I Knew He Knew

Well, there’s a first time for everything and whilst my heart was beating wildly and my palms were clammy, it would seem I survived. Again. I was having a video recorded chat with the lovely Norah Ginty and whilst I don’t remember everything I said – this seems to happen when I go into panic mode; I blab on and on but don’t have a clue afterwards what I said or how in God’s name it came out or across – I probably did better than my inner self-bullying tyrant would have me believe. Oh no, I don’t think I did great, but I did it. I’m hardly going to be an inspirational or expert speaker the first time, right? I gave it my best shot and that’s OK. I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to watch it once it’s been published, but so what if I look like an absolute fool? Telling my story that way, just like telling my story in a meeting or on this blog, might just help someone else, it might just help another Anna.

What I do remember are Norah’s questions and how I after our chat thought lots more about what she’d asked. There’s just so much to say about all the wonderful things that happen when we get sober. It also struck me that I probably blogged a lot more about my drinking when I took my first, tentative steps into my recovery, whereas these days I mostly harp on about life as it is now: oh, glorious sobriety! Whilst I do so passionately want to show just how life changing and magical recovery can be, it struck me that sometimes it might just be handy to remind ourselves of not just the Pink Cloud with all its rewards that we live on now, but also consider the hell in which we used to be trapped.

So I decided to consider Norah’s questions here too.

What was your relationship with alcohol?

It was always chaotic. From when I first tried alcohol as a teenager, I was always the one to get the most hammered the fastest. No brakes. My view of alcohol, which probably stems from my upbringing, was that it’s closely linked to celebration. No one in my family ever drank excessively and alcohol was only ever present on special occasions and in moderation. I’ve never witnessed either of my parents drunk or out of control. Alcohol, in my world, was something you sprinkle on life as an enhancing glitter. Strangely, even as I reached the deepest lows of my addiction, this is how I saw it – even as I was drinking on my own into black-out on a daily basis, alcohol to me was a silver lining. Crazy, isn’t it?

And so when my first marriage crashed and I went through a thoroughly shitty time and messy divorce, I didn’t drink at all. In fact, I was always scared to touch a drop if I felt unhappy in some way because I used to believe that alcohol enhances everything we feel. Therefore, if I felt down, I’d steer clear of the stuff because I was terrified – given I feel everything so strongly – that it’d make me feel even worse. Now that’s true of course, I had that bit correctly: alcohol is a depressant which will indeed make anything shit even shittier. I was just wrong about it enhancing joy, because, uh, it’s a depressant. I kinda missed that bit. Anyhow, once I was through the worst and the divorce shit storm had subsided, I was happy again. And what do I do when a good mood hits? I go for the bottle.

As I described my relationship to Norah, it was like dating the wrong person. You see them through rose tinted glasses and have them on a pedestal. You want desperately to see them in a certain, shimmery way, like your heroic knight in shining armour. You forgive anything and everything. Over and over. But they’re the devil in disguise. They mistreat you and they’re bad for you. Yet you stubbornly hold on to that dreamy image you’ve created, even though it bears no resemblance to reality. That was me and alcohol. It was toxic.

How much did you drink?

I’m always a little hesitant to answer this question. Not because I want to hide anything, but because I keep thinking that if Drunk Me of some years ago heard me state an amount, it might be turned into “oohhh that’s more than I drink so then I must be OK“. See, I always took comfort in anyone who drank more than me, used it as a way of further cementing my denial and convince myself I didn’t have a problem. It was just that in the end I no longer knew anyone who drank as much as I did. In fact, the one person – whom I’ve nicknamed Tumbler on this blog when I’ve written about her – who drank more than I did and had sunk further than I had, drank herself to death in 2014. And then there was one. Me. I had no one else to point to in order to make myself believe I wasn’t so bad because I no longer knew anyone who drank more than I did.

Yes, I drank stupid amounts, but you can drink a lot less and still be an addict or a problem drinker. You can drink more than I did and not sink as low, just like you can drink less and sink as deep or deeper still. Ignore the quantities – we’re all different and tolerance is individual. Only you know, but whatever you do – please don’t take my drinking levels as some sort of evidence to show you’re OK. Maybe you are – great. Just sayin’. Either way, Norah asked and so I answered.

