Friday, 12 February 2016

The Empathy Chip

Today I am clear in my mind, today I realise drinking for me is a stupid, ridiculous expensive, destructive and toxic crutch I convince myself will be the opposite i.e. A magic potion that will make everything seem all sparkly and glorious. Even as I am adjusting the cogs and wheels in my brain to make the thought processes align with my desire or more realistically need to drink, I know it is foolish and a big fat lie yet I do it anyway.

Nothing could be further from my thoughts today, I have zero interest in having a drink and as I mentioned I have such clarity it is blinding. Today I also look a little better, my face has lost it's bloated and unattractive rosy stain, my eyes are brighter and mentally I am in better shape. Physically I still feel like I have been hit by a truck but I know that will come.

So here I sit doing my rounds of the sober blogs and I stumble on a sober blog I haven't read for some time (I sometimes forget all the ones I like and the booze washed away memories of others) and disaster, he fell off the wagon, in his words he relapsed again. Oh how sad I felt for him and he was quite a way down the sober path, bit like snakes and ladders where you get way ahead of everyone with a seemingly endless streak of good luck and favourable rolls of the dice and the whoooosh you are back at the very bottom, literally back to square one [distrached brain wonders if this is where the phrase comes from] Poor, poor man, and of course the regret and questioning why. I have been there myself losing 6 months of sobriety all for a "fuck it" moment.

We all read these sober blogs and it really is a bit like Russian roulette as to who will slip up, there are the serial day one'ers, of which I have been one for about 8 months, the newly sober who are white knuckling it or riding the pink cloud with weeks or months under their belt, the medium marathoners who are coasting around the one year mark and then the old timers who are marking up years and decades. I think really what I am trying to say in this epiphany moment is that is is all down to CHOICE because we know with 100% certainty that there is going to come a day, hour, minute, second when we want/need/desire to just have a damn drink but success or failure lies in that same day, hour, minute, second and it is only CHOICE that decides the outcome. Right now today, this hour, this minute, this second I am strong and separate from that powerful urge and desire to just surrender to the fantasy, the absolute bitter poisonous lie that becomes all consuming and the most enormous presence in the room and more as a turn of phrase than a religious utterance I say thank God. Growing up I heard the expression "There but for the grace of God go I" and today that seems most appropriate.

Whatever your beliefs or callings if you are sober today just take a moment to think your own version of thank God, thank yourself if that feels good but do take a minute to just recognise what a gift this sober day is and if you are so inclined offer up your version of prayer or hope that the ones struggling or trying to pull themselves back from a relapse can find the strength to get on board once again. I know that all sounds a bit preachy and may rub some people the wrong way but just for a split second I felt all the negative feelings and self talk that he must be saying to himself today and my heart went out to him.

Today I am happy that I am sober and that I have the support and encouragement of the sober community. I realise that we all have choices in life and at times we make choices we later regret but today I choose to continue on the abstinence path and hope that in future when I am faced with a similar choice of carrying on or throwing it all away due to the lies I tell myself, that I will remember my disappointment and sadness for that gentleman and try and make a different choice.

Ginger Groundhog


  1. I saw deadpool yesterday. In it there was a mention of 5 moments. (This I'm no way reveals anything about the movie).
    Moments where we make choices.
    You are right. It's not so much about all ththe regular days, but about the bigger choices.
    Sobriety is worth the effort. Keep going.


    1. Thanks Anne. Yes isn't it insane that knowing something is the best, right, correct choice and yet coding the opposite. I hope you enjoyed dead pool, I have not heard of it so will check it out.

  2. Hi GHG!
    This is so true.
    It is always our choice.
    I have been struggling a bit myself, not that I will drink, but a bit wishing I still could.
    Hugs to you!

    1. It's a bit like smoking for me. I love to smoke, I smoked for 20 years but I have stopped for 10 years. I know I won't have one but boy oh boy does it appeal. However then I smell a heavy heavy smoker of stale cigarettes and remember it is 99% illusion of the mind. Hope you get through the struggle and I know you won't drink.

  3. great post. feeling a bit 'would love a drink' at the moment so it's good to be reminded! xmtts

    1. That's 'drinkin thinkin'. Oh I so get it MTTS, I caught myself when out with the dogs drink fantasising and the suddenly thought DOH!!! I don't drink anymore. Make yourself an almond milk cocoa topped with coconut cream (100% vegan) they are lush.

  4. Good Job Ground Hog Girl!!!! Glad you have gained momentum and isn't if great when you can notice the lack of wine consumption in your face? I am sure you look great.

    1. Thanks TWTIK. Not going to make the cover of Vogue but not curdling milk either ha ha. Still really tired but think that is what they mean by 'recovery'