Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Maybe some plans are in order. This feels very real now. Checking my privilege.

I've now had three good days on the trot. No slip ups, new routines and behaviours staying in place. Minor outside of the norm being coped with. No alarms and no surprises.

One of the big things is that, even with Mag away all day for those days, I've managed to eat properly. Again, I'm shamefacedly prodded to plead that I start from a very low starting point. I could so easily find myself glued into my chair, feeling unable to move to do anything other than answer the most obvious physical calls. 

That hasn't happened for these three days. So I must look at why and try to learn from it. The big difference I think is that I've known what I'm going to eat and it's been in part already prepared. 

So I need to make some plans. I've been allergic to this in the past. It shames me again to say that I've been opposed to some basic common sense. Something inside me has said, "plans are wrong," "effort is wrong," "taking pains is wrong." And look where I've ended up. I don't know why that is - and I'm struggling to describe it as anything other than stupidity - in all honesty. 

I've spoken of my failure to grow up and that plays a part. It's partly rebellion against very organised and virtuous parents - a rebellion never realised properly or grown out of properly. Some silly thinking. 

Now I must learn to change this. My big challenge is approaching. Mag goes away on Sunday evening. There's no reason why I shouldn't have three good days while she's gone. So I need to plan ahead. I have done this in the past, but it's meant getting some pizzas in - I know I'll be up to eating them, they cause minimal washing up, and are portable, allowing me to retreat to my cannabis-veiled isolation chamber. 

I don't want to do there this time. I want the whole house to be mine. 

So that's going to be on my agenda over the next few days. 

This Recovery (with a capital R) is starting to feel very real now. I'm noticing all sorts of changes. Mag's very busy with a demanding work project. She needs help and support when she comes home and I'm doing it - I cleaned today, I cook for her, I get up first (well, most days at least) and make her tea in bed. No-one is nagging me to do these things, they are the right things to do and I am doing them.

All new things. Sometimes the guilt of what a fool I've been in the past hits me. She's deserved so much better. But feeling like this - so the self-help books tell me - is counter-productive. I'm glad to call this a past I don't wish to revisit. 

I talk about checking my privilege. Not in the political sense that is usually meant. However, I am lucky. I've been a problem drinker for 25 years. It's called untold havoc. But I'm not on the streets. I'm employed after a fashion and have something to build on in that area of my life. I have a pretty secure home. I have family who have supported and continue to support me. I have a loving partner who does a huge amount for me and thankfully drinks almost nothing. I have had good professional support, which continues and, thankfully and for now, is free to me.

I just wanted to say that I am lucky in all this. I'd like this blog to be a help for others in similar straits to those I paddled my canoe down. Alcoholism can really wreck lives and I'm minded to record my lucky escape. Yes, I'm very happy to take credit for the part I have played in my Recovery, but I stand on the shoulders of very patient giants. 

If you need help, please reach out for it, wherever you can find it. If you don't have family or a partner of friends who can help you call the professionals. Use the internet if you can. My community of friends at BrightEye has been enormously helpful, and there are loads of other such resources. Ask me if you like, I can only offer advice and cheering from the side-line, but I want anyone who wants to to reach Recovery. There are so many other blogs and sites where you might find people willing to help or in whose steps you can tread.  

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