Recovery is a very personal thing.
What works for one person, can be very different from the next. That much we know.
But there is much that we all have in common, and today we’re thrilled to share the thoughts of Claire, who maintains her own blog, MyRecoverySoFar.
In her article, “200 Days Sober”, Claire reflects on the value (and beauty) of people and place in her sober journey.
We hope you enjoy reading it – and we’d like to thank Claire for allowing us to share her thoughts and writing.
200 Days Sober.
Originally published May 17th 2018 on MyRecoverySoFar
When I first started out on my recovery journey I remember saying to my mum “how great would it be if I got to 100 days sober?”. I’m absolutely thrilled and so proud of myself that I’ve managed to double that.
I am 200 days SOBER
I am 200 days HAPPIER
I am 200 days RICHER
I am 200 days HEALTHIER
I am 200 days FITTER
I am 200 days WISER
I am 200 days CLEARER
I am 200 days BETTER
I am 200 days FURTHER
I am 200 days NEARER
I am 200 days HIGHER
I am 200 days TALLER
I am 200 days FASTER
Although I am now all of the things mentioned above and I am in a better place than I’ve ever been in my life I do still have my moments and I’m still learning a lot about myself. I’ve had a strange couple of weeks. I’ve been an emotional roller coaster with one thing and another. I’m feeling really lonely being on the Isle of Man at the moment.
I’ve said before it’s really tough knowing that you can’t just nip round to your friend’s for a brew or give someone a ring and ask if they fancy going out for tea somewhere. Obviously, I’ve got Fiona who I catch up with every week but I can’t rely on her for everything. I’m still getting used to real feelings as well and learning how to deal with them. Honestly, I must be the worst person in the world to date right now. I have met someone though who for the first time ever, I feel really does get me and actually understands the kind of person who I am. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I reckon I came as close as I’m ever going to get when I first met Katy. Date number 2 coming up soon. Watch this space…
Dealing with so much loss over the last few years has left me like a different person to what I was. Clearly, I’m a better person without the alcohol but I do need to work on my emotional side and learn to deal with certain feelings properly. I’ve lost the ability to trust, I massively lack patience, I’m probably a bit needy and I’ve realised I need a lot more reassurance than I first thought. The trust issues are due to being in relationships with people who don’t deserve to be written about so we’ll leave that bit there.
I’m guessing the neediness (I know that’s not a word) and reassurance problems are down to the loss of my dad, Nan and long-term relationship then more recently my friend. I didn’t realise this until recently but I do tend to cling onto people I get close to and I’m almost certain it’s because everyone I’ve been close to over the last few years have disappeared, whether it be that they’ve passed away or just gone from my life.
On Saturday I had signs of very low mood for the first time since I stopped drinking. The last thing I wanted to do was stay in bed all day like I would have done in the past so I took myself off for a drive. It was a really lovely day and I went to Port Erin in the south of the island. Whilst sitting looking out to sea I got talking to a man who was looking for seals. He started telling me that he goes to this particular place every weekend to remember his wife who sadly passed away. That spot he was sitting is where she would sit for hours and create oil paintings. This was her view …
As we carried on chatting the lovely man, who’s name I didn’t get, spoke of his travels around the world in his camper van and the blog he writes. Obviously this led onto me telling him about my blog and that enabled him to open up about his brother’s drinking problem. This conversation was just what I needed to give myself that kick up the arse. I only asked where I can see the seals from and a conversation came from that which made me realise how lucky I am. I may not have what I did but I have my health, family, friends and more love around me than I could ever wish for. I said goodbye to that nice man and went for a little wander to clear my head. The Isle of Man really is a beautiful place when the sun is shining. I’ve named it my own little Homemade Rehab because that’s exactly what I feel like it is to me. I couldn’t think of anywhere better to get sober.
After my little trip out when I got home I experienced the first signs of low mood I’ve had for quite a few months. It wasn’t anywhere near depression but it took me by surprise because I’ve felt so positive about everything recently. I think it was partly down to having such a good weekend the previous week and not being able to escape when I’m here. Anyway, it lasted all of 2 hours then before I knew it I was in Tesco doing my big shop and feeling fine. The old me would have hit the bottle of red and been on that slippery slope in no time!
I went back to my recovery meeting last night for the first time since November. I was so nervous about going back and I’ve been promising myself I’d go again and been putting it off for weeks. This is mainly because I’ve left it so long and felt anxious about going again but it’s also because I’ve started this blog and I’m not sure who has read it and the reaction I would receive. I was pretty stupid to be worried because everyone was so lovely, happy to see me and I felt extremely welcome and comfortable as always. It was like I’d never been away.
That’s it now, I’m going to keep it up and make the effort every week. I think it’ll be a good reminder for me that I have got a drink problem and I cannot ever forget that.
About our author, Claire.
Claire describes herself thus: “Lancashire lass. Enjoying the small things in life since 29.10.17. Happier than I’ve ever been.”
And of course, you can read more from Claire on her website.