Approaching six months

I’m still doing ok here as I approach the six months mark although I had the most intense craving I’ve had for a while pop up last week after a stressful visit to the vet. My usually mellow cat turns into a yowling four-legged freak-out on vet day so it’s hard work. While we were in the waiting room a tiny, cute puppy went in to have a microchip fitted and its screeching yelps of pain could probably have been heard from the car park. The poor thing was shaking like a leaf when it came out. Distressed animals stress me out too. In the car on the way home I said to my partner, ‘I could really handle a glass (bottle) of wine right now.’ He looked shocked and told me not to say that. I wasn’t going to do it, I knew that, but it’s obviously still an association I haven’t broken.

I’ve been thinking a lot about work matters recently. I’m still experimenting with my commercially-aimed illustration work but I’m beginning to suspect that making a success of that still won’t provide enough meaning, purpose and fulfilment in the long term. Earning an income that way would of course be an improvement on my current job. I could work from home, do fun, creative stuff, not commute, not have to be polite to customers who are being assholes etc. It’s still a goal but I also have some other ideas about what that could be combined with in the future…

I’ve been considering training as a counsellor for a while now. I keep looking at the courses, pondering and then filing it away in the back of my mind. It’s a long process which would take a few years and a few thousand pounds but I’m fortunate that I could afford to pay for it slowly over that time. It’s general counsellor training but there would be an option to specialise in addiction counselling later on. Maybe if that were combined with qualifications in mindfulness-based stress reduction, CBT and other such things I could become somebody who helps people to find their way out of addiction? It’s an exciting thought, scary too. I can see meaning and purpose down that route but I don’t know if I’m the right person to be doing it.

A few weeks ago I wrote that poem called ‘Why not today?’ Maybe it’s time to stop putting this on the back burner? I’m going to fill in the college application form this week and get the process started. The course doesn’t start until January 2018 when I will hopefully be hitting one year sober. I love the thought of studying again too. I loved my student days the first time round and I loved the atmosphere back when I did some tertiary college lecturing too. Yayy!! It’s exciting πŸ™‚

I worked last night so now I’m nicely tired and ready for bed soon. Sober hugs and strength to all πŸ™‚ x


37 thoughts on “Approaching six months

  1. saoirsek July 19, 2017 / 10:14 am

    All that good stuff WILL come. Well done on your sober time. There’s a great book called emotional sobriety that saved my bacon in the early days. For me, it was definitely emotional stuff I drank on. And the creativity that comes with sobriety is amazing, S x

    Liked by 5 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 19, 2017 / 6:13 pm

      Hi! Thank you for the book recommendation, it sounds like the sort of thing I would benefit from reading. I had a look on amazon but a few books with that title appeared – is it the one that’s published by AA that you’re thinking of? Thanks! x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. S_MW July 19, 2017 / 11:37 am

    I think you and I were separated at birth, haha. X Seriously though, I am so happy for you in those decisions and I talk from experience. I’m proud of how well you’re doing. X

    Liked by 4 people

      • S_MW July 19, 2017 / 6:19 pm

        Lots of times. 15 years ago was the first time (because a nurse I worked with suggested it) and more recently I’ve just felt so involved with the family support group and with someone who’s going through domestic violence issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      • S_MW July 19, 2017 / 8:34 pm

        I’m not sure. Can’t afford to think about it right now. I’ll be really interested to see how you get on though. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • tiredoftreadingwater July 20, 2017 / 8:04 pm

        Maybe the right time will appear later then. It’s the kind of thing we could do into old age – probably a good thing seeing as retirement age has just gone up to 68 here!


  3. storminanewcup July 19, 2017 / 11:58 am

    That sounds really exciting. Congratulations on almost six months – that is amazing! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. freefallingintoasoberlife July 19, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    Whenever I’m trying to make a big life decision I always try to project myself to the future and see how I’ll feel if I never went for it- eill I regret it? It sounds exciting and of course it’s scary- scary exciting! That can be a good thing!
    Good for you and the coming 6 month mark!

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 19, 2017 / 6:18 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Projecting forwards sounds like a great idea. I definitely don’t want to feel like I should have tried things but didn’t when I get older. I’ve spent way too long in a numb slumber, even if a plan fails it’s still got to be better than that!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ainsobriety July 19, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    6 months is great.
    Places like the vet or the doctor are stressful. Wanting a drink to chase away that distress is Normal. And you noticed it and didn’t act on it. That’s exactly what we should do.
    No use pretending a drink doesn’t sound like a good idea. But we know that there are alternative that are so much more productive and less destructive!

