Lotta Dann wrote her way sober with the help of an anonymous blog called ‘Mrs D Is Going Without’, which started out small but slowly turned into something incredibly large and powerful. Now happily sober and approaching her 5 year soberversary, Lotta spends her days parenting and running a busy household, promoting recovery through her blogs and social media accounts, and managing the Living Sober website.
I seem to have been talking to people lately who seem to want to (inadvertently or otherwise) put some sort of fear in me about the possibility of me drinking again.
They’re saying to me things like ‘you never know’ and ‘life is long’ and ‘desires can come from deep inside’ and ‘you’re only one drink away from a relapse’. One person asked if I believe in a ‘shadow self’ who lives within and wants nothing but for me to go back to being a wino.
I thought about this concept – that I have a shadow of the old boozy me still inside just waiting to burst out – and thought.. ‘do I believe I have a ‘shadow self’? .. before answering an emphatic ‘no’.
I do not believe that there is a part of me that still wants to drink copious amounts of wine and be numb and blurry and disconnected. I REFUSE to live in fear of that happening again! Sorry but I don’t and I won’t.
I know others will have opinions about whether it’s ‘wrong’ for me to not hold some fear close or else I will trip up … that I should constantly remind myself of where I was (miserable and addicted) for fear of forgetting and kidding myself that it would be a good idea to go back there (as if).
Firstly there is no chance of me forgetting my past boozy ways because of the contrast between how I felt then and how I felt now. But secondly and more importantly and let me shout this from the rooftops.
I HAVE CHANGED AND DEVELOPED SO MUCH INSIDE OF MYSELF THAT THERE IS NO CHANCE THAT I COULD REVERT TO THE OLD WAY OF THINKING THAT REGULAR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IS A GOOD IDEA.
Yes some serious shit is going to happen in my life, things I can’t even imagine that are going to hurt like hell and make me feel wretched, but why would I have so little faith in myself that when that happens I would suddenly shy away from genuine human emotion and go back to numbing and avoiding?
Everything I have been doing since I got sober, all of the work recognising that I was an emotion avoider, learning to sit with feelings, ways to ground myself and calm my brain, acceptance of the whole experience of being a fully realised human being.. all of this work is preparing me for the shit that is going to come. Why would I suddenly think (in the future when a loved one dies or some such) that I would throw away this incredible knowledge and understanding that I have developed to drink a shitty awful brain bending liquid drug?
I’m sorry but that notion is just ridiculous and anyone that is fearful on my behalf that I am going to drink again has no real knowledge of the workings of my insides. Well why would they? They’re not me.
Maybe they are still misguided and think drinking alcohol is something to be desired? Something helpful? I don’t.
Maybe they subscribe to the notion that remaining fearful of relapse is the best way to stay sober? I don’t.
Really it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I know my truth. I know how I feel today and how prepared I feel for all of my sober tomorrows. And that’s all that matters.
Love, Mrs D xxx