That bit of a fright yesterday evening (you may not remember it even if you did read about it; a teeeeeeeeeeeeny tiny bit of not-100% positive interaction on Facebook) has produced a positive outcome. I've decided to push myself a bit harder. I think I'm ready for it.
I've only read two sobriety books and not many more self-help books, so I tend to have quite a small palette of references in these things. In one of the two - I'm pretty sure it's The Recovery Formula, if it's not it's The Happy Addict - is the phrase: "Do the next right thing".
That's been my mantra today. And it's worked really quite well. I've tended to reach for it in the past in a very particular situation. It's when Mag has been away and I've been stoned up to the eyeballs every night. Inevitably the house is on the road to being a tip. That's how I get through cleaning it - do the next right thing, which is usually something to do with the toilet that few people will sum up much enthusiasm for.
It's been a real plus today, especially as the day started badly. Or late. I didn't sleep at all well last night. Next door was playing loud music at 3am. She's very good usually. We used to have appalling neighbours and that sort of thing happened every night - they were a major attack on my wish and ability to be sober. But that's all in the past.
So, I woke up late. But I managed to rush through getting ready for my exercise class. I managed to make it to my exercise class. I managed to enter the room in which my exercise class was being held despite looking through the window to see A DIFFERENT TEACHER! Of such things are pointless panic made. I'm really pleased I coped with that, it shows a slight winding down of my anxiety.
After the class I came home and ate something. Alright, I had a fag first, but I didn't start the computer up and I didn't end up wasting hours doing nothing very useful at all. Do the next right thing, I told myself.
So off I went to the library with Mag's books. DESPITE IT BEING RAINING! I'd actually prepared and had an umbrella so I just plodded on - doing the next right thing.
Then off to the supermarket for the weekly shop. AND I WALKED THERE A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT WAY! I came home AND SAT IN A DIFFERENT ROOM FROM WHERE I WOULD NORMALLY SIT. Meditated AT A DIFFERENT TIME FROM WHEN I WOULD NORMALLY MEDITATE.
And here I am.
The SHOUTING CAPITALS are deliberately silly. I know - intellectually I know, accepting and acting accordingly are fishes of a different yellow - that no real harm will come to me if I don't walk my usual route to the supermarket.
All this challenging of those silly, pointless routines (they don't feel pointless, they make me feel safe) has got me in a challengin' kinda mood (droppin' gs and shit).
So I'm going to (maybe I'm gonna, that seems to be the way I'm going) up my commitments to myself this week.
Now we have.
1 - meditate twice a day
2 - cut down my caffeine to three cups a day (a caffeine overload was a major player in my teeny tiny meltdown yesterday)
3 - I'm going to do something out of my routine. I'm going to do something in THE EVENING. That can either be going to the gym or a tai chi class I've been meaning to return to for ages.
4 - I am giving up smoking after the supplies in the house are gone. I don't mind, this time, if it's replaced by the e-cigarette for the moment, one step at a time.
5 - I AM GONNA GET UP IN THE FIRKIN MORNING! Yeah, I've had enough of that whole morning thing. I've killed the Bad Mantra, now it's time to go the next step and actually get out of bed.
6 – I not only spend too long on Facebook (and other crappy sites), I’ve invested far too much in it, on using it to find rather meaningless approval. I’m upping my blocking of it to 9am to 5pm, with a window at lunch time. I’m quite capable of being a decently successful freelance writer, but not if I waste all day on rubbish.
Still standing is the commitment to go for a walk every day. I may up the ante on this one by trying that, wait for it, IN THE EVENING(!!) too.
I'm sick of being scared and I'm starting to feel strong enough that I don't have to be scared.
Wish me luck. Or not, as you choose.
If you spent it, thank you for your time. If you fancy a chat, leave a comment or drop me an email.
(I've appended that video, Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls, simple because it's one of my favourite songs. It's very wise. "It's only a life after all..." is one of my favourite lines.)