Friday, 29 April 2016

Busy and Happy

Today brought a different attitude to life -complete about face. Not sure if it was the fact that I was rested and calm (had Thursday & Friday booked off for the Bank Holiday), the fact that I was not at work which had been drudgery lately, or the fact I jut had come out of the funk. I don't know if I will ever know but I do know that I got heaps done.

Following in Anne at ainsobriety I started to spring clean the house, more of a deep clean really. I am a casual housekeeper, I stay on top of it mostly but don't always use as much elbow grease as I should. Saying that is progress for me cos usually I would say I am lazy and slovenly, which I am not but I used never to miss an opportunity to run myself down.  My house is a bit neglected to be honest but that is a combination of being a single parent, working 40+ hours a week, having two dogs that I walk twice a day at 6.30 am and 5.30 pm before having to do all the sundry home stuff like laundry, dusting, vacuuming, dishes etc in addition to being 'man of the house' doing all repairs and diy and tending to both a front and back garden that need mowing and pruning and tending to. I can't afford to get people in to do most of the jobs so I google how to fix stuff and sort out problems "How to change washers on taps?" Most of the time I know if I am able to do something or not or if I need to bite the bullet and call someone. Electrics is about the only thing I haven't tackled yet (nor will I) 

Why the long spiel about all of that? Well it is an excuse, a justification for why I think I relied so heavily on alcohol. There were days that I did loads and felt like I deserved a glass of wine and I would have one, yes one. That was when I first moved in 9 years ago. Sadly it morphed into a couple of glasses at the end of a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which in turn morphed into a glass after work when I took a job in ........... I won't say the name of it but it was the absolute worst job of my life, soul destroying and as it turned out was against some of my morals and ethics. Due to the economy and me living in an area with high unemployment I was stuck for 2.5 years in a job I hated and felt was morally wrong. I tried where possible to maintain my integrity and help people within the system as and where possible but this led to an escalation of the drinking and general low mood. I took a very hefty pay drop £4000 to get out of there and have only just achieved the salary I left there on, 6 years later. By then my drinking was somewhat entrenched, a couple of glasses every night and a Be little more at the weekend. I maintained that level of drinking for about 4 years and even though I knew it was more than I should drink I rationalised that I was drinking the same as a lot of people. I remember seeing my doctor in the grocery store pushing her trolley along, positively jangling along so full of wine was it. I'm sure she would say she was having a party if I glanced her way. 

Fast forward to about 2 years ago and I realised I was struggling with some effects of the wine, waking at 2.30-3.00 am tossing and turning for hours, waking up gasping for water as my throat was dry as a bone, headaches, hangovers, the worry that I might be over the limit in the morning for driving, the expense, the slow but sure awakening that it was a little bit hard to go a couple of days without a drink. I tried occasionally to stop for a few days or weeks and had some success here and there only to return a short while later to where I was previously. And well the rest up until now I am sure you can fill in yourselves. We all have similar stories about how we ended up here and apart from throwing in the towel on 5 great months of not drinking (I erroneously said 6 in previous posts, I think it was wishful thinking) I have been sipping and gulping away knowing that something has to change. My therapist said something the other day that really resonated with me, he said that drinking was a relationship for me because I would not/do not allow people close to me for fear of getting hurt. He said drinking was the "bad boyfriend" I kept going back to because even though it was soul destroying and devastating it was also familiar and (literally) intoxicating. Sounds so simple and silly but I think he is right. I have to learn how to re-engage with real people in the real world because I tend to withdraw and cut off for friends just when I need them the most.

For that reason alone I would like to say thank you to all you my virtual friends who are there when I don't have the courage, nerve or give a shit to engage with real people. Because of the time difference between some of us, hence the delay in getting the response, sometimes when I read the comments it is at exactly the right time and hits me just when I need to hear it.  I value you all and appreciate that 'strangers' take the time to interact with me and I know it comes from a shared sense of caring and desire to help. I can't promise that my road to sobriety will be a straight one but I can say that it is the ultimate destination

16 comments:

  1. Hey Ground Hog Girl,
    Great post as always. My pattern was like yours, wine as a reward for all the hard work I had to do... Giving it up for a couple of days and then back at it with a vengeance! Wow I forgot you did 5 months AF, you know you can do it! I only lasted 20 days but 20 more than I had done in a long time.

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    1. Thanks TWTIK, you, like me I am sure would love to get to 20 days again. It all seems so doable at first and then the bloody voice of the wine witch kicks in. Glad to see you are back again. You, me and Red have all relaunched at the same time. Let's try and keep eachother on track.

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  2. This is a beautiful post. So much of it resonates with me. Thank you for your honesty as you work through this.

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    1. Oh good, I am glad you liked it. As you know I have in previous posts thought I tend to over share but I think it is my style so nice to have positive feedback.

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  3. It is amazing just how powerful online support is. It is a great start to opening up. And eventually real life people will appear.

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    1. It is amazing how much online support there is. I've said it before Anne but you are one of the most outstanding and generous supporters of both long term and newbie AF's. Thank you for always taking the time to say something positive.

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  4. I really liked your post, it inspires me. What impresses me the most is how you talk about your experiences minus the "whine", not wine. You've struggled but the way you write is uplifting. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks HabitDone, that means a lot to me. I can wallow a little in my misery and melancholy but can usually pull myself up by the bootstraps in a day or two. Hope all is well with you.

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  5. I'm so glad the tide has turned for you, GHG! Have you ever met a woman who says, "I keep my house perfectly clean all of the time?" Me, neither. Ok, there are those OCD gals, but that's just one more symptom of something gone awry. We've all got them, don't we? Those symptoms of things gone awry, for you and me, the symptom was drinking and as long as we drank we didn't have to fix those wonky parts. But you sound like a pretty handy girl at fixing things, you'll tackle this just fine, I promise there's no electricity involved and no chance of electrocution.

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    1. you hit the nail on the head (keeping with the diy theme ha ha) with drinking to ignore the wonky bits. Why bother vacuuming when there is plaster fallen off the wall, why dust when there is mould in the corner again, why bother whe... Oh just why bother PERIOD! I continued my work over the weekend and even did a bit today. Gotta keep some momentum going. Thanks Kary May

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  6. Dear GHG,
    I too need the on-line support!
    But the longer I am sober, the more I am gently pushing myself to meet new friends, or old ones.
    Being a single parent is hard work!
    xo
    Wendy

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    1. Thanks Wendy, I think you are naturally more shy than I am so good for you trying to connect. Mine I think can be a bit apathetic with a smattering of shame. Feel a bit brighter still this week. Yay for 5 days off.

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  7. Love this post Ginger Sorry for delayed comment, am doing a quick catch up whilst the kids lie in bed eating biscuits. Great parenting huh? I'm so glad you're feeling a bit more positive. How's the weekend going? Red xx

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  8. Love this post Ginger Sorry for delayed comment, am doing a quick catch up whilst the kids lie in bed eating biscuits. Great parenting huh? I'm so glad you're feeling a bit more positive. How's the weekend going? Red xx

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    1. Hi Red, sounds like an occasional parenting necessity biscuits in bed with the tv. Got loads done over the weekend though still heaps more to do. Didn't go 100% to plan if you know what I mean [shame faced] OK again now though.

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