    I often consider becoming a counsellor as well, but I am somewhat afraid of how much pressure it is. It can’t be an easy job….but if you are called to do it that’s awesome.

    Have a great day!

    Liked by 4 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 19, 2017 / 6:23 pm

      Thanks Anne πŸ™‚ x

      There’s a huge range of possible options within counselling, many not relating to addictions, and I’m probably not the kind of person who would be best with a stressful, intense version of it. It’s still a vague picture but I’m imagining a trained version of the person I could have done with talking to 20 years ago if that makes sense. The inital course is not a huge commitment in time or money so it will hopefully give me a clearer idea of whether it’s an appropriate option.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. mikeykjr July 19, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    Many of us who think working in chemical dependency or the human services field would be beneficial because of our own experiences as an addict. I recommend REALLY, REALLY thinking hard about the decision and talking to those who work in the field. From my own experience, I worked at a detox center for five years. On occasion, I filled in to work as a counselor. The field of chemical dependency can be extremely challenging for someone who is an addict. Remember that we are taking care of our own lives but then add the lives of others – it’s not easy. It’s not as easy as you think to separate yourself from your work. Many nights I worried about one or the other hoping they may make the right decision. But as long as you keep a mentality of “I can’t help everyone. Even if it’s just ONE, I’m good.” You can only TRY. There were more setbacks than successes, however, it was those who succeeded who kept me going. I just got tired of the “revolving door” syndrome – people coming in and out for years. That was the worst part. The other day I read an obit of someone I had known for years; a client had died from an overdose after years of battling addiction and years of sobriety. I seriously cried. Finally, we as addicts have the greatest chance of relapse (83%) if working in the chemical dependency field (Quote from a chemical dependency professor). I know five of those who helped me in my early sobriety relapsed, so I trust the statistic is high. It just a suggestion since you’re investing a lot of money and time πŸ™‚ I hope that helps and I wish you the best of success!!

    Liked by 5 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 19, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      That is very interesting, thank you for taking the time to write such good feedback, I really appreciate it. There is a lot for me to think about. I’ve had the experience of teaching people that didn’t want to learn which was shit. I can’t imagine how much harder that would be in a counselling context. Your experiences sound pretty intense and they are some scary statistics. There’s a lot of scope within general counselling that doesn’t go near addiction and the initial course is an introduction that will give me a better idea of whether to follow it up, without making a massive time/money commitment. Thanks again for the feedback πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. postcardsfromrecovery July 20, 2017 / 12:51 am

    So many awesome things in this post.

    I’m so glad you didn’t act on your cravings. And I’m sad for that puppy. Not having any pets (asthma and allergies) I didn’t know that the process of micro chipping was painful. Poor little thing.

    You will make a brilliant counselor!


    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 20, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      Thank you Penelope! πŸ™‚

      I was told that microchipping is basically injecting something the size of a grain of rice. Can you imagine the size of the needle?! Fortunately our cat had hers done when she was under anaesthetic when she was spayed so didn’t know about it.

      I am slightly allergic to my cat I think, which I didn’t find out until after we got her, oops. She’s worth a few sneezes though, she’s a cutie πŸ˜€ x


  8. Elizabeth July 20, 2017 / 11:11 am

    These are exciting times for you- oh the possibilities! We think the world will close in on us if we stop drinking but the opposite happens- it opens wide. Congratulations on your 6 month mark. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 20, 2017 / 8:18 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth, it’s actually still a week away but close enough eh? πŸ™‚

      It’s true that life does open up but it’s not always easy to stick my foot in the door and kick it wide open; I still have my days of lethargy and demotivation but the overall theme of life seems to be looking up.

      Exciting times for you too, each and every sober day is a chance to push open the door a little farther and let in some more light. I hope you’re having a good end to the week.

      Hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elizabeth July 20, 2017 / 11:44 pm

        Close enough but I’ll be here to wish you well on your official 6 months. Hugs right back.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hurrahforcoffee July 20, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    This is very exciting! I think you would make a brilliant counsellor, you are very calm and personable and you will have first-hand experience with addiction which I think should be a prerequisite. xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  10. soberisland July 20, 2017 / 6:59 pm

