So. I thought I should give all of you just starting out a small piece of advice. Me, now being the seasoned veteran and having a whole month under my belt … But if I can be serious for just one moment I’ll actually do this even though I’m obviously a beginner.
If you still are in the very early stages and everything is pretty wobbly, please do the following. Write down a list of all the shameful things that you have done, all the shame. All of it. Write down how it makes you feel. What it is you think about at 4 am. What you look like when you see yourself in the mirror in the morning. What it is you’d like to avoid feeling in the future and why. Think of it as a Best of-compilation of your drunken mess. Save the file on your computer and call it something extremely boring so that no-one will ever open it by mistake.
Because you know what? I have already started to forget. I have forgotten what it felt like waking up at dawn and having a panic attack. Hating yourself, wishing you could die just to stop drinking (instead of actually, you know, stop drinking), the amount of shame and time spent on doing damage control and feeling inferior and scared.
I reread my list yesterday and it made me feel lots of things. Ashamed of course, and frightened. But mostly I just couldn’t believe that I am the same person that had done all those things. Made ALL those bad decisions. Persisted on keeping doing the same mistakes over and over again. It just doesn’t seem reasonable that I was the one who kept on degrading myself and doing that crap for so long; just sitting back and observing as things spiralled downwards. I don’t want to live my life in constant fear of relapsing but I do believe it is important to have that honest testimony and go back and read it once in a while. Because you forget how that desperation feels, you really do.
Take care, possums.