Daily Archives: 11/09/2015

Friday Sober Jukebox – Warning sign

So out running and this song spun round.  I listened to it twice back to back because if felt so resonant.  Yes I know it’s a song about love and relationships but it reminded me of how I’d been feeling of late what with the move and everything.  Despite being only 10 days off of 2 years sober there are still moments when I miss the release of booze and this song captured that for me.  I know it’s a warning sign as the song goes …..

warning sign






Someone on the BFB on FB (thank you sober universe!) shared this great article about moving house and how stressful it can be, which really helped and you can read it here.  This bit really hit home, excuse the pun!

Transitions, by definition, are times of change, and nobody likes change. Human beings are creatures of habit, comfort, and familiarity. We like our routines and most people gravitate to a life of predictable structure. We take emotional refuge in keeping physical order in our homes and mental refuge in knowing that everything has its place. So what happens when you move? In a word: chaos. With your physical world turned upside down, your inner world tends to follow suitLike all transitions, moving provides a powerful opportunity to heal layers of ourselves that often don’t emerge unless we’re in the midst of a transition.

Part of that transition for me is recognising that’s it okay to miss booze at these moments.  I’m not some superhuman automaton, I feel stuff and just trying to squash it down and ignore it is a recipe for disaster.

Thankfully later that day I attended the summer reunion for the treatment centre where I volunteer to celebrate the successes of those who were clean and sober and remember those who had lost the fight and were no longer with us.

This is what I wrote in an email to Prim afterwards:

“All I know is that I missed them over the summer.  I missed their acceptance and lack of shame around being an addict.  Listening to the shares, which were all prefixed with name and I’m an addict, made me feel safer and less alone with it all.  It’s so easy to drift as Belle says.  Not that you and the sober blogs aren’t important to me – you are vital but I need to be around people regularly in real life too.  Feeling pretty wobbly as it goes but not about drinking – more about those pesky feelings.  I’ve been isolating and being back with them made me see that xx”
It’s all too easy to forget what we’re doing and why.  All too easy when we are not around other people in recovery for the small voice in our ear to start up, trying to persuade us that we weren’t that bad and that life is too hard.  Too easy for us to distance ourselves from those who carry that message to us and to minimise the issue.  This is life and death stuff and I’d forgotten that and feel like I’ve woken from a rose tinted reverie, romanticising the drink and not the hangover free living once more.  Warning sign indeed …….

Men and women ‘cannot consent to sex if they are drunk’

I spotted this news piece in The Independent in June that looked at a new report that argued that men and women ‘cannot consent to sex if they are drunk’.  I’ve talked about this issue before here and here.

consent when drunk

A report into sexual offence legislation has called for legal amendments so a person who is severely intoxicated would lose the capacity to consent to sex.

A major overhaul of the way police and prosecutors tackle rape in London was demanded following the release of an official report which warned that the capital is being “overwhelmed” by a rise in reported cases.

Report author Dame Elish Anglioni said the Government would be asked to consider amending sex offence laws so that the impact of severe intoxication – such as alcohol – is embedded in legislation.

Current laws do not provide a definition for whether an alleged victim is “incapable”, meaning it is a matter for a jury to decide whether the complainant was so intoxicated as to be incapable of granting consent.

In 2007, the Court of Appeal ruled that a person may be capable of consenting even if drunk, but that the capacity to consent “may evaporate well before a complainant becomes unconscious”.

The review has made 46 recommendations to address areas including improved training and enhanced victim care.

Concerns were raised that the system risks being “overwhelmed” by increased reporting of rape, with officers within the Sapphire rape investigation team having an average of 15 live cases at one time.

Dame Elish said: “There is an urgent need to ensure that the system is not overwhelmed because of a failure to fund the positive outcome of that policy.”

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the review of rape investigations in London “shines an honest light” on failings in the service.

Rape Crisis England & Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell said: “Rape Crisis welcomes the commitment to transparency, scrutiny and improvement that the commissioning and publication of this report.  “It should be noted, nonetheless, that this isn’t the first time we’ve heard positive sentiments such as these from criminal justice agencies and it is imperative now that encouraging words are translated into real action and cultural change.”

Hear hear Katie Russell!

And The Independent followed this story up in July with this strong headline:

MoD anti-rape campaign launched with shocking posters of ‘army sex attacks’


Edited to add: further news stories about this subject 23/09/15

It’s time to retire the idea that alcohol-facilitated rape is simply drunken sex