I have not posted for ages.

I used to have a lot of free time at my previous job and it was ritual to come into work, have two strong coffees straight up and blog for an hour. If they were lucky, I’d start doing actual work around ten am.

Since moving to a new job in September 2012 and the following six month stint as a workoholic, I have been scared about privacy issues as I suspect the internet is closely closely monitored…….so I don’t blog from work, Being in two 12 step programs and being a single working mom, I just don’t get to my home PC much.

Since my blog was last mega active, Porra (bless his heart) has moved out to his own place with Messi, his hairy teenager.

But – all is not lost – it has worked out for the best. Our relationship is better than ever and I am feeling happier than I have for a long time. 

His son decided in January 2013 that he did not want to live with his mother anymore and started staying more and more at my little two bedroomed flat. Full time with overnight stays at his mates house. She went back to her alcoholic boyfriend and Messi quite rightly so did not want to subject himself to the drama and aggression that can he had previously experienced with that territory.

My life. Bottom line, too many bodies and not enough space.

I found it extremely difficult to share my 89 square metres with three other people (two of which were big continental hairy men) and all the extra surfboards, rugby gear, hoodies, laptaps et al.  I felt totally suffocated and out of control and  stomped all over. I felt (as they call it in the Big Book) DISTURBED. I felt angry that I had no space or privacy. I felt irritated that my home looked like multiple suitcases had exploded in every room. I was pissed off there were three laptops on my dining room table where we eat. I felt fucked off that the kitchen was constantly in use making my curtains, towels and bedclothes constantly smell like fried onions and garlic (I know I know it is trivial, I am sensitive to smell)

It was not necessarily just the extra bodies and stuff in my space, but also different parenting styles between Porra and I in relation to 17 year old Messi. 

I could understand that Porra felt sorry for Messi what with his mother choosing her loser boyfriend over her own son…….I could hold it all together nine times out of ten, but the tenth time I burst an artery were the times that everyone could remember and slate me for. All the tolerance that I had tried so hard to give would be wiped out so quickly.

Porra saw no problem with Messi keeping his own schedules….which included watching TV until midnight and making fried stinky midnight snacks. I would see the glare of the TV bouncing off the hall cupboard and straight into my retina while I tried to sleep, smelling freshly popped popcorn and it just peeved me off no end.

Yes – the solution would be to close my door…….but some ogre in me wants all the house to be in bed at a reasonable hour. Anal me likes to tidy the kitchen and fluff the couch pillows and burn my final incense of the day and turn in. All sorted and calm in Maison Diddy so I can feel asleep calm and safe in the knowledge that all is right within my four walls.

This ended up in arguments about me being a control freak (maybe) and Porra letting his teenager be an adult in the house. I relate it to being similar to living with your inlaws. Living with another adult type person is a different kettle of fishies then living with a kid who you tell when to do to bed and when to get their freaking head out of the fridge for the tenth time that night.

I felt like I lost my pecking order and adult status in the house…..which is actually my house that I had paid for and lived in for 13 years,

A difficult situation.

I was – at the time – the lone lamb bleating up a fucking storm – that this was not the way to live. Bleat bleat !!!!

Thank God, another lamb in the herd eventually echoed my bleats. After six months of living on top of each other and Messi travelling an hour to school and an hour back from school, he briefly mentioned to his Dad Da Porra, that the travelling and living arrangements were not working for him either.

Within a week, Porra and Messi had found a place closer to his school and now they live there in the week, Leaving me in my calm, peaceful, cat friendly and incense infuzed maison.

Amazingly during this time, I managed to stay sober. I couldn’t say I was emotionally sober, but the 15 July was my seven month sober mark.

This weekend (my week without PMS I might add) I can honestly say has been the greatest weekend for ages.

Nothing particularly fabulous happened. I did not go to the Madame Zingara Show (want to go), I did not win the lotto, I did not get free Botox.

But I felt contented and blessed in my own skin.

 

No pain, no writing….

Posted: April 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

I find that I cannot write if I am not in a huge amount of emotional pain.

I am back in AA for the third time for four months today. I am on Step 4. With my new sparkly younger-than-me-by-many-moons sponsor. Step 4 seems to be three weeks of writing out resentments. I started writing these out – even though I am not feeling particularly resentful towards anyone.

