Wednesday, 30 March 2016

New Beginnings

Thank you so much for all your comments on yesterday's post. As you gathered, I was feeling a bit bleurgh.

In fact, I'd resolved to give blogging a rest for a bit. It struck me that most normal bloggers post once a week, or thereabouts, not every day.

It's time, I thought, to cut down. Moderate.

(Can you see where this is going...?)

This morning, instead of heading straight for the laptop with my cup of coffee, I picked up a novel.

But I felt scratchy. Ill at ease. My hands had nothing to do, and all these words were buzzing round my head like bees trapped in a jam jar, desperate to get out.

So, here I am. Typing away. Once an addict, always an addict.

(But there are worse addictions to have. I should know.)

It's difficult to remain in a grump when you're in Cornwall in the springtime. Which is where we are.

Family SM upped sticks from the big smoke for a few days blowing the cobwebs away by the sea. Just in time for Storm Katie (don't you love how they've started giving them names? It's difficult to feel so cross when you've been introduced to the thing that's drenched you.)

But now the clouds are clearing, the clocks have changed, the sun and the daffodils are out. It's a time of new beginnings, and summer is just around the corner.

This time last year, I was not at all excited about the summer. I'd done four weeks sober and was very much in the 'one day at a time' phase.

I couldn't look ahead more than a few hours, let alone a whole season.

And when I did think about the summer, it was with a terrible sense of loss. All I could picture was summer scenes past, which always involved me clutching a chilled glass of rose, or some fancy cocktail.

If that's where you are now, then listen up. Because there will come a time when you can look months, even years, ahead again, and with a sense of optimism and excitement. More than ever.

Back in the drinking days I'd started to lose that wonderful anticipation, about anything. Everything seemed silted up with a general feeling of ennui, a sort of here we go again. Same old, same old.

No longer, my friends. Now I'm thinking SUMMER! Long, lazy days filled with sunshine, salt, sand and ice cream.

Yesterday we spent two hours playing Pooh sticks.

This was no ordinary Pooh sticks, is was the SM version which, obviously, involves no moderation of any sort. Rather, it requires a lot of shouting (and barking), running, and a smidgeon of cheating.

You need three drinking straws in different colours (we send #3 into the pub to get these because she's seriously cute and no barman can say 'no' to her. Just as well she doesn't order a vodka...)

You then drop the drinking straws into the fast flowing stream way up by the car park and run really fast down to the beach, quite a way down the hill.

The stream flows under the road, and pops out through a bridge onto the rocks above the beach. We station a look out at this point to check progress, and to make sure nothing's got stuck. There are two more lookouts lower down the stream as it tumbles over rocks, down mini waterfalls and round whirlpools.

Eventually, the stream reaches the sand, and one of the straws is declared the winner.

Who needs the Caribbean and room service when you have three plastic straws and a Cornish stream? The simplest things are the best, and really do not need artificial stimulants to make them any better...

The only thing freaking me out, is that last time we were here - back in August - I was surfing the waves, doing long cliff walks and feeling really, really healthy, with absolutely no idea that I had a ticking time bomb of a tumour nestling under my left boob.

How could I not have known? How is it possible to feel so healthy, yet be quietly self destructing, let down by your own rapidly mutating cells?

(To follow this story, start with this post: I Need Help)

So, my friends, grasp this Spring, this new beginning, with both hands, for none of us know what is round the next corner.

Love to you all, and thanks again,

SM x


  1. Fantastic SM, I'm glad you are feeling better and have not been swayed from continuing your blogging journey which you so generously share with your tribe.
    Some simple facts which cannot be muddied by the waters of definition/interpretation etc:
    1) This blog (and you) has changed lives.
    2) You are a special person, taking the time to blog, share experiences, conduct research and answer e-mails (I speak from experience(
    3) You have undertaken this during a particularly challenging life experience which further illustrates 1) and 2). Yes it may also help you into the process but I'd argue it helps others more.
    So take heart and positivity in those facts.
    You're doing a great job and are such a positive role model.
    I know who I want to be when I grow up and it's you SM, not smug in the good fortune to be able to drink in moderation.
    Thanks for all that you do xxx

  2. Thank you for taking the time to write. We need you, I need you. You are my morning coffee!

  3. Ahh you are in my neck of the woods, except I am staring out my office window watching the storms come and go. Glad you are more at peace today.

