from my inbox:
A: “I’m on day 17 today, I went out to xx with my husband to watch a show at the theatre. The evening was jam packed full of triggers for me – a child-free evening out, a trip on the train with a buffet car, a venue with a bar, an interval promoting time to drink and people everywhere holding drinks … I held a bottle of water.
My senses were on high alert and in that moment my Wolfie was saying ‘why can’t you do what these people are doing? Why shouldn’t you? You deserve it, just because you drink tonight doesn’t mean you will drink tomorrow. Go on, let your hair down!
It didn’t spoil my night but it was definitely with me throughout the event. This was, until the moment we reached the train station to return home.
Suddenly I was on the other side of ‘it’, like some kind of parallel world switch had been struck. What is the ‘it’ that I was in the otherwise of? Well the station and train was packed with drunk people. People swaying, slurring, shouting and obliterated through drink. People who were looking for trouble. Girls hardly dressed and throwing up, phones everywhere. People taking selfie after selfie whilst pouting or kissing strangers. There were elongated over-pitched shrieks and bodies falling in the aisles.
The train was like a zoo without containment, running wild. I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing and then realisation dawned; this was me in the past … I definitely remember behaving that way and not giving a shit who saw me and I never gave a thought that my drunken behaviour might be a tad excessive.
…The point I’m trying to make is this unruly zoo on the 22:02 train from xx were all symptoms of much much deeper issues for each and every single person on that train. I felt I could see inside some of them. Their despair, self loathing, lack of self compassion and care; and for me it was a lightbulb moment. I thanked goodness that I didn’t give in to Wolfie on that night. I could hold my head high, I felt proud of myself and oh so grateful that I was not that person anymore and I didn’t have to wake up with the hangover, the remorse, the empty purse, the shame or embarrassment.
So the next time my Wolfie pipes up I’m going to try to conjure the image of that wild zoo and remind myself that they are the reason why I’m on the right tracks.
This was my first sober night out in years. It was hard but if I can do it, anyone can.
Thanks for listening, A.”
NEW – Where are they now? Sober support paintings …