Thursday, 22 October 2015

If You've Got It, Flaunt It!

One of the great unfairness's of quitting drinking is that we often feel so alone.

You start out on this huge journey, utterly terrified, and it's on your mind constantly, yet nobody knows.

Over the initial few days or weeks you're exhausted. Your concentration is totally shot. You can't sleep. You have a horrible headache, and weird, annoying symptoms like constipation. You only feel truly happy when eating cake....

(see my post on Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms)

.....but you get little support, or pats on the back, or understanding.

If something bad happens, or someone is being horrible to you, you want to yell at them "Look mister! I'm having a tough time here, so cut me some slack!" but you don't.

If you quit smoking you shout it from the rooftops and everyone congratulates you and treats you like a hero. Quit drinking and they think you're odd, and treat you like a leper.

Getting breast cancer is way better on the sympathy stakes (although not so good in other ways, obvs).

Ironically, even though cancer isn't exactly something you choose to do - it's sort of foisted upon you, you're immediately defined as brave and courageous.

So I have decided to milk it. After all, I've always believed that if you've got it, you should flaunt it.

A couple of days ago I got a sodding parking ticket. I always - on principle - fight parking fines. I rarely have a leg to stand on, but that's beside the point.

Here's what I wrote to the local parking authority yesterday:

Dear Sir/Madam,

re: Parking Contravention Notice XXXXX

I do apologise. I accidentally parked in a bay that was temporarily suspended. I misread the date on the sign. It was entirely my fault, and I put your people to some trouble having to tow my car away.

However, the reason I misread the date was that I had just received a cancer diagnosis and my head was all over the place.

I realise that this does not mean you should cancel the fine, but - if you were to - it would restore my faith in humanity.

Should you wish to verify my story, please do call Prof X at the beast cancer unit, XX hospital.

Go on - make my day. I could do with some good news.

Kind regards

Mrs M.

So, what do you think my chances are? Do parking authorities have any compassion? I'll keep you posted.

And maybe one day people will be able to announce going sober with pride, and get all the understanding and congratulations they deserve.

In the meantime, you can find it here, and with all my friends in the sober blogosphere.

Love SM x


  1. Well done you and lets see what they make of that!! Im on day 3 and already not talking to mr x. Yesterday I was horrible and grumpy and expected him to give me a break...he just got miffed and now we're not really speaking. He too is doing a month AF but secretly thats it for me..hopefully...dreading xmas already, not sure how ill do that one. Anyway maybe I am being very unreasonable but I think thats ok right now and very miffed off he hasn't seen my side...again, very unreasonable. Im really not feeling like I want to talk about it to him either..having constant mental conversations with myself that I dont want to share right now...its all very lonesome so god bless this blog! Xxxx

    1. how about sitting down with him and telling how you are feeling and letting him know you're feeling a bit grumpy lately. But that it'll be worth it as you're doing this amazing thing for yourself and those around you?!

    2. The first week is tough.... If he isn't drinking for a month..he may be feeling rough too, and moody, and grumpy. Open the lines of communication with love....
      Day 3 is tough..... so is day 300.... You just have to believe and have faith in the freedom from this crazy kinda life we are living .... One day at a time...
      Wishing you well on your journey.... It's an amazing one if you could just breathe and find the peace and happiness within.....

    3. I bet he's finding it tough too - but men rarely admit to any weakness ;-) Be good to yourself - sleep as much as you can, eat cake, have long baths and read! Have you read Jason Vale yet?

  2. Parking wardens... they're a bit like cyclists, it's almost a religious cult.

  3. lol, you're a gas woman..x

  4. I think you have a brilliant chance of getting off! (Though as I work in the film industry and we often pay to suspend parking bays for filming, I would under any other circumstance say don't do it!! But you have a VERY good excuse!) xx

  5. I love love love it!! They have to have compassion! They just have to!!
    I still think you're amazing...and strong...and inspirational to me.... xo

  6. Maybe's aye, maybe's naw. (In Mr SM's best Broomhouse accent) Worth a punt. Himself and I are off to Blighty tomorrow morning for a wedding in Cumbria, proper weekend house party job. First major social occasion sans Champagne. Planning on keeping to sparkling water, has worked so far. Hugs to you SM xxx

  7. Everything you said about quitting drinking applies. I am in day 19 and I am ready to kill. I think I am beyond the yelling point. :)
    Parking ticket - it probably will not work. But! You are one amazing woman. :)

  8. would restore my faith too, here;s hoping! K x

  9. Is it still the GLC that looks after parking? Is Ken Livingstone still there? If so, your letter might have to go through several committee readings......good for you SM! xx

  10. Thinking and praying for you tonight!

  11. Go SM. awesome post - as ever. Love your humour and so glad you're still blogging which is helping me immensely. Hope you're doing ok. Big hugs. And hope you get off that stupid parking fine and go buy some nice shoes (or cake) - not sure how far parking fines stretch these days. Lots of love - SFM xxx

  12. Hee hee! Hope you get off! I appealed after getting a ticket on my 40th birthday. I used everything - picking up my birthday cake, turning 40, being pregnant (which I was!) but they were having none of it!