shitty work day yesterday, with a crisis blowing up in the morning. and while I was running errands in the car that afternoon, Wolfie was riding shotgun for a good couple of hours.
which threw me considerably. he hasn’t been round for such a long time that I had almost forgotten what to do about it. I try and record on the blog when he does poke his nose in and I genuinely can’t remember when the last time was.
here’s what he was whispering:
‘This crisis is such a big deal that it would be appropriate for you to drink today. To have a relapse would be a proportionate response.’
isn’t that just the biggest pile of horseshit?! for one thing I have weathered far worse crises than this since getting sober without drinking, so it is just not true.
nothing NEEDS to be marked by a relapse.
so I invoked the Holy Trinity of relapse prevention, which for me is
- eat chocolate
- email Belle
- go for a run.
the run needs to come last in the list. usually when I have lost my sense of perspective I find it again – about a mile and a half from home 😉 and the work crisis has assumed manageable proportions again and I will keep buggering on, as usual. but some thoughts for now on my reaction to Wolfie:
firstly, I think I was at a low par. I have been focusing a good deal on work in the last month, which is necessary at the moment and desirable because it is one of the areas of my life I am trying to pay attention to. but running and healthy eating have dropped to a bare minimum, and I had a bad night’s sleep the preceding night. these three things are all relatively easy for me to fix, and I can do that.
secondly, I think I focused on those thoughts too much. when we focus on feelings I think we give them more power than they merit. it is as if I were crouching in the corner of a darkened hallway, staring fixedly at the door, waiting for the knock to come again. if I had walked away into another room then I wouldn’t have heard the knock.
thirdly, I need to give due importance to the reminder that I am always only one short step away from relapse. the very wise Lou said to me that we should never under-estimate the power of addiction, and she is quite right.
lastly, I need to see those addictive thoughts, too, in proportion. I found it interesting looking for an appropriate image to accompany this post. there are many fantastic illustrations of the big bad wolf, some of them very dark and menacing, compared to a cowering, tiny Red Riding Hood. that is not how I experienced those urges yesterday – they were more incongruous, more risible. I can see that wolf and defend myself against it, now. but it doesn’t mean he won’t keep trying…. luckily I have an entire armoury of weapons and a whole army of sober warriors to help me fight him! thank you as always for your presence, and company, here.
I found this marvellous quote yesterday from the American Catholic writer and mystic, Thomas Merton:
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
Wishing you all a splendid and Wolfie-free weekend! Prim xx