It may have started out quite innocently, me drinking a couple of glasses of wine in the evenings because I felt so happy and free and content with my new life. However, cue my no-brakes default setting and it transformed into something else entirely with alarming speed. Within just a few months, a couple of glasses of wine had turned into a bottle, which then turned into a bottle and a bit, which turned into a bottle and a half, which turned into two bottles and then into nearly three. This still fascinates me a little. Yes, it accelerated quickly into insane amounts, but over my 12-13 years of heavy drinking, it didn’t really go beyond. I sort of think you continuously go faster and harder, but my consumption seemed to stay at this level and up to when I stopped I remained steadily at a daily average of two and a half to three bottles. I’m not sure why, but perhaps it stayed that way because I always worked and was therefore unable to drink during the day? Well, I did slip under a few times and I have no doubt I would eventually have stayed under, but I wonder if work is what stopped me from full on chronic drinking. I sort of consider it chronic though, there was NOTHING normal about the way I drank, it was more that I couldn’t drink around the clock due to commitments.

Remember one thing, though. Remember YET. I couldn’t drink around the clock YET. It was heading that way. Always just a matter of YET. Don’t forget that.

Describe your last hangover.

This is the thing – it wasn’t an epic crash or a horror story. It was a hangover like hundreds – thousands! – like it. It was a Monday like so many others. I woke up feeling like death and could barely stand up. I don’t think I’d drunk any more or any less than usual the Sunday evening before. Sometimes, though, my hangovers would be particularly severe. I just knew there was no way I’d be able to get myself into work so I waited until Hubby had gone off to work and called in sick. As with every other hangover, everything was horrifically uncomfortable: I couldn’t stand, couldn’t eat or do anything, yet lying down was equally nightmarish with my racing heart, sweats and body shakes. There’d come a time somewhere half way through the afternoon when I’d begin to feel a little better, and this was no exception, so by the time Hubby got home I’d managed to shower.

I never said to him I’d stayed home but I had that sinking feeling in my gut because I knew he could tell. Lying feels like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and it was crushing me. Along with the anxiety and depressed mood brought on by alcohol, I felt utterly awful. Dishonesty isolates you and by not being truthful, I was emotionally isolating myself from Hubby, my best friend. But I knew he knew. My heart was churning and I felt so utterly hopeless and alone.

Then, at bedtime, we were lying in bed facing each other, chatting about the day as we always do. I knew it was coming and sure enough, it did.

Anna, can you tell me something?” Hubby asked as he stroked my cheek and teased away a stray strand of my hair from my face.

Yes,” I whispered and felt the tears already burning in my eyes.

Did you get yourself to work today?

There it was and I felt the same way I did on the only occasion I stole something – a chocolate bar at the age of 10 – and got caught. A little bit like the world fell apart. I’d been found out. My dirty, shameful secret exposed. But much, much stronger than that was a sudden sense of relief. And perhaps a tiny little bit of hope. An inner voice was suddenly shouting, no – SCREAMING at me: “SAY IT! SAY IT NOW! JUST ONE LITTLE WORD! ASK FOR HELP! THIS IS IT – SAY IT!!” And so I did.

No,” I said softly, choking a little, “I didn’t. I don’t know what to do. I need help. I’m scared of where this is taking me.

Hubby pulled me into his arms, held me tightly as I sobbed, kissed the top of my head and whispered gently into my hair:

Anna, you’re already there.

That was the most heartbreaking moment of my life, yet it was – even though it didn’t feel like it at the time – by far the greatest. It was the moment when my life began to change and instead of working so hard to kill myself I instead began to fight furiously to get well. It could just as easily have slipped me by and all could have been lost. In all likelihood, everything WOULD have been lost. But a small question, at precisely the right moment, gave me the chance to ask for help. If Hubby hadn’t asked, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have.

I’d given up, you see. I didn’t see a way out and had made my peace with the fact that I would continue the way I was, which I knew was killing me. I used to fantasise about something terrible happening. That I’d either crash my car or I’d collapse in the street. Something terrible enough that I’d be exposed and forced to get help. Isn’t that just so heartbreakingly sad? It seemed easier, and more plausible, to me to crash hard and therefore have the decision to seek help made for me forcibly than to ask for help. I didn’t know how to. I didn’t see a way out. Welcome to addiction, my friends. It ain’t a kind place. Luckily it didn’t have to get to a crash or death. It ended up with a loving husband who happened to put out a life line at the exact moment I was ready to reach for it. Had he not asked me, I shudder to think where it might have progressed to.

