Delightful and Terrifying

Someone did say that level 3 of the counselling studies is a big step up from level 2 and they were right. The first session was to go through what’s ahead and I’m under no illusion that this will require a lot of elbow grease, but as much as my Inner Asshole Critic wants to be cruel, I’m really energised by it and eager to get stuck in. The new tutor is wonderful and the group is at first glance really great, so I feel safe in what appears to be very good company. No side conversations or whispers, just straight up LET’S GO and nail this thing together. I loved it.

Each week we do learning statements that are around our own process. The first one is a creative task – art, a collage or a poem. I’ve tried to write a poem, which I suck at, but I’m not artistic whatsoever. I don’t know if I have the cojones to actually hand it in, so my back-up will be to find images to illustrate a fierce storm and place a little ray of sunshine somewhere inside it.

767 days sober, or rather, 769 days sober and 767 days since I made the decision to stop drinking for REAL – as I’ve mentioned before, it’s the decision I celebrate but I guess I talk about it as days sober. Not that it hugely matters, it’s celebrating the same thing really, without any need to get too technical or pedantic. I feel good but also restless. I’ve not worked in a while and feel a little at sea. Not being busy isn’t such a great thing for Anna, I get lazier the less I have to do and that’s never a good look. Some things may be appearing on the horizon and I suppose I just have to trust in life’s plan for me. The right thing will appear when it is time and I am ready. I bloody hope it’s soon though because I don’t particularly enjoy feeling rudderless in this way. Probably good for me in some ways but come on, let’s get on with it now.

The recovery bonus I’ve thought the most about over the past few days and weeks is how the friendships I develop these days are so real. Perhaps it’s the absence of the low moods, anxiety and paranoia that alcohol always engulfed me in? I give of myself freely and enjoy being vulnerable, discovering that the people who turn into friends seem to like me just like Mark Darcy likes Bridget – just the way I am. As a result, and I guess this is something that encompasses my whole life in sobriety, I feel so at peace. That overwhelming feeling I always used to have of being disliked, even hated, doesn’t seem to be there anymore. It’s not as if I go around suddenly feeling super loveable or anything like that, but I guess I feel secure. The idea of being disliked doesn’t bother me anymore and when someone likes me I accept it to be true. My insecurities still exist and being Anna has never, and perhaps never will be, an entirely smooth ride, but sober I’m lightyears away from how things were. I feel more solid. Calm. Peaceful.

I don’t know if I was going anywhere with that. Maybe not. Or perhaps that was just it and doesn’t need further examination. Sober = GOOD.

Quiet weekend ahead. My bonus sons are coming over, one today and the other tomorrow, and we’re all heading for Sunday lunch at the pub where Bambino is washing dishes every Sunday. Bambino loves his step/bonus-brothers and smiled as I teased him we’ll be lording it up eating and gloating at him being stuck in the kitchen. Bambino is as usual the teenager I always expected I’d have – delightful and terrifying in equal measures. Bar for the occasional hick-up and getting in trouble, he’s stepped up with the school work and seems a lot more focused and sensible these days. Long may it last!

Gosh, I really don’t have much to say this morning except life continues to happen in the gentle rollers I’ve come to love so much. No crazy peaks or devastating lows, just contentedness and peace with the occasional mild shit storm I can handle. I like it here.

Today I’m not going to drink.


An unusual stillness inside

Yet in the moment fear still takes hold,

A fragile heart beating wild

Yet held together and shielded from cold.

Defying an instinct to run

Keeping sight of once impossible dreams,

Kind eyes and words that startle

No more falling apart at the seams.

Doubts mount at hurdles

An inner voice still mocking and cruel,

Then that tiny ray of hope

Surprisingly steadfast in frightening duel.

Is my place right here

Amongst those so much better than I,

Then that tiny ray whispers

Spread your wings you might find you can fly.

Legs that suddenly carry

And a mind alert and clear,

Strength from somewhere within

Unexpected but now always near.

Cautious joy and courage

In that fragile heart suddenly spring,

Once so lost and alone

A soul that now dares to sing.


13 thoughts on “Delightful and Terrifying

  1. I’m at work just now but I’m sure I’ve taken a photograph that you could use to illustrate your task…if you wanted? (I’m a creative). I’ll have a look once I’m home x

    What you said about sober friendships really struck home with me. Ok, so it wasn’t alcohol but I was clinically depressed for the best part of 14 years and lost a number of friends into the bargain. I was a shit friend during that time, but I didn’t want to be. It was just such HARD work going out and pretending to everyone that I was happy when I wasn’t. It was the loneliest I’ve ever been. So when I read about how it felt for you, my heart just flipped. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes please!! That would be amazing!

      Shit friend sums up how I was and EXACTLY in the way you describe- always wanting to but couldn’t deliver, always cancelling (often at the last minute as I’d promise because I hoped each time I’d be able to etc).



      1. I think your poem is beautiful and no work needed. It’s from your heart and after reading your entire blog it fits you perfectly.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. that is so motivating..ty…i am half way to that and sort of in between with friendships. I no longer have the ultra fake ones, but i am also moving away from necessary ones as well. Trying to find a balance though as i really worry that for a year now, i have basically only had my roommate and daughter , plus blogging as an outlet- afraid to let anyone totally derail me. So, i will continue on, re assessing as i go and figure it out. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed reading this post. I love your honesty and can identify with a lot of what you say. I am definitely moving towards the ‘not feeling bothered if people don’t like me’ stage. Not fully there but goodness it is a relief when that need for everyone to love you fades away. The contentment, calm and quiet is also an absolute blessing. Why I ever associated that with boredom I don’t know.

    I think it’s brilliant you are taking level 3. Pushing ourselves beyond the boundaries is so important as long as we do it with awareness and support. I have a feeling you won’t be rudderless for long.
    Claire xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe everyone is creative… everyone. The difference is often that it was encouraged more in some, and not as much in others. But regardless of what your case was, anyone can see you are phenomenally creative. You have one of the most engaging sobriety blogs on WP, hello??? ❤️ That poem is just beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I read a lot of poetry. To me the best poetry is from the heart, whispering a secret that grows to a quiet roar. You’ve done that here and more.

    Liked by 1 person

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