Happy Monday, everyone!
It’s not a spectacular Monday or anything, but it’s a great one for the simple reason I’m sober. Just one thing I have to do. Or NOT do, as it were – all I have to do is not drink and what I get is this amazing life. No, there isn’t a butler serving my coffee this morning, nor have I got publishers on the phone begging me to sign contracts with them for a string of bestsellers and I didn’t wake up with a skinny body or smooth forehead either. And yet… I’m exactly where I want to be and I don’t need any of those things to be happy – I’m already there. Besides, I can’t think of anything worse than a butler or any of the other trappings of the uber-rich or what I imagine they have. As much as I sometimes critically survey my face and body in the mirror and on occasion think I should lose a few pounds, I know if I did it’d make no difference to how I feel inside. As for a publishing deal, sober I have all the tools to give writing a really good shot.
Commented to Hubby this morning how much I love our home. Honestly, hand me the Palace of Versailles and I’d stay put. Sure, sometimes we do come out with things like “imagine when we move out of London and get a little cottage with a garden” and fantasise about having more room(s), but looking around me I genuinely love this home so much. Well, it’s precisely that: home. Yep, I’m in full flow gratitude and it’s my favourite place to be because it’s when I allow myself to recognise how plentiful and lovely my life is that I feel unimaginably fortunate. It’s when I’m in this mindset I scrunch up my nose at the idea of a Maserati replacing my little Mini and don’t like it at ALL. Hm… I guess all I’ve listed is a bunch of material things – butlers, big houses and fancy cars – and it just goes to show those things are nothing whatsoever to do with how happy we are or could be.
With that said, financial worries are the worst and can bring unbelievable stress so obviously I appreciate that in some ways money and things can absolutely have an impact – it wouldn’t matter how centered and zen you might be if you go to bed worrying about how to pay the rent or figure out escalating debts. I’ve never been in an extreme situation or at risk of homelessness, but I know the worry and anxiety that comes with always stressing over how to make ends meet and ending up in a vicious circle of out of control credit card debt as an ill advised means to buffer the shortfall. What I also know now is how much worse all that got because I was in active addiction. I mean, the MADNESS of it! No, no – REAL madness. I’d figure out the food shopping choosing bananas over apples (cheaper) and buying budget brands, yet it somehow never seemed even an option to remove the two-three bottles of wine I bought each day. When I drank, I ended up also smoking more so would often get through sometimes up to two packets of cigarettes. It’s right there in front of our eyes, no? I’d save, what? A couple of sorry little £s on foregoing those apples, yet my drinking and smoking bill easily came to £30-40 every single day. Some drinks were had in the pub so I easily spent £1,000 per month on booze. Had that not been the case I would never have been in debt or a financially unviable situation in the first place. Hell, I would have been able to save for God’s sake! And yet I never connected the two – not because I’m stupid but because I was in active addiction and you have no bloody choice but to prioritise it. Even over food.
Well, this wasn’t at all what I thought I’d write about when I started this blog post, but I do like to remind myself of how insane it all was and how enormously grateful I am that I don’t have to be in that sorry and desperate state anymore one day at a time.
As of now, I’m going to make some more coffee. Do a bit of studying for the counselling course as there’s an exam and an essay coming up, and later on a friend from the course is coming over. Me and two others met up last week and my rotten sense of self worth is finally beginning to be stripped away. Yep, two women on the course who happen to be the ladies I like the most want to be my friends and it’s for the simple reason that they like me and I’m worthy of their friendship. My default is always to shrink away and immediately decide everyone hates me and if someone does speak to me it’s because they feel they have to out of pity. It’s stupid, isn’t it? Still, hard to shake off but I’m working on it. I’m just like everyone else and just like everyone else I’m some people’s cup of tea and others not. All in good time, I’ll get there.
Had the interview for the exciting role I really want last week and came away feeling really good about it, really felt I nailed it. I kept addiction and recovery to myself (yes, your advice was tremendously useful – thank you also for the private messages, very touching and meant a lot) and it didn’t come up anyway, and think it went really well. I’ll hear today but the initial feeling of it’s-in-the-bag isn’t there anymore. Had it been in the bag, I reckon they would have made encouraging noises much sooner. Hey Anna! You’re doing that thing again…… Back up, back up…. This you cannot control. Sit tight, let go and let God. We’ll see. If it isn’t this one, the right thing will soon come along.
I don’t know much, but I do know this – what makes this life so wonderful isn’t all those things we sometimes think we want (money, Maseratis, achievements) but rather comes down to one thing only for me: sobriety. It’s everything. It’s changed everything. I can’t fucking believe how much it’s changed everything. It makes me so happy I feel weepy. I stopped drinking because alcohol was ruining my life. I never realised the life recovery would give me, it honestly is beyond my wildest dreams. So whilst I stopped because I found myself in hell, I stay stopped because I now find myself in heaven. Who would’ve thought?
Big hugs to you all. Out through the windows I can see the sun breaking through the mist across the rooftops of west London and the huge park near our house. What can you see and what makes you joyful and grateful today?
Today I’m not going to drink.