All in good time. That’s something that’s very good for my Schumacher brain to get used to and I’m doing my best by being as honest and authentic as I can be. A full time role has already materialised at the rehab but I have made it clear I won’t take it. Whoa, back up, back up…. Nah, you read that correctly. Yes, it is indeed what I want to do for a living but – and this is a huge but – it cannot be at a cost I can’t afford. It is. It’d mean I have one weekend in six off, and the working week is between 50 and 60 hours long. There is a 25-hour shift every week – work the evening shift, sleep at the rehab with the possibility you might be woken by the waking night person to deal with emergencies (and these do happen, as I’ve already seen) and then do the morning shift. On occasion this would be fine, but on a weekly basis and along with effectively sacrificing the quality time I have at weekends with Hubby it’s just not realistic.
This is more than I’m prepared to give. They are pressing on, Rio even offered to do the sleep-over part of MY shifts if it meant I’d accept, but for now I’ve said I’ll continue to take shifts on an ad-hoc basis – so far I’ve said yes to everything, so it’s not like I’m being a princess about it – and see where it goes. I cannot compromise my family life and balance in this way. A standard 40-hour week spread over painfully exhausting shifts, no problem, but that’s not what this is.
And that’s cool. Worst thing I can imagine when it comes to this would be to promise something that I’ll find too challenging to deliver. I think Rio was a little disappointed and God knows he pushed, pushed and pushed some more, but I also know both he and Beethoven appreciated my honesty. Besides, if I agree to more than I feel I can handle and sacrifice too much to do it, I won’t be any good for them anyway. Win-win. Rio did mention he’ll see if they can find a way to pin me down permanently for what I can do and get someone new to cover the shifts I can’t commit to. It’s mainly the 25-hour one because even if I wanted to, Hubby travels a lot and at 14 Bambino is too young to be completely solo like that.
So life will continue this way for a while and that’s awesome. I’m getting shifts at a steady rate with three or four every week and trust me, that’s brilliant. It does take it out of me and often I get home wired as well as absolutely spent, but with this arrangement (that of course also does allow me to say no, should I need to) I still have the balance I need. And oh, I still get quality time, albeit even this way much less, with Hubby and Bambino.
I took the relaxation group again yesterday and I didn’t die. I felt the fear and did it anyway (good book, by the way – “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” – look it up). Good, eh? And next time I might even go into it without my heart beating so hard I’m breathless! Because I’m still learning and finding my feet, I want to check off with either Beethoven or Rio or one of the therapists before I take a reading, poem or video clip to the group. Cherokee sent me the below clip recently. She said once, since I got sober, that she’s glad to have me back. I took this to mean she always loved me for who I actually am, and that perhaps my descent into alcoholism stole me away from her there for a while. If you can call best part of two decades “a while”, that is.
Anyway. Cherokee loves this series called Vikings, and this dude is an actor and plays one of the main parts. I watched it and loved it. The things he is grateful for I can sign my name to, I can totally relate to the fear of saying goodbye to “that life” and more than anything I can only echo his words: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We need to talk about these things – addiction, mental health, etc – and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m with him, and although I’m not a successful actor in my 20s I can still relate to every single thing he said. Er, I don’t have “hanger-on’s” but apart from that bit, I suppose. Let me assure you that there is a way out of the living hell that is addiction. It gets brighter, it gets better and one day you’ll sit there and look back and not believe, uhm, what you USED to believe.
It’s about 15 minutes long. WATCH IT. The guy talks a lot of sense.
As for me, today I’m most grateful for these things, in no particular order:
- I woke up without a crippling hangover.
- I don’t have to drink today.
- Bambino’s sense of humour – he had me rolling this morning, he’s just too funny.
- I’m a good wife and finally a present mother.
- I get to do something I’m passionate about for a living. Well, ad-hoc anyway!
- My new foundation from Bobbi Brown – I look all dewy! (Superficial, I know – sorry, not sorry).
- Feeling so enthusiastic and energised.
- Hubby’s delectable bottom. Oh, and his grrrrr-wanna-bite-them-they’re-so-good legs.
- Being alive.
- Cherokee – this amazing, kick-ass woman who is MY friend. She’s with ME! Smug as fuck.
- That I can now face my fears and do even the things that terrify me.
Today I’m not going to drink.