  4. I can repeat the supportive comments from yesterday (but maybe it's worth repeating the glorious word "horsefeathers") and add this: Maybe, Mrs. SM, the Universe sent you a wee tiny sampling of what Big Success means…you've likely hit a critical mass of audience and that means, per some Law of the World that I'll bet you can name, some strange negative voices or other "off" points will enter in. So hurrah, you. I'd say this is yet another confirmation that a book is in its incubating stages. I've only posted once, under "Outed" to suggest a book would be fantastic, and I'll repeat here that I check in with your blog in a way that's made a huge difference in my life. Day #51 today, and wouldn't you know it (I used "Lent" as an explanation but knew I'd meant to keep going), the wine witch whispered on Easter, "Have just one!" At least she knew I'd listen better to a whisper than a screech. But my mantra "Monday" came to the rescue. I quit the day after what would have been my beloved Father's 90th birthday, and his wonderful spirit helped elbow the witch aside, too. But this blog is my uncanny lifeline, and I was also equipped with your humor and sage, clear tales. I only read this blog because THE WRITING IS SO GOOD, human and honest, funny and wise. Thanks again. I'm loving this journey and the voices here make it much easier than I'd imagined!

    1. Hi and I are on the same timeline! I am on day 52. I am also in NY.

  5. Oh I am so happy you didn't stop blogging! In fact, your post today spoke directly to me! I was just saying last night to Mr. soberat53 that I was DREADING summer! Today is day 52 for me. I guess around where you were last year. I am now in sunny Florida vacationing and the weather is like the summer where I live and it got me worried about this summer! I can do this....

  6. Keep blogging SM. We are all here because we share a common problem - one that we have all had the courage to accept and face. Everyone is entitled to their view but there's not much I can find to say in a positive way about alcohol (unless you are the chancellor). I wish I'd never touched the stuff and I hope I don't revert back to my old ways. Your words help but in the end the choice lies with each of us as individuals. Have a great week in Cornwall, I spend my weekends in the west country and my weekdays in London - I know which I prefer and better when sober.


  7. Every single day you say something that rings true for me and encourages me..Thank you!

  8. I read your blog with my morning coffee, in the same way I used to listen to Terry Wogan back in Ol' Blighty. And you are awesome xx

  9. Please keep writing. You write what I am feeling and experiencing all of the time. Your words comfort me as we grow! We are all in it together.
    Thank you so much SM!
    Boston Strong Boston Sober

  10. Glad you're feeling better. I am selfishly so pleased that you write daily, and I think a daily writing practice is a great thing. Have fun in Cornwall! xo

  11. Yay to daily blogging! I'm so glad you keep feeling the urge to write and lang may yer lumb reek ;-)

  12. You do whatever feels right for you; however, I would greatly miss reading your (almost) daily blog. There's something about you that's just magical. But again, do what is Right for you!

  13. Dearest SM - I also love your blog - feed that addiction - twice daily if you need to!! We can't get enough of it! Didn't get round to commenting yesterday but reiterate all the positive comments that were made. You have helped me turn my life into this amazing positive one I currently live - AF!! Yay! Day 88 for me today. Cant believe how close to 100 I am. Cornwall and non-moderation pooh sticks sound heavenly. I have had some equally heavenly afternoons with Mr SFM and the 3 wee ones and have marveled at how I can appreciate the basic joys of life again without the wicked witch of vino whining in my ear and ruining it all. I raise a glass of AF beer to you my dear friend - and all you other lovely ladies in the sober cyber blogosphere. xxx

    1. 88! Two fat ladies! Awesome work SFM! You rock. xxx

  14. I have read your blog SM for a full year now, I love it! After several attempts at AF, the longest spell being 30 days, I am back at day 1 today. I have woken up with a hugely positive resolve this time. There is a lot of stress at home at the minute but the alcohol is causing the problem a or at least exacerbating them :-(
    Here's to a new life! Onwards and upwards folks!
    Please keep on with the blog SM, you are a star!
    CB xxx

    1. Sorry you're back at day one, Crazybird, but you really DO sound like you're going to do it this time! Check out my post today on Manifestation. It might help... Big hugs, and thanks for your kind words SM x