There is a clean new page in my writing book per person just waiting for reasons why they piss me off.

I found that when I was not on meds and starting to crash a little, that I was a seething mass of resentments.Could hardly walk a step without tripping over a hatred and irritation towards someone.

Now meditated……well…..that’s a different story.

But luckily apparently I can list past “why Porra irritates me” and why Mummy and Daddy were such shits.

Bottom line, if I am not desperately trying to run away from pain, I can’t write. My motivation is low.

In AA, they call wanting recovery as having the “gift of desperation”. I have what is known as a “high bottom” (alas not of the rear end variety, that one is still saggy)

Something I battle with……is that I did not get to a major rock bottom in my drinking. I did hit quite an all time low in around 1997 when I lost a job due to drugging and drinking……but it never amazingly got to the point of rehab. Even though I was snorting so much coke that I rarely made it to work on a Monday and sniffed and bled from my nose the rest of the time at work. I smoked weed, I did LSD, I did LSD and E at the same time, I smoked crack, I smoked heroin……oh yes and I drank. I just upped from JHB, relocated and started a new life somewhere else focusing on how to keep Tweenie’s Dad off the crack. My binge drinking seemed so tame in comparison. But perhaps that was my unintentional ploy all along choosing hectic boyfriends.

Yes……the drinking did catch up to me again around 2002 – 2007……to the point where there were emails to Tweenie’s counsellor trying to get her away from me…….but I managed to recover sufficiently on my own. I say sufficiently, but this does not mean I was angel deluxe and was not drinking to blackout stage half of the time, drunk driving, hugging the toilet bowl.

I realise that back in the day, I just drugged so I could drink more. Doing coke, I could drink six times more than the average human. It amazes me to this day, that I was never caught. That alcohol blood result would have been off the chart.

Towards the end of my drinking career, it was all wine and very mummy-ish. All elegantly wasted type of stuff. Not a coke line in sight…….none-the-less…….I still was hugging toilet boils and having hangovers enough to warrant the desire to stop.

I say that oh I recovered enough, but at the end of the day……AA tells me that if I cannot quit entirely and cannot have no control when I start drinking then I am probably an alcoholic.

I thought it might be enlightening to myself to chronicle my boozing story so that is what I am going to attempt next. No pain needed which I am lacking. Just facts.

I am Diddy, I am alcoholic and I cannot control how much I drink once I get started.

 

A cup of tea thanks……

Posted: April 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

We had to fearlessly face the proposition that eiither God is everything or else He is nothing. God is or he isn’t, what is our choice ? Big Book page 53

Yeah. Good question. What is my choice ? I am pondering. Because Sponsor Dear has given me an essay on this question for homework to be completed by Sunday.

I am still mucking about a little with my meds. Anti-depressants are notorious for messing with a girl’s (or a guy’s for that matter) libido and sexual functioning. Boy George once famously said “Sex ? I’d rather have a cup of tea thanks!”.

Image

I suspect the 80’s icon was on meds. So I am on the Eglynol/Esperide anti-anxiety meds only and not on the anti-depressants at the moment. This is a mild tranquilizer that is safe enough to give to breast feeding moms. It also helps with milk production and there are stories of non-milk producing women lactating because of the meds.  My boobs have been feeling very swollen and full, but thank God – no leakage ! A too tight hug can however have me yelping under my breath when my boobs are squashed !

Why oh why continue to mess with your meds I hear you mumble ! Simple. Porra and I have been enjoying (enjoying might be a bit of a strong word on my part) more carnal pleasures of late and I’ve been a willing participant and even been on the initiating side of it.  I am keen to go back to the 2012 state of affairs when I would rather stab my eyeballs out with a cucumber than have sheet tumblings with Porra. A sexless amoeba I was. Praying that he would not try and pounce me at night. I find that when something goes right in my mental / sexual well being that I cannot narrow the reasons down to a specific therapy or med change or lifestyle change. With sexual relations, it would be the TRE body work I have been doing, it would be the lack of meds, it would be that all the teenagers in the house are out and about for the school holidays…….bottom line……things have been more sexy of late.

Over the Christmas and January holidays, I was in a really good mental space.

Tweenie and I went to the Eastern Cape on holiday to her grandparents. They live in a fabulous four bedroomed, multi loo’d riverside home in  Sleepy Hollow. Holiday life there is great. Tweenie as in her element because her cousins were there so she has plenty of adoring cousin attention and willing playmates. 