    I think you would make a great counselor. I was a social worker for adults with severe mental illnesses and it was rough but also very rewarding to be a part of their lives. I didn’t know Jack shit about addiction and recovery back then- well I did, it was more of a “Do as I say not as I do” kind of environment. But, as staff we drank hard and it always bothered me. My old boss called me a few weeks ago and was drunk and wanted to know how to pass a drug test so he could get a new job helping folks with severe addiction problems. I was dying because he couldn’t see the irony for what he was asking. He blew it off because his 12 pack of beer and several bong hits a night were “nothing” like the opioid abuse victims he was going to work with …. which is a hideous monster but still- I think the best results come from people that know what it’s like to get and stay sober. My old boss was very good with people and could get them going down the right path but I wonder how much better it/ he would be if his coping skills weren’t tied to his own addiction.
    I had a meltdown when I found out that my therapist drank and she kept telling me to stop…. to try sobriety and to go to meetings.
    I guess what I am trying to say is, the addiction/therapy world needs more people on this side of the fence… and go for it. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 20, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely feedback and encouragement πŸ™‚ x

      That’s a pretty scary story about your old boss. That many beers and bongs I don’t think I could even hold down my current crappy job never mind something with that kind of responsibility. Why did you stop being a social worker? I’m always curious about other people who ditch a career too.

      I can see why you found it stressful to be taking advice from your therapist in that context. Did you suspect that was the case before you found out? I can imagine the advice not somehow ringing true or feeling coherent from somebody not following it too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • soberisland July 21, 2017 / 4:12 pm

        I worked there for 7 years, I have a degree in English literature so everything I learned about social work I learned on the job. The last year I worked there I stopped going out with my coworkers for drinks and it seemed that they were perpetually hungover and calling out or late. My coworker quit because she hadn’t done paperwork for almost 9 months and knew if anyone checked she would be fired- so she quit while she still could save face. However, she was stealing people’s pills which I suspected but could never catch her doing it- she later told me while she was drunk that she had done this. Needless to say it was a shit show. My boss (a different one than the one I mentioned earlier) had four DUI’ s and was going through a shit time too. I was doing her job as well as mine and it was a bunch of bullshit. One night she called, around 11 pm drunk as hell and told me she was going to quit and go work for another agency. I said, “great, I want your job, I am already doing it” WRONG thing to say. Two weeks later she fired me. I guess she didn’t get the other job. I won all of the unemployment benefits because the department of labor said they had no proof of wrong doing on my part. One of the absolute worst times in my life but because I don’t have social work degrees it was hard finding a job elsewhere in the field so I moved on, I have thought about going back to it… getting the proper educational certification.
        As for the therapist, I had been seeing her for a few months and finally asked how long she had been sober because she was pushing sobriety so long and she said, “oh, I drink just not like you.” I still kept seeing her but it was a long time before we discussed drinking again. However, to be fair my weight was super low and that was the focus rather than the drinking for our sessions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tiredoftreadingwater July 22, 2017 / 5:13 pm

        Wow that does sound like total chaos. It makes me think of an adapted version of the saying ‘Who watches the watchers?’ – ‘Who helps the helpers?!’, it sounds like many of them need it. At least if you’ve got that much experience studying would be easier if you decide to do it πŸ™‚


      • soberisland July 23, 2017 / 2:23 am

        The inmates were totally running the asylum… It wasn’t all bad

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Untipsyteacher July 20, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Dear TOTW,
    I am excited you are looking into new ways of being creative and helpful in your life!
    That is awesome!
    When I tell my hubs if I have a thought, it still is hard for him.
    I know he just is worried for me, and even though he knows I won’t drink, it’s still scary for him to hear that.
    I hope your cat is calmer now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 20, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Thanks Wendy πŸ™‚

      I guess it is hard for our loved ones when they see us wavering. I think it’s only natural that they remember the bad times and worry.

      The cat is back to her spoilt, pampered and carefree routine again xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Paul S July 20, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    I love that these things are opening up for you! It took me a few years to get the creative juices and other things going for me, in terms of wanting to do things – old hobbies and new endeavours. This is a wonderful sign of healing. It’s like when you’re physically sick, you aren’t hungry. But when you feel better, your appetite comes back. That is what is happening at another level. Fantastic!

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater July 20, 2017 / 11:22 pm

      Thank you Paul πŸ™‚

      That’s a great way of looking at it, I hadn’t thought of it like that. It is a form of healing. It’s long overdue, I’m making up for lost (drunken) time now I guess πŸ˜€

      Liked by 3 people

  13. nomore41017 July 31, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    OMG! I love this! I am so incredibly excited for you and the fact that you filled out the application. The simple act of doing that is a big step and one that I feel is a catalyst to great things. I also like that you’re thinking about being an addictions counselor. I feel that’s a big step, but maybe it will ultimately be what you are craving in terms of fulfillment?
    I’m excited to see what you end up doing and am proud of your 6 months of sobriety! Go you!

    Liked by 1 person

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