What made you stop?

Easy. Obviously my exit out of hell was presented to me in that moment by my beautiful husband, but it only worked because I was ready. I’d fucking had it. I was exhausted. It’s fucking hard work being a drunk. I was done. I couldn’t go on. It was do or die.

What did your first few weeks of sobriety look like? How did you break the habit?

It was strange to come home and not pour a glass of wine. It was strange and unfamiliar and yes, I’ll say it, uncomfortable. I wanted to get sober more than anything else, but I won’t lie – it was really, really odd! Over the first few weeks I went to AA meetings regularly and Hubby and I would also go for long drives. But habits are just habits and I can’t say it was horrendously difficult because it wasn’t. It was just a little strange to begin with, that’s all. Soon enough, however, new habits formed and I rediscovered my love of running. Suddenly what had initially appeared as endlessly long evenings without wine were filled with GOOD STUFF. Exercise, quality time, cooking really lovely food, long walks and so on.

…and eventually, I didn’t even notice it anymore. 

My worst drinking sessions would occur when Hubby was away. Home alone and unchecked, I’d guzzle with even more abandon. I’d even book days off in advance to facilitate my suicidal drinking. (Yes, suicidal drinking is a THING – drinking the amounts I did falls into this category you see, something I learned since I got sober but in all honesty even when I was actively drinking I did know it’d kill me). To begin with, the first few times Hubby travelled after I got sober I was absolutely terrified. And super aware of the peril I found myself in. But then eventually, I didn’t have to be so terrified anymore. And then… …eventually came a time when I’d be home alone and it’d only occur to me as I crawled into bed that this used to be when I went for it, yet it had gone unnoticed. Sweet, sweet victory. Have faith, it does get easier. Not only that – it gets easy, full stop. Not only easy – it gets freaking AMAZING.

What were the first rewards sobriety brought?

I could wax lyrical about how my life has changed, but let’s stick with the very immediate rewards – I can bleat on about the many joys of being sober in other blog posts.

First thing was sleep. Holy cannoli, sweet, sweet sleep! From not having slept well for over a decade and lying awake each morning at 4am with palpitations, sweats, shakes, anxiety and crippling fear, I suddenly slept like a baby. Blissful, uninterrupted quality sleep. Solid blocks of eight hours’ shut-eye. Fuck me – it was like winning jackpot! Not to mention waking up feeling rested and refreshed.

Also an immediate reward was waking up feeling WELL – my mind clear and steady on my feet. Absolute game changer. And no wonder! If you’ve spent over a decade waking up feeling like death, feeling alive is going to be pretty glorious, right? It’s heavenly.

I guess the third immediate reward would be to say that I started to get ME back. It was like someone had switched the lights on and the world was suddenly full of colour again. Amazing stuff. I could suddenly form coherent thoughts and felt so much clearer.

…and those, remember, are just the very immediate rewards that my recovery brought to me. If I were to list all the amazing, magical ways in which my life has changed since I got sober, this list would never end. Mark my words.

To conclude…

There was one thing that wasn’t covered that I thought about lots afterwards and it’s probably the one thing I want to convey to all other Annas out there, to anyone else who is still trapped in their addiction: don’t be scared! You’ve been lied to! Sobriety isn’t a boring or bland place to be. Your fix fixes nothing, it only makes everything worse. Remember the illusion I was under too? That alcohol would somehow enhance happy feelings? Lies! Pure, barefaced lies! Life might not always be ponies and rainbows, but it’s SO much better when we don’t poison ourselves.

When I stopped drinking, we already had several things booked: a long weekend in Paris, a trip to Gothenburg to see Foo Fighters live and a summer break to Lipari. That, along with our usual summer trip to Sweden and other things like Ascot and a bunch of other things that had to me previously been Prime Drinking Occasions. I dreaded every single one of those, thinking it’d all be really shit. I mean, who goes to Paris and doesn’t drink Chateau Blotto? Who the fuck goes to a Foo Fighters concert SOBER? Who sits on a sea view balcony gazing out over the picturesque harbour of a beautiful Aeolian island without a bottle of wine (or three)? And how in God’s name do you enjoy one of those Scandinavian summer nights when the sun never sets sitting at the west wall of Falla without several sauvs enhancing the moment? ME. I do all of that, and if you won’t believe anything else I say, please do try to believe this: all of those things are so much better without booze. None boring. All just so much better because I was present and could enjoy all of it fully.

