So a couple of weeks ago it was my 3rd sober birthday. Drinking is now not a thought that enters my mind. Chocolate yes, booze no.
Now I feel really uncomfortable saying this as it feels really ungrateful but I hate my birthday. It’s not about my age and the passing of years it’s because I feel that I should be happy like Clare Grogan in Altered Images Happy Birthday and actually I usually feel all Lesley Gore It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cry If I Want To.
It’s not about that day – we had a lovely time despite me feeling as rough as a badgers arse because of a heavy cold. There was no point eating cake as I couldn’t taste anything 🙁
It’s because birthday’s are so conflicted for me and one of the days that I usually really went off the deep end with my drinking was THIS day. Of all the days that I self-medicated the most about, it was this one. Which is why it’s taken 3 years for the feelings around this subject to become clear which led to lots of tears and finally an understanding of why I felt so sad on my birthday despite desperately trying to appear really happy and upbeat, cos’ that’s how you’re supposed to be right?
As you know from last Friday’s sober jukebox I’ve been doing some deep emotional excavation and processing some heavy shit since going back into therapy as part of my post grad studies. You also know that it involves family and trauma which links it to my birth, and hence my birthday. Let’s just say there were some rejection and abandonment issues when I was a baby and then trauma as a pre-verbal toddler. My way to deal with that (and other stuff) was to shut down my body and stay in my head. It’s why I collected book-marks as a child and was such a book-worm – I could escape into my head and the stories (I find safety in books which I suspect also fuels my academic striving). I became literally disembodied. Well all that healing work means I’m experiencing some embodiment once more and can no longer deny how I feel in my body, which includes my heart. It roared back to life and felt like it was breaking in two with sadness this birthday as all the stuff I tried to block out with booze made its presence felt.
I know this is necessary and it will ease with time, and I have the lovely Mr HOF and my kids who hugged me hard that day, but god damn it sometimes this recovery stuff sucks. I’m hoping that this is the start of some more peaceful birthdays now that I feel like I’ve acknowledged the ghosts and laid them to rest. Which allows me to finish off on one of my favourite tunes and showcase some Old Grey Whistle Test to boot 😉 David Sylvian, circa 1982 ……
Edited to add: 07/11/2015 As I’m posting only every other day now this is up on a Saturday morning and I wanted to share this. Firstly to say that not all of recovery is hard work and doom and gloom and that those difficult feelings do pass. Secondly to revel in the joy that is a Saturday morning without a hangover that allows me to watch this and laugh my arse off. Thanks Drake for the Hotline Bling track and my kind of dancing 😉 and for this brilliant meme 🙂