I am treated like family because I have been part of the furniture for over 15 years. Granddad and Granny are not my parents, they are Tweenie’s dad’s parents. They are the closest I have to a mother and father.

Granny quite likes me. Dare I say loves me.

They’d noticed I’d stopped drinking and I kind of skirted the issue and just said I wasn’t drinking. I didn’t mention AA. While I was in Sleepy Hollow, I did attend an AA meeting and it was a warm and welcoming meeting and I bumped into a woman I used to know when I lived in Sleepy Hollow.

Any-the-hoo, the point is – it was all lurve, happiness, reading novels and visiting all the old granny friends for tea and cake. Not a hiccup in sight.

While I was there, I let it slip to take my medication – which is an anti-depressant daily and an anxiety pill when needed.

All cool as a cucumber. No melt down into a pink puddle of skin. No crazed eyeballs.

I returned to Cape Town in January. With not having much stress or life issues while on holiday. So – hey heck – I thought….let me push the (med) boat out here abit and not bother to take the meds. It’s been three or more weeks thinks I. I’m weaned off them now. Hey – look ma – no hands. I am all OK here me dears.

Nearly two and a bit months later, I proudly declare on Facebook, that I am officially med free.

Mmmmmmmm. Talk about shitting on fate’s shoes. Mistake numero uno.

For the last ten days, I have been waking up with the most horrible feeling of total and utter dread. I have to convince myself that it’s a good idea to go to work. I have to convince myself to show up for life that day. I have been fantasizing about a Kenilworth Clinic stay where I can be just left alone in medicated oblivion with nice crisp white sheets and cluck clucking nurses. I can honestly say that if I did not have a child, I would have just given up. My head was full of the most negative and morbid thoughts. Nothing specific. Just doom and gloom feelings. And I cannot cope, overwhelmed thoughts.

<Porra sms’d me to stop and  bring milk and bread one night and I nearly had a kitten. You know when one last thing just tips you over the edge. I didn’t speak to him for two days!>

In an effort, to give myself a mental kick up the ass, on Sunday I asked Porra to drive us to the beach for coffee and an ice-cream. Being around nature helps me connect with the wonder of life. Makes me feel there is a Big Great Dude that’s got my back.

Well……there were surfers running around, beautiful sea……everyone out and about, seemingly carefree and happy. We even happened upon a smoking zone coffee shop (there is a God) ! The sight of all this happiness made me wonder why didn’t I get it ? Why am I the poo in the drink water ?

I decided I would change my thought patterns for just half an hour and not think crappy stuff. It worked. But not much later on, I felt half suicidal again. Like life was an effort.

My head knows all the stuff I should be grateful for. I really honestly do. I really honestly write a gratitude list everyday.

My head wants me to be happy, but it is like there is a missing highway and my heart and body are crippled by depression. No matter how much shit I try. No matter how much readings about acceptance, this will pass blah dee blah.

There could be lead in my body instead of blood. Such a heavy effort feeling.

I woke up this morning, lit my scented candle (nothing spiritual here people – it’s to throw Porra off the scent that I smoke in the house at 5:30am every morning. Ha ha) and tried to do my suggested readings. Could not focus. Just heaviness and ideas of wanting to bunk work and isolate in bed.

Pray says all the books. I did. 

I had a thought. Perhaps mine. Perhaps a spiritual insight. I don’t think it was my own thought.

“take your medication. you can’t focus on your sobriety”

I humm’d and harr’d for about ten minutes about where the thought  came from. Was it my self-will trying to take the easy route out ? Was it a God given idea ?

I scratched around for some left over meds. Telling myself if I found them, it was a sign.

I found. 

I took.

The anti-depressants won’t kick in for at least 2 weeks worth of taking.

I felt ten times better today. It was not a bad day.

 

Posted: March 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

One Girls Journey For a Better Life...

I’m having one of those moments. You know the moment. The moment where you find yourself thinking “Do I really have a drinking problem?” I’m coming up fast on 10 months of sobriety. I’m focused on that big 1 YEAR mark, and I’m really excited about it, but the “Then what!?” creeps in. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s just the Milestone that I think is what keeps me going. What will I count down to once that 1 year milestone has passed? Let’s face it, two years doesn’t have the same ring to it.

