New beginnings, overdue catch-ups, babies, and nighttime munchies
Even though I started my recovery over 3 weeks ago, this is the first week where I’ve managed to get some sense of normality and stability back in my life. 3 weeks ago I was 4 days into recovery, down to 2% lagers and spent my Sunday laid out on J’s couch watching re-runs of The Big Bang Theory; then not sleeping because my anxieties were causing me to be in a constant state of panic. I hadn’t had a drop of wine in 2 days – and I was miserable.
In recovery, one of the things they tell you to do is to keep a journal and make a note of all the positives that have happened to you that day. While this is something that my eternal-pessimist mind doesn’t do naturally, I have been trying but find that I never look back on each individual day. For me, a weekly re-cap is better, because if I’m feeling like shit on a Sunday, I can reflect on all the good that happened in the past week (hopefully) and then start Monday on a more positive footing.
So here goes…top 4 things of my third week dry:
Putting down roots and being myself
On Monday I moved house. It’s a house share in a town that I am familiar with, is close to family, friends and easily accessible to all my workers and support centres. I’ve been pretty lucky, all things considering. 3 months ago I was living in temporary accommodation on the outskirts of Bradford, dreading where the hell my £250 Housing Allowance would get me. Now, I’m back living the suburban dream, in a quiet, tree lined street, with a garden, greenhouse, and two pretty sound housemates. More importantly, I feel safe – which I don’t think I’ve 100% felt since the back-end of 2017.
Furthermore, I’m doing this on my own. I was thinking the other night that not since I first went to Uni 13 years ago, have I ever lived on my own – and by that I mean not living with friends, family or boyfriends, or anyone that I didn’t already have some kind of link to. I’m living on my terms, and it feels good.
On the subject of “new beginnings”, I’ve been told twice by two separate people who I’ve known for a long time, that (in not so many words), that they’re learning to know the real me, with one even adding that even in the past when I’ve been sober, they never really felt they knew the real me. I have become more honest and accepting on my situation and issues, but maybe this is the actual turning point that sets the foundations for the rest of my life. I hope so.
Being present – and nice to be around
Heart racing chats on Monday, Tuesday cruising and lunching with A, lunch date planning with FJ, and Saturday night Chinese and telly night with T. I get so damn caught up with how lonely I am, but (looking back at the week on a whole) it’s clear that I am so fortunate to have such an amazing set of friends around me. Yes, my drinking and lack of responsibility hurts people and makes them take a step back when I relapse, but ultimately they’re all still in the wings, waiting for me to grasp the bull by the horns (so to speak) and drag myself back to where I left off. I’m so lucky, and I’m sorry to say that I have spent most of my life not being grateful for that.
A few of them thought I was dead this time. It makes me feel sick to the stomach to think that I put them through that.
My best friend and her husband make beautiful human beings
I haven’t seen W since November 2017. She’d come to stay with me after I was found and brought home. We went to a castle, had afternoon tea, and watched Beauty and the Beast – all the while I had 2 bottles of wine stashed in my Hunters’. After that, I descended into more chaos which resulted in me being stripped of bridesmaid duties at her wedding last year, and subsequently, not been able to be there for her while she was expecting her first child. That girl has been there for me every step of the way, but I couldn’t even get myself together to be apart the 2 most important moments in her life.
Bridges are being built, but I know that I have a lot of proving to do before she can trust me again and we can start the rebuilding of our friendship.
I literally burst into tears this morning when I saw the first picture of her beautiful little girl who was born a few days ago. If this isn’t a good-enough reason to get better, I don’t know what is.
The sweet, sweet taste of success
Unfortunately this has nothing to do with a man bringing me breakfast in bed. No, this is something that has become commonplace in my recovery journey and an occurrence that I have come to regard as a positive sign: unconscious eating of chocolate in the middle of the night.
I shit you not. I literally wake up in, sleep walk my way to where I stow the bounty, and eat a packet of biscuits, a whole bar of Dairy Milk, or sometimes (most times…), both. Back in April (having had a week long lapse) I thought I’d reached a whole new low when I woke up to find I’d somehow face planted a snickers during the night; but no, that was only the beginning. Yesterday I woke up next to my empty biscuit tin, apparently having eaten half a packet of chocolate digestives in the wee hours. It wasn’t until I got to the bathroom that I realised I’d missed one – it had melted and stuck to my pyjama top. Classy.
There’s definitely something in craving sugar when you give up the sauce, and while it’s not great, it is just temporary. For that, I’m embracing waking up to my body, clothes and bed sheets bearing the shameful, sticky mess from the night before…it means that my recovery is in full swing.