Thursday, 23 April 2015

Follow the sober brick road....

Day 53! Over the last week I've become obsessed by imagery from the Wizard of Oz. I've managed to work out why. Please stick with me here, I promise there's a really valid point to all this!

Remember the bleak, lonely, black and white Kansas in the opening of the Wizard of Oz? That's the drinking days. Slowly, slowly, sip by sip, all the colour is gradually leeched out, and you look around you and think "how the hell did this happen?"

So you make a monumental decision: I have to stop drinking. The initial few days are a physical whirlwind - a tornado. You're all tetchy and restless and everything goes a little haywire - your sleep, digestion, energy levels and emotions are all inside out and upside down.

Then, the tornado clears and you discover that you've landed in an amazing place - Oz. This is the 'honeymoon' (sometimes called 'pink cloud') phase that I've written about a lot already. All the colours are brighter, your senses are heightened, there's a feeling that anything is possible. You wonder why on earth you never came here before.

But before too long you realise that Oz isn't all it seems. You don't know the rules, you're not sure how to navigate the landscape. The brightness is actually a bit scary and there's a sharpness, an edge, that you're not used to dealing with. (This is around week 6 or 7, when a lot of people seem to fall off the wagon).

And, the most frightening thing about Oz? The Wicked Wine Witch of the West who is constantly out to get you.

Now I get to play Dorothy. I know that's not entirely fair or democratic, but it's my blog and I have to get some perks. But I'm not wearing that ghastly gingham dress, or doing the plaits. The expression 'mutton dressed as lamb' springs to mind. I'm wearing a floaty Alice Temperley dress, and the hair is loose with a Kate Middleton style blow dry (by the way, is it true that you Americans say 'blow job' instead of 'blow dry', or is someone winding me up? A blow job means something entirely different on this side of the pond....)

Tallaxo gets to be the lion as he's the only bloke who's so far volunteered for a speaking part on this blog. (What are you all - men or mice? It is not statistically likely that 17,000 page views are all female. Come on out of the drinks closet and join the conversation!) Plus, I suspect that Tallaxo looks like Colin Firth. Don't you just love putting imaginary faces to the names?

So, now we've discovered how scary Oz actually is, we find ourselves some friends and together we follow the sober brick road, because we've been assured that at the end of it is the Wizard, and the Wizard can give us freedom.

As we make our way on our journey, holding hands and singing, we realise that we're having to cope with emotions and stuff that we've never really dealt with before - or at least not since we started drinking a lot. We find that, like the lion, scarecrow and tin man, there's bits we're missing - a heart, a brain, courage, whatever, and we want the Wizard to fix us and transport us to the sober nirvana.

Tragically, when we get to the end of the road we find that the wizard isn't there. He never was. He was a figment of our imagination. But, you know what? By then we no longer need him. Because, in our long journey, brick by sober brick, along the road, we've been learning how to deal with all the emotions and stuff.

Oz is no longer scary and sharp, and we've managed to dissolve the Wicked Wine Witch of the West with a bucket of water (she was well and truly sozzled). We don't need to be transported anywhere else, because we find that, actually, we're already here, and it's amazing!

At least that is, I hope, how the story ends. Right now I'm still tripping along that sober brick road with you, my friends.

Have a great day in Oz!

Love SM x

Related post: the sober rollercoaster

16 comments:

  1. Brilliant x a positive upbeat lovely blog - I'm just glad you haven't cast me as the scarecrow given I'm having a very bad hair day today !!

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    1. That part is yours Kags! Now exercise some 'self care' and get thee to a hairdresser ;-) x

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  2. ROAR!!! Colin Firth? Ok, I will definitely take that as a compliment, even if he is a decade or so older than me. That is a lovely story and made me grin ear to ear. Day 50 for me as well. Mixed day for sure, sometimes finding myself getting really impatient over trivial matters or trivial actions of others, followed by the voice of reasoning telling myself to be patient and have understanding. I have been ping ponging this cycle all day.
    I am really glad to be home now. Time for a nice long walk in the evening sun to clear my thoughts. I should be really happy with day 50, but I am suffering with some mild melancholy today but I am determined to change that and cheer up, after all, it is a beautiful evening here. Maybe I will think of Kansas and that yellow brick road. It is making me smile again just typing this. Thank you SM x

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    1. Fret not, Tallaxo, I'm thinking Mr Darcy, not King George ;-) night night x

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  3. Been 2 weeks for me now and am lovvvvvviiiiinnng life :0) thanks for your help xx

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    1. 2 weeks! You rock! Just be prepared for The Wall, and don't let it trip you up... Xxx

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  4. Genius post today SM, made me smile :-) it cheered me up as I have spent most of the day feeling like a friendless moron! Self pity mostly, "why would anyone like me"? "am I a bad person"? Blah blah blah. Feel like opening a bottle of wine but desperately trying not too, I need to grow a pair of balls and get on with it. Instead I shall sit on my ride on lawn mower with a grumpy look on my face..... Xx

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    1. Step away from the wine Newleaf! Your doing great and I bet everyone loves you. We do! X

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  5. So true!
    We don't ned to escape, or run away.
    We really don't understand how much strength we already have to face life.
    xo
    wendy

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  6. On this side of the pond, we call it a blow OUT not a blow job!!! I mean at least not as it pertains to getting your hair done. Great post today SM!!!
    Southern Emily

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    1. Thanks for the clarification, Emily. I could have got in big trouble if I ever tried to get my hair cut in New York ;-) x

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  7. Brilliant post SM, I loved it!! Had to laugh about the blow job comment!! The sober yellow brick road is certainly bumpy, but I hope I get to the other end eventually. A x

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    1. you will, Angie - you're doing great x

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  8. Love this analogy. At day 70 I have def passed through the pink cloud and am finding the road rocky at present. Dealing with life raw leaves me lion like, wishing for a magic dose of courage. This will help me to keep going along the road. Big thank you xx

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    1. Day 70! Wow - well done you! Do let me know what's coming up round the next bend! Love SM x

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