I gave up drinking on 6/3/12. I never had a slip up, a “just one drink”, or a hidden drink that no one saw. Sometimes the fact that I’ve easily surrendered to sober life makes me think “really? Was it that bad?” Sure, I had times where I blacked out, hurt myself, and did/said…

View original post 747 more words

While on holiday in December, I decided that 2013 would be the year of change.

Dare I say, the year of happiness and contentment.

It is so easy – while sitting in a holiday seaside town in a fancy clean house – to make such grand plans. The year stretches ahead with  endless possibilities. The fact that one is not at that moment chained to your office desk for 8 hours per day helps.

Stress of normal life feels far far away. The possibilities are endless me dears. Getting uptight about daily life seems so so silly.

Being a woman, the first change was to cut my hair on my 43rd birthday. Not a big deal for some people perhaps. But dear blog, I have had exactly the same haircut for 12 or 13 years.

This was so symbolic for me. Life changing stuff. Out with the old, in with the new.

Well – that helped the upbeat feelings for a week or two.

I am now in AA for my third time.

The second time – sometime in 2012 –  I got caught up in a sponsor relationship that did not work for me. I didn’t feel listened to. I would say one sentence and my sponsor would go off on a Hamlet like soliloquy that I didn’t relate to.

The demands or “suggestions” were too much for me. I did the rebel thing. Or perhaps the timid passive aggressive thing. Which is quite funny if you think that I am in my 40’s. I apparently still  have the capacity to rebel. So much for being a strong fearless women who can speak her mind. Squeak squeak.

I went on a September 2012 holiday. I avoided said sponsor. I drank daily on that holiday and hugged the toilet bowl a few times.

The thing with flirting with AA is that once AA is in your head it kinda messes up the fun side of drinking. If there was actually a fun side left.

I continued the not-so-bad drinking through October, November and December after untangling myself from former said sponsor. I cannot remember any hectic drinking stories. But then I am a master of denial and minimalisation ! I have a disease of forgetfulness. Really. I just don’t remember stuff. Can be a gift and a curse.

Any-the-hoo, then came the OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY !

I’ll summarise it for you:

Wine farm

Free booze

Dodgy dancing

Dodgy conversation

Toilet bowl hugging

The day after the christmas work party I decided there and then I cannot do this shit anymore.

I’ve been given a lifeline and some rope time and time again. I’ve freaking been sniffing around the solution for ages. Why do I continue to torture myself ? There is nothing more torturous that the day after making a total and utter tit of yourself. An evening of not being available to your child because you are just too freaking sick. I never ever wanted to feel that stuff again.

I hit 90 days sober yesterday.

Am I happy ? not sure. Am I content ? Glimpses.

All I know is that AA has promises. And those promises look fucking good. They speak to me. I’m in the limbo before the promises come true. No mans sober land.

Living life on life’s terms without the numbing qualities of wine. My relax juice. Living life without the camaraderie of friends and wine that go so well together.

For me life can feel more rosy after a glass or two of wine. Takes the edge off. Sometimes, with a glass of wine in hand, I can feel – this is it. I am happy and chilled. I have arrived !

But an alcoholic can’t keep it at one or two glasses of wine. I’ve proved it to myself time and time again.

I know I come across as a depressed emo chick, but in my defense I do – on a regular basis – try new things and feel *zing!* upliftment.

On a recent Monday evening, my usual co-sponsor plans were moved. Many moons ago, I had subscribed to a Biodanza email alert so every Monday morning without fail – I receive an email from Daniel at Biodanza inviting me for a class. OK. Not me personally. Receiving a gold personalised invitation, but the invite pops up in my gmail. And it is dripping with love and acceptance and all things hippy lurve. I invite you with love…..

I thought Fuck It. It’s a sign ! (I do this “it’s a sign” thing on a regular basis and you only find out in hindsight it was not necessary a good sign, but just a sign. A sign none the less) Right time to try this malarky. A therapist had suggested it at one point to relieve me (relieve me of what I cannot remember at this point).

One of my worst things I do is that I am anally on time. So anally on time, that I  am usually frikking early. So not only do I try new things on a regular basis, I am also reeeeally early – which adds to my anxiety as I am sitting waiting like a chop and wondering a) have I got the right place and b) is anyone going to show up.

