Checking in

Wow, it’s been ages since I posted. My poor little blog has been neglected recently. I’m still reading other blogs but not spending much time on my own so I thought it was time to check in here.

I’m still a work in progress. I’m booze-free for a large majority of the time but I have been slipping up from time to time. I seem to have gone into a pattern of 2-3 weeks off and then a slip up. I’m not beating myself up about it and it’s leading to a new and subtle learning process. I’m not trying harder, I’m trying differently.

I’m practicing ongoing mindfulness as much as possible. Through this I’m really noticing the change in the quality of my life experience after each slip. I’m gently watching the physical slump and the mental agitation of a hangover. I’m patiently being aware of the mild but definite anxiety and depression after my increasingly rare drinks. By taking the self-berating out of it and just watching the process without judgement something different seems to be happening.

I’m feeling a growing aversion to drinking that is coming from somewhere deep inside. It feels like a small green shoot that has the potential to grow into something big and strong. It’s growing naturally without any should’s or criticisms or health fears or presentations of logical reasons why it must happen. The dry periods are getting easier and longer and the time between having a drink and then noticing how shit it really is and pushing it away again is getting shorter. This feels like progress of a different kind than I’ve had before using more of a ‘grit my teeth’ approach.

I’ve been making some changes in my general life too. My artwork is still going well and I’m making progress there. I also stumbled on a small kindle book called Miss Minimalist by Francine Jay. It really connected with me on a deep level. It’s all about simple and frugal living and not getting bogged down by the stuff we own, or by the wanting to own.

I could totally relate to the description of feeling suffocated by having too much stuff and being disorganised in general. It sparked a huge de-clutter and so far 3 full car boots have gone off to charity shops and the tip. There’s still more to go but it’s stuff I need to go through more slowly or digitise or sell. Each car load out felt like a weight was being lifted from my shoulders and it put me in the best most upbeat mood I can remember for a long time that didn’t involve some sort of substance use. It felt like that blessed relief you get post-constipation but on a bigger, life level 😀

I’ve also decided to train as a counsellor. It’s something that has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Nothing is going to happen in a hurry. I’ve missed the start dates of the courses in my local college. I don’t think I can start until January next year and after that it looks like about 6 years of part-time study. I’m not a big planner for the future but I know I don’t want to still be stacking shelves in 10 years, never mind the physical wear and tear it brings. A combination of artwork and counselling seems like a realistic way to work into my later life if necessary.

Well, that quick check in turned into quite a long post after all. It’s time for another cup of tea and to download some bubble hour and Buddhism podcasts for my coming 3 nights at work. I hope you all have a lovely weekend filled with as many peaceful, simple and gratitude-filled moments as possible x

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