Friday, 13 February 2015

Trying not to look for trouble. A foothold on the lower slopes. Keep climbing.

This is one of my routines. Writing More Than Sober is helping to keep me sober and to keep me focused on my recovery. 

I'd like to make it more than that at some point, but for now it remains a diary. Because I do so much online writing I have a fairly good idea of what makes good, which these days means shareable, content. 

I shouldn't be writing: "I went to the gym again today, how super!" I should be writing: "10 Reasons Why Exercise Will Save Your Life," and "What I achieved in just 20 minutes a day will make your face explode." I'm sure you've seen it, and maybe shared it. 

That's cool. That's something for the future. I need to be aware though that I don't go looking for trouble. I know it sounds silly, but there's a temptation in blogging to try to sound interesting, and interesting can all too often mean jeopardy and conflict. 

I'm trying to avoid both. A previous blog I wrote got quite popular. It was much more negative than this one. I was in a much worse state - like really much much worse - at the time. I was drinking, I was very depressed, and I found I was looking for that sort of stuff when it came to the blog. What's the worst thing that happened today? Boy, that third pint felt futile. All my friends are drinking themselves to death, and so on. Great fun. 

It's bad news. I sincerely believe that sharing your problems helps. And writing is my natural way of sharing. But if it simply becomes about your problems you're going to end up with your attention in the wrong place. 

If you suffer from depression or alcoholism or anything else, you don't need to give it the power of becoming your central focus. These things already have enough power of their own. 

Yes, they (and I'm sure many other illnesses and conditions) can be the defining facts of someone's life. Alcohol has been one in mine. Not any more though. Replacing alcohol and recovering is now the central fact of my life. Alcohol can quite frankly go and take a running jump. Cheerio! 

In the last couple of days I've had minor ups and downs, but things have mostly been much better than they have been for a long time. 

I feel like I have a foothold in real life. Only a foothold, and only on the lower slopes, but I'm clean, I'm busy, I'm earning, I'm doing my domestic duties and generally being an all-round better person than I have been since childhood. Yes, that long. 

The plan is to keep climbing. Years and years of dependent and problem drinking and other addictions on the side leave plenty of things to put right. I'm not talking about the making amends step of AA (I haven't done AA but have absolutely nothing against it and wish anyone whom it works for the very best). I'm just talking about repairing some of the practical things of life. 

Some of that work will likely stand alongside next month's challenges. I want to stop smoking and I'm considering quitting caffeine for a while too. I'll give it some more thought before then. 

It's great to be looking forward to things. It feels like a real gift. 

If you spent it thank you for your time. Please leave a comment or drop me an email if you'd like to talk. 

And if you could change the title of this post to "10 reasons why journalling will save your life and marriage and give you the job of your dream" as you share it on all your social networks I'd be most grateful. Ta.