27 November. 2019 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Family | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Me and my lovely daughter.
When I stopped drinking I thought I was fixed. I thought I’d suddenly have a clear mind and a healthy body. It was strange to have so much time on my hands, but I thought it would be a good thing. (Drinking takes up a lot of time if you let it). Suddenly, I had time and space and it was like everything came crashing down. Not all at once, and not even hugely noticeable at the time, but like a dam, with a little water coming over the edge before finding a crack and seeping through, and one day washing the whole thing away.
People don’t warn you. You think the hard bit is giving up, and believe me, it is hard, but the thing is that it only works if you change too. Without a numbing agent my anxiety hit new highs and I was in a bad way for a while. While I felt good that I was no longer drinking, all that extra time gave me more time to think. I think a lot anyway, but suddenly I was going over and over old things, beating myself up about stuff I couldn’t change. I got lower and lower and my anxiety got higher and higher. It’s been hard to get back to where I was, although I’m not sure I’ll ever really be there, or that I even want to be. I was a different person then. Not a bad one, just not necessarily the one I want to be.
Sometimes I find ‘normal’ things overwhelming. I don’t take things in my stride like I should, but I’m getting there. Until recently, I hadn’t even realised how many safety nets I had put in place, so I didn’t end up feeling too challenged by an event or situation. Learning to risk things again, and letting myself try things without getting cross with myself has been a challenge, but I am getting there.
A wise and lovely lady once told me, “Don’t regret your past, it brought you to where you are today.” That meant a lot. It still does. Even on hard days and days when I remember my mistakes I am glad I am here, and that I am surrounded by my family, my lovely husband and our kids. I am one of the lucky ones.
Thanks as always for taking the time to read this.