Maybe one of the things that has stopped you quitting any earlier is the terrible thought of living the rest of your life sober.
Sober is a horrible word. I looked up the dictionary definition. It means serious, sensible and solemn. Other, equally ghastly synonyms are: grave, sombre, severe, restrained, conservative, strict, puritanical, unemotional, and dispassionate.
Do I want to be any of those things? No! Do you? I suspect not.
Part of the reason we all got into this mess is because we are not, and have never been, restrained or sensible, conservative or dispassionate. We were the wild ones! We still want to be the wild ones!
So we need another word.
I've been wracking my brains for some time on this question, and here are my current options. Instead of saying 'I am sober' how about:
I am free
Free of the wine witch constantly telling me to drink just one more. Free from fretting about how much wine is in the fridge, or what I said to whom the night before. Free of the crashing hangovers. Free of guilt and self loathing. Or perhaps....
I am in control
In control of my life, rather than the wine witch pulling my strings like a puppet. In control of what I do when, rather than scheduling everything around the hangovers and the drinking sessions. In control of all the other bits of my life that have gone crazy over the years - the waistline, the clutter, the house and garden, the relationships. Or maybe....
I am brave
Brave enough to face life head on without blurring all the edges, without seeking oblivion, without an artificial crutch. Brave enough to walk into a party sober, to make new friends, to make up with old ones. Brave enough to meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same. Or do you prefer....
I am clean
Clean of any artificial stimulants. (Except caffeine. Nobody gets between me and my morning skinny cappuccino). I have clear eyes, clear skin, shiny hair. I respect my body and my mind. I am a finely tuned and beautifully oiled machine. I am - in a very tiny way - Gwyneth Paltrow. Without the unbearable smugness.
But here's the one I prefer:
I am me
Not artificially buoyed up by a drug. Not faking it, hiding from it, avoiding it. I am exactly as you see me, all of the time. I am, in many ways, more like the person I was twenty years ago than the person I was last year. I am passionate, emotional, unrestrained, happy, relaxed, carefree and wild.....
......in other words, the very opposite of sober.
Happy, non-sober, Sunday morning everyone!
Related post: I hate the word 'normal'