I have not written for a few days this week as there have been a few things going on and I wasn’t sure how to write about it or whether I should in fact write about it at all, or whether I even want too in fact..In all fairness I thought I would just write a post and see what happens.
The start of this week had a great ‘up’. A little while after starting my blog I was emailed by an old friend, someone I spent a lot of my childhood with and with whom I have great memories of (those memories I do have that is, I have completely shocking long-term memory!). We have not seen each other for years, as after school life has unfortunately taken us in completely different directions and places. We exchanged numbers as we chatted online and said we would catch up soon. I was therefore very pleased when I received a text to tell me that they were in Bristol and had a spare hour or so where we could get together. So on Tuesday we went to her mum and dads and I met her children and caught up on the years and years we have missed (well OK the highlights!). It was super to see her mum and dad again and they reminded me how when I was younger her dad used to call me Albert (its memories like those I struggle with and I wish I did not need to be reminded of to remember – the majority of my childhood is wiped out I think). It was fantastic to see them and the children all got on lovely playing. We talked about a new exciting adventure they are having as a family, packing up and going to live on a remote island in only a few weeks time for a couple of years. It is going to be so different for them, so interesting and so exciting and I am proud of her for making the decision to take the risk and see what happens, to give her family this massive massive opportunity to learn and experience life other than what we see in our tiny part of the world. So if you are reading (which I know you sometimes do – GOOD LUCK!!! and Skype!!) She is an inspiration that if you work hard, go for what you want and be prepared to take risks your life can be completely different to ‘the norm’!.
Next came the Doctors visit, I have been planning to visit the doctors for a little while due to some issues with PCOS I have been having but I also wanted to talk about some of the other things I have been feeling since giving up drinking. Luckily for me the doctor I saw was a doctor I was under for a month or so last year when I was poorly and anxious and very emotional (around the time Dad was diagnosed). We discussed my PCOS and I explained I had given up drinking for 51 days, he was of course intrigued to know why I knew the exact number of days. So I explained this whole thing. He asked me how much I would drink, and unlike the time I went to the doctors before to discuss my drinking (couple years back) I was honest, I told him everything, how much I would drink on a bad week, a good week, how often I tried to cut down and how long drink has been a major factor in my life. He confirmed what I already know (and have known for a long time) that although I am not getting up in the morning and having a drink and am not drinking at a level of an alcoholic the level of my drinking and the units I will consume during a week is way too high and dangerous for my body. (you only need to use a drink calculator to see this, and I have done this on many occasions then just not read the consequences which could happen at those levels – its worth a look and the consequences and risks to the body are worth are read too now I have finally read them – Long term memory being affected for one).
He explained that although my body is not dependent on alcohol to function (I don’t get withdrawal symptoms, I am not shaking every morning needing to find a drink to stop them) my body is now having to get used to not having alcohol in it at all, it is now not a constant being added to my system and that is why I may be feeling a bit off and experiencing symptoms of being edgy and bit sick some days. He said I have basically self medicated by cutting out alcohol completely after drinking most weeks since I was 16 (give or take a year or so). He has arranged for full blood tests to check everything out and ensure everything is working and there is not any other reason for me feeling ill. It was good to finally be honest about the amount of wine I could consume instead of playing it down. Like the Doctor said you cannot do anything about any harm already done but stopping now is the best step in the right direction.
Anyway…I think I am rambling on so not to have to write the next part of the week. On Wednesday my uncle, who I have mentioned in this blog before, tried to commit suicide…his attempt almost worked but he was found by a carer and taken to hospital where a ventilator was used for a time and then he started to breath on his own. There is a lot to this story, a lot I can’t share as it is family and personal. But I can say my uncle used to be an alcoholic and doesn’t have any family apart from his immediate family such as my grandparents and his siblings (my Dad being one). I feel very very sad that someone could be at that point that they could sit on their own and attempt this but I can also see why he did it, why this decision was his way out. (He has terminal cancer and is suffering a great deal). He does not want help and he has from what I know now discharged himself from hospital yesterday. I feel for my Grandparents, my Grandad who also is also very poorly and is terminal himself, in having to deal with this at this stage of their lives. I do not know what is going to happen, we just have to wait and see I suppose. But one thing I do know is that I will be attending at least one funeral very very soon.
To bring this back (sorry) to be relevant to my blog, this sort of situation normally sends me to the pub or shop. I normally deal with the bleakness and sadness of a situation by drinking, lowering the feelings of helplessness and sadness and helping to forget what is/has happened. This has not been the case, this week, I have not run to get a bottle of wine (I wanted to a few times) I just tried to stop myself over thinking everything, to realise that each day I have something to enjoy and get on with and just because there is something desperately sad going on we can’t sit around dwelling on it.
I was talking to my mum about my uncle and dad the other day and I realised what a great amount of crap stuff she has had to deal with over the last year, since Dad was diagnosed (and many years previous with other things). They don’t tell us a lot she keeps it in so they do not worry or upset us which is frustrating but I understand. During the conversation she explained that my Dad had been for some more scans just this week I am not going to go into my Dad and results and these things that is our private business but it got me thinking about how every day my Mum gets up and gets on with it and supports my dad and me and my brother in all our problems (and I can assure you we have had many over the years) and she doesn’t moan at us or tell us to stop being a pain. My mum out of everyone should have the drink issues but she doesn’t, she is an inspiration and if I can stop drinking wine if only to make her stop worrying that I could be following in the family way, that would be worth it more than any other reason I have given myself.
Another ‘up of the week before I sign off. Lilbit is very interested in who is who in the family and last Sunday we dropped off my Nan (her Nanna) at I explained that my Grandad was my mum’s Dad and Lilbit asked me if he had died which I said he had. She asked me if he had been a nice person and I said he had indeed. She asked if I had a picture of him and I said I did and would show her at home. At bedtime I showed Lilbit a picture of my Grandad holding me as a baby, she told me he looked kind (he was probably the kindest man I have ever known). She then said Mum did you go to his interview, I was like what, what do you mean, she said, you know mum his interview, his interview for heaven! I said do you mean a funeral and she said I think so, you go to a place and give flowers and there is an interview for heaven! I love listening to her ideas of what happens in life, they are so much better than what the reality is sometimes.
I saw a picture the other day which I thought was quite poignant it said
“It is said you only live once – you don’t, you only die once, you live everyday!”
I like this. Its very true.