Day 53! Over the last week I've become obsessed by imagery from the Wizard of Oz. I've managed to work out why. Please stick with me here, I promise there's a really valid point to all this!
Remember the bleak, lonely, black and white Kansas in the opening of the Wizard of Oz? That's the drinking days. Slowly, slowly, sip by sip, all the colour is gradually leeched out, and you look around you and think "how the hell did this happen?"
So you make a monumental decision: I have to stop drinking. The initial few days are a physical whirlwind - a tornado. You're all tetchy and restless and everything goes a little haywire - your sleep, digestion, energy levels and emotions are all inside out and upside down.
Then, the tornado clears and you discover that you've landed in an amazing place - Oz. This is the 'honeymoon' (sometimes called 'pink cloud') phase that I've written about a lot already. All the colours are brighter, your senses are heightened, there's a feeling that anything is possible. You wonder why on earth you never came here before.
But before too long you realise that Oz isn't all it seems. You don't know the rules, you're not sure how to navigate the landscape. The brightness is actually a bit scary and there's a sharpness, an edge, that you're not used to dealing with. (This is around week 6 or 7, when a lot of people seem to fall off the wagon).
And, the most frightening thing about Oz? The Wicked Wine Witch of the West who is constantly out to get you.
Now I get to play Dorothy. I know that's not entirely fair or democratic, but it's my blog and I have to get some perks. But I'm not wearing that ghastly gingham dress, or doing the plaits. The expression 'mutton dressed as lamb' springs to mind. I'm wearing a floaty Alice Temperley dress, and the hair is loose with a Kate Middleton style blow dry (by the way, is it true that you Americans say 'blow job' instead of 'blow dry', or is someone winding me up? A blow job means something entirely different on this side of the pond....)
Tallaxo gets to be the lion as he's the only bloke who's so far volunteered for a speaking part on this blog. (What are you all - men or mice? It is not statistically likely that 17,000 page views are all female. Come on out of the drinks closet and join the conversation!) Plus, I suspect that Tallaxo looks like Colin Firth. Don't you just love putting imaginary faces to the names?
So, now we've discovered how scary Oz actually is, we find ourselves some friends and together we follow the sober brick road, because we've been assured that at the end of it is the Wizard, and the Wizard can give us freedom.
As we make our way on our journey, holding hands and singing, we realise that we're having to cope with emotions and stuff that we've never really dealt with before - or at least not since we started drinking a lot. We find that, like the lion, scarecrow and tin man, there's bits we're missing - a heart, a brain, courage, whatever, and we want the Wizard to fix us and transport us to the sober nirvana.
Tragically, when we get to the end of the road we find that the wizard isn't there. He never was. He was a figment of our imagination. But, you know what? By then we no longer need him. Because, in our long journey, brick by sober brick, along the road, we've been learning how to deal with all the emotions and stuff.
Oz is no longer scary and sharp, and we've managed to dissolve the Wicked Wine Witch of the West with a bucket of water (she was well and truly sozzled). We don't need to be transported anywhere else, because we find that, actually, we're already here, and it's amazing!
At least that is, I hope, how the story ends. Right now I'm still tripping along that sober brick road with you, my friends.
Have a great day in Oz!
Love SM x
Related post: the sober rollercoaster