And so it transpired that November 7th 2018 was my one thousandth day sober.
It’s something I’ve wanted to write about for some time, but have lost myself tripping over words, events and the general overwhelm of the period.
One thing I have concluded over the last one thousand days is how shit I am at keeping a blog! Looking back I can see I left any readers hanging midway through writing about my journey to the London Marathon. (Sorry about that; my dear Mum was quite poorly at the time and passed away mid blog entries, but more on that later).
I’ve also observed that there is inevitably an ‘angle’ writers adopt when blogging. Reading my previous musings, it’s hard to deny that the predominant ‘angle’ I have presented to the world has been in the form of physical fitness wins, when in reality my one thousand splendid sober suns has had a whole lot more going on.
I’ve now made the decision to put it all out there and to share the bigger picture issues that were going on behind the scenes of all the #tri_sobriety #swimbikerun and #trilife excitement.
I’ve been as honest as I can be and it’s sometimes raw, so please read carefully if you feel you might be triggered by references to domestic abuse, bereavement, family estrangements and/or financial issues. In the meantime, grab popcorn, strap yourself in and let me take you on the four-part journey!
Part One: Victim to survivor; slaying demons and finding peace.
When I moved my family and my life from Shropshire to Yorkshire in the summer of 2015, I was a victim. It was a role I had pretty much perfected and a role offering me daily excuses not to change.
My wholehearted commitment to the shift from victim to survivor is pretty well documented (social media; love it or hate it), but in the background I was yearning to give my ‘victim’ a different story. The reactive, drunken, angry, hysterical voice needed to be silenced and I set about finding an authentic place from where to move forward.
I could no longer hide from the fact that I had been in a toxic and abusive relationship, that there were potential irrevocable harms resulting from years living in that environment and I had to learn to accept that no amount of ‘sorry’ would give my children the chance to have those years back. The damage was done.
If you are wondering how I moved from victim to survivor, faced and buried those demons during my one thousand sober days, I sadly have no definitive answer; there was was no magic self-help book, no wonder pill, no world-class therapist and no one particularly inspiring individual. However, it would be remiss of me not to credit the Freedom Programme for opening my eyes to the subtleties of emotional, psychological abuse and coercive control. At the same time the programme woke me up to the reality that there would be no healing for myself or my family, if I remained living within a half mile radius of my ex-partner.
I did read; I read a lot about emotional abuse and coercive control. I found it fascinated and it certainly spun me a very different light on the relationship I’d been in with ‘that charming man’. Facing the truth of that past was excruciatingly painful and whilst I would never claim innocence from my part to play in the drama that unfolded as our relationship fell off the rails, I needed a whole year of no contact with my ex in order to re-build healthy boundaries and to draw a line in the sand on any future toxic communication. The lack of contact meant attempting arrangements for him to see our son via a solicitor broke down repeatedly. That brought with it regular emotional meltdowns from one confused little boy who required a lot of his own intensive support. I cannot thank our local primary school enough for what they did for him.
I did take part in intensive counselling and I did spend a period of time on medication. I also started to gravitate towards many, many different inspiring individuals and towards those who would bring out the best of what the newly sober me had to offer the world.
Continue Reading: Family is nothing and yet family is everything?
About our author:
In her own words, Kathryn is:
An over qualified @drunk, sobering up with effect 11th February 2016. #Fitmummy to Elinor, Alys and Isaac; aspiring athlete with race goals to smash and shit heavy weights to lift; running freak and triathlete in training; passionate bore for all things health, wellbeing and nutrition related.
Eating clean in my narcissist-free zone; surviving domestic abuse and happily giving romance a whole fresh chance.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
These are the days of my life.