The December Cyclone

The cyclone forms in an area of low pressure, this area draws in surrounding winds.

Dorothy’s journey begins with a cyclone that carries her and her little Toto to the land of Oz.

A cyclone, what an apt beginning.

Landing at the start of this sober yellow brick road feels like you have come through a cyclone.
Your own personal little low-pressure system of chaos. Leaving destruction and devastation in
its wake. Sounds about right.

It brought you to this start, and in Dorothy’s case the start of a long road finding her way home.


I think everyone believes it has to be rock bottom. It has to be a moment, something tangible. A
deliverable crash landing. Jail, hospital, car accident.

But it can be a Monday.

I have just read Smacked by Melinda Ferguson, and it left me feeling like a fledgling on the
edge of something that is so much bigger than myself. Going through what she did to get clean
was incredible. It’s incomprehensible, and it makes me feel a little on the outside.

I don’t think the way anyone claws their way through sobriety is right or wrong. Mine just felt like
a light stroll in the breeze. A gale force wind maybe.

Overwhelming and daunting at the same time, the path before you is dull and covered in debris
and mess from where your life was.

Melinda says in her book:

“It’s not my strength that allows me not to use. It is the knowledge of my weakness, the knowledge of my absolute inability to control my alcohol or drug intake that allows me to stay clean and sober. It is because I am weak that I find strength”

This low pressure, this understanding of ourselves, and our incredible ability to sit in
accountability makes recovery possible. That’s my home.

December is an incredibly tough time for anyone who is sober, entering sobriety or even
considering getting sober. It’s a time for relaxation and by SA guidelines that means booze.
Beers by the pool, bubbles with bests, wine with dinner. It’s memories of Christmas past and
walking into a brighter Christmas present. It’s the constant offer of a drink, we must have
something in our hands, something to dilute, dissolve. Resolve?

But it never does.

The cyclone that is December is a tough time. It is the one time of year I want to drink all day.
Christmas day in my family was bubbles for breakfast, wine at lunch, whisky for supper.
But I don’t. I know where it will go, the cyclone will build. It starts with one and for me ends with
forty. I am not a one glass girl; I am a full bottle Woman.

The destruction from my cyclone is an excellent reminder – my health, my daughter and my
marriage. It would be a rinse- repeat cycle that took me forty years to test and realize, it doesn’t

Your integrity has held you in your sobriety, the constant daily affirmation that you put yourself
first, your acknowledgment that your weakness is your strength. This is December. Walking
slowly, head held high, breathing and enjoying. Remembering how awful hangovers were and
now waking up to joy and freedom.

The cyclone delivers you here to allow you the choice. Which path to follow? This is the one,
and we all know how tough it is but never have I ever regretted one day of it. This is my home.
My yellow brick road.

This road can be a very lonely one, particularly at this time of year if you don’t want to be around
drinking. So, find something that reminds you how good you feel. For me it’s a dip in the sea
and a walk up the mountain. If you need me, I am here, for a walk and a talk and a shoulder.

Merry Christmas.

Love you,

One Response

  1. I am proud of you Sam and so well put and as you say a hard time of the year…here’s to doing the things that make you happy xx

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