Not one single person

group hug

I’ve decided to have a ‘me’ day on Friday and booked it off this afternoon.

The last few weeks have been rewarding but long and I really wanted to just stop, take stock and have a coffee with someone disconnected from everything I’m doing.

So I phoned a mate, made arrangements to do not much in particular together – and thats my plan for the day.

But not before I’ve had an epic lie in and continued my embarrassingly deep romantic entanglement with my duck feather pillow.

She’s puuurdy. Quack.

After those important unbreakable commitments I have Saturday and Sunday to fill with fruitful pursuits and if it ever stops torrentially raining I will mow my lawns. I keep putting them off and its beginning to annoy me.

After that (or before if the weather is inclement) I will sort out my dining room. I vaguely remember there being a table in there but all I can see is laundry and files of correspondence at the moment.

Once these tasks are completed I will have achieved a sense of peace where I live, which is very important to me at the moment.

To look around and not be pissed off with things everywhere that you haven’t done or procrastinated about is a very good thing, and every time I make things look nice I feel I’m climbing out of the pit I started digging in earnest about nine months ago.

Today was a good day in group as well – and I had a sense that there were some butterflies unfolding their new wings this morning.

Just like things are different with myself I’ve noticed marked changes in the people who I’ve been working through my issues with. Some looked very different in terms of body language today than they did on day one. When I pointed this out to one of them they smiled from ear to ear and I couldn’t help but do the same.

Unlike the first day we now all know each other by name, and greet each other cordially in the morning outside where people smoke and drink coffee before the group starts.

We also reference things that other people in the room have said regularly and nod to each other knowingly when someone says something that resonates with the collective mind.

I genuinely hope that I keep in touch with these people. Sure we’re not perfect, and we all have lots of hang ups and challenges in life – but we came together because we want to be better than we are.

I also think that we have genuinely begun to care what happens to each other, in a surprisingly short space of time.

I wouldn’t have said this three weeks ago but I’m going to be rather sad when the final day comes. There are only four sessions left, and I feel already that there has been a lot of positive change and reflection.

I started angry, scared and tearful (all within the first two days) and now I get up looking forward to the discussions, and jokingly moaning about filling in another personality questionnaire. People laugh and smile at each other in the group, and there is a pervading sense that although they are still fragile there is a weight that’s lifting, and that’s because it’s now being carried together.

The group leader who presents the relapse prevention segments each week is continually at pains to state that its FACT that people who stay in a groups, and stay in support stay clean longer and relapse less.

If I can help just one of them with that then I think it’s the least I can do after they’ve shared their experiences with me so freely.

I want them all to be well so much it currently occupies all my thoughts.

One of the odd things that I realised yesterday evening was that a particular exercise showed how I have changed since I started (and continued) writing this blog and posting it on my Facebook feed so that anyone who knew me could read it.

A piece of paper was handed out with a drawing of an iceberg on it. Above the water was the small, innocent tip. But under the surface, lurking in the dark and threatening depths hid the rest of it – which was much much larger.

It was capable of sinking the Titanic and its destructive power was immense.

The task at hand was to write in the smaller bit at the top all the obvious things people could see about us, and then in the below section all the things no-one knew that we hid from everyone.

Two months ago the section under water would have been filled, but now I was stumped. I really struggled to put things in there.

Two months ago I hadn’t outed myself as a drinker and told everyone how many units I was consuming a week. I hadn’t admitted how I struggled with all aspects of life. I hadn’t talked openly about the shame and anger surrounding my mother, or the dual feelings of grief and relief that were left behind when she passed away. I hadn’t posted my actual weight online in all its embarrassing glory for EVERYONE to see. I hadn’t admitted to my difficulties with physical movement related to this or my self confidence problems. I’d told almost no-one how I worry about wherever I go because of the seating and how currently I struggle standing for long periods of time.

Now it’s all out there for anyone to read and comment upon. The iceberg is upside down.

I gave all of the power away. I put it in the hands of the world and dared them to use it against me.

And you know what?

Not one person has.

Not. One. Single. Person.

So today if I had to categorise my mood it’s one of optimism for the future. People are inherently good and I am one of them. I have a plan of sorts laid out for myself in the coming months, and I have promised myself that I will execute on it.

I won’t beat myself up if I stumble and I’ll try to remember I will have bad days along with the good. I will reach out to people for a hand if I falter, and I will take theirs if they reach out to me.

I am evidence of evolution. I am man beginning to walk upright.


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