It's 3am on Tuesday the 6th of September 2011. I am sitting on the toilet in the depths of despair. I am suffering the physical ill-effects of drinking copious amounts of wine the night before, and I am suffering the emotional ill-effects of living for years with a heavy and progressive drinking problem.
At this very moment, with my pants down and tears rolling down my cheeks, I make a decision that will dramatically alter the course of my life. I decide to quit drinking alcohol forever.
That utterly wretched moment - me on the toilet with my self-esteem and self-worth severely diminished - delivered me a powerful point with which to make a change. A rock on which to build a new foundation.
They call this the gift of desperation. From my worst moment something beautiful grew.
Would I have ever made the dramatic decision to not touch alcohol ever again if I hadn't reached that low point? Maybe if we lived in a different world. A world where it's not such a big deal to never touch alcohol. A world where LOADS of people live sober. Wouldn't that be lovely....!
But sadly this is not the case. In my current environment it is dramatic (to say the least) to choose a lifestyle so at odds with the norm. To choose to always be in the minority at parties and events. To choose to say 'not for me thanks' every time booze is on offer. To choose to never touch alcohol ever despite knowing there is going to be so much emotional pain and hurt coming along that will be hell to deal with.
Making the big dramatic choice to live sober was made simpler for me because of the miserable, low place my drinking took me to. Because of my desperation. This is the gift of desperation.
I call to mind often the feeling I had toward the end of my drinking days - and particularly that last day/night - and it helps remind me why I quit. I will never let myself forget.
As unlikely as it sounds I am profoundly grateful for that awful 3am moment back in 2011 - my shittiest, lowest, most miserable point. Because it truly was a gift, one that I will always be thankful for.
Love, Mrs D xxx