Thank you SO much for all your messages yesterday, and apologies for not replying to them individually.
I have recovered from my attack of the blues. I suspect that, since my late thirties at least, I've always felt a bit down and reflective on my birthday, I just didn't notice it because..... you guessed it: I always got drunk!
Drinking didn't make that 'sadness about time passing' feeling go away permanently, it just postponed it for 24 hours when it would hit me doubly hard, and be combined with a hangover.
I'd then feel miserable for three days, not just one.
Now I've realised that when you feel a bit blue, the best thing to do is to indulge that feeling for a bit. Let yourself wallow. Like a teenager playing soppy songs in their bedroom after a relationship break up.
So, I had a quiet day. I did some de-cluttering. I thought a lot about the last year. And I read all your comments. Several times! They made me weep buckets (in a therapeutic way).
I can't thank you enough for the huge great virtual hug you gave me. You're awesome.
Then, last night, I had a conversation with Mr SM. I said "it's my birthday, so I'm going to get totally trashed. Just the once. Because I deserve it."
He totally agreed. I don't remember much about the drinking itself - except that I drank buckets of vino - but I do remember how we laughed about how awful I was going to feel in the morning.
Sure enough, I woke up this morning and I felt terrible. Totally toxic. Filled with self hatred.
And I realised that it was just a dream.
I've read a lot about drinking dreams. They are, apparently, terribly common, especially around 'significant dates'.
But, in the last very-nearly-twelve-months I had not had one. Until last night. Maybe because I've slept so soundly since I quit (having been a raging insomniac for years).
(For more on alcohol and sleep, see my post: Sleep, Glorious Sleep).
I do, however, still dream, from time to time, that I've started smoking again, and I quit nearly fifteen years ago!
Like my smoking dreams, this one was really vivid, and it took me a few hours to properly recover from it. I swear I felt hungover for ages, which just goes to show how powerful the subconscious is.
Dreams are the way the subconscious sorts itself out, as - like an iceberg - only ten percent of the work of getting sober is above the surface, the majority of the work is your subconscious (where the wine witch lurks) catching up.
The dreams you have to watch out for are the ones that you wake from with a feeling of longing. If you wake up wishing it were true then you've still got a lot of work to do......
The other common, slightly worrying, dream is when in your dream you try and work out how not to get caught. That's an indication, apparently, that you're quitting the booze for other people, not for yourself.
But, a drinking dream that you wake up from in a cold sweat, horrified at what you've 'done', then are hugely relieved to find out that it wasn't real, is actually just a great reminder that you have no wish at all to make that dream your reality again.
Thank you so much again,
Wishing you all sweet, and sober, dreams,