Peace: space: contentmentĀ 

Tomorrow we will have to leave to return home. It’s probably time, there are things waiting for me there, but I feel a deep sense of contentment here and a reluctance to leave that behind.  

It’s quite hard to know Exactly why I feel so peaceful here. There is something about the general “being on holiday” which applies anywhere when one doesn’t have to go to work; there is something about a different house / place where it’s ultimately not my responsibility to maintain it / keep it clean … . But there is more.. the rhythm of the tide governs life here, the relentless rise and fall dictates the weather, where you can go, what you can do, how easy it is to swim or fish… the tide tables are consulted several times each day to calculate when it will be best to leave the island, which quay the boat can use, when it will be best to swim, paint or paddle. I find this simplicity and predictability soothing, as though something bigger than me is in control. Something I can neither influence nor fight against is going on, shaping my world. 

I have also forgotten about time. It doesn’t really matter here what the actual time is … it matters wheather the tide is high or low, it matters where the sun is, but whether it’s 2 or 4 is largely irrelevant. The days slip by in a lugubrious haze, melding together, as we do what exactly ? Potter about, meet up, eat, shop, walk, swim, paint , sketch and read .. and then it’s the last day, the last evening, the last night in my sea facing bright bedroom, and tomorrow real life pushes and winds tentacles around me again ….

I hope, think, I am renewed .. refreshed and replenished … ready …. 

That’s my second sober holiday negotiated. I did miss the drinking, but I am pleased beyond measure that I didn’t drink….. I wonder if I will ever not miss drinking ? I wonder if I will ever feel that I am completely content with alcohol free beer ? I AM reasonably content with it… it fulfills most of the functions of real beer … just not the “confidence giving” function, which is when I reflect, what I really miss … hey ho .. A clear head every morning is a decided bonus ! 

Shame

I’ve been re-reading some of my early blog posts from this time last year. I was inspired to do this by reading Tori’s blog “so this is sober” where, at 400 days of sobriety, she revisits the posts made at earlier milestones… 

There are lots of early posts that I did not actually share publically. In several I list and examine every last embarrassing shameful and humiliating thing I can remember doing whilst drunk. There are quite a lot of things. On re reading, some are less awful than I thought, but many remain really “ouch” sources of shame… and , of course this is just what I can remember … 

I am very ashamed of myself. In lots of ways. But then I realise that I haven’t done one thing on that list since March 12th 2016, nor have I added to this list … so it seems that one way to be less ashamed , less prone to doing really embarrassing things is not to drink … and it really works .. ! 

I also recognise how far I have come when I review how hard it was for me to actually STAY sober … every day at the beginning I struggled not to drink… and I wrote that I was thinking about alcohol every minute of every day … I don’t do that now. I would say I’ve had worse cravings in the last week than at any time in the last three months, but it’s only for a few minutes a day and pretty easily shrugged off … 

So many people urged me early on in the blog to find a therapist… I didn’t do that immediately, only when I was pushed by the breakdown of my relationship, but I am SO glad that I did, it has made a massive difference to me. In one way that’s a bit weird – how one hour a week can help change things such a lot, but it has ! 

On my reading list , on my kindle there are two Brene Brown works about shame. They have been there for some time, but somehow I haven’t felt ready to read them. I think I might start when I get home. 

This is a bit of a mish mash of thoughts with no clear theme … maybe it’s a checking in, a measuring of where I m. One to reflect on later …