For whom it may concern

Why do we do the things we do?

For ourselves? For vanity? For someone else? Or without thought?

Do we dress/act to keep up appearances, to keep to another’s standard?

What is that standard? What is your standard? Does it change?

Do we present ourselves to society and the world as our true selves? Do we even know who we really are? Are we merely a reflection of whom society chooses for us? If we see a photograph of ourselves who do we see? What do we observe about ourselves within the photograph? When we look into a mirror who do we see? What version of ourselves do we see or allow ourselves to see? Is it our true self? The one in the photograph, the one in the mirror, the one who lives in our bodies?

Do we change who we are depending on the audience in front of us? A wife, a daughter, a mother, a boss, an employee, a customer, a friend, a complainant, an advisor, a protector, a child?

Becoming sober let’s one choose to question with a clearer mind. The answers may not be any clearer but at least you remember the next day what you thought about the day before.

The discovery of self is a life long quest and some days feel like a leaden plod, and others a hop, skip and a pirouette. That being said I would still rather be my true self on a rotten day than an imposter with a painted on smile and crying on the inside. I would rather I cried real tears and really felt them without embarrassment or shame. Being human has a range of emotions. We have to let them in, to experience them, in order for them to pass through and out the other side. This nothingness or flatness I feel today I have embraced it reluctantly. A stiff hug for sure but hopefully it’ll be gone tomorrow.

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12:59 am

Getting earlier to bed I hope this time. The evenings feel longer when sober and yet I still manage to waste time. I am not productive at all. Patience. For this week my goals are to not drink. to be easy on myself because I am not sleeping early enough. Yesterday it was 4:30am when I was dozing off. How do I know that? I heard the morning bird calls and that’s the time that they start.

Is procrastination a side effect of becoming sober? I didn’t read that on the label. It appears that I have a large dose of it. But really in all honesty I have had it for several years. I stupidly thought that after giving up alcohol I would feel like jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn and have heaps of energy and just full of ideas and just run with it. This has not happened. I don’t feel like jumping out of bed in the morning because I am still awake from the night before almost at the crack of dawn. Sluggish is more the correct word. Apathetic is another one that springs to mind.

Firstly, being kind to oneself is key. I am doing myself a favour by stopping drinking alcohol. I am loving myself. Another way to love myself is to give myself a break and not rush this expecting instant results. There is no instant gratification on giving up drinking. It is not a race. It is a slow walk taken one step at a time. Doing one nice thing to myself each day would make this easier. Perhaps a nice soak in the bath with bath salts, a candle and a book. Put on a record and listen all the way through side A. That’s for starters.

The first thing that comes to mind with the bath is a glass of wine. The first thing that comes to mind listening to a jazz record is a bottle of wine. These associations are so ingrained to made it a habit. Instead of a glass of wine in the bath I could prepare a tall glass of sparkling water with ice and a slice of lemon or lime. I could make a latte instead, sit back and listen to jazz. This is a chance to be inventive. This is just the beginning. I am not missing out on something. I am gaining better health and better habits. Begin the begin.