Last night I had a wobble. Last night I had the longing for wine, red wine. Last night it flitted through my mind that no one needed to know but me. Unusually I had the Saturday night free. Drawing the short straw in terms of shared care of the kids I don’t usually have a weekend night free but last night I did. Before they were due to be picked up the kids and I watched ‘Paddington’ yet again and I felt an old familiar feeling come over me. This feeling swamps me and is so reminiscent of countless times throughout my life. It feels strangely familiar yet one I don’t want to stay with. It’s melancholic low black mood creeps into my psyche and all of a sudden I’m 14 again in my room, the room I shared with my Nana, the room that was my own personal space but at the same time never was. It’s at those times I know I need to be alone and when I know I can’t be it is then that I would eventually use alcohol to temporarily lift my mood for the sake of not only me but for those around me. Of course alcohol never helped me understand what caused the feeling. Now when it happens I have to find other ways to deal with it. So I try to understand what it is that is happening to bring on that feeling and truth be told most of the time I have no idea. That’s what is difficult; I am trying to find meaning in something which I cannot fathom. I have asked myself why this feeling exists within me since my teens and I still have no answer. Maybe there is no deep rooted psychological reason maybe it’s a chemical shift that alters from time to time. Maybe I am asking the wrong questions. Maybe I am seeking the wrong answers. Maybe I am looking along the wrong path. Rather than try to find a reason for the melancholy mood and try to stop it I need to accept it as part of me and in turn help other people accept it. I don’t seem to have control over when it happens but maybe I can take control of how it happens. For as long as I remember how I typically deal with the feeling is to get grumpy, moody and angry most likely because I am bloody pissed off that it is making a visit again and lo! I’m with people! Great! So I try to pretend it’s not happening and automatically go into defence mode shutting people close to me out.
So what would happen if I tried this:
Ok, the feeling is here. Don’t try to work out why just accept that it is here and let it be. Allow it to be there. Acknowledge it. Welcome it forward. Don’t feel bad that it is here. How would it feel to say, ‘I’m feeling a bit melancholy at the moment. I don’t know why? I want you to know that I am not angry with you I just don’t like how I am feeling or understand it. I just need your understanding and support’.
You see, I don’t think this mood, this feeling, this melancholia needs the acceptance of others it needs acceptance from me. If I cannot find a way to let it be part of me rather than seeing it as this external dark visitor that comes around uninvited then I will be forever fighting against it and never being at peace. Acceptance can be so difficult. I know that only too well but I do feel that through being sober that I am growing to learn the art of acceptance. We can’t always control how we feel only how we respond to it. We can’t control how others feel only how we respond to it. As much as I might want to change a given circumstance I have to find a way to accept what it is and just maybe in that acceptance I can find a way to deal with it that allows me to accept my own feelings and let them breathe. Last night I accepted my desire for wine. Last night I chose not to have a drink. One year ago today I happily and with an open heart accepted something truly surprising back into my life. Tonight I am finding the acceptance that it has gone. In accepting that this makes me feel sad I am slowly but surely beginning to find my peace.
Nighty night x
Ps 411 days
Pps Every day. Always.