nothing_changes {pic by me}

This morning a very dear friend mentioned the most profound statement I have heard in a while… “relentless consciousness – the one draw back of sobriety” Oh how I relate.  The constant barrage of reality in all its glory and ugliness and messiness and loveliness.  It’s constant! I can’t sit down at the end of my day and have a few Chardy’s to unwind and let go. I get to have a cup of tea, go to a meeting, try to meditate – meditation is NOT a natural state for me {but that’s another story} After an especially stressful week and not much sleep I can’t pop a Valium or 2, wash it down with a little glass of Pinot Noir and nod off for a restful night of uninterrupted dreamy bliss. I have to work hard for my down time, I really do because if don’t I will pay the price when my other special qualities turn up to console me. aka… “character defects”,  aka… “instincts run wild”,  aka…  “the committee”

As a child, I read quite early, I could read before I started school – my favorites were Enid Blyton books- “The Wishing Chair  series etc..” were treasured tales. Later “the Famous Five Series” and my all time favorite story book was “The Black Stallion” every story I loved was somehow all about far away adventures and I didn’t stop with the story, I would stay awake or spend all day fantasising about these stories, about being a part of the stories. Now that’s not too strange for a child, imagination after all is pretty normal but for me it was more than imagination my fantasies and stories  created an escape. An escape from the “relentless reality” that was my life. Alcoholic parents, low socioeconomic upbringing, high anxiety & fearfulness were enormous challenges for me. Then along came alcohol… the greatest remover of reality that ever existed. Finally a solution to the “relentless reality”. Unfortunately it’s also the remover of money, friends, family, dignity, underwear, self respect, jobs.  We all know where that tragic tale ended.
Recovery & Reality go hand in hand and the truth is it’s not always a happy marriage. My slightly faulty brain has spent many years in recovery going back to the first form of escapism it  created. Fantasy! Most of it seems  fairly harmless, I get lost in a good book. That’s fine? Who doesn’t? But sometimes I don’t sleep untill it’s finished because I don’t want to break the spell, sometimes my kid has to eat cheese toastie’s because I can’t stop long enough to make dinner. I hear some of you saying me too… that’s normal. I buy a Lotto ticket and have a little thought about what I would do if I win. Everyone does that. The difference is my little thought can last for days or weeks. Sometimes I deliberately don’t check the ticket so my fantasy can go on. I meet a single man and before he even opens his mouth to speak, I am planning weddings and living happily ever after  in the Mediterranean with him. This can go on for days or weeks…. until I hear him speak and the reality of him breaks the spell.  Facebook – don’t even go there.  Now to most people this is probably quite harmless, but to me it dangerous territory. My life becomes completely unmanageable when I am stuck in a fantasy, I must watch my thinking and snap myself out of it. It’s a sure sign that I’m running rough.
By far the worst fantasy habit I have is connected with how I think others perceive me and my over spending to ease that discomfort. I can go into the supermarket with the intention of doing a weekly shop for essential items and come out with a trolley full of crap I do not need. It’s like I go into a black out of sorts. Next thing I’m buying expensive mineral water and fancy cheese and fabulous delicacies just in case “guests” drop in. No body drops in and if they do they’re my friends, my good friends they don’t care! Myers is the worst it’s like my “crack house” I go into total black out and buy shoes and perfume and expensive bath towels…. Stuff I do not need or care about. Thank goodness I came to see the truth about myself in this area and found the way to change. My new behavior, insight  and attitudes has so dramatically changed my reality that it doesn’t feel quite so relentless any more. The peacefulness is real.  The sadness is real. The happiness is real. The crankiness is real. The love is real. The connection with others is real. My emotions are real. Everything is real but it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming. I’m not so sensitive and I know my triggers. My sense of belonging equally in the world is stable for now and I feel like I like life exactly as it is.

Today…. I will be present.

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