180 days

On Saturday I reached 180 days!!

Belle emailed me, too! I hadn’t signed up for 180 days when I completed the 100 day challenge, but she was still counting for me, and included me in the Friday Celebration Roundup!

I went to the cinema with Mr W in the evening, and we saw The Imitation Game, based on the life of Alan Turing. It’s an amazing film, I highly recommend it if you’ve yet to watch it – I was riveted the whole way through.

Amongst other things, it really made me think about what we consider to be ‘normal’. What does a ‘normal’ person look like, what do they say, how do they act, how do they think? The film portrays Turing as having struggled socially early on, and into adulthood – partly due to (I think) suffering from some form of Asperger’s syndrome. I wonder if he did feel like he didn’t fit in, or maybe it didn’t bother him. I plan to read more about him, because I want to know more, and his genius mind fascinates me. I’m no mathematician, so I don’t understand any of it at all, but I’m interested in the way peoples minds work. Some people do think differently than ‘normal’ (whatever that is – I’m not really a fan!).

On the subject of feeling different to others, I read part of Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’ last year (must finish it!), and felt reassured that it’s not a bad thing to be an introvert. It’s OK to not be a loud, sociable, people person. It might even be OK to admit that you like to work alone, rather than have to shout about how much you love team-working all the time! Deep down I know it’s OK not to be like everyone else. I like being a bit of a weirdo. But it’s not always that easy, that’s the problem.

Giving up alcohol didn’t really help initially. Sometimes, drinking was my way of trying to fit in, as I’m guessing it was for many others out there. So, take that away, and I have no way to fit in. Like Belle says, I felt like a clam without a shell. But why was I trying to fit in? There’s no way I can try to anticipate what will make other people accept me, so I was probably getting it wrong anyway.

Now, I would rather just be myself. I had a similar phase last year, of rediscovering myself. I think I got distracted over Christmas – I didn’t really know what a successful sober festive period should look like, and to be honest, I was a bit tense. Always thinking ‘I should be enjoying myself’, ‘I’m not doing this right’, and the old favourite, ‘what are they thinking about me?’….

I don’t know how many times I’ll have to re-realise this, but I like being me. It’s more interesting to be a bit weird, even if it does make life slightly more difficult sometimes. And even if the way my brain works in itself makes things more difficult sometimes! So I’m getting there.

A while ago, I was desperate for some kind of reassurance that ‘at day XXX you will feel better’. It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith that I would feel better, I just wanted to know when! Well, it turns out to be now. And I did before Christmas. And I’ll have tough days, weeks, again, and then I’ll feel good again. As long as I’m not drinking, everything’s going in the right direction.

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A hangover dream

Over the weekend my tablet stopped working, and even though I don’t have the delivery note or any proof of purchase other than my bank statement, thankfully the manufacturer has said they will repair it. Phew! This involves me packing it up and arranging collection by courier, then waiting a week or so for it to be fixed (hope that’s doable!) and then it’ll come back via courier.

The logistics side of things was obviously playing on my mind because last night I dreamt about it. Now, we know a woman who does local parcel deliveries, but it will be another courier service, not her, who takes my tablet and brings it back. But you know what dreams are like – anything goes…

We must be top of her list, because whenever something comes to us through her, it always sounds like she’s trying to come through the front door at 8 o clock in the morning! In the dream, I had been out the night before, with my husband and we’d been drinking. The knock on the door woke me up, the house was still, and my mouth was so dry. My head was pounding, and the feelings of shame came slowly filtering through my brain. That was as far as the dream went. I firmly decided I wasn’t going to move (don’t think I could have done), I’d let Mr W take care of it, and then the dream was over.

But even that small fraction was enough to remind me of the drinking days, when weekend hangovers were common. And the less frequent, but more shameful bad ones, when I couldn’t get up until midday or maybe even later. Ugh.

For almost six months now, I’ve been getting up day after day, hangover-free. I’ve found the winter hard to cope with – I don’t have the same energy as I had in summer. And I think I may be suffering from some kind of low level depression fairly constantly – maybe it is Seasonal Affective Disorder – so unfortunately I don’t bounce out of bed. I’ll have to see what spring brings. But whatever else I’m feeling, at least I’m no longer abusing my body in such a way as to be unable to function properly of a weekend morning – sometimes even all day…

What was it Belle said? ‘Drop that shit like a bad habit’ Oh yes! 🙂

Too much thinking

Well, I survived the festive season, and everything has calmed down now. I’m still sober, despite questioning the point of it last week. I wouldn’t seriously have drunk again for no apparent reason, but I was/am disappointed in how I feel. I had expected to have lots of energy around about now, be achieving all manner of wonderful things, and have lots of friends. None of that, however, appears to be the case.

But I’ve been doing what I’ve always been doing (aside from the drinking part, which I’m not doing!) So I guess I’m getting what I’ve always been getting. Although that’s not strictly true – I am more motivated to use my cross trainer, eat healthily and have a green juice once a day. I can’t really tell whether that’s helping or not, but I plan to stick with it for a while and see if I feel the benefits.

I find I’m tending to isolate because I don’t really want to participate in any more booze-related social outings. And I have a problem with shyness so very new social situations rarely even enter my head as a possibility. The result being that I’m often left alone with my thoughts.

One thing that did cross my mind when I was in the shower earlier (and you can all probably see this a mile off!) Is that I spend far too much time thinking negative thoughts. Feeling my way back into life and losing and healing have both written posts recently about the negative feelings that can come up at random, the negative self-talk, in some cases. ( I’ll put the links in later).

I was talking to my husband about it a few days ago. I was obviously deep in thought, and has asked me what was up. I said my brain just goes round and round and I worry and worry.  He said ‘I know! I can practically hear the cogs turning!’. Then I said ‘I think maybe that’s why I drank- to make it stop’ and burst into tears….

Since then, he suggested that I consciously try to focus on thinking positive things. Which I haven’t done. But just now, something in amongst all of this thinking and worrying did stand out – I realized that I give myself too much of a hard time comparing myself to others. I mean, I did have some very clear moments last year of wanting to really be me, and knowing that sobriety is the best way to achieve that. But I really don’t make it easy for myself when I look at other peoples lives and berate myself because mine doesn’t look anything like theirs. And that can’t be any good for the shame issues I’ve got going on, either….

Sometimes I feel like my mind could be my greatest asset, yet it’s much more likely to be my worst enemy!!

Does anyone else have a brain that wears them out with this sort of stuff on a regular basis, or is it just me??!!!