I've been haunted by all the photos, on Facebook and in the media, of dead children washed up on the shores of the Greek islands and Turkey.
As a drinker, I was not a very compassionate person.
I think my brain spent far too much of its time thinking about the next drinking opportunity, or recovering from the last one.
And if I did happen to come across a terrible story that hit me hard through the fug, I had a solution for that.....vino. A few glugs and, like magic, not bothered any more.
But today, I'm feeling ashamed. Because there is no doubt that the journey to Alcohol Free is a hard one, but I look at those pictures of the people who are making the treacherous journey from Syria, and countries like it, to Europe and realise that everything is relative.
These people haven't just given up their 'prop', their 'best friend', they've left their homes, their culture, their families and friends, their wealth and possessions. Everything they own....
.....just to survive. Just to keep their children alive. Just to live in a world where you can get an education. Show your bare face, or an ankle. Love whomever you want. Feed and clothe your children. Worship the God you choose.
Yes, it's difficult for us to keep our heads above water sometimes, but I looked at a picture of a mother in the Mediterranean sea, trying desperately to stay alive so that she could keep her baby's head above the water for long enough for the rescue boat to reach her, and realised that I cannot even begin to comprehend how that feels.
I've posted before about the importance of self-compassion. And it is important. We have to be kind to ourselves, to love ourselves and to forgive ourselves if we're ever going to make it to Properly Sober, but I'm worried that along the way I've neglected compassion for others.
So next time the wine witch comes calling, and I'm feeling sorry for myself, I'm going to think of those women on those overcrowded boats with their children. Women who've risked everything for an outcome which is horribly uncertain in countries that welcome them with crossed arms and suspicious faces. Women who don't have a glass of Chablis to take the edge off their terror.
I owe it to women like them, as well as to myself, to make the very best of my life, and to use it to help others.
So here's to women struggling everywhere. However large or small the obstacles.
Courage mes braves.