Well, I’ve gone on for long enough. I’ll leave it there. Except to say I’m today going to be around a bully again and so my focus will be extra focused on one little line: “give me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change”. I can only change myself. So I will take deep breaths, let things go and not allow other people’s imbalance and chaos get under my skin. Not something I find easy, but I will try once again – not my circus, not my monkeys.

Today I’m not going to drink.


Cuddly and Cute

It took me a while to figure out why that yucky feeling of unease had settled like a heavy stone in my chest. 519 days into recovery I still have to work hard at sitting with my emotions when they begin to overwhelm me. Having said that, I suspect I’ll still have to work at it when I’m at 5,190 days but that’s cool with me – progress, not perfection. So there it was, that yucky feeling, but instead of numbing it with drink I did what I do these days when I feel a little off – I faced it, felt it and tried to understand it.

I talk openly about my addiction and my journey through recovery. In fact, I’m – as strange as it may sound – proud of it, ALL of it. Perhaps not proud of all the years I drank but I’m proud that I’m one of those lucky ones who found the strength and courage to stare the Beast down and force it back into a cage, albeit one without a lock and one that depends entirely on me never losing sight of it. Point is though, that I feel so strongly about talking openly about it because it’s hearing others tell their stories that helps me so much. I guess I’m trying to find ways to pay it forward, this amazing gift of sobriety.

So anyway. I rummaged through my toolkit and decided to take a long walk. I wasn’t at all in the mood, quite tired and I had a million other things to do, but I pulled on my trainers and went. Down by the fountain at the other end of the park, it dawned on me where that yucky feeling had come from. Earlier today I updated the settings on this blog, changed the layout and tidied up a bit. Then I checked LinkedIn to see what other recovery professionals I could possibly stalk and connect with and got a little prompt saying I’ve not yet added a website. Cool bananas. I added Storm and that was that. No biggie – the whole world knows I’m a recovering alcoholic and I bloody REFUSE to hide that fact in a church basement. Here I am, the big, fat alkie – boo! Bite me.

But that’s what it was. The shame I used to feel must be so deeply engrained in me that perhaps some subconscious signals in my mind were flashing red and urging me to hide instead. I was feeling yucky about having shared openly again. Fuck that shit. Shut up, brain, you stupid old thing! Just pipe down, will ya! This is why you and I have trust issues.

Perhaps it’s the endorphines from the hour long brisk walk or perhaps it’s just the fact that I felt my feelings again without anaesthesia, who knows. And who cares. It’s quite interesting when I have these little realisations. And good that I did – tomorrow I’m doing a video’d call with a lady running a website centred on living alcohol free. Quite different to posting a link to my blog that probably no one will see, never mind click on via LinkedIn. Silly me.

And on that note, I guess I’d better have a little think about what I want to say. As you all know, there is nothing I love more than being the centre of attention, being caught on camera and have other people hear me talk. I also like to snuggle with tarantulas, they’re so cuddly and cute. Fuck me, I’m having palpitations already.

Today I’m not going to drink.

My Time In Captivity

Here’s the deal: I don’t want to drink. Not “I know I shouldn’t” or “I know I can’t” – I don’t WANT to. Fair do’s, as my kiwi husband might say, the ‘shouldn’t‘ and the ‘can’t‘ are absolutely true – I shouldn’t drink and I can’t drink, but that never was and never will be enough to keep me sober.

I don’t want to drink and I genuinely believe this is the only reason I am sober today because if my brain told me otherwise, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’d be pouring that huge glass of wine, soda water and ice right this minute. In fact, I might already be on my second. Well, I hadn’t quite sunk to morning drinking when I stopped drinking 511 days ago, but it was heading that way so although I don’t know where I’d be had I not stopped I can only really say this with certainty: right now I’d either be drinking or I’d have made plans for drinking later on. Fact remains though, that the reason I’m not drinking this morning or planning to guzzle Sauvignon Blanc later is solely because I have no desire to. I don’t want to drink.

