I have had many lessons since giving up alcohol, it is only now that I feel perhaps I understand this one. I think it is Lesson # 5 but can't remember without looking back over my blog.
I know I started drinking because I was lonely. It was a combination of boredom and the mundane - but the key element was loneliness. My marriage of 15 years didn't work and we separated and then divorced. The got back together and re-married. That didn't work and now we have been seperated for 4 years though he won't sign the divorce papers and it doesn't really matter anyway. I no longer feel like a failure about my marriage but I wish I made better decisions like I did with my money and my kids so my future was romantically secure.
L and I are as good a friends as can be, he is a celebrity and sweeps in and out to see the kids. It's never overnight and just a few hours here and there - he loves them, and I just work things out around when he is available. He calls all the time.
I have a couple of girlfriends and we walk along the beach, or take the dogs out. My kids have some good friends and they come over. I work with people and have two good jobs. I spend too much money but do not struggle. Am close with my parents who ring or I call most days. My oldest daughter away at uni and we are very close - we speak if not each day then every other day.
Why don't I just feel lucky all of the time? Well I guess because that isn't natural, I am learning that it is ok to feel not wonderful ALL of the time (thanks Wendy xx) but I do wish the periods of yuck didn't take this familiar pattern:
1. start to feel a bit "not so good"
2. after about 3 days, despair that it is going on too long
3. start to google other people's lives and compare my life (ridiculous and then I know my spiral is starting)
4. try to stop the downward spiral and get anxious and depressed
5. EVERYTHING feels like shit (this is about day 10) I feel alone. why don't I have a husband who loves me, I am 49 (50 next week in this case, next year in previous cases, next month... it doesn't matter) but the rest of my life is looking like a desolate wasteland of spinsterhood and no cuddles
I hate this cycle. I try to occupy the first three steps by distraction, walking, mindfulness, cognitive behavioural crap.. but inevitably I sink into a state where I don't want to go to work, I don't want to walk the dog who is hanging around my ankles as I write, outside I can hear my chickens calling me to let them into their day run and the rabbit will be hungry. The kids have gone off to school - last night I started to snap at the poor dears. God.
It is the kids and the pets which force me to keep going - but it feels like a weight is attached to my waist and everything is hard.
Finally the fleeting thoughts of drinking pop in and I think - that will solve the immediate problem. It won't, it doesn't, it makes it so much worse. So I am having to face this sober.
The difference between when I was drinking and now is that instead of it feeling like one big moulded disaster, I can see a definition in days, patterns and behavioural side of this. I do know that to be a good thing, but it isn't really helping today.