shit about any of that life comparison stuff. Have confidence in your own taste has always been my motto, even though that ‘taste’ was mainly towards wine. However, recently I’ve been feeling disappointed. Not with my life status, but in my progression with my sobriety.
If you have read my previous blogs you will know that I packed in a long and tumultuous drinking career on 29th April 2019 – and I did this alone. By alone I mean that I did not follow a Recovery Program or attend A.A, but what I did do was engage with some like-minded people on social media who were going through the same process and they became vital in keeping me on track. And it worked. Or at least it worked right up until I launched myself off the wagon towards the end of the year. The upshot of that was two-fold, I felt like I’d let my peers down, that they had wasted their time with me, and I felt that I was no longer entitled to feel the pride I had before.
I was down in the dumps, on a real Debbie-Downer. Even though I’ve since given up drinking again (I’ve not touched a drop this year), I still felt like I didn’t quite ‘get it’, that I was an imposter amongst the soberites in my circle and that I was failing where my peers were succeeding. Where did this come from? This mad comparison? I suddenly realised that had ‘me’ of a year ago been told that she had finally started to control her relationship with alcohol and had gone more than three quarters of a year with just a few drinks, well, she would have never believed it! So I decided to tell her – to tell myself just exactly what I’ve achieved….so I wrote myself a letter:
I know you’re scared. Terrified. I know that you don’t know what to do. Well, you do know what you need to do, but you don’t believe for a second that you can. You know what I’m talking about. That thing that occupies your every waking moment, that mad cycle that you are trapped in that when you are not thinking about how you need to give up wine, you are thinking of how to get it, how to hide it, how to drink it.
Well, are you sitting down? You’re never going to believe this. This year…this year….this year for you are going to kick the habit. You are going to stop drinking. You are going to stop drinking for nearly six months!!! I know!!! Sounds mad doesn’t it? You – you who has not gone more than 27 days without a drink in nearly 25 years (remember that 27 days, in 2013?) will finally get the demon under control.
And the best part of this, you are never going to believe the things that will happen as a result of that decision…so here’s a glimpse…
- Firstly, you are going to have an affair. A real love thang. Now, don’t get too excited, this isn’t a hottie, this love affair is with yourself. For the first time in a long time you learn to like yourself, to trust yourself, to believe in your own reliability. For the first time in years you have actually accomplished something you set out to do – and it is a real achievement. It is difficult, so hard at first (and you knew it was going to be hard, you’ve read all the books, you know what to expect), but actually doing it? Yes, it’s difficult but you do it – and you’re proud of that, so proud you spout about it all day long on Twitter, but you should be proud, you’ve proved yourself.
- Your sleep is infinitely better. The 3am Wine-Witch-Wake-Up-Call has gone. The improved sleep means you are far more able to deal with the days. Life is clearer, better, brighter.
- You’re lighter – not just emotionally, but physically. All those empty calories in the wine you were pounding that you know were wreaking havoc with the size of your arse, well when they’re gone, you shrink, literally.
- You’re fitter – this year you will climb mountains, swim miles, walk miles and miles, run, buy a bicycle and ride every day (or ride whilst the sun is shining anyway, but ODAAT and all that…ODAAT? You probably don’t know what that means, you will learn a whole new host of jargon and acronyms this year)
- You go on holidays and don’t drink.
- You go on holidays and remember them when you get home.
- You look better – your skin is glowing and you get compliments, lots of compliments (which in truth cause a whole new addiction of their own, but it’s a nice one).
- Your relationships are deeper and more authentic, remove the drink and you can really get to know people, and you do. Now, one relationship does suffer, but don’t worry it will be ok, some of those closest to you will struggle with your decisions as they literally mourn the old you, it’s painful to watch, but….but it has to be done.
So, TPL do you see where this is going. What you do this year is amazing. Life changing. There is nothing to fear. It is a huge thing that lots of people set out to do and don’t manage it – but YOU DO!
You have it all to look forward to.
And the best part? You really enjoy it.
As a quick add on, as if these incentives weren’t enough these things happen too:
- You make a load of new contacts through your documentation of your recovery on social media, lifelong friends.
- You get ASKED to write blogs
- Some of your favourite writers start following you
- Russell Brand retweets some of your comments – I knew that would be the clincher!! 🙂
THIS is what awaits you. What are YOU waiting for?
Love TPL xxx
P.S Don’t worry too much about the falling off the wagon bit, you develop enough skills and knowledge this year to climb right back on, but, if time travel does exist and you can see this before you start your recovery: DON’T go out on 30th October…. just saying.