deep breath and smile
Sober Living

Take a deep breath and smile

You know those days that are going well and then BAM, the universe decides to throw you some curveballs out of nowhere? That was my day yesterday. “What happened?!” I hear you cry. Well, it all started when a bloody big red van reversed into my poor little car, then promptly drove away (b*%£ard). Having confirmed that yes, my car had been scratched in the process of someone else’s idiocy, I drove home and jumped on my laptop for good old fashion life admin. It was at this point I got confirmation that a new opportunity I was very excited about had fallen through oh, and I’d accidentally ordered one of J’s birthday presents to our old address. Oh dear. I then called a family member who was less than sober and seems intent on making all the same mistakes I did. They have the same conviction for chaos and refusal of reason. *Sigh*

As I sat in my chair feeling utterly overwhelmed and planning all the ways I could track down and enforce justice on the dastardly van-driving-man who scratched my car, I remembered: I cannot control what happens, only how I respond. So, I closed my laptop, scrapped my impossible plans for revenge, took a deep breath and smiled as best I could. No, I was not going to let this ruin my day. So, I carried on exactly as I had planned. I dyed my hair purple, painted my nails to match, called my bestie, sipped AF gin and lemonade and was kind to myself. Before I knew it, I was feeling much better and fabulously pampered.

It occurred to me that not all that long ago, such occurrences would have been enough to send me into a tailspin. I’d have used my seeming misfortune to justify a bottle of wine (which would absolutely have turned into two) and wallowed away feeling ever so sorry for myself. I’d have stewed in my sourness and allowed it to poison my whole weekend, convinced that the universe was out to get me. Of course, this would have been followed by a horrific hangover (because mine were never, ever mild) and yet more wallowing. I mean, what a waste of time that would have been.

I used to be convinced that alcohol was the solution for everything, including sadness (I blame every heartbreak scene where the woman promptly reaches for wine – I’m looking at you, Bridget Jones). Now, at 27 years old, I finally understand how absolutely dangerous and twisted that logic is. Drinking a depressant to lift my mood is like throwing gasoline onto a small fire; it will quickly turn from a comforting warmth to a terrifying, uncontrollable blaze, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake.

Frankly, I’ve spent more than enough time cleaning up the embers of my self-destruction. I much prefer the deep breath and smile method. The truth is that life will carry on either way so I might as well enjoy it fully present rather than blackout drunk. Because really, who wants to spend Sunday vomming and popping pain killers? Not me!

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