Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Journey to Freedom

Day 59, and my latest reading material is Veronica Valli's 'Why You Drink and How to Stop'.  Subtitle: 'Journey to Freedom.'

Now I love a good analogy, so thought I would share one of Veronica's.

According to Valli, the first few months of sobriety are like waking up at 3am to catch a flight to Barbados for a much anticipated dream holiday.

Woo hoo! Really? I'll tell you why in Valli's own words:

"For those few seconds, when the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, in the pitch black, when you are in the deepest of sleeps, dreaming about a wonderful fantasy, you have to grope around trying to still that intrusive bleeping. Your mind begins an argument with itself, where for a few seconds, you consider just closing your eyes, just for a couple of minutes, to experience that warm, comfortable, seducing lure of sleep again."

"Despite knowing that you don't have long to get to the airport, there is that voice telling you just to shut your eyes and go back to sleep and everything will be OK. The pillow is so soft, the bedding so warm and comfy. The pull is intoxicating. Nothing matters more than the bliss of sleep, of unawareness. But of course you force your tired eyes awake and stand blearily in the shower with the excitement in your belly and the adrenalin beginning to pump through your veins. Because you know that very soon you're going to be on a plane to Barbados and what a wonderful feeling that will be."

"The first few months of recovery for an alcoholic are like the first few seconds of being awoken by the alarm clock."

"Even though you know that where you're going is the most wonderful place you'll ever visit; even though you know you would be devastated if you gave in and shut your eyes and woke up to realise you'd missed the plane; even though you know all of this - there is still a strong temptation to go back to sleep and block out all of those possibilities and experiences for the sake of a few extra hours of nothingness."

"This is what the alcoholic experiences in early recovery. For so long they have lived half asleep, half aware, missing their lives, and now finally the opportunity has arrived for them to be fully awake, fully conscious of their experience. But its very tempting to go back to sleep; this is because recovery is hard and painful at times, especially in the beginning. Even though Barbados will be great, the getting there can sometimes be uncomfortable, painful, irritating and inconvenient. The drive to the airport, carrying bags, queuing at security, airline food, cramped seats, all of those things we'd rather do without, but we put up with them because of the destination."

I have three questions. (1) Is it possible to get an upgrade and avoid all the discomfort? (2) Do you get a complementary cocktail on arrival? and (3) If anyone's got to Barbados yet can they send me a postcard and let me know if it's all it's cracked up to be? Because if it's not I'm going back to bed....

Love SM x


  1. don't go back to bed. I've got you a first class ticket to make the journey easier, but it's still a long journey and there may be turbulence!

  2. Here is a postcard. It says
    "Things are even better here than you can imagine. Get out of bed and to the airport".

    Perhaps the bumpiness of the road is what makes the destination so beautiful....

  3. Get out of bed we are sharing a taxi to the destination !!! This time next year we will be sending the postcards saying it wasn't a first class journey but it's a five star hotel x

  4. You guys are brilliant! Couldn't ask for better holiday companions!

  5. I've got that book too and thought it was great. I'm going to have to read it again though I think. I still have a long way to go! A x

    1. Ps good luck with the anniversary trip Angie! X

  6. I've lived in Barbados for over 15 years now and it is as amazing as when I first arrived, if it wasn't everything it promised to be, I'd have gone back to bed. Hang in there and glad you like the book. V

    1. Wow! A celebrity! Thanks for dropping in Veronica. And thanks so much for your analogy. I think I'm at least part of the way to Barbados now, on day 84. Love SM x