1,709 Days

Life seems to be rushing by at such a speed and with so much happening that I don’t even know where to begin. There used to be such consistency in my blogging, in how each post felt like a natural continuation of what I had last written. Over the past two or three years, it’s been much more sporadic and, sadly, less and less frequently that I come in here to pour out my thoughts. And so when I do feel the urge to write, to share, to ponder, I open the blank template and because it’s been a while I then feel I must somehow include everything that’s happened and it becomes a big task that I then retreat from. There were five drafts sitting here waiting for me. So I deleted them and started a new post. I don’t even know what I’d begun to write in any of them, because of course time has passed and whatever was on my mind probably isn’t on my mind now. At least not as urgent or encompassing as it might have been in the moment.

Well. I’m now a qualified therapist and things are off to a great start. I have clients from my placement who chose to come with me to my private practice, which is nice. With the agency’s blessing of course, I hasten to add! Such is the need that they allow us trainees to take our clients with us, given they have more clients coming in than they are able to place with counsellors. Another handful has come along and I’ve also secured a place with a local service where I’ll be seeing clients face to face, so in all I am in a great place with it. Long may it continue, although that feels wrong to say as of course my livelihood depends on the things that make people suffer emotionally in various ways. I love it, always did. It’s satisfying, fulfilling, enriching and fascinating. And of course it feeds into my yearning to be needed, helpful and supportive. It ticks a lot of boxes, maybe almost all of them.

Bambino has had a rough ride and this summer I experienced what is easily the worst moment of my life, a couple of minutes where I thought the icy grip of panic, terror and despair was going to make my heart stop. I can’t find words to describe the paralysing terror I felt, so I won’t try. Let’s leave it there for the time being. It was rough but things are better now. Bambino has his spark back and when the boy I knew returned along with the sparkle in his big blue eyes, I cried tears of joy, relief and gratitude. I don’t feel right about sharing what’s been going on, it doesn’t feel like it’s my right to tell his story and besides how could I? I can only see it from my perspective so it wouldn’t be the most accurate version anyway. Suffice to say my sun sets and rises with Bambino and his happiness and well being mercilessly determines mine. As it should be, I suppose – such is the curse of parenthood. Your heart wandering around outside your body.

He turns 18 in just over a month. I’m so proud of him and so excited for him – what a brilliant age to be! His turn and time and opportunity to take a step out into the world and discover who he is and what he wants to do with it, the world and his place within it. He has this year of A’levels to go, and then it’s all there for him to make his choices and grasp for his dreams. Music has become his passion (and he ain’t half bad, the little wordsmith and his grime battle raps) and he’s now also talking about university and has mentioned Law. Lofty goals perhaps, but it’s not for me to choose for him. My role is to support, wrap around where needed, and just continue to do what I’ve always done: love him to pieces. Over the past 1,709 days I’ve done a really good job of all those responsibilities as I’ve been present, clear and solid as a rock. I could bury myself in guilt over how I couldn’t fully fulfil those duties during the Drinking Years, but I’m trying to use that as a reminder of where I never want to end up again as opposed to a rod for my own back. I can’t change it. I can only be the best I can be now.

18. An adult. Bambino with the sparkly, big blue eyes and cheeky grin. My little man is no longer little, towering over me and already so much wiser than I’ll ever be. Already so in tune with himself and the world around him. *sigh*

As for life in general, it goes on as it does and should. I said “rushing” above, but that’s not quite right. It’s not necessarily that it’s moving fast, it’s probably more that it’s filled with good things that make it rich and engaging. And yet, that doesn’t mean a busy social calendar or spectacular experiences at every turn – my life is low key in that sense I guess, but it’s a life I love and enjoy. Hubby remains the great big love of my life and I guess our marriage mirrors life in how it fulfils me and there’s nowhere I’d rather be. My happy place.

And I’m 1,709 days sober. Coming up to five years. 5. FIVE. Nope, doesn’t feel real. I remember when I first started this blog and five days felt surreal.

Life isn’t perfect and all days aren’t sunny. But I know how to roll with the punches and whilst I wouldn’t be caught dead dancing in the rain (or anywhere else for that matter) I can handle the downpours.

Life on life’s terms. Yep. So it goes. And I’m good with that.

Today I’m not going to drink.