“Your journey has moulded you for the greater good. It was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now, is right on time.”
– Asha Tyson
One of my favourite songs which brings back instant nostalgia, was released in the millennium and is by Moloko – “The Time is Now”. The lyrics resonate with me, and the song relaxes me. At the time of its release I was twelve years old and I had never touched a drop of alcohol. Music was my passion and I used to obsess over CD cover sleeves whereby I would sit and learn the lyrics of each song by my favourite bands and artists. ‘Smash Hit’s’ magazine, was my bible and ‘NME’ was my source of pleasure.
“The Time Is Now” came onto the radio whilst I was driving to work during my first week of sobriety. I turned the volume up, and sat and listened to each and every word. I knew the words from way back when, but did I really understand them? No. This time, they struck a chord.
You’re my last breath,
you’re a breath of fresh air to me
I am empty
So tell me you care for me
You’re the first thing
And the last thing on my mind
In your arms I feel
I applied the lyrics to how I felt with my relationship with alcohol. How I felt, when I carefully grasped that bottle of Sauvignon in the shop. The buzz I felt knowing it was safely nestled in my bag on the journey home, ready for the fun to unfold once I got in. The intensity I would feel once I poured that first glass, and tasted its body, was eurphoric. To me, it did feel like sunshine. However, I was empty. The feeling, the high only initially lasted between twenty to thirty minutes. That feeling of sunshine. I would drink that first glass unbelievably fast, I barely had time to really taste it, enjoy it. I downed it for the buzz, for the feeling. Quick, come at me, let me feel your glow, your power.
‘You’re the first thing, and the last thing on my mind’. How true this is. I would awake the next morning after a binge, only thinking about what I had done and how much I had drank the night previous. Did I say anything bad? Did I do anything bad? The feelings of discontentment, anxiety and disgust would overwhelm me. I would get up, make the strongest coffee I could stomach and then tell myself over and over, “I am not drinking tonight, I can’t.” Of course, once that prominent afternoon slump started, all of my thoughts would turn to drinking, and buying my wine. The thoughts and feelings I had, a mere six hours earlier would fade away and my only focus would be on drinking again. I would try and rationalise any excuse in my own head, to make sure I could drink. “Well, I might as well just have one glass, it’ll probably make me feel less stressed, less anxious”. I would never just have one glass. I am all or nothing. The vicious cycle.
“You’re the last thing on my mind.” Enough, was never enough. That one bottle of Sauv that I bought in the shop, would never be enough. I knew this at the time of purchasing it. However, I would think that tonight would be different. I could just have one bottle, and enjoy it like any “normal” drinker. I would finish that bottle in around thirty minutes. Sometimes even twenty minutes. I would drink it like water, and wait for the high. One evening, I was too tired and too ashamed to walk to the corner shop to buy yet another bottle that I used a food delivery service that also delivered alcohol to get more. I ordered thirty pounds worth of food, that I didn’t even intend to eat (of course I did eat it, once the munchies set in) and paid eighteen pounds for a supermarket branded white wine, just to have the convenience of someone deliver it to me. I waited for forty minutes for the delivery, anxiously checking behind the curtain to see where they were, checking my clock. Surely, the time is now. Once delivered, I carelessly put the food to one side, and sat in comfort drinking my wine, alone. I was also fuming at the fact they had brought me an 11% bottle, what was the point of that. I would never, ever have selected such a low percentage bottle of my own accord. I drank it anyway. The next morning I awoke, in a panic. The greasy aroma of cheesy chips, and the stench of garlic sauce awoke me. My reality set in. It was around three days before payday, and I had spent the last of my money on a mass of food, just to get one bottle of white wine. I cried, felt alone and lost, but I still drank again that night.
You may find yourself
Out on a limb for me
Could you expect it as
A part of your destiny?
I give all I have
But it’s not enough
And my patience is shot
So I’m calling your bluff
Today marks being ten weeks sober. I last had my last drink ten weeks ago last night.
“I give all I have, but it’s not enough, and my patience is shot, so I’m calling your bluff”. That sums up perfectly, how I felt ten weeks ago this morning. My patience was shot, I had enough. I was done. The difference this time? I wanted it. I wanted sobriety and an escape so badly. I wanted it before, but I wasn’t willing to work for it. I wasn’t willing to truly change my behaviours, and my habits. I wanted to wave a magic wand and for it all be over. This time, I have created my own magic, one day at a time.
The time is now. If anyone feels like their drinking is controlling them, rather than you controlling the drinking, and you might be wanting to make a change, act now. Today is a good day to make a change. Remember, one day at a time.