Six hundred and one

Gosh. I’m trying to write a piece for a literary anthology that St. Mungo’s (a homeless charity) are putting together around drinking and recovery. I thought it would be an easy piece of writing. Just sit down for a couple of hours, thrash it out. Have a read the next day, edit. Done. It’s my journey, my alcoholism. I know it inside out. I’m pretty coherent when I talk to people about my thoughts, feelings, past, present.

Ha! I was wrong. I realised it would be a good idea to go through my journey and I’ve started reading this blog from Day 1 (which I actually started on Day 2..)  Wow. I’m only a few months in, before I gave up for good, and I’m feeling ALL the emotions. Remembering all the emotions! I’ve already forgotten so much, about my drinking days, about the physical and mental pain I endured. And how hard it really was in the beginning.

(Haha!! I have a random youtube mix on and ‘it’s been a long day without you my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again (NEVER!) We’ve come a long way from where we began…’  just came on. Fitting)

I feel like I’m reading about a past life, an old friend, boyfriend.  A mix of happy and sad. Pride in where I am. Disbelief that I made it here. Thanks to this blog. Thanks to you, this community. I made it through. Walking to buy chia seeds on a Friday night, because that’s the only thing that would stop me from drinking. Sitting on my hands. Crying uncontrollably every day., but having to hide it, because only you lot (said in the nicest way) would understand. 601 days. I just checked. SIX HUNDRED AND ONE DAYS. Man, I am feeling so emotional.

I wouldn’t change this for anything. ALL the struggles have been more than worth it.  ❤

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Ill behaviour..

(I have Renegade Master stuck in my head..)

So, I can’t be bothered to write… but do I have enough energy to go upstairs to the kitchen to get food even though I’m full? HELL YEH!

Ill behaviours creeping back in. It’s been a big week. I handed in my notice. I’ve been going backwards and forwards on whether to go to the festival or not, which drove me insane. In the end I decided against it. For many reasons. I’m a little sad, but overall made the right decision. Which makes me more annoyed I didn’t make this decision at the start of the week and not spend the whole time fretting abut it.

Anyway – I actually feel I shouldn’t write anymore because what I’m typing is even boring to me. But I also feel I need to write, because I’m feeling a little stuck in a loop of overtiredness, sitting looking at my phone, mindless eating, and round and round. My therapist and I are talking a lot about relationship and love at the moment, brought about by the meeting of that man – and it’s hard. Even though I know I’m closed off I still surprise myself at how much. And how, at such a young age I learnt to just shut people out of my thoughts. How I get huge separation anxiety, but once they are gone – I’m alright. I did this as a young child, as a teenager, an adult – even when my brothers moved abroad. I couldn’t even let myself think about the kids because it hurt too much. So, I’d ignore their existence until I was with them again. Now I’m dealing with this – and I call them, send them things, look forward to seeing them. It feels better and more natural, and makes me happier! But wow, how good I am at instantly putting my feelings on lockdown! This man said something that angered me, and I literally felt my insides close. I imagined a massive fortress inside and BANG the doors shut. And you know what? I was happy! I was so relieved. My therapist laughed when I told her (we get on very well as people.) That of course I did, I’m so used to being self reliant, and not expecting anything from anyone – this is my natural, comfortable state. But ultimately it makes me miss out some of the best parts of life. The intimacy. But, I honestly don’t feel that’s for me. Even as a teen I thought if I ever became a Mum I would be a single Mum (nothing wrong with that obv!) Even when I was with my fiance that’s how I felt because he was so useless. And part of me loved the idea. And still does, me and my little one against the world. Urgh. But, if I’m being really honest, I’ve opened up to the idea (if only a teeny tiny bit) of meeting someone. I actually even thought I might meet a guy, just to kiss.. (maybe more…) for the weekend at the festival. Last time I went I hooked up with a very hot guy. At the time I just kept thinking ‘Go you! He is HAWT.’ Haha. And very nice, but smoked a lot of weed, and sold weed, so I declined his offers of keeping in touch. Which surprises me too. Part of me thinks maybe cause he was really nice, and interesting and interested, I basically ran away. Maybe a mix of the two.

It’s funny that the last man I kissed (recently, and first kiss in 16 months!) is twice as old as the last guy I slept with. Ha! Wow – coming up to two years. I remember when two weeks felt like an eternity.

Man, I just thought ‘hmm what can I eat?” It’s midnight! I’ve had dinner. I had yoghurt before dinner at my Latvian class. I had too much food after dinner. I’m so tired, my eyes are twitchy. WAAAA.

Bad habits. Obsessive, impulsive bad habits. I feel pretty content so why am I going back to them? Well, taking a weekend to myself, writing, exercising, and mooching – hopefully that will help level it a bit.

With one eye shut and its 12:20 I should sleep. I am sorry for the dull post.

