Sliding Doors

Do you ever wonder where your life may have taken you, had you made different decisions? For me, a large element of learning to let go of my past mistakes has been the understanding and acceptance of who I am today, and how all the choices I have made on my journey to this point have amalgamated to create who I have become.

I have had relationships which would, I’m sure, have taken me to very different places had I remained in them; the boyfriend who I moved to London to live with in my early twenties was an ardent socialite, a lover of debauchery, and not someone who I could imagine I would ever have become sober whilst involved with. My ex-husband, the workaholic, who I erroneously believed to be the love of my life prior to him walking out and leaving me with a broken leg, crutches, our four-year-old daughter and a mad puppy on Valentine’s Day 2003, would only have stunted my emotional and personal development had we remained married, and I am eternally grateful that he left me as he did.

The years that followed his leaving were admittedly awful, the wine drunk far too vast in quantity, but the ensuing depression and dark days were, I believe, all vital ingredients in building my emotional strength and character. If he had stayed, I am certain that I would never have grown as a person, would never have fought and beaten my demons, and ultimately, never have drunk so much that I then considered it absolutely essential that I conquer my alcohol dependency.


In the years that followed my divorce, I had relationships with a few men, all of whom were lovely in their own way but none of whom would have helped me find the road to sobriety, self-discovery and finally, learning to like myself. They were all heavy drinkers, and despite their collective disapproval of the multifarious displays of my terrible drunken behaviour, none were brave enough to take on the dragon that was Lucy’s beloved bottle of wine. Had I stayed with any one of those partners, I probably would have drunk myself into an early grave.

In the midst of all that pin-balling from one bad relationship to another, the mornings of self-hatred that evolved into afternoons in the pub and evenings of comatose drunkenness, arguments and hour upon hour of wasted life, the smallest desire to escape my situation began to gain momentum. So insignificant that I didn’t even know it was there for a long time, the seed that grew into a very real knowledge that I must stop drinking took years to establish itself. The boyfriends who were a mistake, the under-achieving at work due to constant hangovers, the inability to move forward in my life and the associated frustrations that arose as a result, gradually amassed to provide the food and water required to nurture my growing awareness.

And one day, there it was – it turns out that all those bad choices were not so bad after all, because in the small hours of a Thursday morning almost two years ago, I woke up and realised that the seed had become a tree. All of a sudden, I recognised how I should be spending my life, and I began to live it. If none of my bad times had happened, if the years of pain and grimness had been erased and left me with nothing but an easy ride, I wouldn’t be here, doing this. No contentment, no new baby, no self-esteem, no Soberistas, no gratitude for my life.

There will always be sunshine after the rain.


6 thoughts on “Sliding Doors

  1. Sue says:

    thank you Lucy – helping me through day 2 – managed 7 days and then crashed. also regularly look at Johnny Marr concert.

    • Hi Sue, 7 days is amazing, well done. Ignore the crash, and focus on what you know you can do – a week of sobriety. The first bit is the hardest – I promise that week on week it gets easier. Wishing you all the best x

  2. Pip says:

    Beautiful Lucy. “We shall not regret the past” it’s what makes us what we are today. To start with,I was racked with guilt and shame and “what if life had been different”,blaming everyone and everything. I am 14months sober,and am working on accepting my past,feeling the feelings(numbed by alcohol) ,dealing with them and letting them heal. Then letting go. Like you,I am grateful for my past,good and bad.I wouldn’t be the happier sober me that I am today otherwise:)

    • Good to hear from you. I think a year into my sobriety was when the regrets hit me the hardest. I went to see a cognitive behavioural therapist who really helped me come to terms with it all. But in the end, you are only here on this Earth once, and it would be such a shame to allow the past to ruin the future. Recognising that you need to change and then putting that into practice is the only answer. Congratulations on getting happy. Lucy x

  3. Great post – I have thought of this often as well, and as painful as my life has been to me and to those I love, I have to say that I am glad that I am where I am. I wouldn’t be anywhere near the person I am and am starting to become if it weren’t for me getting to the point of surrender and incomprehensible demoralization. My spiritual life would be null and void, and my relationships and work would be in the gutter. I would be in the gutter. Or worse. So I am thankful to have traversed what I did and getting to the other side. I say that with gratitude beyond reproach, as many others do not get there.

    Thank you for sharing this. Wonderful.

    • Thanks, I too feel that my life would be a million times emptier if I hadn’t been on this journey. You have to be thankful for what you’ve got, and grateful that you saw the light, even if it took a long time to see it!!
      Lucy x

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