It’s Sunday evening. I’ve just finished a long day, part of a long week at work. It’s been difficult: staff have resigned, it has been insanely busy considering we are smack in the middle of a social-distance-inducing pandemic, and I’m shattered. Shattered, but sober. What I really want to do is climb into bed but this short blog has just burst out of me like something from a sci-fi movie. On my last blog I said how I wanted to do “the work” required to maintain long term sobriety, so here I am, tired and weary but so willing to find my way, to do the work.
It’s been a very constructive week. The long working hours and difficulties with the pub would, in the past, have induced me to push the “fuck it” button and I’d have ‘rewarded’ my woes with wine. But not this week. I’ve accepted that I have a drink problem and that once I start drinking, the Pringle factor is just too strong, once I start I can’t stop. The relief this self-admission has provided is immense. Too immense to describe in this short space so all I would say is this: it’s easy to understand that you need to accept your problem. As heavy drinkers trying to find sobriety we are not idiots, we are often booze-educated, we understand the concepts, the jargon and the winning formulas. But, you can’t force it. When it happens, it happens. It takes test after test after test for most of us, until the tests just become too hard and the penny drops that this isn’t worth it. The penny has clanged with a rewarding ‘thud’ for me.
Things feel different, easier than before when I’ve quit drinking, but I’m not resting as I know what can lurk around the corner so I’ve committed to doing “the work” to maintain this long term. I’ve committed so long term, that this week I’ve cancelled a university course I was due to start in October. I love my studies, but I want to love the sober life more, so I’m here, punching this keyboard with what I hope to be my work over the next year or so, making my obstacle my way forward. I want to write a book about sobriety and am using these blogs as my aide memoir. I want to write the book that I’d like to read; not necessarily just a story of finding sobriety but hard tips on how to find it. Not so much a “do as I do” as “this is how I did…”
Anyway…Pokemon? Chatting with Pikachu and friends this week has been my first piece of work. What do I mean? In her recent book “Glorious Rock Bottom”, Bryony Gordon talks of how, as part of her sobriety toolbox, she gathered soberites around her “like Pokemon”. With that in mind, this week I dusted off my own set of Pokemon cards and set to work. I’ve chatted and text with my own sober community, people in all stages of sobriety: those with years under their belt, a year or so and those starting out and struggling. I want to become part of the sober world, engage with “my people’, it’s important. Now I’m not learning at university I want to study at the feet of those who’ve cracked it. I’ll be a good student. I’m willing and I’m happy to absorb anything they can give me. I’m soaking up top tips like a sponge. I’m Spongebob Swat-pants.
So that’s it. A short entry but an important one. This week I’ve spoken with people who are lost and people who’ve recovered themselves. Sometimes we just need some structure, so here’s my own Step 1: find your tribe, your people, your Pokemon and soak ’em up like a sponge(bob)!