The ‘F’ Word

I was fired.

They were at pains to point out that I was not technically being fired, they were just terminating my contract. Apparently this is completely different. No issues with your work, just going in a new direction, a good reference will be provided… but we’re making today your last day.

I was definitely being fired. I just didn’t have a clue why.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, but that’s not it. I never drank in the mornings, or in the day. I always turned up on time and presentable to work, put in overtime, and hit all my targets. When it came to the workplace, I was high functioning.

As well as being a massive shock (I had just been promoted and my performance record was spotless), it was also a massive embarrassment. I was in a senior position, in a respected industry, in the capital city. At 8am I was heading to the office and by 11am I was heading to the unemployment line. Just like that. I was renting an expensive flat in a expensive area (foolish), I had no savings (alcohol), my credit card was maxed out (alcohol), I was jobless in a dead job market (f*cking Brexit), penniless, in shock, without a plan, and unable to pay rent.

It’s enough to turn a person to drink.

If there’s a time for wine, it’s in a bone fide emergency. But it was 11.00am and one of my justifications for not being a you-know-what, was not drinking in the morning. I lasted until around 3pm that day, which wasn’t too bad all things considered.

After falling apart for a few days, consoled enthusiastically by my best friend prosecco, panic finally set in. I put in notice on my flat, packed my cat and everything I owned, and moved out of the city to my brother’s house, which was empty and awaiting construction works. I am so lucky I had somewhere to go and a wonderful sibling still paying the water and electricity bills.

I had a choice, which wasn’t much of a choice, but was one of the most important ones I have ever made. I was jobless and (kind of) homeless at 40, with virtually no money or income, in a strange place, without friends or community, and nothing but time to sit alone all day and Think About What I Had Done. There’s nothing like being forced to take a long, hard look at your life and yourself in very unflattering lighting to sober you up.

I woke up on April 7th, 2019 with a stinking hangover. One of those skull crushers that is guaranteed to last at least 48 hours. I was wretched. I was sick in body and sick in spirit. I had become powerless over my own life. My 40s were supposed to be the decade when everything changed for the better, when I would become stable and happy and abundant. Less than six months in and it was falling apart. One eye closed (it’s hard to look at an i-phone screen with a screaming hangover) I opened the app store and searched ‘sober’. I downloaded the first sober app I saw and set the counter at zero. I quite literally couldn’t afford to drink any longer.

I’m six weeks sober today.

~The Sober Curator~

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Shawna Rae says:

    The day of my almost firing turned out to be the catalyst for some major changes, especially in the harsh light of day. Though I did sometimes have wine with lunch, I was there every day on time and had a spotless record. Still … I could not think as well hungover. I struggled to pay attention. I was a nonproductive from 2:00 to 4:00 from exhaustion. I was over-caffeinated to stay alert, which made me a bit edgy and snippy. I see all of this in hindsight, of course. And I was about 40, with no savings, but also the single parent of two kids. Is there any greater confidence shaker than this?

    Hence I am ECSTATIC about on your six weeks sober. It took me another DECADE or so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sobercurator says:

      Thank you!

      You’ve hit the nail on the head – if your work and performance are good, and you still get fired… well, it was time to take an honest look at myself. I was definitely snippy, tired, and aggressive. Poor sleep, caffeine, nicotine, hangovers and the Weight of Shame do not a pleasant colleague / employee / boss make.

      Thanks for the encouragement, empathy and, of course, the re-blog πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shawna Rae says:

        Oh, the Weight of Shame! There’s so little left of it these days, I’m happy to say. Self-forgiveness is an ongoing process, but much easier to handle without adding to it via alcohol. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. habitdone says:

    That was an amazing post! Congratulations on 6 weeks! Day 29 for me today! Blogging does help.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sobercurator says:

      I’m finding it really therapeutic. It’s good to have an outlet to share and talk about things πŸ™‚

      Congratulations on Day 29 – you’re almost at the first month! That’s a major milestone. We can do this!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you are choosing this path with us!
    I’m over at https://tipsynomore.blogspot.com/
    Being fired stinks!
    My husband lost his job, and it took a year for him to find a new one.
    But he did! And life went on.
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sobercurator says:

      That gives me hope! I have an interview tomorrow so…. fingers crossed. Thanks for the encouragement.

      Subscribed πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. sobrietytree says:

    Wow. Awesome post. Congrats on 6 weeks. I was in the same place as you on April 9th last year, or at least the part about the hangover from hell. A few months later thought I had it licked and could drink moderately (nope) so here I am again, this time at 54 days so far. I found the AA Big Book helpful (https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous). Though I don’t go to meetings, partly because there are none in my area) also “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace if you haven’t heard of that already. BTW, “Finding a Sober Miracle recommended this post to everyone in her following and that’s how I’m here now. Happy to meet your blog’s acquaintance, and I love the Lucille Ball references as well. :)))

    p.s. This sober WP community has been a huge part of my inspiration and support system. Also do check out SoberandWell.com’s blog, it’s a quick read from first post to last, and very positive. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sobercurator says:

      Wow – thanks for all the amazing advice and resources. You rock! I’m going to check them all out – I’m so glad to have found a community full of such lovely people here πŸ˜Šβ˜€οΈ

      Like

  5. anne marie anetts says:

    Well done and your writing is amazing. If you want to truly understand how you ended up in your brother’s house at 40, please get yourself a copy of Γ„llen Carr’s’ “The Easy Way to Control Alcohol” – it contains a lot of laughs also. This book was the catalyst for Holly Whitaker’s blog/website “HIP Sobriety” which is also amazingly well-written xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. anne marie anetts says:

    ps: Do NOT get the version of the Carr book for women. It’s dumbed down and not written by him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sobercurator says:

      Awesome – thank you, will check out the real version (and down with misogyny!!) 🌟

      Like

  7. zumiroger says:

    There are Workplace Monsters who create a hell for you.

    Like

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