New Eyes

I see things differently now I am sober.

Today is the 196th day of continuous sobriety. The last time I drank was on 11th March 2016, on a Friday night. And predictably I got so plastered I could barely walk home. I’m ashamed of being that person – (can you see a theme in my last posts, because I certainly can) who dragged her family and friends out for a pizza and then got completely drunk.

I see the whole social culture round alcohol with new eyes, I see all the things I have missed, and all the unwise decisions I have made through my new sober eyes. With a clarity I have not had for years. I do not feel smug – don’t get me wrong, I’m a whisper away from a relapse, just like everyone else – and I am far from perfect now. But a big source of cognitive dissonance has been removed from my life – I no longer drink heavily , more than I should ( which I always knew was bad for me, bad for my family, bad for my relationships, expensive, bad for my health and generally stupid – a drunk 51 year old woman is not cool – its a bit sad)

I see my children with new eyes, I see their struggles and the support they need more intuitively – I guess it makes sense, if you (I) are fully THERE, I’m likely to pick more things that are important. I still have a problem I think with boundaries with my kids, I don’t for example really know how much to share with them about my relationship breakdown. They are acutely aware of it – how could they not be – and we have talked about it – but how much do they need to know? how much is it appropriate to share ? how much of my internal struggle should they know ? I think its good for kids (teenagers) to know that adults don’t have all the answers; I think its good for them to know that adults make mistakes and have regrets, I also don’t want them to think I regard relationships / love as easily expendable. I don’t want them to think that I ? we didn’t try to work through our problems. If I am to ask for their help – which I need if the house is to keep running – then they have to understand some part of my struggles.. but how much ?

How much to share about the decision to stop drinking? we are planning an 18th birthday party for my eldest son. I will order alcohol for my guests but I will not drink – he asked me if I would as its a ‘special occasion’ and seemed surprised when I said that I would not. how much should I share about my decision that for me. moderation was impossible and sobriety ultimately the only option.

with my new eyes, I am open to my children in a way that I was not before, but I am also aware that I am not their ‘friend’ I am their mother and need to be in ‘authority’. but does authority come more easily when you discuss issues and reach compromise, or when you lay don the law – ” Because I say so…” I am also acutely aware of being seen to live what I say eg put your shoes in the boot room has a hollow ring if my shoes are all over the house…

My new eyes are kinder to me (you might not believe it, but its true and I have invested in personal therapy for me as a way to help ME. Not for anyone else, for ME.

here are several other demons I need to deal with, and many pot holes to avoid in this journey. I’m pleased, I think, with my progress so far. I feel the capacity to love and to care for my patents, my friends, my colleagues has increased since I became dry. I have more headspace although I’m very distracted since ExP left.

My sobriety remains my priority, although I honestly don’t THINK about it much day to day any more. I think. hope, I’m aware of triggers that could derail me, and have strategies to manage them.

Still few people know I am sober (for ever).. but I have an embryo plan to one day offer support to other medical staff / doctors also struggling with alcohol / substance misuse. I believe its a huge hidden problem … With my new eyes, I believe I could do that

 

 


7 comments

  1. I am quite open about sobriety with my kids, and they are 11 and 13.
    They know we go to AA sometimes, and that I meet up with my “sober ladies” occasionally.

    Cleo told me last night she was only ever going to drink one drink, not 8 like I used to. I asked her is she is happy that changed, and she said yes. That I am always there for her now, and I am happier and more zen.

    It makes me proud to hear that. I can’t change the past, and I think I have forgiven myself for struggling as I did. The me I am today is the only one I have any influence on. And it sounds like I am doing ok,

    Just like you are. Awesome.

    Anne

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  2. What a great post. Cognitive dissonance fascinates me and I’m 100% with you on seeing alcohol as it is – but as you said, without the smugness. But at the same time it makes me think ‘why would I ever WANT to drink again?!’ (Even though the cravings and desire do pop up still, and I’m sure always will.)

    And the relationships. Obviously I don’t have kids, but I feel like a better friend, daughter, sister, auntie – person. A better me to me.
    In this fairly short time I’ve gotten to know you and read your posts I am SO proud and inspired on how far you’ve come. High fives!! (I know – not so British 😉 ) X

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  3. Wow, I can’t believe you’re the same person as in your earlier posts. You are amazing!!! And congratulations on day 196. You are my hero. And thank you for being my sober inspiration today. ; )

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