Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Week 32

I guess it's not what it set out to be, you and me, is it?  I've changed, at first not because I wanted to but because I had to.  I was in a really bad place, lost, alone, confused.  I didn't know how to do it anymore, any of it.  Perhaps I should have told you, should have shared, my concerns, my worries, my inner fears, but I couldn't.  I couldn't admit my hopelessness, my failure, my inability to cope.  I couldn't put all that at your door.  I was supposed to be the strong one, the one who did the managing, there for you to lean on, for you to depend on, to be your rock in the storm.  How could I let you down?  I thought we'd been through the rough, the storms, tested our relationship, found our strength together.  What little did I know.
Our marriage started on the back foot, coming home with a honeymoon pregnancy that knocked me out completely, sleeping for hours if not days.  My need for control disabling you, not trusting that you could support, could help.  Parenthood hit us hard, the sleepless nights, the constant feeding.  I had such high expectations of what sort of mother I would be, the father that you would be.  It was never going to be achievable but at what cost.  What followed completely knocked us off our stride.  My parents moving away, your mother having a stroke, buying our first home, my dad's cancer and then, after months of weekly visits, losing your wonderful mum just as our son turned one.  I'm not sure we ever recovered from that.  I tried to do the right things but was always so focused on the goals, the material elements that would measure success.  Maybe with one child we could have bounced back but one was not enough for me so we had another.  And this one was different, the daughter I thought I would never have.  She blew me away.  I had no idea what to do, to be honest I still don't.
We used to solve all our problems over a beer, or two.  Over dinner in the pub, we would come together with a bottle of wine.  Then, with two children, no time nor money for dinners in the pub, we lost our way.  I stopped telling you how it was for me, stopped asking how it was for you.  I made judgments, decisions, imposed solutions to what I thought were our problems, but were only mine.  I took our lives down a very difficult path and then when we got lost, tried to find the way out on my own.  I'm not sure if my drinking got worse, I've never asked you.  It's not as if it was great to start with, we had arguments over it for sure.  You would come and pick me up, probably because you knew I wouldn't make it home left to my own devices.  I would be a mess, if I was there at all.  Like many of my friends, you seemed to accept it, just as I did until the day it changed.  You didn't think I was an alcoholic either.  At first.  And that, I did on my own too.  Going off to meetings, spending time with new people.  Disappearing into an evening, off for a day.  Leaving you alone, again.
There are many who would have left by now, who would have upped sticks and gone to a better place.  Many who would have left while I was still drinking, while I was shouting abuse, while I was belittling you, undermining you.  Maybe you wish you had.  I'm glad you didn't.
But what now?  We are two ships that pass in the night, parenting in parallel.  We share a house but not a home.  We disagree over most things, butting up against each other.  I know that you do not feel you can let go of the past, the times we've spent in counselling have made that clear to me.  It may not be obvious to you but I am trying to be better.   I want to change, to improve, to become a better person, to be someone worth loving.  I need to know if you want that too.  I need to talk to you, to know what you want for your future, for our future.  This time, I want to do the right thing, the loving thing.  But, as I have learnt, I can't do that on my own and it now depends on whether you want to come too.  I'm standing in the ring, no gloves, no fists, I'm waving a white flag, call a truce and see if there's peace to be made.  I wonder what the terms of the agreement will be.
Sent with love.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Week 31

Straight into the exercise this week, was lovely to hear a friend describe my posting gaps as a drought.  Please do prod me if at any time you feel I've been absent too long, nods to Mike and Matt who are doing that already.

Exercise 16.....
Go back to the material you spread across the floor and pick a gap. Write a description of what the weather is doing at the time in a way that might be relevant to the scene.... (Possibly more difficult to do when it's not printed and suggests that she may have been expecting more material than I have, but onward)

This one is quite difficult, I haven't found out what time of year Frankie is having her 'day' in and don't want that decision driven by today's fabulous winds.  I also don't have a gap between writings as I only have the beginning. So, I'll start and see where the weather appears......

Frankie looked through the window, watching the trees leaning in the wind.  Finn was running through the leaves having a ball, he loved this time of year.  He would happily spend hours making piles of leaves, sorting them into colours or shapes depending on his mood, and then running through all of them, giggling hysterically and throwing himself onto the ground.  Frankie loved it too.  The changing colours of the countryside.  She loved how some trees would take the lead and start to change while others clung onto the green of summer.  It was if they were striding off towards winter, bravely defiant, not worried about the loss of their clothing, while the others couldn't bear to go, wanted to stay where they were, fearful of what lay ahead.  The bushes along the lanes would join in, telling her which fields were colder, which felt the winds and where she would find shelter from them too.  The wind was up today, odd gusts taking Finn's piles away from him while others would bring extra bounty.  The arboretum was one of their favourite haunts, time and space for the two of them, to walk the dog, to clear her head.  Coffee and cake with no boundaries that would need effort to contain Finn.  The rain was beginning to join in now, an occasional shower passing over, the only sign of it the drops appearing on the glass in front of her.

