Last night before I sat down to write my journal entry for the day, I had a read of my journal from last year, the very days that covered this weekend a year ago, purely to see how I was feeling and where I was with things at that time, I found what I had written was interesting to say the least, again I seemed to be incredibly motivated to move forward despite still struggling with a number of issues.
Saturday 24th March 2012 (Day 6)
“The now usual start to the day, up with the alarm, listen to Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North. Breakfast, coffee, shower, shave and off to work. Quick morning at work today, pretty steady really for a Saturday, away just after twelve and then off to town. First to Boyes, more new underwear, then to Burtons, two pairs of trousers and a new belt, £50 well spent, this feels good, never understood “Retail Therapy” before, but it does feel good to have something new in my life at a time when I’m troubled by my past!!! Now for some new shoes from Clarks, another £45, that’s £110 spent so far, what else, Oh new sock while I’m at it, Sports World it is and another £12 spent, I haven’t spent that much on myself in ages, unless you count the alcohol, but I guess I never did. Karate this afternoon, off I go.
Not a bad class today, went okay, but the day was soon to be shattered. Alex joined Craig and myself at the pub, I promised I’m only going to have three pints, then that’s it, home! As we talked I decided it was time to open up, I told them everything, my relationship, but mostly about me, my demon, THE DRINK, the strange thing was the more I tried to tell them how bad I was, the more I admitted to myself how bad it really was, hiding bottles of wine by the side of the settee, under my covers, then deposing of the bottles the next day, waking up in the morning finishing a can or bottles, then getting up and going to work, no one noticed, only I knew, but I hid it all the same, I had hid it from myself, too ashamed to admit, I had myself convinced I needed it to survive, I was that low, even the two people who knew me most, besides Victoria, had no idea where I was, how far I had sunk, they knew I drunk a fair amount, but they never knew how much control it had over me, I hid it all so well, those walls, glass as they were, stood pretty well for a time, but now, now they’re coming down, so I can see the light.
I had a few tears in the pub, a few tears on the way home and when I got home, the shame of what I was had dawned, I didn’t just put a show on to hide this from others, I managed to hide it from myself, but I’ve got to live with that now, I’ve got to use this to make me a stronger person, to take back my life, to be in control, to move on to where ever this new journey takes me, after all I’ve got plans for tomorrow, the first big steps to breaking the chains holding me to that settee!”
Sunday 25th March 2012 (Day 7)
“Who ever come up with the idea of daylight saving time, wants shooting, I’m awake, my watch says it’s 4.30am, my phone, the smart git, says it’s 5.30am, I’m awake with no possibility of getting back to sleep now, the Grand Prix coverage starts at 7.00am, may as well stay awake now, up early still about 7am, breakfast, shower etc, ready for the start of the race and they’re off, oh wait, it’s too wet they’re stopping again. I wanted to see the race before I go into town, oh well. I texted Gareth to tell him how my week had been, the highs and lows and praying, let him know I won’t be there this week, things to do to move on, maybe next week. With the race delayed I decided to go into town and get back before the race finished, I walk fast anyway, but now with my head up, with this new determination I seem to walk even faster.
Wilko’s this time,
1 x Large Plastic Box
3 x Pillow
3 x Pillow Case
1 x Notepad, this journal, they didn’t have any diaries
1 x Ink cartridge pen (what rubbish that was!)
1 x Permanent Marker
1 x New watch
My watch works fine, but the fabric strap smells of the sweat of who I was, it had to go, as Victoria had brought me the watch, I got the same one, I only wanted rid of the smell, not the present, I hope that makes sense!
The large plastic box was to put in the things that remind me of the slob tied to that settee, the first thing was the pillows, the smell of what I was, the sweat of alcohol has stained them forever, to move they had to go, to the bottom of the box, next every pair of socks and pants that were ripped or torn, I’m not wearing the same things over and over again, I want to be clean and proud of what I am, not dressed in tatty rubbish. Next my tracksuit bottoms and top, the bottoms were worn over and over again, slept in and then I got up and went out in them over and over again, I’m not doing that again, I’m better, I’m stronger than that now, next the watch, as I said it smells of the past, then finally the third of a bottle of wine left on the fridge, laid carefully on top and the lid closed. Then the marker to mark the box, I don’t need these things anymore, the healing has begun, I put the box at the door to the cellar ready to go down there with the rest of the rubbish.
Victoria must have seen the box when she got back, she never asked what it was, I guess I wanted her to, I wanted to tell her what it was doing there, what was in it, but I couldn’t, I’m not sure why not, it just didn’t seem right, later I put the box in the cellar, part of that life is now put away, a bit more to do next week, but a bit at a time, lots of small changes is my plan, next week a new quilt, then I’ll be ready for my bed upstairs, but I can’t go there with the old bedding, everything has to be new, with that old stale smell of sweat and alcohol washed away.