Now. I have never danced in the light without a glass of wine/cider/beer/anything in my hand.  I can do the nightclub thing – in the dark – with two or three drinks under my belt no problemo !  So to be in the stark light of a yoga hall with strangers and to be expected to dance is quite a push for me.

Right. So free style dancing it is. With three strangers. In the light. With bouncy type spanish music. Interrupted with some continential type free style marching. Hey, I can do this.

Some ring-a-ring-a-rosy type stuff. Hey, I can do this too!

We were asked to make up a dance with a meaning. I made up a dance for my Granny trying to convey lots of love for her.

Then came the partner thing. Holding hands and skipping along like toddlers on acid. With quite a hot man I must say *blush*.

I got through the hour and a half class.  Even when we had to dance with our foreheads and elbows stuck together at one point – like demented siamese twins (I admit I chose a female for the forehead dance).

Me being an embarrassed type person, it really pushed my uncomfortable button to the max and I felt I appreciated my body and how it could dance if I wanted it to.  Well – want is a big word – if I chose to ! I felt connected to what it felt like to be a child not worried about what other people thought of me. A very liberating hour and a half.

I kept the happy buzz for quite a few days.

If I can do Biodanza, I can do anything  !

All in all, I enjoyed the Biodanza experience and will return when babysitting allows.

Reminder to self to tell blog about the accidental meditation I did on Sunday morning 2am.

Fear of Missing Out

Posted: November 17, 2012 in Anxiety, Oh woe is poor little me

A friend diagnosed me to the tee today. She knows me better than I do. I know I have the FOMO syndrome. I always think that my friends/Porra/the cats/the domestic/the neighbours are all having a fabulous happy life and somehow left me behind and forgotten about me. That I am alone in the world.

To me silence is not golden. A quiet cellphone is not a blessing. It signals everyone else is just too fucking busy being happy.

This became very apparent to be recently when I hadn’t heard much from a good friend for a couple of months. The logical side of my brain knows, but conveniently forgets the fact that she is a) married b) has two children c) has – in the last six months – bought a retail shop that is open seven days a week. Mostly until 7pm each night d) her elderly mother has been recently widowed and relies on her plenty.

I know all of these things, but my emotional brain thinks she is super content and carrying on a champagne squilling, Lindt ball scoffing, socially packed life without me. Because…..I’m not worth it. I admit I have had a good cry about it on a few occassions.

When I did eventually hook up with said friend, the true story is that she’s been battling her own shit and probably has an equal amount of shit on her plate as I do.

Silence from friends means I go off into my head jumping to the wrong  conclusion about me and what I mean to them or is there room for me in said friends life. Sounds very self centred I know. It really is just a really crap self esteem.

I don’t necessary want to be out living it up at fancy smancy restaurants or being at functions all the time. The Fear of Missing Out feelings I feel are more along the emotionally abandoned genre. That I crave the feeling of being liked and loved and wanted. I don’t care if we play Snap ! and have coffee  and a ciggie. It’s the emotional connection that I FOMO about. Not wanting  to feel left out because I’m not good enough.

The feeling of FOMO comes and goes. I don’t feel it all the time. If I am feeling happy and contented and connected to people, a visit to Facebook will not “hurt” me………. but I’m feeling abandoned, bored, lonely and sorry for myself, Facebook is not the place for me to be trawling !

As a matter of self-help investigation, I googled “Fear of Missing Out” and there’s is plenty of information on  it and why Facebook et al makes it worse.

But googling “Cure for Fear of Missing Out” yields a big fat zero.

Anyone got the cure ?! Please share.

Wine would probably work. Because then you don’t give a shit what anyone else is up to.

How it went a little pearshaped….

Posted: November 15, 2012 in Recovery

I realise in hindsight…….that I should not have gone off on an AA tangent. And that my usual adult child weekly meetings were JUST AB-SOL-LUTELY-FREAKING-FINE and were doing the trick like they had done for five years or more. Those rooms – to a large extent – have been my therapy home for over 5 years. Might I add – it is all largely FREE !

<any person who grew up on benefits in the UK in the ’70’s loves cheap stuff!>

Except for a donation that you put in the little bag that they pass around (which is suggested at about fifty bucks per month). I only bring this up now as my medical aid has run out (as it does this time of year) and I have spent R3400 on medical bills this month a-frikking-alone.