Since February, I work at a rehab as those of you who know me will know. This springs purely from a desire to help others find this amazing gift I was given and get a shot at reclaiming their lives, but more importantly, themselves. Even 511 days later, on this five hundred and eleventh morning, I still wake up and feel tearful of joy and gratitude that I once again begin a new day without a hangover and the crippling hell of active addiction. Yes, I’m a little nuts, but out of these 511 mornings I’d hazard a guess and say I’ve cried tears of joy at least one hundred times. On my five hundred and eleventh morning sober my morning coffee tastes epic. On my five hundred and eleventh morning I am steady on my feet and my mind is clear.

I imagine this gratitude comes from my time in captivity. Would I feel this grateful and amazed at just waking up in the morning if I hadn’t been trapped for so long? Would standing up in the shower strike me as so wondrous if I’d been able to do it all along? Call me crazy, but I doubt it. By the way – sometimes I cry of joy in the shower too, simply because I no longer have to crouch. I can freaking STAND in the shower! Hallelujah! And so I consider myself very, very lucky. Lucky to be an addict, lucky to be an alkie. Perhaps my appreciation for those small, simple things in life – even the fact that I’m breathing – and the joy I feel is this strong and overwhelming because I so very nearly threw it all away. It makes sense, no? If you’ve been confined to a wheelchair for years and years, of course having the use of your legs again will seem more of a miracle and something to be thankful for than it would if you’d always been able to.

When we overcome something terrible, I believe it’s a human reaction to want to pass on the gift and help others. I know what that captivity feels like, I know how it feels to be stuck in the hell of addiction and not seeing the way out. But I found a way out and so when I see someone else who is suffering, all I want to do is let them know that no matter how impossible and unlikely it may seem, they can find their way out too. Take any charity, any foundation – almost always founded and run by those who have themselves been through it, no matter what it is. I only have to look around me at my colleagues – the few who aren’t themselves in recovery were lashed by addiction having either grown up with parents who were addicts or had to stand by as a partner or sibling went through it. Every single one of us, regardless of how addiction affected us – directly or indirectly – is at the rehab for one reason only: because we so desperately want to help illuminate that elusive pathway out of hell and reassure those who suffer that it IS there and can be found.

At the rehab, we work with the 12-step program. I attended AA meetings during my first two, three months of recovery but it hasn’t quite been my path. As I mentioned, I am sober today because it’s what I want more than anything else. Or rather, I’m sober today because I don’t want to drink. To my mind, why would I need to go to meetings to stop me doing something I don’t want to do in the first place? But here’s the scary bit: almost every time someone relapses the immediate response is “they stopped working the program“. The philosophy goes that you have to attend meetings and practice the 12 steps in all your affairs and it’s what keeps you sober. I want to be clear though – nowhere does it state in AA literature (as far as I’m aware anyway) that it is the only way to get sober and you’re encouraged to “take what works, leave the rest“. Healthy approach, if you ask me. And I guess that’s what I’ve done. And to be even clearer, I absolutely love AA – if it saves just one poor soul from the deep abyss of alcoholism and addiction, then it’s thumbs up from me. AA, CA, NA and all the other As do save hundreds of thousands of us. Millions. As far as I’m concerned, if you keep sober by running naked around your house at dawn each day – keep doing that.

Through my recovery, I’ve sometimes felt prickly at those words. “They stopped working the program“. It gets me prickly because I don’t seem to be “doing it” in the straight-up AA way. But when I put my toys back into my pram and quieten my obstinate inner child, I realise that I’m absolutely working a program. Or THE program, even:

  1. I admitted defeat and accepted I was powerless in the face of addiction.
  2. I wanted to find a different way of life.
  3. I asked for help.
  4. I looked inward and took stock of my life and what’s fucked me up.
  5. I honestly and sincerely laid those things that fucked me up bare.
  6. I resolved to face them all and work through them.
  7. I set out to turn resentment to forgiveness, anger to love, and fear to faith.
  8. I felt a desire to put right the harm I’d done.
  9. I acknowledged, took responsibility and asked forgiveness.
  10. I keep a close eye on myself and correct myself when resentment, anger and fear threaten to engulf me.
  11. I practice mindfulness.
  12. I put my heart and soul into helping other addicts find their way to recovery.

