I’ve now been sober for six weeks, and nobody could be more surprised than I am that I have made it this far. Of course, as a secret drinker, none of the people around me knew about The Problem, so they wouldn’t have anything to be surprised about. Some probably had suspicions that I might be a little fond of the sauce; but I was careful to mostly hit it hard at home, alone, under the cover of darkness. Actual darkness was dictated strictly by season, as I had that bottle of prosecco open within moments of walking through the door come winter or spring. First across the finish line again. Hurrah!
I would actually say ‘hurrah’ sometimes (seriously), and toast the air / my cat / a potted plant with the first glass of the evening. Don’t you just love that first glass? I suspect you might, as you’re here. I loved it too much. It would often give me a moment of unwarranted delight. Everywhere in sober communities online you’ll find it said: ‘One drink is too many, and no amount is ever enough’.
I tried to get sober loads of times over recent years, and never made it more than a few days. I spent a lot of time worrying about that. I worried about my drinking all the time. I was the most concerned with the fact that I might be an alcoholic. Don’t get me wrong, I was worried about my health, my looks, my finances – the full 3am mental rolodex of panic – but the ‘A’ word was the one I worried about most. As a result I constantly looked for confirmation that I definitely was not an alcoholic and the great thing about confirmation bias is that, no matter what, you can find something to shore up even the thinnest of arguments. I don’t drink in the mornings, I don’t drink at work, I have never slept on a park bench with a Special Brew in a brown paper bag. Hurrah?
In truth, I was very ambivalent about quitting. I wanted to and did not want to have to in equal measure. If I am really honest, I was scared to – because if I gave it up, I mean for real, what on earth was I going to do all alone for the rest of my life? So I employed the most potent of human superpowers, picked up the Wine Glass of Denial, and locked the nagging concerns in a filing cabinet somewhere in a far corner of my brain.
The thing is, I have always said that everything in my life is going to change once I get to 40. After all, 40 is always forever away – it’s a properly grown up age. I’ve had the feeling deep in my soul since my teenage years that 40 will be the dawn of a magical decade where everything in my life will work out, become stable, fall into place, and generally blossom. Most women look at 40 with trepidation. Not I. Once I get there, I will finally start to Live. My. Best. Life.
I think you can see where this is going.
In February this year, five months after my 40th birthday and having run out of all patience with my procrastination routine, the Universe decided that if I wasn’t going to jump, then it was going to push me…
~The Sober Curator~