THE BLOG

The Foundations of a Successfully Sober Body

17/08/2015 22:06 BST | Updated 17/08/2016 10:59 BST

The body has so many seasons of change in terms of sobriety. Most of us are sleeping with the enemy in the beginning. And eating with her. Living every second of every day in a shell we despise.

The only connection we really have to our physical selves in the early days of non-drinking is an horrendous awareness of this thing we are saddled with. That we know no respite from. Because at least when we were drinking we could numb ourselves to it. At least the body had its uses then too. A vehicle to get the alcohol, bring it to us. Provide us with a throat to pour it down.

The body did at least one other thing well too: providing us with the fleeting sensation of the world falling away. Giving us access to that warm fuzzy feeling of anaesthesia. For a few moments the body did its job. All was well.

Snapping back into focus the next morning or afternoon and the battle waged once more though, of course. The body is to blame for the pounding head. Dry mouth. Dizziness. Vomit. The body is the real culprit here. If we didn't have to have this body. This faulty piece of equipment. All would be bearable. Especially when everyone else seems so much more capable of coping with alcohol than us. It's not that we drink too much. Not at all. It's that our stupid body can't keep up. It fails us and we resent the f*ck out of that.

When this hatred for our own body goes on for years, we start to fool ourselves into thinking it is normal.

It's not.

To maintain successful sobriety it's really important to build a relationship with our body. To really invest in loving this incredible vehicle that does so much for us. Has put up with so much from us.

When I say things like this, a lot of women think I mean go on a healthy eating regime and exercise religiously.

I don't.

I mean something infinitely more tricky. I mean take the reigns of restriction off. I mean surrender the reigns of restriction. I mean give your body absolutely anything it wants except alcohol. I mean take it places, experience new things. I mean talk nicely to it. Stop letting people touch it that don't treat it with love and respect.

I mean spend money on dressing it nicely. Right now. Not when we've lost a stone or dropped a dress size. I mean acknowledging that perfection is a myth, but the reality of a work in progress is beautiful.

Yes. As a non drinker our body transforms. It has to. The shift is too dramatic not to. But that's not what keeps us sober. It's just Mother Nature's really lovely incentive. A happy side effect.

There will be more talk of what to expect during a non-drinking bodily transformation. But it has to start from the inside. It must start with repairing the shattered relationship between body and mind. There is no other way around this.

The only way out is through.