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