This morning I listened to Desert Island discs as I rushed about doing housework. For those who dont live in the UK, this is a long running radio show in which notable people are ‘castaway’ to a desert island and asked to choose 8 pieces of music to take with them. They are interviewed and asked about their life and the relevance of the music they have chosen.
This mornings castaway was Davina McCall. Again for anyone who doesnt know of he, she is a 40 something TV presenter. She’s also a recovering addict, and daughter of an alcoholic chaotic mother. She spoke freely and movingly about her childhood and the experience of living with an active addict as a parent; and also about her own drug addiction and recovery.
Now, Davina may not be everyones cup of tea, but she’s a bright successful woman who has done extremely well in life. She has a 16 year marriage and three children. She has done amazing feats for charity (500 mile triathlon anyone) and is patron of a residential detox charity. I was impressed with her enthusiasm and honesty; and truthfully I felt quite inspired by her example. Yet what she described of her early life, could have had such a different outcome. When she talked about her closest friend sitting her down and telling her bluntly that she had a huge drug problem, the opportunity was there for Davina to close her ears and mind to reality and carry on taking drugs. That she didn’t, got clean and made something if her life is testament to gritty determination and courage.
I’ve never been ‘that bad’; that someone has had to spell it out to me that I’m a drunk, I’ve never not noticed my children almost drown in the sea (as Davina’s mother did) but I could have been. I have that addictive nature, same as every other addict. I lack an ‘off switch” when it comes to alcohol (probably fortunately, being adolescent / young adult in the late 70’s and 80’s I never really had the opportunity to try drugs !) I think that I, probably like Davina, also gave a pretty strong self preservation instinct, which saved me from what I SO often see in people who just can’t stop.
Im feeling upbeat today, motivated and enthusiastic. I feel like a switch has flicked in my head in the last week or so, all of a sudden life looks interesting and a bit sparkly again, I feel much less tired and more energetic that I have in months, I can see opportunities ahead of me, I feel ‘in control’ , and ready to meet the challenges of 2017. I don’t know what has created this sense of well being. my therapist suggested it might be releasing some of the anger … but I like it and I hope it continues.
I don’t see myself completing a 500 mile triathlon, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to smash that 100 mile ride in July and raise lots of money for prostate cancer research.