Tootling Through Europe

This isn’t a new thing at all – I discovered this super early on in recovery – but sometimes it really strikes me how good it feels to be so productive. I mean, even when I’m not busy this is the case. Even when I’m having a comparatively lazy day sober, I find that it’s the sort of day that would have made me feel super accomplished back when I was still drinking. I was thinking about it yesterday and yesterday was a REALLY lazy day. It was bank holiday here in the UK and so we didn’t set any alarm and just got up when we woke up. By 11am I’d made breakfast for Hubby, been for a run in the park and we’d also done a trip to the recycling centre to dispose of Bambino’s old mattress. OK, that’s hardly a morning to advertise at a productivity conference, but for me – a recovering alcoholic – this is a huge contrast to how things used to be. By 11am back then, I’d still be fighting to form coherent thoughts and generally struggle to do anything at all. If I’d showered, that might have constituted an achievement. Sober, everything just feels so fucking GOOD. All the time! Even shitty days sober are better than my best days drunk, and I don’t mean by a little bit – I mean my shittiest days now are better than my wildest dreams back then. It seems ridiculous, but it’s true.

I have a busy few days ahead. An essay is due Friday and I’ve been untrue to form and have actually made a start. Not a flying start (I’m still me and unless a deadline is breathing down my neck with considerable ferocity, I find it hard to do anything at ALL), but I’ve looked at it, I’ve made a few notes on what to cover and I’ve made sure I know where I’m going with it. This is a huge improvement to my customary modus operandi, which has always meant I don’t even know what the damn thing is about until the day before. So by my own (admittedly low) standards, I’m super prepared this time. One step at a time. Stockholm wasn’t built in one day. Also need to submit another assignment, but that one I completed as soon as it was set – I mean, HELLOOOO WHAT’S HAPPENING?! – and that is something I have never done in my life. I did set myself a goal to complete the essay a week before deadline and obviously didn’t, but what I did do is still a massive improvement so I’m taking it as a win.

I don’t really have anything else to report. Lockdown is easing little by little. It does look as though we’ll have to live without heading to Sweden this summer, which makes my heart hurt so much, but it is what it is. I know quite a few people who are heading over despite the guidelines, but I just can’t do it. I just can’t rock up there when the locals are advised not to travel further than two hours away by car and if I lived there I’d be really pissed off if someone rocked up having travelled all the way from London for a holiday. It doesn’t seem right and no matter how much I try to twist the argument to form a “need” or solid reasons for making it “essential” I just can’t. It’s a WANT. And it will have to wait. I’m a stickler for rules and I just can’t break them even when I want to so much there have been several occasions over the last month when I’ve seriously considered getting in the car and tootling through Europe to get to my beloved Falla, the little red house by the foot of the mountain Tosseberg. Honestly, it makes my heart hurt so much. And this will be only the second time in my entire life that I’ve missed out on summer in Sweden, the first being between the first and second year of university – the summer of 1997 – when I was a student, couldn’t afford it and had to stay put in the UK and work instead. Well! There’ll be other summers. We’re in a pandemic and this is how it will probably have to be, unless by July both Sweden and the UK have lifted restrictions and we can go without flouting any rules or guidelines.


Right. I seem to have cooled down enough after this morning’s run to hop in the shower. Yep, I HOP in the shower these days, on steady legs and free from shakes and dizziness. It’s such a miracle I feel evangelical every goddamn time, I swear. Another contrast from the drinking days right there. Gone are the days when I had to crouch and showering was a terrifying ordeal every time. Hoppety-hop-hop!

Today I’m not going to drink.


9 thoughts on “Tootling Through Europe

  1. “I mean my shittiest days now are better than my wildest dreams back then. It seems ridiculous, but it’s true.” SO, so, so, so true!? I still think about it almost all the time, and have to catch myself when I get down and think, oh, I’ve only done this, this, and this today, SO not productive. I step back, look at where I have come from, and even eight years later, I am flooded with gratitude. Thank you for reminding me today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the reminder of what a ‘lazy’ day would consist of when drinking alcohol. Barely getting through that day, just wanting it to be over. Now a ‘lazy’ day is to be enjoyed and cherished. Time stretches out with opportunity. Even if I have a lie in, I’m reading, or catching up on news or planning stuff in my mind. With my brain fogged with booze I was a zombie, wanting to shut the world out. It’s important to remember these things. I needed to focus my mind on the huge benefits of sobriety. Good for you running in the heat. Sorry you might not get to Sweden. We had flights booked to see my family in North Carolina in august. No insurance as I was waiting for medical results first. I’m sad to not go and worried about losing the £4,000 but there’s nothing I can do about it. W’ll see I guess. Xx


  3. My heart goes out to you, Anna, for not being able to get back home this summer. This really sheds light on what is truly important in, friends, and love. Keep hopping my friend🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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