Acupuncture was great today.  I feel re-energised, much like last week, ready for whatever's coming.  It has to be said it's making me a bit feisty, almost poky at times.  No longer taking what's thrown at me but starting to throw some of it back.  Possibly not so great for those nearest and dearest who do the most throwing and, therefore, receiving.  Hopefully for me it's an initial only point.  A first step into the ring of life, where previously I've been sat on the edge not knowing how to join in.  I have to come in now on the terms that I created before I can change the rules.  Step up to the plate and then learn how to drop my fists, how to say 'enough is enough', how to be peacemaker.  My acupuncture described it as lying on the track letting the trains roll over me not even aware that they were there.  Now I have developed an awareness of them, I need to learn how to roll away and then I can get up.  Maybe even climb onto the platform and leave the station.  He suggested that I could buy a ticket which I thought was a bit rash, especially for those souls still lying down out there.  We had a great discussion about the amount of energy it took to maintain anger in the body as well as the amount of energy to then contain it, which is apparently more than the same again.  It's fabulous to know that I'm finally processing mine, letting it go from its years of being boxed up in a very small, very well hidden box.  I am completely grateful for where it has brought me but its time is over, I'm ready to let it go and move on.  It has managed my life for long enough, there needs to be change.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Week 30

There's been a lot of loss around over the past few weeks.  I have been with friends who are grieving the passing away of a friend, a brother, a cousin and most recently a mother.  A stalwart of AA passed away a couple of weeks ago, several years after forecast by the medical profession, and was buried on what would have been his 33rd sobriety birthday.  I think I've mentioned before that we define a winner by those who carry their sobriety to their graves and he has become one of our great winners.   He was always putting out his hand to the newcomer, made a point of saying hello to everyone individually before a meeting and would always offer his experience if he felt it was of relevance.  It is thanks to many people like this that the rooms keep people sober, that the programme keeps working its magic and that we can celebrate and trust in the passing of a good friend.   We learn, through experience, how lives are changed and how families recover.  We face into this world with renewed hope and we can deal with emotional challenges through the support of the programme.
It has been a difficult week for me but nothing compared to what it would have been if I'd been drinking.  My head has been 'off on one', filling itself with noise so I've been to a new meeting and re gathered myself.  To be honest, I am struggling at the moment, elements of my life are feeling chaotic and unmanageable.  I am praying for support, praying for others, absorbing my emotions and giving them space.  What I'm not doing so well is handing them over to my higher power and trusting that the right thing will come.  My patience and tolerance are perhaps in need of more practice, the 'perhaps' would suggest they need a lot more practice.  There's a great line in a film that Morgan Freeman makes as God, he says "I don't bestow patience onto you but I will give you plenty of opportunities to practice patience".  There are many times when I look upwards and say that surely this is enough practice by now, it seems not.
Looking in my 'Novel in a Year' book, the ten weeks of writing has come to an end and I should be gathering my bits together.  It needs to be said that I haven't done much more than I've posted but I will gather it together and see what I do have.  I do have some additional scenes in my head that I haven't written down so I will see about working in them.
Love to all who have lost loved ones over the last few months, remember the special times.
RIP Peter, with much love.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Week 29

I started acupuncture last week in an attempt to look after my physical self.  Several events kicked if off.  A very good friend of mine had some last year for a physical illness and there had been a positive impact on both his physical and emotional state.  My knee is still causing me problems after two, what at a stretch could be called, running sessions.  I am becoming quite wary of the onset of my menopause and listening to possible medication options being offered by the medical profession.  Finally, I tried to get my husband to have some earlier in the year and history has shown me that what I propose for him is probably my own needs.  All this combined with rising anxiety levels, lack of sleep filled nights, a need for my writing to flow again and apprehension of dealing with some life stuff, set me thinking about it.  So I did what any good recovering addict should do and took action.  I also booked some time in with my sponsor to make some progress on my Step 8 so that I didn't think I could shirk the emotional work.  It was an amazing experience, we spent a lot of time taking my medical and emotional history which always feels indulgent and then set about with some initial treatment.  Apparently, one of the common problems for people with my condition is that heat becomes trapped in parts of the body so the first job was to dissipate this with several needles inserted along my spine.  What happens is that the needle taps into the heat and allows it to disperse, what you see is a red circle forming in the skin around the needle which then disappears as the heat goes.  Some occur very quickly and some take a bit more time, took about 30/40 minutes for all of mine to go.  Following some pulse checking I then had a couple of needles briefly  inserted into my hands before I was all done for session one.  The effect has been quite interesting.  I did feel different straightaway, calmer more together.  However, I have also had three sleepless nights which have pushed me into decaf coffee, and while slight improvements have been made I'm still very tired.  Session two tomorrow, so will let you know more then.  Very aware this is exercise week so I better get on.....

Exercise 15 - write a section in which you describe what your character looks like.  Aim for two things: economy and detail.  Not a police photofit, concentrate on the small telling things that make a character live for the reader.

Choices, choices.  Frankie or Mac?  Mac or Frankie?  Now or then?  Given that I've probably described Frankie a couple of times, now and then.  I'll write about Mac in the present, having aged since we first met him.  This is going to be a bit of a challenge because Mac is based on several people and I really need to decide what he's going to look like.

Mac had aged well and comfortably.  His thick dark hair had developed several grey strands, which added an air of dignity to his easy going manner.  He had that way of looking at you as if you were the only person in the room, his green-grey eyes welcoming you into his world.  The receptionists at the surgery were constantly apologising for his timekeeping, as almost all of his patients' owners shared more than their concerns of their pets with him, leaving appointment schedules to go awry.  But for all his easy going outlook, he kept himself to himself with most of his colleagues knowing little of his family life.  He valued privacy and self reliance, that should he have any troubles, they were his to know about, his to own and his to resolve.  And without knowing it, this was probably what had aged him most, for this he kept to himself, and who knows, if hadn't, perhaps life would have taken a different turn and there would be no story to tell.