My talk last Friday went well I think. It's kind of a strange thing to do ... leave my domestic duties behind for a day, catch a plane to somewhere new, attend a big fancy lunch during which I stand up on the stage and talk for an hour - bare my soul and make myself vulnerable while also feeling proud and happy to talk up the wonders of recovery - then return home to my ordinary housewifey life.
Crazy! But rewarding.
On the way up I bought from the airport bookstore a copy of the much-hyped new memoir 'Blackout' by Sarah Hepola and I am happy to report this book lives up to the hype - BIG TIME!
It's fantastic. First half a rollicking drinking memoir, second half a fantastic recovery memoir. This is one of the main reasons I love this book, there is LOADS about the recovery process... the 'getting sober' bit of the story. Usually so many memoirs are just the car crash drinking/drugging story and then a tiny blip at the end about giving up. This book spends many chapters on what the author went through in redefining her life and her self-image after drinking. She's a fantastic writer, and brutally honest (talks well too, I just watched this TV interview with her on You Tube).
I continued reading the book on the plane ride home. One paragraph stood out to me so much I felt like high-fiving the man sitting next to me in seat 3E (I didn't).
"A woman I know told me a story once, about how she'd always been the girl in the front row at live shows. Pushing her way to the place where the spotlight burned tracers in her eyes and the speakers rattled her insides. When she quit drinking, she missed that full-throttle part of herself, but then she realised: Sobriety is full throttle. No earplugs. No safe distance. Everything at its highest volume. All the complications of the world, vibrating your sternum."
HELL to the YEAH! I can so relate! Sobriety is full throttle - everything at high volume, the most daring ride at the theme park, the greatest challenge you could ever take on.
I felt so great reading this paragraph particularly because in the talk I'd just delivered I spoke about how excited I was when just 2-3 months after quitting drinking I'd had the monumental realisation that living sober was the ultimate challenge. That it wasn't just about breaking a habit, it was about developing robust coping mechanisms and learning how to deal with life in the raw.
And the ultimate challenge continues to this day. It will never end - because shit keeps happening, and I keep dealing with it without any brain bending ever.
Sobriety is full throttle. It is standing in the front row of a rock concert with all the complications of the world vibrating your sternum. It is fascinating and challenging and a truly great adventure.
Bring it on.
Love, Mrs D xxx