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Ahhhhh!!! Grrrrrrrr

I hate that despite how content I am in life, how many wonderful exciting things I’ve done since I got sober, and how I am a more confident person, who actually isn’t filled with self loathing – but self like (sometimes love too!) alcohol still has a fucking grip on me. Guess that’s what makes me an addict. People seem shocked that I say I still get proper physical cravings. They tend not to understand so I have to liken it to a cigarette craving which more people can relate to. I know it will pass, and sometimes know how to help it pass quicker. 

But still, it has me in its grip. The fear of being at a festival – surrounded by drunk people, wishing I could be them. Despite last time I went, 2 years ago, being so ridden with hangover anxiety I had to tell my friends I just needed to go sit by myself for a while. I cried in the portaloos so many times, even though I was technically having a great time. But I still fear being there and not drinking. I’ve spent £200 on tickets, a tent – and now I just don’t know what to do. I was so excited but I’m just not sure I can put myself through it. No yoga, no running to level me out either. Eeep. I’ve been so honest with my friend too. How wonderful that in sobriety my friendships have become stronger and more open (less friendships, better quality!) 

Fuck you alcohol!! Like a shitty ex boyfriend. You are out my life. I am better, I am stronger, but fuck you you have left your mark deep inside. 

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The sun is shining & so are you… 

A friend of mine recently celebrated his two years sobriety, and posted online that he wasn’t sure whether to mention it because it’s just not a thing anymore, but decided that tackling his alcoholism saved his life and made it infinitely better, so perhaps he should acknowledge and remember this. I agree on all points. It made me wonder where I was – as I don’t think about it anymore. 19 months. And I look back to those days, those early entries of celebrating each day, each week. I saw those past 100 days and never thought that could be me. I never thought I’d be able to write a blog post that was about my life, but not solely focused on my need and obsession with alcohol. But that’s how it is. And that should not be forgotten, and that should be shared. 
I recently saw online requests for input on an anthology on sobriety and recovery (an UK people want in I’ll find the link!) and thought YES! I want in! The change from feeling so uncertain and scared of my sobriety to wanting to share openly and be an advocate for the goodness it can bring (without being preachy or judgey.. fine line fine line…) is huge! My issue now is what do I want to write about? What is the most amazing part of my sobriety? What has been the most surprising positive? I thought perhaps reflecting on my discovery about how I thought alcohol made me creative and confident, where as it did the latter. And the discovery of this new inner confidence that has led me back to being the creative person I was a child and in my early teens – perhaps. 

I also thought about how the whole

World is a new place for me. How I feel reborn, with child’s eyes. I’m currently sat in the sun, where I’ve typed out many a post, feeling so content. A word that I feel is underused. Not just okay, but so content that right now, I wish for nothing more than all I have and am experiencing. Watching the pigeons and being so genuinely impressed how they glide from one little perch to another. The ducks diving under the water. The feeling of cold water entering my body. The REAL feeling. The sounds, the light, everything so bright and loud. And at times it’s been so overwhelming. Early sobriety was so exhausting because everything was so new. How my mind had to process all these experiences and sensations, ALL the time. Without the switching off, rest period each evening (at its best) once the booze came out… but I don’t know how to put this new connection with the world, with everything in the world, into words. 

Even looking back at the hardest moments. The sitting on my hands for hours sobbing because I was in so much pain but I didn’t want to hurt myself even more – I look back, and think it was more than worth it. I see so many people escaping from life through alcohol when really why escape from it? embracing it head on, sober – that’s the way to live. The natural highs are more exhilarating than I could have ever imagined. To REALLY fucking live. Truly to cherish the joys and sorrows. Not to numb them out. 
I was recently at the ‘women of the world’ fest in London and went to a talk about alcohol use in women in the U.K.

The panel seemed to focus too much, in my opinion, on moderation. I do Understand that most people won’t get sober so more awareness that a bad day might have end better with a walk with a friend, or a yoga session rather than hitting the booze is definitely something I back. But the lady who was promoting still appeared to think she drank a bit much, and also that it was still a ‘thing.’ Something she had to work on, and keep in check. Ahh the freedom of sobriety!! Can I get a hell yeh?! Hehe 
They talked about the shame of alcohol and how people drink so much but hide it, and so cannot get help. Which of course is true, but they completely ignored that it is also so acceptable! Congratulated! A badge of honour.. ‘I was so fucked up I almost kissed my boss last night.’ ‘Omg I’m still so drunk..’ (to colleagues at work) ‘me too…’ hahaha – and all the other stuff we know about the acceptance and promotion of what is essentially poison and a drug. Happy? Sad? Celebrating? Comisirating? Doing yoga? Cinema? Drink drink drink. So I mentioned this and said how important discussing this acceptance, and encouragement and ultimately often a cover up of what people really feel (shame – if you don’t laugh you will cry) is so