Alex texted me midway through the service, maybe something Gareth said reminded him to check in, I filled him in on my week, said I may see him next week, we’ll see!
Couple of pints and tea at the pub, then home! Sorted a lot out today, some big changes really since I laid my soul bare on Monday night. The funny thins is I’m not sure whether Victoria has noticed, I’ve not told her what was said Monday, where I was and what changes I’ve made this week, especially not about praying or wanting to go to Church. I guess she may have seen the changes, some would be hard to miss, I guess she’s chosen to ignore them, to see them as me trying a quick fix, just to impress her. I know I’ve come a very long way this week, but there is a very long way to go still and I promise this is all for me, to save myself from self destruction, to start to like myself, to feel better about myself, to be a stronger person, strong enough to deal with the future, strong enough not to hide behind a glass bottle, to admit when I need help, not convince myself and others I’m okay, when really I was slowly killing myself, dodgy ticker and all, my doesn’t need all of that extra rubbish to cope with, it’s time to right a lot of wrongs, the first is to get better, to get fit.
THIS IS MY TIME!!!!
So tonight, Sunday 25th March 2012, I’ve started writing this, Gareth said sometimes he has to write things down, it helps to empty a very busy mind, it sure has helped, my mind has been truly busy this past few weeks, trying to make sense of it all, to try to get some clarity, putting it down here, even though my spelling is terrible and my handwriting even worse, it has helped as much as talking to people of the last week!”
THE HEALING HAS BEGUN
THE LIGHT HAS MET THE DARK
I remember that evening when I sat in the pub with Craig and Alex from my karate club, they were my regular drinking buddies, I say that, but Craig didn’t drink anymore, he was never a big drinker and Alex only usually had a couple of pints, I remember it was me that forced him to stay longer every night, to drink with me, I wanted to drink more and more, if someone drank with me it seemed to be more justifiable. I was trying to tell them about the drinking, but they didn’t understand, they were saying that they didn’t see it as a problem, that it was just enjoying a drink, but I found myself getting aggressive with them to make them understand, as well as the aggression I had to dig deep within to discover and admit to myself how bad I was, when I found it deep inside and let it out, all the completely ugly details, they finally began to understand and so did I. I know I told Gareth and Alex (not the same Alex, confusing I know) a lot about my drinking habits and over the course of the week had told many others, but it wasn’t until this night when it all came out, when I finally admitted to myself all the dirty, sordid details of my habit.
That box I have written about in detail here in the post The Forgotten Box, I put my old life in that box that day, to me it was important that I did so, I’m still to this day not sure what gave me the idea to do it, I don’t remember anyone suggesting it, but I made my mind up during the week that this is what I was going to do and actually I’m quite proud of myself for doing it.
Also interesting is my thoughts on Victoria, I must point out at no point then and no point now do I blame Victoria for any of this, she put up with so much, eventually every one has a breaking point, I just kept pushing so hard until I found her’s. I suppose I was still trying to convince myself that I was actually doing this for myself, I am sure I was, I knew I had to, that whatever was to happen between me and Victoria, it would never happen if I continued to be the same person, to stand any chance of a relationship with Victoria or indeed anybody else, I needed to change, at that point I saw myself as washed up and unlovable, I carried so much baggage that who would want a relationship with me and to be honest would I actually want a relationship with someone that did want to be with who I was!
But despite the realisation of my drinking and my regrets over my relationship, I seemed to be very motivated to push on with the new journey I had started, I realised then I was starting a new life, I guess that meeting with Gareth earlier in the week was the starting point, even though I didn’t start praying until a couple of nights later, that was the day I resolved to sort my life out, in making that phone call I guess I knew then that it would have to be a journey with a higher power to sort this mess out, that’s why I back dated my journal to start that day, that day is labelled in my journal as day one of this wonderful journey.
Today is day 371 of that journey, I still count every day together with every SoberDay, today is SoberDay 360, just five days to go until that magical year, I suppose there is a certain irony that the anniversary of that first year of sobriety will be on Good Friday and the anniversary of that first time I walked into the Everyday Champions Church in search of something more would be on Easter Sunday.
I know I’ve used this song before in the post 200 Days Of Freedom, but this song just sums everything up for me, those first lines of the song completely sum up what was happening to me at that time in my life.
Well today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man I saw
He wasn’t at all who I thought he would be
I was lost when you found me here
I was broken beyond repair
Then You came along
And You sang your song over me
(Born Again by Third Day, ft. Lacey Sturm)