I’m starting to find that I have less on my mind when I wake up first thing in the morning. But then I do tend to get a jumble of thoughts running through my head throughout the day, and maybe it would help me to write in the evenings instead. I might start to give that a go from this evening; my main worry is that with the various stresses and exhaustions of the day I might end up going without writing at all. Of course, one day missed is not a big deal, but at the moment, I think the consistency is really helping me and I’m wary of changing too much about what’s working.

So, the 5th day passed without much notice. I “noticed” a can of cold Guinness in the fridge at this house. And that was it. It sort of glanced through my mind in a curious fashion that I previously would have craved it. Knowing it existed and was outside of the sealed case that sat on a bench would have gnawed at me and called to me until I drank it just to tidy it up! And then having had one drink, all the other drinking possibilities would have called to me, and now what was the point in stopping – I had already started!

In the old way of things, I imagine that would have opened a gateway for me to continue drinking at least until we returned home, and probably would have had to grab a bottle of wine on our return to recover from the stress of the journey and the travel. And at that point? Well, it’s Easter holidays, correcting and clearing to do, so I might as well have drinks to celebrate /survive.

Anyway. Back to reality – all it got me with was a brief “hmm!” of curiosity. And that feels good. No – it feels better than good, it feels right. Staying present and free from the fog of alcohol feels like the true path for my feet to travel. It was one of the earliest thoughts that occurred to me when I first got my thelema wrist tattoo – and yet it’s taken two years to fully set my feet on that star-path. I do feel they are there now, but I’m nervous.

I’m nervous that I’m going to take things for granted and then a “slip” will creep up behind me and all will come crashing down because I’m not strong enough in the habits of this new person yet. I’m nervous about my tendencies towards “all or nothing” and black-and-white thinking. I’m nervous about making definite statements; shouldn’t I be couching everything in “I thinks” and “I plans” and “I believes”?

But that wishy-washy crap is just something that got shoved into my personality by an emotionally abusive asshat 15 years back. If that brainwashing worked, I can bloody well use my own will to undo it and get back the person hiding somewhere inside here.

Right. So, that’s stuff that’s pretty deep-breath anxiety-inducing nerve-wracking to hit publish on. No names named, but if people I know ever read it, they’ll know who I’m talking about.

Fine. No, seriously, actually fine. Part of the problem with the all too frequent insidious relationship abuses like coercive control is that no-one talks about it. I mean, the people that it happens to don’t talk about it. If you’re in the midst of it, you’re probably too busy defended the asshole doing it to even recognise it’s happening to you. I still find myself saying “Was that really abusive? Is that too harsh of a label? Isn’t it all just flawed people being flawed people?” – and that’s part of the power of emotional abuse. You feel guilty that you let it happen to you – and that’s for the parts you’ll even allow yourself to recognise as being “Maybe a little bit not okay”.

There was a lot in that 5-6 year travesty of a relationship that was not okay. But I was fairly brainwashed into thinking that I just needed to “try harder”. That’s one of the ironic things – you might think it takes a weak woman to end up in an abusive relationship, but sometimes it takes a really really strong one.

Anyway, that was a tangent I hadn’t quite meant to go down this morning. But there it is, inside me. And I do think I need to recognise and think about it if I’m ever going to heal from it. After all, I can’t hide in a bubble of alcohol anymore.