Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Alcohol and Trauma

A few months ago I might have been able to imagine being sober while everything in life was going well, but I could never picture myself coping with anything majorly traumatic without a drink in hand.

Truth be told, in the early days I would have welcomed a minor trauma as a fabulous excuse to give up giving up.

Now I can honestly tell you that there is no problem in life that cannot be made worse by alcohol.

I have not had a good day.

I managed to get my appointment at the breast clinic bought forward to today. Although 8 out of ten breast lumps are benign (so do not panic if you find one), it appears that mine is not.

In the old days I would have escaped direct to a bar. By now I'd be legless and weeping. There's no way that I'd be able to keep my chin up in front of the children.

I was always aware that whilst I could maintain the façade of 'high functioning alcohol addict' when life was going swimmingly, if life were to throw me a curve ball I'd be swimming in the stuff. The wheels would have well and truly come off and I'd be pouring vodka on the cornflakes at breakfast time. I'd have ridden the elevator all the way down to rock bottom.

But now, one of the only things I can imagine being worse than a cancer diagnosis is a cancer diagnosis with a hangover. The only thing worse than a sleepless night prior to the appointment would be a sleepless night with the alcohol horrors thrown in.

There's nothing better than facing your own mortality to make you realise that you don't want to blot out a single minute with alcohol, or to waste another morning with a hangover.

I'm sure that the reason I'm able to remain (relatively) positive rather than being horribly depressed is because I am sober.

And here are (at the risk of sounding like a punch-able Pollyanna) some reasons to be cheerful:

(1) I have one of the best consultant breast surgeons in the country.

(although his bedside manner is terrible. He copped a feel of my boobs for two minutes and then, without any build up, preamble or preparation said "breast cancer", leaving the poor nurse to run over with a box of tissues and scoop me off the floor).

(2) They are pretty sure (and will know more by Friday) that it is STAGE 1 - which, as cancers go, is a very good one to have.

(3) They have promised me that they will make sure I don't lose my hair (I don't want to scare the kids).

(4) One of the best ways to ensure that you don't get breast cancer, or (in my case) don't get it again, is to not drink alcohol. And I've ticked that one off already.

(5) Next time someone annoys me by grilling me as to why I'm not drinking I can say because it doesn't go well with chemotherapy which will really shut them up good and proper.

(6) The best way to deal with cancer treatment is to take it one day at a time. Baby steps. Stay in the moment - don't look ahead. Face your emotions. And after the last (nearly) eight months I have a post grad degree in all of that stuff.

(7) What better way to support my Aunt during her cancer treatment than to join in?

(8) I have the support of a fabulous family, and the constant distraction of three amazing kids who can always make me smile.

So please don't feel sorry for me, just do me a favour and think if SM can stay sober while having part of her boob hacked off then the rest blitzed with lasers and soaked in poison then I jolly well can too.

(And make sure you check your boobs regularly. My quick once over when I heard about my Aunt's diagnosis probably saved my life).

Have we got a deal?

Love SM x

45 comments:

  1. Oh sm I'm so sorry to hear this stay strong lovely lady - you have an amazing family to support you - it's times like this children are an absolute god send to ensure that you smile daily and have plenty of other stuff to fill your mind x big big love

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  2. Can't believe I left that off the list Kags! Adding it now xxx

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  3. I'm so sorry. But yes, we have a deal. It's a blessing you got sober ahead of this.

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  4. I'm so sorry. But yes, we have a deal. It's a blessing you got sober ahead of this.

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  5. I'm so sorry. But yes, we have a deal. It's a blessing you got sober ahead of this.

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  6. Oh, SM, I was keeping my fingers crossed it would be a cyst, fatty tissue or some other boring and benign thing. Here's hoping it is stage 1 and blastable. Now you really will have lasers shooting out your bosoms! Just need the Gaultier corset and the fishnets. Big hugs, xx

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  7. So sorry SM, and yes, it's a deal. X

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  8. I am so shocked. Been thinking of you this week. You sound strong - I am in awe x (Timeforchange but can't seem to make my account work at the mo)

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  9. So sorry to hear this SM 😢 Lucky you found it early. Stay strong. You can get through this. Thinking of you and your family. A x

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  10. I've been thinking about you all day, checked your blog 4 times today. We have a deal! You are a strong wonderful women and you will get through this. We (your sober buddies) are here for you