Important And, whilst I was talking people turned round and nodding their heads in agreement. It was exhilarating! And afterwards someone came up to me to thank me for saying that! I felt so embarrassed, but so proud I pushed myself to speak, and apparently, it wasn’t total shit! 
I must leave the sun now to go back to my windowless office.. but if you need some lighting up listen to ‘Axwell – sun is shining..’ found it this morning and now on repeat… 

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See you when you get here…

Chatting to my bride (not my fiance.. I am her maid of honour <3) about her wedding, another friends wedding – the hen do’s, and how genuinely excited I was about them. All of them will be boozy, but full of things I love doing. How it dawned on me, that I can do all the things other people need (or feel they need) to have a few drinks with sober. That they start on a level of fun and silliness lower than me.. have a few drinks, then join me up top. And this made me really happy. I don’t think this is the same of all sober people. I’ve always been silly. And not really cared who’s watching, and deep down, okay with being me! This fits in with me looking at sober people in my 20s that were loud and laughing and I thought ‘that’s me’ whilst necking neat vodka alone in the toilets and then joining people out at the bar. I knew it, deep down.

Life’s been pretty good. I’m sat here writing this now, incredibly restless. I have to pack for a weekend trip (not till Friday morning, but I’m at two human rights things the next few nights, and then Latvian lesson..) and I actually feel like drinking right now. I’m not even sure why. I sort of met a guy a few days ago at something he was teaching. Older, not my type. But maybe my type. Pretty impressive guy in the world I love – I knew a lot of his work without realising it was him.  We really clicked. He has kids. Maybe he’s married (I don’t think so, but you never know.) There hasn’t been flirting as such, or hints of anything romantic, but I get butterflies thinking of him. And I can’t stop messaging him, and it’s all just very interesting and he asked if I wanted to go for coffee, and yes I most definitely do. And it’s really weird. I’m looking forward to telling my therapist tomorrow and she can work it all out for me. Haha.

And I just feel like moving all the time. I think I’m going to go for a walk after this.

 

And after writing that I got a message that threw away all the fantasies in my head that I thought I hadn’t allowed to think. And I did take a walk.

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Buzz buzz buzzing

My head is just spinning! It’s not too surprising given how much is going on at the moment, but I’m not sure how to calm it. I’ve actually spent a lot of time in the last few weeks alone, at home, doing not much. Which, once I’ve got over the initial ‘just got in from work’ restlessness, has been bliss. And fun. A lot of dancing in my room whilst sorting out clothes and old stuff to get rid off.A lot of dancing. Can’t stop dancing. At home, at work, before work, cycling to work, walking at lunch. Dance dance dance.

Also, had my appraisal at work, 2 years overdue… a few changes there (positive in terms of feedback and a new title and slight salary increase, but have inherited a project to manage, one that is way past all it’s deadlines, that should have been given to me months ago (I thought it was almost finished!) It is really important… but BORING. Ha. Knowing that I’m leaving in 5 months, and how vital it is, and because I care about what I do, and our clients, so far, has helped push me and motivate me and   But on top of that trying to work out what to do with my life for the next couple of years, and then on deciding a rough plan, and working it out logistics; the move, the savings, the course I need to take, what I want to do before I leave. Then all the emotions it brings up, leaving my family, being home with no booze, wondering how it will be – a mix of excitement, adventure, and of course, nerves and anxiety. Trying to read, write, watch things, learn, gym, dance.. go go go go go go. Though in reality because of the buzziness of my head I do spend a lot of time just kinda faffing and flitting. And WAY too much time on my smart phone looking at utter shit.

Not sure how to make it stop. I guess it just will at some point. That wave of contentness. Ahh I look forward to that! There is just a lot of big stuff going on right now, which involves a lot of thought, planning, and emotions, and really, I’m probably doing a lot more than I give myself credit for. And sometimes there are just those times in life when it’s all going on. And before, I drank to stop the buzzing. But never really did anything else.

I went to a morning rave with a friend this morning (SO much fun! Went to one before work 2 weeks ago, turned up  to work with glitter on my face.. managed to keep it on all day) and then had lunch, saw another friend, and was absolutely exhausted tonight. Tried to do all the above –  Spent about 5 mins on each and I think I actually probably, just need to sit in silence and stare at the ceiling.

So that, I shall do.

 

 

 

 

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Gosh

It’s been a long while! The world has got crazier. I’m still sober, still single, learning Latvian (my mums mother tongue) also dealing with the biggest of pandoras boxes – lid blown open two weeks ago at therapy, first time ever I’ve thought ‘why didn’t I just keep repressing this’ but it’s out now. So work through it I must! Man it’s painful. Even with all the shit with my ex I never wanted to just go back and change the path. But this? I’d do anything to go back and try to make things different. 

Oh, and I’m moving back to my hometown on the other side of the world (where I’m going to learn another language) in 6 months. With a new job – Career even (or just enough to keep me clothed As long as I get on the course.) 

But it’s way past bedtime! I miss your blogs! Just checking in. Xxx

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