Club Soda member Kim shares her personal and moving story with us, and the many transformations she has undergone since stopping drinking ten months ago. From the last time she drank, to the journey of self-discovery since, she shares her shifting relationships with old friends, new friends and disco baths.
On the 2nd December 2015 I woke up at 3am. My usual wake up time. Head pounding, mouth rancid and my first thought is “Yay – I made it to home AND to bed – I’m so ace” .. Not that I could remember how! Next I’m flooded with irritation and prod my EX-OH, “Why is there no duvet cover on??” and he sadly replies, “Kim, you were sick in your sleep”. The next morning (day off work again natch!) my head is exploding as I try to put the night before in order… apparently after leaving the pub, five mins from my house, I didn’t get home for another two hours. I don’t know what happened then, I didn’t even try to remember, there’s no point with a black-out, you store no memories, I know this already so well. This is by no means the worst thing that’s happened to me drunk, or the most dangerous, or the scariest. But this was the last thing I have done drunk, and will ever do drunk.
I don’t know why I’ve always drunk so much. Not to self-medicate, not because of any trauma. Just being a total lush wreck-head who loved to party. And when the parties weren’t there, I had them at home. Every.single.night. 1-2 bottles of your finest poison. Topped off at the weekend with an arsenal of drugs. On and off for 30 years.
The first day sober was easy, I was hanging. What got me through at the start was inventing a disco bath. A bathroom full of lasers, bath bombs, Bluetooth speakers and banging rave music. Every night for at least an hour when I would normally be neck deep in wine I would be singing and bath dancing insanely instead. Then I joined a few sober websites and forums. And this is where the magic happened. Meeting real people, giving and receiving support. Reaching out.
The hardest thing for me has been other people. My friends didn’t know where I fitted in anymore. Some felt uncomfortable around me, and I began to realise that I needed more from friends and nights out than sitting in a pub talking utter shite that we wouldn’t remember the next day. I got bored. I needed authentic real relationships and experiences. We all tried to make it work, but sometimes it’s just not meant to be. I’m cool with that. I have made so many new friends on my sober travels and maybe with my old friends we will work our way back to each other at some point.
And now…. 10 months on. I have the life I could only imagine before. It took a while to find what I liked. I found out I can’t knit, that wee comes out if I jog, that I think of Justin Bieber if I try to meditate and that herbal teabags suck. However… I travel on my own to meet new people and to experience new things. My laser ball, rave music and I have been all over the UK. I have a more fulfilling social life than I ever have done I walk a lot with my rave music blasting. I have snorkelled with sharks and climbed a mountain. I’ve sped around the med on an inflatable sofa pulled behind a speedboat. I’ve danced on (and fallen off) tables. I’ve gone to morning raves and late night sing-a-longs. I’ve made a heap of really amazing new friends. I am a good friend. My deepest regret is that I was not the mum my beautiful children deserved. These incredible people however have stuck by me and loved me regardless. I can’t change the past but I can look forwards to a wonderful future with them and my granddaughter. I’m so grateful for that. I’m, happy, I’m kind, I’m tenacious, I’m courageous and I’m finally free.