Just took a look and discovered I am 555 days sober today - woo hoo! 555 days of freedom.
Sober day number 555 for me involves having a sick 6-year-old home from school watching Apollo 13 from the sofa, a 3-year-old obsessing over a book about ghosts and running around the house playing 'armies', cleaning the bathroom, mopping the kitchen floor, looking at blogs and twitter and generally just mooching around being a mother and housewife.
I've been thinking about what is different in my life now I live without alcohol.
In some ways there are major differences. I have removed guilt and hangovers and bad sleep and sick guts and wasted money and overflowing recycling bins and sloppy behavior.
On the flipside I have gained self respect, pride, sometimes an itchy boredom, most of the time a sense of calm, a fabulous new online community and cheekbones.
But in many ways, and this is the interesting thing, a lot of things in my life haven't changed. I still wake up, shower, get dressed, eat, run around, eat some more, get undressed and go to sleep. I still manage friendships and relationships and deal with other people's wants and needs. I still pay bills and answer emails, fill the car with petrol and change lightbulbs.
I still wish I was a more stylish dresser, worry that I'll never learn how to blow-dry my hair straight and regret not painting my nails or plucking my eyebrows more often.
I still plan meals in advance and shop once a week. I still watch lots of Reality TV and keep up with news and current events. I still sing in the shower and make a horrible growling noise when I get an 'itchy inner ear' (and Mr D still says that's my worst habit).
I still get highs and lows and laugh and cry, get grumpy, angry, stressed, delighted and relieved, although there is no denying those emotional states are more pronounced now that I have removed my great leveler, wine.
I used to look at sober people and want to ask 'what's it like? what's it like not ever drinking?' And now I can see how that is such a difficult question to answer. On the one hand it's monumental, a hugely life changing, revelatory move to make, to remove booze. On the other hand it's just another decision made, change implemented, choice taken. Fuck me I'm pleased I did that 555 days ago.
Love, Mrs D xxx