My Not So Secret Diary

Welcome to my July Entries. For the current month, please click on 'My Diary'

Digital Boredom

Digital Boredom Claire Hatwell recovery blog My Not So Secret Diary - writing, addiction, alcohol abuse, mental health Cornwall
Like a lot of people, I’m attached to my phone for much of the day. At night it is plugged in beside the bed to charge and in the morning it’s alarm wakes me up. I have my emails on it, so I need it when I’m not at work and I have my Headspace app on it, so I use it to wind down too. We don’t have a landline at home, well we do, but not one that works. None of us ever learned the number and all we got were nuisance calls so we unplugged it, and it has never been plugged back in. The lack of it doesn’t bother me at all, but it does mean that in an emergency we need our mobiles to stay connected. 

It becomes a habit though, doesn’t it, to carry this small thing around with you? At least, it has for me, and I know I’m not the only one. I leave my phone on silent a lot, which means I end up checking it a lot too. Obviously my camera is on it so if one of the kids are doing something I want to capture, then out it comes. I have so much going on that I need to keep on top of, so my calendar also syncs on it, and all of that comes before social media, text messaging, online banking and shopping. Suddenly you realise what a lot of time these expensive little objects take.

Now, I’m not saying we don’t need them, I actually like mine. It’s just I also notice sometimes when I’m watching TV that my hand seems empty and I feel like I should scroll. But there is only so much social media I can take and when I’ve used up all the lives I have on Toon Blast and Lemmings, then I’m not sure what else to do. I look at this things that feels so important and realise it’s a bit boring. And yet, for some reason, I still feel the need to pick it up. 

We’ve recently changed the kids phones. Katie’s was a quick upgrade, whilst Barn needed a new contract too which was a bit more of a pain to sort out. I phoned the company and asked them to cancel his contract which in the past has always meant I had to give notice, but this time it caught me out and they cancelled the contract immediately. It should have been fine but typically, the following day he started his first job in a small coastal village for which he needed lifts. As it was off the beaten track, I didn’t want him feeling stranded. Coupling that with the fact that we needed to drop him off a good couple of hours early because we were all working, I was afraid he would get bored. It won’t usually be a problem as he intends usually to ride, but as it’s 10 miles each way he didn’t want to turn up sweaty, without knowing where he could change or store his bike for his first few shifts. Anyway, unlike me, he was fine about it. It surprised me considering how many notifications are always springing up on his phone, and how it is always available to him, that he was happy to be without it. He didn’t seem worried about the lack of contact with me either, I just hoped I could find him when it came time to collect him!

I suppose what worries me most is that we rely so heavily on technology. In a few short years everything has come on very quickly. It leaves little to the imagination as things we only dreamed of are coming true. We have so much right at our fingertips, but sometimes it seems like it isn’t enough. We are constantly connected and yet, many of us are lonely. It’s a funny old world, to be so constantly connected and yet so separate - but maybe it’s just me that thinks like that?

Take care everyone.
Claire x


Imparting Wisdom to My Daughter

Imparting Wisdom to My Daughter Claire Hatwell recovery blog My Not So Secret Diary - writing, addiction, alcohol abuse, mental health Cornwall

I have a lovely relationship with my daughter. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always a walk in the park, she is very similar to me and when we get going, we both seem to know which buttons to push… but those moments are fairly few and far between.

Katie is 17 next month, our only daughter, while we have three sons, but I don’t think that is the reason we are close, she just really gets me, and I remember what it was like to be a teenage girl. The boys understand me too, but they are quite self-contained. In some ways she is too, she’s quite happy in her own company, but she’s also happy to spend time with me. In many ways, she is my best friend. There is very little I wouldn’t tell her, I hope it is the same for her.

More than ever I’m grateful for my sobriety now, when I look back and see the difference it has made to me and to my family. Sobriety hasn’t given me the relationships I have with my children, because we’ve always had a good connection, but it has given me more patience, and the ability to walk away when one of the four of them push my buttons. I’ve got a lot of patience, but also a bit of a temper. It takes me a lot, but when they do push too much I can snap and then it takes me a while to calm down. I’ve always hated that about myself, but there isn’t a lot I can do about it, it just seems to be the just the way I am. I guess the fact that I struggle to let go goes hand in hand with the over-thinking. It’s good to be able to take a step back now, to look at the situation at face value and to walk away if I need to, which everyone does at times. It works too, as long as they don’t follow me!

It’s funny though, recently, I have found myself wanting to teach Katie things that I haven’t done before. She often thinks I’m mad when I spot a stain on some clothing and enlist her help with an old wives tale method of removing it. Her face is a picture sometimes! We’ve been spending time cooking together too, which isn’t my strong point, but it’s like okay because in many ways, we’re learning together. She, like me is often afraid of getting things wrong, and I hope together we’re learning it is okay to make mistakes, that mistakes don’t mean we can’t try again. It’s lovely to have the clarity of mind, and the time, because like many working Mums I am busy, but I don’t have that need for a drink getting in the way, making me rush the time I’m spending with the kids, or being only half present. I’m only balancing my time between the four of them and normal everyday things. It’s strengthening our relationships, and I hope it continues.

I’m glad I have an honest and open relationship with the kiddies, while I was worried to open up to them, and afraid that they’d be ashamed of me, it actually makes me feel understood. I hope that it shows them that if I can overcome a problem like addiction, that they can too. It doesn’t even have to be the same problem, I just want them to know adversity can be overcome, in whatever form it takes. I hope they never end up in a situation like I was, but no one knows what is coming in the future. I just want them to know that I am always there for them, and I’ll understand. That if I can do it, so can they.

Thanks as always for reading.

Claire x