Friday, August 20, 2021

Day One

In a new series we've started, recently my fav main character relapses and starts drinking again. His mates come collect him, take him home and tuck him in.
They tell him, "We gotchu man, we your Day One. We here. "
And all three friends stay, falling asleep awkwardly in chairs in the living room while he sleeps off his bender.

I damn near cried there and said "fuck what a beautiful thing to say - they must all be in the program too!"
(which was extra ironic cos they're dealers)

Then the next scene had them all partying (and drinking albeit more "responsibly") together. Which confused me, and clearly Erika too, cos she went, "I guess this means they're....aaall on Day One again?"

So OBVVY, cos we old, I went to urban dictionary thinking I'd missed something. And it's told me the obvious - that it's a commonly used phrase to indicate someone's been around for a person since day one/ day dot/ forever.

[Side note: this is the thing with new-old phrases and urban dictionary. Phrases get misused or their origins forgotten oor more recently, phrases get used as an overstatement or understatement, which deeply confuses our parents' generation, but then the more frequently they get used (sometimes ironically), the less people using it know what it was actually supposed to mean! But I digress.] 

I personally am pretty certain the phrase holds far deeper meaning. So even if Urban Dictionary never tells you this, here's what it means to me:

When you're in AA or NA, Day One is feckin' hard folks. It's hella scary, you're sometimes shaking and crying and not necessarily because you're withdrawing either - it's just confronting, you hate yourself and you want to tap out but clearly you've spent so much time tapping out you've not got a problem. 
It's the First Step you're taking, admitting you're powerless and walking into those rooms.
But it can take a while, and you can have many Day Ones. 

So in the context of the program, if someone's (there for me on) my Day One, which is the first day I have not used, they're often seeing me at my lowest and my most vulnerable.
And because Recovery is a day at a time, my sobriety today doesn't guarantee my sobriety tomorrow.
We can lapse/relapse at any time.
Some of us work hard to never have to do Day One again, and some of us, despite our best intentions, find ourselves doing Day One more times than we can forgive ourselves for. But the fact of the matter is, everyone else in the rooms has been there, we've all been on Day One and know how it feels.

But Whether it's my 1st Day One ever, or my last Day One - if I'm in the safety of the rooms saying "I'm on Day One", it always feels like I'm naked in front of a crowd. Yep, especially if you've had a few Day Ones just that year after months of being clean each time. 

So if I ever say to you:
"I'm here, I'm your Day One love "

Just know that I only ever mean it in the only context I know;
That I know what it feels like to be broken and vulnerable, to feel powerless and ashamed. To constantly feel like you're actually the Antagonist in the play, when you thought you were the Anti-Protagonist.

But on your Day One, whilst it might feel like you're all alone, wading through the aftermath of destruction you caused whilst in addiction, you are not alone.
And whether it's your first Day One or your last, and for all the Day Ones you might end up having, you'll never have to be alone again.

Plus, if you stick around long enough, you'll have a Day Two. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


"any reason to stay, is a good reason" 

Monday, May 3, 2021

It Starts With The First Step

I found an old video on YouTube of a couple blokes down at the pub, on the phone, lying about where they were and why they were running so late. 
It was hilarious. And four years ago, I completely identified. 
That was me to à tee. 

Yet as hilarious as this still is, it's also incredibly alarming to think how easily and naturally we lie is situations like this.
It's funny, but also, is it really? 

In the year of COVID the United Kingdom reported an alcohol intake increase of 500%.

"Tips" to blow on your mug during Zoom meetings so it makes you look like you're drinking tea and not wine, or suggestions of filling your kid's sippy cup with wine in case you get pulled over whilst driving -
If someone can't stop drinking even whilst needing to get into a car to drive, is that really healthy?
Is it still funny when there's a child in the back seat and you swerve?

I know the funny bits of it; I promise I have experienced it. It's hilarious and preposterous to hear about, drunken stories are the best to listen to at parties. Until you don't hear about it because the person isn't there anymore to tell it.

I was (mostly) functional drunk. But if I couldn't imagine functioning without it, was I really, technically, functional at all?

There must be a reason we're telling these lies;
Drinking out of 750ml wine glass so we can say "I've only had one glass", having a White Russian that's more White than Russian so we can have 20 glasses instead, or saying "I'll be right, I'm only having Cider tonight" even though you've had a case.
We're lying because some part of us knows something is off before we can place it.
We're lying because some part of us is downright envious of the stranger at the party you spot nursing a Gin and Tonic the WHOLE NIGHT (and doesn't even finish it).
We're lying because some part of us thinks that if someone else knew how much we drink, like *really* knew, they might think we have a problem when obviously we don't.
We're lying because we think it'll be easier for us to look ourselves in the mirror the next morning, makeup smeared and wondering how we got here. 

Today, I am 17 months and 3 days sober.
And I got here only because I took the first step, even before I knew it was a step I could take. I got here because no matter how much I tried to run, I could never outrun myself.

I'm not talking about the occasional drinkers or the one glass a night people- because I'm not like them.

But before the one glass a night people end up becoming a few bottles an afternoon - type drinkers, I might suggest that we need to step back from normalising lying and normalising "hacks to make people think you're drinking something other than alcohol".

I might even suggest that perhaps it's time we start normalising, and I daresay, celebrating sobriety.
Normalise having the courage to deal with life on life's terms.

Celebrate being able to one day look yourself in the mirror, knowing exactly how you got there.