It has been 25 days since my last blog. What does that show? That I haven’t got anything to write about? Or that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time write about anything? That I don’t think about not drinking now so don’t feel the need to write? Or maybe I am boring myself? Who knows perhaps it is all of those things? There is one certainty in all of this and that is that whilst musing all these questions time continues to tick away. Last night the clocks moved forward an hour resulting in a supposed loss of an hours sleep yet strangely it never really feels like that. We just tend to adjust to it. I don’t know how conscious I am of time in the real sense. I mean I set my alarm to wake me up,I make and keep appointments, I work to a timetable, I turn up on time to work, I remember birthdays, the list goes on but how conscious am I of the passing of time. I don’t mean in the bigger sense of another year older, that’s Christmas gone again for another year or its my six month dental check up already but more the passing of time in the moment. My little girl was cuddling me yesterday, her head on my chest and she commented on hearing and feeling my heart beat. She mimicked its rhythm and it struck me with every beat I am getting closer to my last. We all are. Now I know that may sound very maudlin but I didn’t feel sad or scared but just incredibly aware of that moment and it felt strikingly vivid. Time has an amazing capacity to go both fast and slow which in a way keeps us all in its hand. The hands of time as the saying goes. When I stop to think I can hardly believe that this time last year I was in an increasingly sorry state with alcohol being my fuel, my escape, my weapon, my anaesthetic, my coping tool. Thankfully I had the strength to reach into that beat beat beat in my chest and save it from a slow but steady decline. In many ways the reality of almost reaching one whole year of total sobriety is mind blowing but equally it feels so natural to me now that I also feel like I have always been a non drinker.
When Wednesday morning comes and I am woken up by the alarm that I set I know I will be pleased, happy, proud that I have reached one whole year but life will continue as it has been and my choice now is to work towards increasing the time I have as a non drinker. Just like the clocks moving backwards and forwards I can look back to what was before and know that looking forward to a continuing sober life is giving me extra time. For me the emotional part of this fast approaching anniversary isn’t the day I celebrate that start of my stopping drinking but remembering the day I had my last drink for when I recall that day it is then I know how I am choosing to live my life now is the time saver. 31st March 2014 was the day I planned to be my last day of drinking. I knew I had to try my hardest to stop before it got way out of hand. Of course I binged- that was a given. If I remember rightly I had: 1/4 bottle of straight vodka, bottle of Rioja and 2 airline bottles of Pinot Grigio. Bearing in mind this was between 7pm -ish and 11:59 when I took my last drunken sip. I was pretty wasted and emotional because I felt sad saying goodbye to it. I worried I wouldn’t be the same person, life wouldn’t be as much fun that I wouldn’t have my coping tool that I would hate not drinking. Now nearly a year on I am not just a different person I am the real me and learning to embrace that more and more with each passing day. Life is way more fun now and what’s more I can actually remember it all. I am finding new ways to cope with the stuff life throws at me. I actually am liking not drinking. I feel both healthier and happier.
So what will I expect to feel on Wednesday morning? Will it be a big dissapoinment? What am I waiting for? I visited my beloved Doctor Neil’s garden today. I haven’t been properly since Christmas and I felt I needed to go. I had been in the house all day pottering around, opting to shop online instead of going out, catching up on some tv programmes, admin work etc. It was around 6pm and I still hadn’t been out so I decided to go for it. As soon as I stepped outside the door I wished I hadn’t. As I walked along towards the garden, the wind was strong and biting, plus that unusual Scottish phenomenon was happening of brilliant sunshine with rain! My mood became low and to be honest a tad miserable. Grrr… Why did I think this was a good idea? I was going out of a sense of duty rather than desire. I got there and entered through the black iron gates. I was alone. I moved around attempting at various points to sit down but was so cold and damp that I felt the best thing to do would be to leave. I felt sad as this was the first time I had ever felt negative in there. I turned to leave and walked up the path but my gut kicked in and told me not to leave yet. Just give it a few more minutes. I wandered a bit more then found a more sheltered spot to sit down in. There was a moor hen nestling in some of the very short reeds at the edge of the loch and the sun shone down on the fast rippling water making it look like liquid sparklers. There was a knocking sound coming from a large evergreen to my left and I felt the urge to get up and investigate. As I moved towards it I had a sense of knowing. Knowing that something good would be there. That my time there hadn’t been wasted. That it never could or would be. My eyes were drawn to the sky further to its left and as I moved around the corner of the tree I saw what I had known.
Life is full of challenges and when we don’t expect it can make us feel off kilter and unsure of what is good and positive. I for one am not naturally blessed with patience resulting in stress and expecting results immediately but I am learning to trust time. I am learning to trust myself.
If I trust in time, wait and really look with an open faithful heart there is always something good just around the corner.
Nighty night x
Ps 363 days