Let’s get the self pitying stuff out the way first. It’s 2.30 am, the clocks have gone back which means in England; damp, dull, grey little England, we will be consigned to our days getting dark around four in the afternoon. It gets worse, much worse- I have a cold! Not the greatest tragedy ever to afflict a person, granted, but I hate colds and they make me feel sorry for myself. Also it’s my blog and if I want to moan about a cold I can. Oh and to compound the misery I over ate last night using the “feed a cold” excuse to eat in quick succession: scotch eggs with rhubarb chutney, crisps, chocolate, yoghurt and then more chocolate. Now I’m up becasue I have an upset tummy. Life can be cruel sometimes!
Ok that’s the self pitying done with so now where am I in this Alcohol Free adventure? 8 weeks AF today. That’s OK, pretty pleased with that and just two weeks away from breaking the 10 weeks I went without a drink earlier this year. Yesterday and Friday also represented the first weekend where I did not suffer the anxiety pangs and cravings which I had every time I got to Friday evening up until this current weekend. That association seems to be slowy dissolving.
So progress is good and yet it has been quite a while since my last post. I suppose the fact that this going without booze is getting slightly easier means slightly less motivation to blog and yet I have been wanting to sit down and write a post, see how my other boozeless, blogging buddies are doing. So what is going on?
The simple answer is that I have suddenly become very busy. My days are getting filled with things to do; appointments, deadlines, correspondence. It has left me little time for this blogging and it takes an upset stomach in the middle of the night to create the time and space to sit down and write. The busyness is a direct result of giving up the booze. Being sober, knowing there will be no hangovers, having more energy has meant that I started to
fill my time and now I think I may just
have overdone it, stretching and commiting myself a little bit too much. But then that’s how I am. That’s how I used to drink; just drinking that little bit too much, insisting we open just one more bottle of wine. Yep, slightly excessive but at least now the excess is in doing productive things, things that give my life meaning and purpose, the holy grails for those of us without faith.
One of the things I’m overdosing on is Spanish. I use a site called Conversation Exchange
It’s brilliant for finding people who want to learn another language and you learn theirs. I’ve been chatting to one Spanish guy on Skype for 3 years now. Once a week we chat for an hour; 30 minutes in English, 30 minutes in Spanish. We have become friends, we improve our language skills and it’s free. With my extra time and energy I logged onto CE to see if I could find a second person to chat with. Trouble is I hadn’t logged onto the site for three years and logging on again meant I came up first when Spanish speakers were looking for potential English partners. Without thinking things through I was getting requests to chat and being someone who finds it hard to say no, I have now got two new language buddies and another one scheduled for Tuesday. Having chatted to the two new people, (a retired guy and a successful business woman) I can’t suddenly cut them off but it means 3 or 4 new time commitments each week. I’ll see how it goes because having to speak Spanish is fairlydemanding and exhausting, I have to think and concentrate! At least my Spanish should improve and in reality what a nice bonus from going Alcohol Free. I guess I shouldn’t moan, I should celebrate but it does mean less time for other things.
The other area where I am getting busy is my therapy work. I use a site to get my leads and there seems to be a big upswing in people looking for therapists in my area. I have a room set aside at home for this but I only usually like to see a couple of people a week but now I have 5 clients and they are all sticking with it. That’s good as I love doing that work but it does involve assigning a lot of time to it. I tend to spend as much time thinking about clients, making notes and reading around issues as I do actually seeing them so I am spending a lot of time focusing on these clients and their issues at the moment. But I wouldn’t change this. It’s what I love doing. Being Alcohol Free has also given me a new found enthusiasm for what I do. Talking to clients about the possibility of change knowing that you are engaging in a process of change yourself feels very empowering and tangible. Change can happen, it’s possible, it’s not always easy but with support it can happen. I know giving up the booze is not like trying to overcome anxiety or a lifetime of feeling inadequate but it is similar in terms of developing the motivation and understanding to make small steps in changing in thoughts, feelings and perspectives. Those things can instigate and sustain change.
So there we have it. Two months without booze and the bonus of more time and energy. Time to improve my Spanish and developing my therapy work(and I never got onto the music which I also spend more time on) . I mustn’t in all of this “busyness” neglect the blogging and reading others’ blogs because it really has helped and the support on here has been wonderful. I must also make sure I do not neglect my very supportive partner who is becoming increasingly intrigued about what my going boozeless is all about. In short I need to monitor how I use this increase in productive time and not overdo things. I need to leave some unscheduled time and not overfill my time like I did my wine glass! Moderation, ah, if only.