Living Life in Control is the Soberistas strap line (see www.soberistas.com if you've never come across this fabulous website).
I'd always thought (with my old advertising hat on) that it was a little....uninspiring.
Why not, I wondered, go with something more emotional, like Finding Freedom? Or zen, like Stillness and Peace? Or gung-ho, like Fighting the Wine Witch? Or embracing, like Staying Sober Together?
Living Life in Control sounds like the advertising line for adult incontinence pads (and, yes, I did work on the brand strategy for those at one stage. It wasn't all glamour).
But now I get it.
You see, when you're drinking (a lot), you are never totally in control.
Even when you're sober, you can't control much of your life (as more and more time is taken up drinking, or recovering from drinking), your moods (which lurch from euphoric to suicidal), or your thoughts (as the wine witch has taken up permanent residence in your head).
(For more on the wine witch see The Wine Witch)
And when you're drunk you're definitely not in control. Just one or two glasses in, and all those good intentions go out of the window.
You can't control how much you're drinking, what you're eating, or what you're saying and doing. A bottle down and you're hoovering up the calories, spilling all the secrets, and dancing on the tables like a woman possessed (which you are).
So, actually, Living Life in Control has, for me, been one of the best things about being sober. I know exactly how I'm going to feel every morning (perky), I have hours extra in the day to get things done, and I'm generally even tempered and level headed.
I've taken this control thing to dizzy new heights. I have endless 'to do' lists. I have a huge kitchen diary with everyone's movements detailed. I have a rota on the front door showing which child needs what to take to school, plus all the after school activities etc. Then there's the 'highlights board' which shows the week's main events - all colour coded.
At least that's how it was until recently.
One of the very irritating things about breast cancer (along with the hushed voices people use when the talk to you, the way some people just disappear out of your life, and the preoccupation with death), is the TOTAL LACK OF CONTROL.
In less than three weeks the children break up for the school holidays. In four weeks it'll be Christmas. Usually I would be planning Pantomimes, menus, expeditions and sifting through party invitations.
But I don't feel able to plan, or commit to, anything because, until I know my chemotherapy schedule, I have no idea what I'll be able to do and what I can't.
I haven't updated the highlights board for ages, as it's just too depressing listing 'hospital visit' as the main event for the week.
Then, once I start chemo, I'll lose control of my physical wellbeing, my appetite, my hair follicles - pretty much everything.
This evening - finally - I'm meeting the oncologist. It was postponed from last week due to various administrative errors (again, out of my control).
I'm hoping that, once I've had this meeting, my life will feel slightly less like trying to juggle with jelly (that's Jello to my friends over the pond).
In the meantime, I keep reciting to myself: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Love to you all.