Bill W would be pleased, I reckon, and you don’t need to attend meetings to live your life according to these principles. It makes me chuckle, because it’s almost like I’ve gone and 12-stepped in spite of myself. Nice work, Bill W – you got me! I’m glad though, I just needed to see it for myself and reframe how I think around what it means to work a/the program. It kinda happened organically. I’m not saying I’m a genius but then neither was good ol’ Bill W. Bill W was simply just like me – a drunk, who practiced a new way of life that kept him in balance. And sober. And that’s really what I’ve come to believe recovery is all about: balance. It goes without saying that we’re much more vulnerable to harm, be it addiction or any destructive behaviour at all, if we are broken or carry resentments. Sometimes we just have a deadness inside, a void, a hole in our heart or whatever other way you want to use to describe it. Sometimes there’s just this restlessness and discontent that can only be stilled with drugs – until we find a better way of keeping ourselves balanced.

No, I don’t want to drink on this fine day. Call me cocky, but I wouldn’t drink if you offered me £1,000,000 to do so. Well. I wouldn’t agree to kill myself for £1,000,000 either and that’s what drinking would mean for me because I’m an alcoholic and I can’t drink the way you can. You get my drift though. I don’t want to drink and at this moment in time there is nothing, NOTHING, that could make me. But don’t be fooled, I am always vigilant – that’s where the mindfulness comes in, see – as I still have the brain that threw me into captivity to start with.

What I wanted to get at, although it seems it took me a while to get to the point, is that I do work a program. No, I don’t go to AA meetings very often but I spend a huge part of my waking hours focused on recovery – both my own and that of others around me. I share – here, at home, with friends, at work – and stay open and honest. And I try my damned hardest to pass on this beautiful, magical gift. Some of us get put off by AA and I have to admit this has at times been me too, but then I remind myself that we’re all just doing the same thing – trying to find that balance and work on our recovery. If we do it in a certain order of steps or affirmations or rituals is irrelevant. The 12 steps I believe is something that almost comes naturally when we get sober – when we remove the anaesthesia all our emotions come flooding back and we have no choice but to learn how to deal with them. And I reckon that’s what Bill W did. And how helpful of him to cobble together a guide to give us a nudge in the right direction in case we’re a little lost initially. Personally, I think everyone – addict or otherwise – would be better off going about our lives that way.

It’s all about balance.

Today I’m not going to drink.

13 Minutes Past Midnight

Burning the midnight oil here… Worked the late shift at the rehab and have to get up at 5am to do the early one tomorrow. My sister and her boyfriend are on their way here, having landed with a late flight in from Gothenburg – I guess they can now officially be called The Two Doctors given they both now have their PhDs. Fuck me, imagine their future children! Those will be some seriously cute braniacs. They’re staying for a couple of nights before relocating to a hotel more centrally, so I’m bunking up with Bambino who under duress agreed to house me on the sofa bed in his room. It’s uncomfortable as hell so God knows if I’ll get any sleep at all of the, at a guess, maximum of three I might get. Then a full-on shift tomorrow with three discharges and the usual madness!

I suppose the normal expectation in this scenario would be to complain?


See, this is freaking awesome! OK, so having The Two Doctors over is obviously awesome, but I don’t even mean that! I am referring to how I can do all this because I’m sober! I’m not passed out, black-out drunk. I can get in the car and safely collect them from the station. I’ll no doubt be super tired tomorrow but my head will be clear, my body will feel steady and I’ll be able to function to full capacity albeit probably a little wired and spent. Whoop-dee-do! And I continue to be reliable, steady Anna when I’m sober, which is fucking amazing. I can be the person to say “I’ll come get you” and deliver. I can do all this around an exhausting and demanding job, having also cleaned the apartment and before today’s shift having made a yummy quiche they can have tomorrow when I’m at work. From scratch, I hasten to add, seeing as I’m in full swing bragging mode. Yep, the pastry and everything. Given I’m not busy spinning around the Drinking Hell Trifecta (i.e. in a loop of 1. battling a vicious hangover, 2. planning my drinking, or 3. being black-out drunk), I’ve organised everything properly so that everything will run smoothly.

Well. Thought it was well worth pointing out once again how amazing it is to be sober and the countless gifts that sobriety brings me.

Please God, never let me fall back. Please help me remain on this path.

…I suppose it’s a little early to say this at 13 minutes past midnight but there we are:

Today I’m not going to drink.