Cars, Cake & Snow
“And once we begin to recover, and to live again, we do so with new eyes. Things become clearer, and we are aware of things we weren’t aware of before.”Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
Today has been one of those wonderful days where there hasn’t been a doubt in my mind that sobriety, for all its ups and downs, is worth it.
The day started with doggy walks in the snow, Huckleberry eating every snowball he could get his paws on and Joe throwing the remaining ones at me (the cheeky sod). As we walked in the crisp morning air, smiling at fellow early risers, and marvelling at the beauty around us, my heart felt so full of gratitude. There was a time when such a simple pleasure would never have happened because I’d either still be up partying (read: desperately seeking a long-gone high) or deathly hungover. How glad I am them lost and lonely days are behind me.
Once home and warm, I decided to bake a cake. I can’t tell you why I decided this, I don’t think I’ve baked a cake since my school days, but that’s where my mind led me, so I went with it. Turns out, I’m a dab hand at it! My Victoria Sponge, complete with home-made butterscotch cream, was bloody delicious. Who knew there was a domestic goddess hidden behind the clutter of wine and takeaways? Joe would say I’m too messy to be a domestic goddess but screw him, this is my pink-cloud reality and I’m claiming the title regardless (although, my less egotistical self is whispering he does have a point.)
Then, to top my grown-up day off: I GOT MY FIRST EVER CAR! Nine long years ago I passed my test, but the moment of being an official car owner has arrived. I can hear 18-year-old me cheering that we finally made it here. A little over a year ago I was living pay-check to pay-check, squandering my ever-last dime on cheap highs with steep lows. Now I’m rocking the teetotal life, I’ve bought a car and can actually afford to fill it. Coincidence? I think not.
Matt Haig says that going through those dark times helps us to appreciate the light. I think that’s true. It’s only after drugs & alcohol crushed my spirit that I appreciate sober days. It’s only after living at 100 miles an hour (a speed my tiny car probably cannot reach) that I appreciate the slower pace of life. Every panic attack, sleepless night, crippling fear, head-in-the-toilet morning and moments of utter despair has helped open my eyes to the beauty of the little things. Like waking up without a hangover, eating delicious food, burning scented candles, the feel of clean sheets, the changing colour of the sky, the way Huckleberry squeaks when he yawns, and so much more.
Life is far from perfect in sobriety, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.