Write Myself Sober

Writing. A form of escapism I’ve always enjoyed.

When I was a little girl I’d sit at the computer typing stories and decorating them in bold pink fonts. I had a poem published in an art gallery. I was 9 when a teacher read one of my stories, she told me ‘never loose that imagination of yours it’s something very special’ and I never did. I still 18 years later have the ability to remove myself from reality with my mind. Both a blessing and a curse.

Sometimes the mind wanders to great places and we imagine a life beyond perfection. Sometimes it takes us to the darkest corners of our subconscious revealing all our fears and reciting worst case scenarios and eventually projecting them in to our reality. Confirming to ourselves that indeed we were right. Everything is crap and going to go wrong.

But is life not what you make it? What would life be if I had carried on writing? Where would I be if I had projected the positive side of my imaginings in to reality?

Because of course I didn’t. At a young age 13/14 I found alcohol, drugs and violence. My world became more and more centred around this. I was asked to leave school. I was always in fights. I was always pretending to be someone that really I am not.

I had found substances that could take me away from reality just as my imagination could and it was great. But it wasn’t, I left my adolescences with nothing but a reputation for being a bad girl and no direction in life.

For the next years following, I try to do ‘good’, I become a mother, I try to better myself and my career. I try to find happiness. But really I’m steering further and further away from my true self, from the little girl who could get lost in the words pouring on to the page.

A couple of years ago someone said ‘you have such a way with words, you should write a book!’ Ha! I thought. Me write a book? What would I even write about? Who gives a shit what I have to say? The thought of putting pen to paper and engaging my brain seemed exhausting.

But I was in the fog then. The daze of addiction and confusion. Like a caged animal desperately trying to break free, not understanding that I can simply nudge the cage door open and free myself. I’m not trapped in here at all. There is a greater world and life out there.

Now the fog is lifting and the words are back and it feels good. All my ‘sober lit’ is telling me to write and I’m thinking write what? Then it came to me like a flood I am the Sober Barmaid, I am going to write about this and me and my journey. Because it is important, to me.

Maybe some days I won’t want to write, in fact I’m sure there will be lots of those days that just getting through without having a drink will be an accomplishment. But right now writing feels good.

Maybe no one will read my words, other than my beloved (sober) Mum. Maybe they will. But that’s not important right now. It’s all about the beautiful journey ahead of me.

The Sober Barmaid x


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