had one of those blinding flashes this afternoon. you know when you chip and chip away at something but can’t see what it is, but then suddenly everything becomes really clear?

this is a picture of a flower bed in the corner of my garden which is known rather grandly as ‘the cutting patch’. it usually contains some cheerful annuals like cornflowers, marigolds and cosmos.

last autumn in the height of my maudlin last drinking days it didn’t get cleared out. so this spring I had a big weeding job to do. I started at one end a couple of months ago, and have had several goes at it since.

but the last couple of times I started where I had already been working. going over the ground I had already cleared. getting rid of a few annual weeds and unearthing some small nasty perennial buggers like bindweed (the roots of which can go down to 12 feet. not for nothing is its nickname ‘devil’s guts’…) and when I reached the further limit of where I had already been working: I stopped.

halted by the prospect of thick, matted couch grass. creeping buttercups. deep, entrenched perennial weeds that had taken hold at the end of last summer and got their roots deeper and deeper in ever since. too hard to deal with. walk away. come back another time, when I’m feeling stronger.

and walking away is okay, up to a point. but right now, today, I have a whole flower bed’s worth of cosmos plants which have outgrown their pots in the greenhouse. and they need space to thrive.

it is permissible for me to go back over easy ground with my sobriety. to winkle out tiny weeds grown from windblown trespassers. but for me to move on there are bigger thistles to deal with. literally, nettles to grasp.

and I can’t do with my sobriety what I did in the garden this afternoon, which was to spend an extra hour merrily uprooting the buggers and wait for Mr P to volunteer to cook supper 🙂

I am coming to accept, really accept that there is more work to do. I don’t know what that work is, yet. yoga? meditation? therapy? argh. I can begin to trust myself that I will know what I need and when I need it, and balance that with some really, really intensive self-care. because I need that, too.

may I tell you a story I related to Belle recently? I had been listening to her Signs from the Universe podcast in the car (where Belle asked the Universe for a sign that it is okay for her to drink). I had just got to the bit when she is standing bawling and looking at the white van which had crashed across the pavement. I pulled up, switched off the podcast, and walked towards the shops while thinking about Universe signs.

at which point a couple of women came towards me on the path, talking earnestly. and I overheard one saying to the other,

“…because, really. what is the point of living only half a life?” 

ok, Universe. I’ve got it. not half a flower bed. not half a life. I hear you.