Two and a bit weeks ago, perhaps longer, I dropped my phone and it smashed to smithereens. Ironically it had been on a walk with my husband and I was talking about the phone was really stressing me out and that I wish I didn't have one. The kids are bigger, and largely great alone, if anything its me who likes to get in touch with them, I can do that from home. The universe, it seems, took care of that one for me. Yes I have insurance, no I didn't get it fixed. When I'm at home, it doesn't work. When I'm at work, it doesn't work unless I run up the hill and walk along a bit of a lane and hold it up high. When you're trying to focus and be 'in the moment' at work, its not very useful. However, when I'm driving it sometimes works. And a bit like drinking and driving I always told myself I'd never use my phone when driving. But if that's a time it works, well you can tell how that went. So the feeling of always needing to be connected, ironically was stressing me out completely.
Its like the phone flung itself out of my hands and languished on the tarmac, just to help. If I'm totally honest, I've not missed it. Its driving my husband and my best friend crazy. Kids have adjusted and message me online or phone the land line. Husband is still going crazy. He likes to be in touch at all times, I get that, but I'm not as desk based as he is daily and its a distraction that makes me unfocussed and a bit crazy, you know, just 'checking in'.
The lack of ability to check in on sober lands when working, has been a challenge. And, if I'm totally honest stressful. I know I SHOULD check in daily, I read some sober blogs at breakfast time when munching bran flakes and reading work emails, I do the same at night. If I'm honest at the moment, I've not got much to say, I'm still in 'REBOOT' mode, but I'm imbibing and thinking what others are saying. But, somehow not being connected all day has been crazy stressful for me. So when the phone took my life into its own hands and somersaulted to freedom, I've felt kind of free.
My husband has the work office number if anything really goes wrong.
I've discovered I can check in at lunch for 15 mins on my tablet if I actually take some lunch and sit near the work wifi, which is thankfully not near my own working area. Obsessive compulsive moi, never. And, I don't take my tablet every day, I'm just not that structured.
I've made old fashioned arrangements with folks and said, I'll be there at 1pm, no phone, see you there. And folks have adjusted.
Call the house, I say. I'll be home after 4.30pm. No you can't get me earlier. Or email me.
What I'm beginning to realise is that to be loved, relied on, focussed I don't need to be 'here' for everyone in my life 24hours a day, 7 days a week. That's a biggie for me. Its reducing my stress levels and I'm OK with the quiet. I'm OK with my own company. Sure I love you all, but not being connected endlessly/always is better for me right now. That might change.
I found my diary from a year ago. You see today is my one year and one day minus one day = 366 sober days - minus one glass of wine + a sober day = 365 days. In a year I've not been drunk. I've not spewed nonsense to my husband and family. I've been totally here. Who guessed that could happen.
So a year ago I took to my bed, found sober blogs, moved to the living room sofa bed and just did a 'John and Yoko' and stayed in bed until I could face the world. And I had a few false starts. Story of my life. I started it here, false start and all.
I was tidying up, yes really, the other day and came across a diary from a while back.......here's something from one of my million day ones.............
Why do I do it? Here we are again. Started the day as always by hiding the bottles from under the sofa (classy chick) and putting them in the recycling before my daughter sees. Shit two bottles. And it looks like the kitchen has been invaded or I made some kind of midnight snack, god. Spoke to pal last night, man it was late, must text today to see how much of an idiot I made of myself. Lemsip for breakfast, gets the drugs in quicker and a bottle of high energy drink in the car on the way to work. Made myself shower today and use the really smelly conditioner as I really don't want to reek of wine at work I'm teaching at 9am. Oh god who thought teaching at that time was a good idea. Only have to last until lunchtime, then I have a thesis meeting in the afternoon. Bah. Knew today was a big day. Shit.
Meeting sucked. They hated my new structure, teaching was OK, but didn't really enjoy it, too early. Why do I do this, drink on a school night?? Daughter texted to say orchestra is on tonight instead of tomorrow she'll need a lift. Bollocks. I'm so bloody tired. I guess it will help not drinking, I'm trying to cut down. Forgot to send my sons stuff to uni, will do it tomorrow or I'll email it later, he'll understand. Whoops. I don't have anything sorted for dinner, better go shopping before I get home. Anyway its been a really long shitty day, I guess that if I got some wine, I don't have to drink it all, but I'll only get one bottle. I'll go home and have tea, take her in and wait in office, do more work on thesis and try and catch up before I teach again tonight. At least the journey is worthwhile as we're both out.
People always want to stay late at my class, grr. I do like teaching but I've got stuff to do. (wine o clock people) Got really grumpy waiting for daughter after orchestra its supposed to be done at 9pm and it went on til 9.30. Snapped a bit. Why can't she ever be out on time? Home in a total grump. She went up to bed, I went into wine stealth mode (chardonnay in a pretty cup, isn't really that bad). Several missed calls from other half (left phone in car), who's away for work totally forgot to tell him I was going out and he forgot I was teaching tonight. Bah. Texted him late, was too late to phone and I'd already had wine.
Slept on the sofa again. forgot to walk dog. Up to bed at gone 4am. Lights on, telly on, phone on, oh god who did I message? Shit, kitchen is a mess. Tidied it before I went up had pain killers and water. No clothes done for tomorrow, sure it will be OK. What a crap day. I'll set the alarm for an hour later, should still get to work ok. No teaching early. I said I'd help a colleague with something but hey, they'll manage I'm sure. I can help later. We didn't say a time. And, we've got drinks after work, so I'll buy her a glass of wine. Must organise a lift home. Monday's are a killer.
Thankfully I'm not in that life any more. I'm struggling in this one but man, I regret the lack of empathy for my students, my partner and my kids. I've always considered I've done my best and above and beyond for all of us. But, reading back some of my diaries, I just swam through the chaos and poured wine on my head which wasn't coping.
Hugs and sober love.
I do waffle on, so thank you for getting this far! If you've something kind or helpful to add or just want to say hello. Please drop a line below. I'd appreciate that. Thank you.