Before soberdom, ‘loving yourself’ always seemed a bit of a weird concept to me. People say, ‘you can’t expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself’ but I used to think that loving yourself seemed a bit, well, up your own arse. 

‘Oh look at her over there, she really lurves herself’.

I have friends who saw the sober light of day a lot faster than I did. It was all about responding to your inner child and buying organic and ‘loving yourself’. I was inwardly incredulous. Really? Inner child? Really? Buying organic? Really? If I’m honest, it wasn’t really inspiring me to gravitate to the other side. Instead I kept drowning her.

But now, slowly, without the fog of alcohol and the black cloud of the relationshit, I can finally understand what the hell my friends were talking about.

Instead of ‘learning to love myself’ or ‘practicing self love’ (because that just sounds well dodge), I’m going to call it learning to care for myself. I can now see how much I was damaging myself through smoking, drinking and eating shite, and I don’t just mean physically. Why, as an intelligent person, I couldn’t see this before, God only knows. But hey, the light is now burning bright, shining straight into my retinas.

I have found a new admiration for my poor old damaged body and mind. By nurturing from the outside, the inside is starting to heal. I’m starting to appreciate that I look far better without poison pulsating through my veins, and that I feel much better too. I’m learning that I’m not as repulsive as I’ve felt in recent years and that unpickled, my brain is actually far more productive than I ever thought possible. 

I am actually buying organic. Yes, me. Incredulous, cynical little old me. I’m covered in only the finest natural products. I’m bloody eating hemp (I know!) and showering in Dead Sea minerals. I can’t quite believe it myself. But it’s doing the trick. 

I feel bad for the little pickled me inside but slowly, she is drying out. She knows I’m starting to nurture her and listen to her and for the first time in probably 3 decades, I am actually trying to look after her. She is definitely not crying as much as she used to and that’s a good start. We just need to work on the amount of Elderflower and chocolate ice cream she’s demanding but for now, while she’s unpickling, she can have what she wants. After all, I’ve got years of making up to do.