My Not So Secret Diary

Fixing The Past

Fixing the Past for my family addiction and recovery blog My Not So Secret Diary by Claire Hatwell
Years ago I lost contact with some of my family. It was at a time when I was particularly low. I’d fallen out with several members of the family and I was trying to work it out, but it was hard. I felt lost and misunderstood, but then it was probably hard for people to understand as I’d kept the full extent of both my drinking problem and my attempts at recovery fairly close to my chest. While opening up might have gained me a little more understanding, I was terrified of judgment, or of being told to pull myself together.

The majority of my family have always enjoyed a few drinks, I’m not saying that is a problem, it’s just hard to say that I was different as I felt a bit like the black sheep, a little bit odd. And it’s hard to make yourself heard when slowing down, or only drinking at special occasions just isn’t an option. Making the decision to get sober was the right one for me, but perhaps difficult to understand for those who hadn’t seen the whole, bigger picture.

I thought it was easier to bury my head in the sand. I’m quite good at that when it comes to problems. I’ll have a go at fixing something and then, if it’s too hard, or looks impossible, I just put it out of my mind, in a little box, and then for the most part, I can forget about it. I’ve always thought it’s odd I can do that, when I suffer from such bad anxiety most of the time, but I do seem to be able to partition certain things. Of course there’s always triggers that open the box and make me remember, and then I circle on memories for longer than I’d like, but I always seem able to repack that box and put it away again.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past five or six years, folding up thoughts and packing them away. The thing is, it doesn’t really work, and for people like me, even though there might not be an actual worry, there’s a kind of buzzing in my mind that I can’t put my finger on. It felt out of my power to sort it, and yet it was there fizzling away in the background making me feel uneasy. I had run out of ideas to fix it myself, and was scared of being shot down. So I stopped trying and things got worse. Or maybe not worse, but they didn’t get better, and that was sad, but I didn’t know what else to do.

Sometimes things come to a head and you can decide to leave them, or to do what you can. It would have been easier to avoid the situation again. It wouldn’t have caused me any worry, but it also wouldn’t have changed anything, so I tried, and it was reciprocated and I am glad. For something that wasn’t worrying me, it’s amazing how it can feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Families are funny old things, but they are often the closest people we have in the world. Times can be hard, and things challenging, but it’s probably worth trying to work through things where you can. Especially now, in the midst of a global pandemic. Things change on a daily basis, and it’s best, at least where we can, to live without regrets. So don’t put things off if you have a chance to do something, because putting yourself out there is always better than wishing you had.

Take care,
Claire x