The Darkest Hour comes before the Dawn

addiction alcohol alcohol free gifts of sobriety self-care solstice wellness Dec 20, 2020

I was just explaining to my DD six year old that this is the Winter Solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year and that it starts getting lighter from this day.
So my mind went straight to a sober metaphor. Although I had periods of sobriety before , dark is the only way to describe my final ( please god) day 1 back in July 2016. It was the middle of summer, a stunning hot day after a balmy evening but I woke up with such shame , anxiety, paranoia that I couldn't get on public transport to get home.

I felt truly broken and ashamed and just beaten I think. I was entirely out of love with alcohol, had not even enjoyed it as I was drinking it at my SIL's birthday the night before, as I watched on automatic pilot as the old familiar patterns kicked in, how I wanted more and felt numb then couldn't stop thinking about cigarettes ( never smoked sober) We carried on drinking and bought fags for a tenner ( when did they get that expensive??!)

That day I finally got on a packed train, aware of my alcohol breath and sweats , waves of nausea and terror washing over me. I went to the beach with my kids and OH once Iw as home and lay looking at the sky , feeling like a ghost. I knew I had to come back and be honest and reach out for my own sake.

Then I watched Tara Brach's RAIN of self compassion on youtube and I cried and cried and suddenly a connection was made within me. I was able to reach myself through the shame somehow and I realised that when I drink I abandon myself, I cannot find myself for days to even comfort such is my profound shame response and I swore that day that I would never do that to myself again.

The climb back up was hard as I was bruised and battered and my confidence was knocked. I had to really think about what worked and what didn't and prioritise my sobriety. I really really wanted it. Through all the pyscho babble and questions of moderating or peripheral conversations around alcohol and what it is and what it means and whether you can or can't , somehow in my jumbled mess I was just clear. It was personal . A matter of me and me of self love, of self protection and of survival.

So like the solstice, things got lighter after that day. If you are on day 1 or failed again to stick to your resolve of not drinking, just know that you can do it .. You need a bit of faith, you need to starve drinking thoughts of oxygen and not trust your thoughts often as they go down those well worn paths to that poison. Get through day by day , just get through your trigger times distracting, eating , running and keep repeating that until the first bits of light and self belief appear.

Trust what you know not what you think. You know you have a problem , you know it doesn't sit well, it's costing too much , it's spoiling things, it's putting you at risk. You can be free from that . So if this is your darkest day or hour then by not drinking your days will get lighter. I absolutely promise you.

If it's your first sober Xmas KEEP GOING!!!!You can do it , it's just another day, another 24 hours . Do not let ANYTHING snuff out that sober flame you have lit. All this will pass and you will be wondering what all the fuss is about in a week or two!

Lots of love

Kate 

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