I love sober Sunday morning. There is something magical about enjoying the peace and quiet while sipping on fresh coffee. There is no urgency, just time to simply be. What strikes me about these mornings is how different they are from those of my party-girl-past. I may not have totally kicked the booze to the curb since I started out in the journey, but I’ve also never fallen back into the darkness that once consumed me. The drinking and drugging feelings away until I eventually stumbled through the door at 6.30am, wishing more than anything I could quit the cycle or die. Where the peace and quiet of early mornings now soothe my soul, they used to suffocate me. I couldn’t bare the light spilling in through the blinds; the birds singing war cries; the way my partner slept soundly next to me haven not given his night to chasing a high. Still being up and pumped full of chemicals at a time you should be rising for a new day is a form of hell on earth. Everything feels unnatural. It’s like your skin has been peeled away. There is nothing to save you from that voice in your head that tells you over and over what a failure you are. What a mess you are for doing this to yourself again.
When I think back to that girl I was, lay in bed desperately wishing for sleep while knowing it’s futile, I feel a strange mixture of sadness and pride. I want to hold her; tell her it’s going to be okay. There’s going to be lots of stops and start but eventually, she won’t live like that anymore. She’ll find peace and stability. She’ll find hope. At the same time, I want to be a million miles away from here as the distance between us is proof of the progress I’ve made. My heart my ache for that lost version of me, but it’s no longer who I am. I often beat myself up when I have to reset my sober clock after a few drinks at a party, but in those moments, I forget how far I’ve truly come. Complete sobriety is still my goal, and I refuse to give up on that, but I need to make space for appreciating the journey that this has been and all the amazing sober-wins I’ve totted up since January 2020. And what better time to reflect on that than a sober Sunday morning, coffee in hand, listening to the music of the birds as they welcome in the new day with me.