I am sure if I spent that money on beauty therapy every weekend, I might feel just as good i.e. go to cheap/free meetings, spend therapy money on new hair, pedicures etc.

It’s all very well going to therapy and having nice clean teeth, but do these professionals realise you have to eat brown toast with marmite for the rest of the month !!

So why did I stop doing what was working for me. Well, people – someone in the group started getting right up my nose.

I would sit through the hour and a half with clenched teeth, feeling uncomfortable feelings. Somewhere along the way, I have been taught that if something pushes my buttons or triggers me that much……..to try and see what lesson I can learn from this experience. What is it wrong with me that I am getting such a bug up my ass ?

I can only bear so much of “looking what is wrong with me”. Especially when at the end of digging around in my psyche – I know it is not me. The other person is actually just an Arsehole (with a capital A)!

I chose to not go anymore or so adhoc-ly that it was nearly nothing.

I did try and talk to the person about being overbearing. This was because I had those feelings and had semi-verbalised them to someone else. You are not meant to gossip about someone so the way I thought to fix it – was to tell the person what I thought to his or her face. See. Then it wasn’t behind the back gossip (clever neh ?).

It all panned out that how ever I had handled it – I got ignored by that “clique” at the meeting. Not even a greeting or eye contact. I could try and make eye contact and wave across the circle …..like you do……..but I didn’t even get a glance. This in a place I’d been going to for over 5 years.

I felt a seperation in the group. Like it was under new management. I felt an outsider again.

and so then I went off on a tangent to AA. I felt lost without a group.

To double check my facts about events are true, I’ve dug out an email from around about then…..

Email from March 2012:

Dear Fellow

Thanks so much for the swift reply 🙂

Overbearing ! That’s the word I am looking for !!!!!!

I have actually been avoiding the group mainly because of the overbearing stuff making me cringe. So I’m losing what I need because my buttons are being pushed.

I have a thing about being bossed about (childhood stuff) so I realise it may be my stuff.

Could I come for coffee on Thursday ? I have a co-sponsor meeting this evening. Biodanza Tues and I am going to try and do Wednesday (with a muzzle or a gum guard. have not decided which yet).

The bottom line is I don’t want to leave the group but “she who shall not be named” in charge will drive me away.

D

xxx

I know I could be breaking some rules talking about a group outside of a group. But I feel my blog has such a small readership and cyberspace is so freaking huge, it doesn’t really matter. I need to put this down in black and white and speak my honesty as to why I deviated away from what was working. At the time I felt it was a sign that I could go to AA rather than Adult Child, but that move hasn’t worked for me. And the reality is there are sometimes people in the rooms that can push ones buttons and make the experience not a positive one. I chose to move on. Not an irreverseible choice, but a choice I am slightly regretting none the less.

Dear adult child Blog….addiction blog….sexual healing blog…..whatever you are..

Apologies I have been a bad inadequate blog parent.

I haven’t spent enough time with you lately.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about you ! I’ve missed you and thought about you often. I have had many a post in my head that didn’t make onto your front page.

Plenty has happened and not really happened.

On the parenting side, Tweenie is now a Teenager. So she will have to be renamed – for the purposes of this blog – to Teenie. Porra has gainful employment. Alas mostly in other provinces ! So I am back to being a single parent during the week and sometimes on the weekend too. Some times he is away for a few days, sometimes for a week and sometimes for three weeks at a time.

I am reminded how difficult and lonely being a single parent can be .

Porra’s and I’s relationship is going well. Very comforting and easy. Not much work involved. With him traveling and working away a lot, he is not a ball of energy or excitement when at home. This has me moaning about him belonging to boringman.com. His preferred mode of daily home entertainment is to collapse in a heap on the brown leather couch clutching the satellite remote whilst filling me in on the gripping subject of plastering. And lunging towards me sexually when I feel I hardly know him……

Whilst I understand he is tired, I’ve been waiting for him to come home and provide some entertainment and a break from the old routine……….which is not forthcoming.

<Single mums need to sit on said couch clutching said remote when little ones are asleep. Either that or reading is the method of nightly entertainment>.

