Hola Sober OCTOBER


Dear Diary ,

I ’ m at a small group weight training session with my personal trainer . It ’ s a few like minded women busting their guts out lifting weights that would give any man a run for their money . I feel comfortable and the time goes fast as these obviously successful career women are easy to be around and the chatter is interesting and fun . Something which I have to say can usually be hard to come . Although , I soon discover an awful truth that , a truth which is sober sisters already know , but that when we hear it and see it as clear as day serves as as a profound reminder that all that I / we are doing is right . There ’ s no denying the truth or the grip that alcohol has on us women . Strangling us , planning our diaries for us , sabotaging our lives . Five healthy women weight lifting , squatting , pumping iron and pressing dumbbells all talking about alcohol , how often they drink , the hangovers , the stories . As the giver upper I ’ m shocked at the chokehold alcohol has on their lives , yet it ’ s smoothly talked over like it is nothing , abs certainly no mention of the impacts on training . No recognition that we put all this work in and then that very evening drink a bottle of 600 calorie wine or poison of choice and maybe much more ! But here in this moment , nobody sees this as a problem . It ’ s like one of life ’ s givens that we drink . It would seem that we exercise and lift weights to accommodate our food and drink ( alcohol ) lifestyles . I exercise therefore it ’ s not a problem . Is it ? Exercise is healthy right ?! Until recently I was the same . Managing to complete full on workouts and push myself for weekly personal bests only to continue to booze my nights away . I even had workouts at 6am in the outdoors with - 4 degrees and the moon still out often after drinking a bottle of wine the night before . I can ’ t really believe I managed it now looking back , but I did , mainly because I ’ m stubborn and three times a week I dragged my tired ass to my training session , ticking the box , or so I thought . But that ’ s just bullshit . We talk a lot of that don ’ t we . When in drink . I digress ladies … so back to my PT group , we started sharing and discussing alcohol whilst panting through the 10kg shoulder presses , probably more like 7 . 5kg but I ’ m prone to an exaggeration from time to time , maybe an under exaggeration from time to time ( if you know , you know ). My slave driver of a PT is on it today ! I tell my new found comrades that I ’ ve given up drink and going alcohol free and oh how I ’ m feeling so much better , I ’ m listing the benefits and of course the new found freedom from the bottle . There ’ s a confused but accepting look on their faces . But just then , and this is the most important bit ladies is that my PT loudly and confidently stated to the group ( not sure why or for who ’ s benefit ), she stated with ‘ But … she ’ s not an alcoholic ’. She was genuinely explaining to them in that tiny little sentence that I have given up drink but you know I ’ m not ‘ AN ALCOHOLIC ’. This I found mildly amusing . She ’ s great , in fact she ’ s a good friend but her unconscious judgements of what an alcoholic is or does were summarised nicely in that fleeting moment . It was a crystal clear glimpse into her psyche and soul and all that she thinks about addiction . Her own transferred shame on my behalf at the thought that my nightly wine habit wasn ’ t as a result of me being an out and out alcoholic bum , was to be marvelled indeed . God bloody love her ( I ’ m not religious but it ’ s the only words I could find !). She sure was keeping the stigma alive . Keeping us posher drinkers separate and in an elite group of with the lie that the toxic substance could easily be put down to a bad habit rather than an addiction . There was so much power in her statement and is relayed by person after person we sober people meet . A handful of words yet so much re - enforcements about how labelling someone an alcoholic could make the difference between being accepted or rejected by people or in my case my new found healthy comrades . Or perceived as in now of course know differently . I chuckled and turned my head to the lady on the right ( didn ’ t quite catch her name ) and said ‘ actually I am .. shhhhh ’ and gave her a cheeky wink . But ladies I did not do that because I think that I am an alcoholic , after all I do not believe in the term BUT I do believe in authenticity and honesty where it ’ s needed . I guess the main reason I said it was just in case …. just in case that lady is struggling too … just in case she ’ s curious about her own drinking and just in case she ever needs to realise that she is not alone and that people addicted to alcohol so not just rock up with a brown paper back , unwashed face with missing teeth , oh and that we can work out three times even with a nightly bottle of wine habit . lots of love Emma xxxxx

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