We've been up in the wilds of Scotland over half term.
A few days ago, I was driving with the three children and the dog down a dual carriageway when a big red warning light flashed up on the dashboard:
WARNING! ENGINE MALFUNCTION
Not what you want to see when you're an hour from home and it's getting dark already.
As well as the ominous warning, I'd lost all power in the accelerator. Even with my foot on the floor I couldn't go faster than fifty miles an hour.
I called Mr SM for moral support.
Now, Mr SM is no mechanic, but he does like to have an opinion, nonetheless.
"Maybe you should try turning it off and on again?" He suggests. This is his go-to solution in his job as an IT whizz.
"There's probably something stuck in one of the pipe thingies," he tries. I hang up, angrily, and we manage to limp all the way home, followed by a long queue of angry motorists.
The house in Scotland is in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive for fifteen minutes to find a pint of milk. It would take several hours (in specialist clothing) to walk to the nearest shop. If we were without a car for a day or two, we would be totally stranded.
It struck me then that in the drinking days my primary concern would have been stocking up on booze.
I would have detoured via a supermarket, risked turning off the engine and not being able to start it again, risked being stranded with three children and dog, just to make sure that we didn't run out of Chablis.
One of the very best things about quitting the booze is not having that constant fear of running out. Not having to think the whole time about where (and when) your next drink was coming from.
I remember once arriving, after a very long journey, at a family holiday in France. Our first evening in a gorgeous house by the beach with my parents, brother and our families was ruined by my horror on realising that the local shops were closed and we only had one bottle of wine between six adults.
I was constantly going out of my way, changing routes, upsetting plans to make sure I could get to a shop to stock up on booze supplies. I was the same with cigarettes, back in the smoking days.
But now? Now, so long as I have the basic human needs - food, water, shelter, warmth and love - I can be completely happy and relaxed. And that's freedom.
Oh, and my iPhone, obvs. With good wifi connection.
The internet: my final addiction.
By the way, when we got home I turned the car engine off, then turned it on again to check that it would still fire up. The warning had disappeared, as had any problem with the acceleration. I took it to a garage to be checked over. Apparently a bit of gunky oil had temporarily caused an engine blockage.
So, turns out something was stuck in one of the pipe thingies and all I'd needed to do was to turn it off and back on again.
Love SM x