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tough times here at the moment. I try not to include too many family details on this blog out of a wish to preserve my anonymity… but if anyone reading this thinks they know me then they probably do (and in that case if you are reading a sober blog then yes you probably are drinking too much! please please talk to me about it!)

my father in law has been hospitalised with some serious health issues. we are waiting for the results of tests.

waiting. ugh.

this is not my first rodeo. we have lost my father and my mother in law in recent years. I am all too familiar with the ghastly tango danced between hope and thinking the worst, and the current scenario brings back sad and painful memories of our previous losses. I know that my previous hard-won experience will help me through the coming days, but I also want to shake my fist at the sky and yell, “Really? Our turn? Again?”Β 

as Belle so wisely says, we should look for support from those who can support us. I am doing so elsewhere with those who have experience and knowledge of these particular circumstances, but I wanted to document this time here with reference to how it affects my own well being and sobriety.

a dear friend advised me to fasten my seat belt and that is what I am doing. putting self-care (sleep, running, eating well, time off) on the agenda. ruthlessly eliminating non-key priorities. reaching out to others for support, focusing on my nearest and dearest and being enormously grateful every day for the little joys in life, like running past a bank of primroses in the rain and having their scent drift up to me like a wave of honey.

the idea of drinking right now seems positively repellent. how could I deliberately handicap myself when I need my inner strength and equilibrium more than ever? but I know the risk is heightened so I am putting my anti-Wolfie regime on higher alert, emailing Belle and checking in more often on sober blogs. so if you could all please write a little more often to give me something to read, that would be appreciated πŸ˜‰

as a symptom of this Code Red status I had a drinking dream last night. I was startled to recall it this morning. in the dream I was in transit between unknown locations, and ‘accidentally’ had a large gin and tonic. in my drinking days, wine was my bread and butter, but gin was what I consumed when I needed that sledgehammer to the brain. as Douglas Adams described the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster – ‘having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.’ Β so in the dream having drunk the gin and tonic, I then ‘remembered’ that I had been having the odd drink throughout my sobriety, so I did not actually have three plus years of sobriety.

I’ve had this dream, with minor variations, perhaps three or four times in the last couple of years, at times of increased stress. I find it interesting that even in the dream I then return to sobriety – it is not an ongoing relapse. and also interesting that in my dream my identity as a sober person is threatened – when this is so key to my ongoing identity in real life. the only other thing I remember from the dream is having the thought, after drinking – “oh bugger, I was supposed to check in with Lou if I was at the point of drinking, and I forgot!”Β I see the dream as an indication that my brain is self-monitoring too, and dealing with any subconscious urges to drink for me while I sleep, smashing them over the boundary like Viv Richards.

I know that my emotional processing abilities, together with the ability to ask for and accept help from others, have both grown immensely in the last three plus years. I may need all those skills in the coming days. thank you for helping me to learn them and, as ever, for being here. Prim xx

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