And so the counting continues. When I got to 100 days a while ago, I thought I could begin to move beyond the ‘one day at a time’ mentality. But as soon as I thought I’d cracked it, I went and had a drink. It’s probably self-sabotage, but there were a number of other factors that contributed to my lapse that day.
This evening I stopped to think about my sobriety, and to try and congratulate myself on 5 weeks without a drink. I always skip to punishing myself for failures pretty quick, but rarely take account of what I’ve achieved. My psychiatrist pointed that out to me once, saying I should reward myself when I avoid my self-destructive behaviours.
The thing is, although I’ve not been drinking, I have been self-harming. And for me that is an addiction too. It got so bad in the past few weeks I ended up needing medical attention.
So I don’t feel like I have been ‘clean’ all this time, it’s more like I have focused my attention on one of a range of damaging coping strategies. I reckon as soon as I stop fixating on that one, I’ll do something else that’s not useful. When I give up one thing, I’ve almost always got something else lined up to take its place.
A while ago we booked theatre tickets for tonight. I’ve decided that this outing was my celebration of five weeks sober. We met up with some friends and went to hear Ruby Wax talk about mental health and mindfulness. She was interesting and funny and it was really great to see a friend I’ve not spoken to much lately.
There was a Q&A session at the end, and it became a sort of ‘I am Spartacus’ moment for the mentally ill. A succession of people stood up in front of a huge audience and disclosed their mental health problems. It was strange and very comforting. I guess it reminded me that we are all normal, we are all together in our weirdness.