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    Replies
    1. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CGYQFjAGahUKEwi4rvb4stPIAhWKcj4KHbweCRM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cancerresearchuk.org%2Fabout-cancer%2Ftype%2Fbreast-cancer%2Fabout%2Frisks%2Fbreast-cancer-genes&usg=AFQjCNGQ4IvRQb-hQyqaSNq0WT7GsHLffg&sig2=ZFh4kOmcLZ8u8AJIG9vOoQ&bvm=bv.105454873,d.cWw

      Also may want to get tested for the BRCA gene (Angelina Jolie had this). Especially since your aunt has breast cancer too. Then you can be proactive with what kind of treatment you are going to have. I'm attaching a link

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  11. Holy Shit! You are a rock! Nobody and nothing will break you.... No booze! No cancer!! Fight fight fight!!
    You know I'm with you partner.... send me an email if you need to chat. (I'll send you my number too)... xoxo

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  12. I was really hoping the news would be different but I'm glad you're in good hands (literally!) and that this lump has been discovered early. It's a deal X

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  13. It's a deal. And I'm over to your side of the world in a few months so we'll catch up. Love and Hugs xxx

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  14. It's a deal. Praying for you.

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  15. It's a deal!!! Sending big cyber hugs and best wishes xxx

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  16. Way to be strong SM, I'm so glad you found it early - Stage 1 is as good as it can be and it sounds as though you are in "good hands". You've got this.

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  17. I am shocked, it has all happened so fast, you are amazing and such an inspiration, Deal here. X

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  18. With you all the way, you have been a support and inspiration to me, of course I will stay sober and keep you in mind while i do it. Peace and love xx

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  19. Sobriety certainly gives us strength we never realised we had. I agree that facing trauma drunk is even more scary. Hope it all goes to plan xx

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  20. dearest SM, thinking of you all the way xxxx

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  21. You are - as always - such an inspiration. We're all here behind you <3

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  22. Deal! I agree going through this while still drinking would be even worse. Imagine wondering all the time when you'd be well enough to start drinking again. At least that thought is out if the equation. With you all the way xxx

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  23. Very sorry to hear your news, although you sound in very good hands and you have the right attitude.Yoy can fight this! You are an inspiring, talented and strong woman, as always. Keep up your fabulous blog. I will be checking ny boobs tonight now too. Sending you hugs and positive vibes across the web xxx

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  24. Dear SM - you are amazing. Prayers, hugs and positive vibes to you. You'll get through this.

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  25. What a week you've had SM! I'm so sorry that it wasn't a straightforward check up and head out again but thank God you spotted it so early. As always, you are a light of inspiration in a sometimes dark world. Stay strong amazing lady. Jillxx

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  26. Sending love. Also see http://sophiesabbage.com/ (Sophie's blog) about not becoming a patient. She also has an ebook which is top of the charts. xxx

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  27. SM what s blow. Sending love and strength xxx

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  28. Ah SM. Words fail me. What courage. What class. We will all be with you every step of this new chapter. Xxx

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  29. You are a strong and courageous woman. This will be one more life event that you will handle with love and heart.
    You are right, drinking would only make it all harder and scarier.
    Please take all the support offered to you. You deserve it.
    And know everyone in cyberspace is praying for your complete and easy recovery.

    All my love

    Anne

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  30. What a crock of poop - wishing you fast-blasting of the blighter x

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  31. It's a deal. Cyber hugs. Flossie x

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  32. Hi SM, sorry to hear your news x It seems your life's road is set to take yet another unplanned direction. Love, strength and positive energy going out to you x x

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  33. Another amazing post. My inspiration to get back on the sober wagon. Much love and strength to you x

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  34. Sorry to hear. If you can give up drinking you can do anything! Stay strong and soldier on xx

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  35. Ah, Honey, I'm so sorry. But here is the one thing I know about you, you will be valiant, even when you don't feel like you are being so, and you will give others courage because that is what you do. You've already started.
    Go forth and conquer!

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  36. My mother HAD stage 1. She is now cancer free! The admission that you drank too much and put it down is all the proof that you need that you are strong and resilient. This too will only propel you to experience a more fulfilling life!
    Boston Strong and Boston Sober!

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  37. How the hell did I miss these posts?? Holy crap!! Yes, deal, SM. I'm touching myself RIGHT NOW. ;)
    You are going to be fine. It's going to suck a lot, but you're going to get through it better than when you started.

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