It’s funny how quickly you get used to a non-drinking life.
So quickly, that it’s easy to take the small things for granted.
The weather was beautiful today. It was forecast to be the hottest September day ever, on record.
So, I decided to take the day off and my mum came to visit.
We went and played tourists in the sunshine.
Ate a meal in a restaurant with the front fully opened up into the street so it felt like we were abroad.
None of this I would have been capable of doing eleven years ago.
I would’ve been hungover when she got to my house.
Wouldve spent the entire day trying to disguise how shit I felt.
Been unable to eat any of the food we were served.
I would’ve spent my entire day with her trying to mask the constant panic attacks I’d have been having.
Instead of engaging in conversation, and taking in the beautiful day around me, I would’ve been engaged in battle with myself.
Trying to resist the urge to drink at lunch to get myself straight and lessen the hangover.
Then trying to ignore the horrible itch the drink had given me. For more and more.
I would’ve been rushing her out of the door when we got home, so I could sit and drink the, (self-made) stresses of the day away.
Instead of having a (proper, non-dubious) cup of tea, and more chats when we got home.
When you add them up, it’s days like these, that change the course of a life.
That change our relationships with the people around us.
Finally, finally, being capable of sitting in front of someone you love, and actually being there, 100%, instead of just going through the motions whilst secretly wishing the day away.
It’s like you are saying to them, without words; “I’m here, I’m interested, tell me things, I’m listening” and genuinely meaning it.
I take these things for granted now. Being happy, being comfortable, being present.
Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do.
Doesn’t mean I don’t know what a deliberate miracle it is that I got here though.
Doesn’t mean I’m not constantly thankful, on some subconscious level.
It just means I’m secure enough in this non-drinking life to expect it.
Because I know it’s never going to stop being like this.
And I’m very grateful for that knowledge.
Come rain or shine.