Yesterday felt like a hangover day. I was hungover with exhaustion – not just from the Darkness into Light walk, but from the previous two intense weeks of work – more really, if I include the correcting work I did in the days before I returned to school. I was thinking last week that by the 5th of May things would seem less pressureful and intense, but that was partly due to the fact that I thought I’d have all the marathon application stuff sorted by then. I don’t.

They extended the deadline to next Friday and I’m still waiting on one final student to give me her application form, or we can’t go forward. Well, her team can’t go forward, and that would be a tragedy. I also appear to have lost all the team forms. Doh! Not a big deal as it transpires because I can fill them all out myself from scratch now that I know who’s on which teams.

But I digress! This one thing alone has felt like a huge weight of responsibility that I’ve been carrying since Christmas. The application will be sorted this week, but the organisation of the actual day will still be hanging over my head. I’ve also got a lot of pressure regarding exam year groups, extra computer classes, and the Summer Exams approaching quickly.

I feel unfit from the three weeks of not running. I feel fat and like clothes are difficult on me. My skin appears to be breaking out in some kinds of boils! (okay, just deep spots, but still) and I’ve no idea where that’s coming from. Wasn’t so much of this meant to get automagically better once I stopped drinking? Amn’t I supposed to be floating on a fucking pink cloud at this point? I want my pink cloud! I want to be deliriously happy, but calmly reminding myself that this isn’t “it” and there will be lows to come. I don’t want to be still trudging through the muck of life, exhaustion, bad skin and bad sleep, and not even have alcohol to blame for it all.

If this hasn’t worked to make things better, will anything?

As you can see, I’m a bit in a worry-negative space. I am not consciously counting each day as it comes, but this morning I did count up my posts back to the day of Carneval in order to figure out how long it had been. This is day 27 – so that’s effectively four weeks. Doesn’t that seem like a decently long enough dry period to be seeing some results at this point.

Of course, this is part of the trick of alcohol – to lead you into believing that it wasn’t so bad. That the hard times in your life would be made much better if it was around to smooth off the edges. That the low energy and physical effects of it weren’t actually that bad – certainly no worse than just a tired day, right? It’s all a bit of a mash up of Footprints in the Sand and Devil in the Desert in my head right now. I have to remember that right now, I am being carried by the good decisions I’ve already made. I am probably going through a particularly low period. But alcohol wouldn’t make that better, it would just bring it down to an even more terrible low. It wouldn’t “help me cope” – as it devilishly tempts – it would actually remove that ability, make me forget my obligations, and steal time from me.

You might think from the above paragraph that I’m white knuckling here; clinging on and repeating a mantra of “I will not drink” in the face of great temptation. The truth is, I’m not currently feeling tempted to drink. I’m just pissed off that not drinking isn’t giving me anything more than just that, right now. Honestly, I do think that things will get better. I believe that I’m in the process of repairing some physical and mental damage years of drinking inflicted on me, and that it will take time. I guess my faith may be rattled if I reach the 100 day mark and I’m not starting to see some changes by then. But for right now, I know what my next steps are:

  • Keep writing
  • Try to stay aware around food
  • Get back exercising
  • Check in with some mindfulness
  • Draw /Paint
  • Get Enough Sleep
  • Try to do your best

And when I look at that list, I realise there’s a lot of self-care that I haven’t  been engaging in recently. Drinking /Not Drinking is only one block in a vast array of things that impact my life and emotions.

Also, things may feel a little brighter on the other side of my menstrual cycle. Stupid PMT.

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