Whilst I understand that him being “boring” is better than me chasing him down at some pool hall or biker bar (been there, got that t-shirt), I still – at times – miss the diversity that was part of my old single life. Variety being the spice of life and all that. Long term relationships aren’t full of variety. Which has its pros and cons.

In terms of AA and goodbye vino, I got an AA sponsor as is the no 1 suggestion. For those of you not au fait with the workings of AA…..this is someone in the fellowship who has more sobriety under their belt than you. Like a sober guide. They help you and guide you through the steps. Well, if there is a Hitler in AA, she would be it and I managed to find her.

The minimum requirement of me was four AA meetings a week. Any other meetings or therapy did not count. Prayer and meditation and readings of the Big Book every morning and written step work in the evenings.

I did bleat at every sponsor meeting that it was impossible for me to fulfill the meeting requirements. That I had a relationship to attend to as well as being an often single mom. The answer was that everyone including Porra and Teenie should put my soberness first. I already had long standing commitments to two other meeting/therapy a week so add that on the AA deal and I would be out 6 times a week. A really really impossible feat for me.

As I left our sponsor meeting, I would be reminded to “email me your meeting schedule”. That – to me – wiped out anything I had been saying. I was not being heard.

I felt a failure before I’d even got out the door. I could feel tears in my eyes often at sponsor meetings. I got up to about 40 days sober and attended a birthday celebration. I had one glass of wine. I came clean with my sponsor who suggested I start back at day 1 again. Of course I understand this, but I felt so deflated and not good enough.

The people that can attend many meetings seem to be revered by AA Hitler. I would probably be living a clean and completely sober life if I could get to daily meetings, but I can’t. I have other responsibilities.

I bailed on AA. I know self will alone does not stop someone drinking. Hells bells I’ve tried that. I do attend open meetings when I can when Porra is in town. These are meetings for any interested parties and not just the alcoholic themselves.

With Porra away, I have Teenie 24/7 and cannot get to any meetings. Teenie is also very up my ass and in the middle of end of year exams. To say I am claustrophobic and have cabin fever is the understatement of the decade. She’s a teenager who sneers hatred to me one minute and is up my ass, because of her own fears and insecurities, the next. I’ve barely got over having over critical parents and now I belong to an over critical teenager !!!

She sleeps in my bed when Porra is away, she refuses to let me get a babysitter to I can go to a meeting……she even wanted to come into the doctor’s rooms today when I went to see my GP !

<As we speak, she has just called me from downstairs where she is studying to check I am here!>

I admit last night I escaped to my neighbours house and had three glasses of wine. We stay in a townhouse complex. So if Teenie needed me it was a simple matter of opening the door and knocking on the next door.

I came back home an hour later and got a whole guilt trip on why I had been so long with the granny next door (because there was wine probably!).

My phone had 4 missed calls from Porra and a message from my sponsor who I haven’t seen for weeks after I told her I wanted to leave it for a while as I was getting too resentful.

From the amount of people trying to track me down, you’d swear I’d been at a crack house in Woodstock and not three metres away at a 78 year old’s flat !

I beat myself up emotionally all day for being so weak willed and drinking that wine. I never sleep well when I’ve had some wine so I am usually delicate from lack of sleep. A 3am wake up is par for usual after vino. Add into this a fidgety Teenie in my bed and it is chaos.

I’ve tried to speak to people about how I feel. My “normal” friends don’t think I am alcoholic, AA people seem to say that if you even ask “am I an alcoholic ?” that you probably are (a little like gay men saying every man could be gay)…..

If I say I don’t think I am an alcoholic, then the answer would be I am in denial.

If I say I can’t stay off the juice because I can’t get to meetings, I have been reminded that Bill and Bob (the pioneers of AA) did it without meetings and just working the steps.

So my soberness status is probably pro-rata in relation to the number of meetings I can get to. I am not completely 100% sober, butI am not out-of-control. I probably drink a lot less than Average Joanne. Two – five glasses a week depending on whether I drink one evenings or two.

AA has helped me lessen my drinking.

The thing is AA is not about lessening your alcohol intake, it’s about abstaining 100%. That is where the difficultness factor is upped. But then I also think that if I had to give up chocolate or coffee or any other manner of things, it would also be difficult.

Is that not why there is Lent ?

I’ve never managed to give up coffee for even a week.

I have been trying different things to “find myself”, but that’s for another time.