A wedding takes me back

A couple of weeks ago we went to a family wedding on the other side of the country. It took us all day to get there which, as I love being on the road, was time happily spent. Our children love long journeys too. In my daughter’s case, I wonder whether this is learned behaviour. She’s happy travelling because we are. But in my son, I recognise his inherent wanderlust. When he was still at primary school he once asked, “When you go to university, you don’t have to go near to where you live, do you?”

“Oh no”, I replied. “You can go as far away as you like. I did.”

Coincidentally, the family wedding that we travelled to was just a few miles from where I went to university. Leaning out of our hotel bedroom on that first evening, and twenty-five years since I was last there, I looked at the familiar hills, breathed in the scent of the place and remembered it.



The view of the sunset from our hotel bedroom window


Weddings can be a fraught affair; a hotbed for nerves and for simmering family tensions. This wedding was no different with clashes of personal truths and the potential for family histrionics but at its heart was the union of two young people who very clearly love each other completely. After the meal we went and sat for a while in the bar area. I laughed and commented on the fact that if my husband and I were drinking there would not be so many half-finished bottles of wine lying about.  He shot me a look that at once said, ‘Don’t talk like that in front of the kids’ and ‘Yes, you’re absolutely right, we wouldn’t leave a drop’.  We didn’t drink at the wedding. My husband hasn’t had a drink for over a month now.  Sobriety is not a subject we talk about in depth. We were firm stay-at-home-drinking-partners so the ground beneath our married sober feet is still unfamiliar.

I think of the girl I was back then, twenty-five years ago, in that place where the hills are green and the landscape so different to where I live now. That girl had already learned to bury feelings way, way down, well out of reach. The art of self-deception was already mastered. She deserved better, that girl. Twenty-five years later, I’m learning that I can make it up to her, make it up to me. It’s never too late. This is the moment that counts. Love it and live it.



12 thoughts on “A wedding takes me back

  1. Love the pics! And no, it isn’t too late, as I am beginning to learn. We deserve to shower ourselves with all the love and self compassion we never got, plus some! 🙂 xoxo

  2. Beautiful reflections. Buried feelings had their ways of getting out in so many forms, both the unpleasent and pleasant. To take care of myself, I diffused mine thru writing and sharing about it.It gives me a better perspective and help me clear the distortions in the mind. Thank ou for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Interesting comment about the ground beneath your married sober feet being shaky. My husband drinks, moderately but daily. It makes sobriety an extra challenge for me. We’re on shaky ground too, with me being fully present. It’s not bad, just different.

  4. No, it’s never too late!
    My hubs and I have both been AF for 18 months.
    He only stopped to support me.
    But it’s been a great help.
    He just wrote a guest post on
    Or you can just click on my name to get to my blog.

  5. Hi sober garden, great blog! Every day counts, I am now on day 80, although it could have been day 5000 or 6000. 15 years or so ago I shared a sober year with my now ex husband, but strangely enough it was not really, as I recall it anyway, a meaningful, enriching experience. We did not go beyond breaking a habit – ainsobriety’s post about the difference between recovery and habit certainly rang a bell with me. Wishing you and your husband all the best, love, Elis

  6. Suddenly worried above comment might be seen as negative; please accept it is not not meant that way. Just a reflection on the funny turns sobriety, life and marriage took in my case;-). Sincerely hope you can mutually support each other and be enriched by that. Love, Elis

    • Thanks for the lovely comment(s) Elis and v nice to meet you. It’s always good to hear other people’s reflections on life’s “funny turns”. I LOVE that phrase btw – I don’t use it nearly enough!

  7. Beautiful post. I can so relate to the buried feelings. It’s been uncomfortable to have to experience them without the sedative. I’m trying to remember that I can feel something like sadness and then let it pass through me and let it go. I don’t have to try to annihilate it through drinking.

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