Breakfast today was a 600g punnet of cherry tomatoes, a pint of water and my pills.
The tomatoes were nice. I was looking forward to them actually. I forgetfully left them on the work surface in the kitchen overnight instead of putting them in the fridge and when I came to eat them the morning sunlight had warmed them.
As well as being crunchy (just how I like them) this added to the flavour and they had a fresh ‘earthy’ taste as they burst onto my tongue.
The pills are a chore though.
I have begun to really hate re-ordering them online, collecting them, forgetting to collect them, organising them, remembering them, forgetting to take them, taking them, trying to remember if I did take them even if I have taken them, carrying them with me in case I can’t get home, having no control over the fact I need them – the list goes on.
On a Sunday when I fill up my weekly pill organiser I sometimes just sit there and shake my head.
I’m not quite sure how this happened. It just kind of crept up on me – and then before I knew it, pretty much all in one go I started taking (prescribed) pills every day.
Prior to that I thought twice about having an Ibuprofen tablet.
Well – if I’m honest, I know how it happened. I ate and drank like an idiot for four decades. It doesn’t really need a master detective to get to the bottom of this particular mystery.
I know that there are MANY out there with way worse health issues than me. I’m not looking for sympathy.
In truth I’m really grateful that the medication I take exists so that I can carry on and live a good life, but I really wish sometimes I could go back to the days where I didn’t have to think about all this.
Strangely though today when I bite into a warm cherry tomato and look at the pills I feel good, despite the frustrations that they embody. This selection of the pharmacist’s finest represents the direction I was going in. It represents what I did to myself by not caring whether I lived a long life or not.
Today’s post is something of a milestone in many respects. Once I finish it, wonder about it, edit it, rethink it, maybe add a bit more, and eventually click ‘publish’ it will be my 100th post.
Never in the history of my life have I shared well over 100,000 words with anyone – let alone with people who are largely strangers.
Never before have I also had my expectations so defied. I assumed the internet and its dwellers to be hostile and unfriendly. In my experience so far they’ve been nothing of the kind.
Long may their comments and posts continue.
So – despite my feelings about medication things are good. My blog and my punnet of earthy tomatoes represent who I have become and who I am still becoming. I am actually able to say now that I like this person more with every day.
I never used to be able to do that.
Quite a lot has changed for me since the first blog post. For a start it’s nearly five months since I had any alcohol.
Although I technically stopped drinking before I started writing my blog the two events are very closely linked. My first revelation about the power of groups, my journey to discover why I did what I did and how not to do it any more began here, online, in public.
Despite the potential for embarrassment I think it’s still important to be honest about this aspect of who I am – and deal with it out in the open without hiding or feeling shame. It happened. I can’t ignore it. Sometimes I still think about it. After too many years I no longer want it in my life.
Two days after I stopped drinking my mom died. The two events are very closely linked.
When I started writing I was (whether I realised it or not) bereaved and coming to terms with the loss of a parent I didn’t understand.
I still don’t and I never will, but that’s OK.
I worked out how I felt about this life changing moment as I wrote. I often surprised myself with the conclusions I came to, and what I shared. It was the best therapy I had ever had, and it was all inside me – just looking for a voice. Many people reached out to me because of what I wrote and because of them the whole event was turned into something entirely different from how it began.
Eventually it turned from pain and anger into something I could (and still do) learn from.
I don’t feel animosity any more toward her and what she did or said to me. If anything I try to feel compassion where once I felt anger and just let everything else go.
This is an ongoing challenge and I’m no saint – but she was a person who lived and breathed, just like me. I may not have understood her, but her life had value and in her own way through her art and life she touched the world uniquely. For better or worse there will never be another one of her. I don’t miss her – but I do think about her a lot.
Once the funeral was behind me and I was satisfied that I no longer needed to drink or grieve I joined Slimming World. Since then in the last two months I have lost two stone. It’s been periodically hard work but also an enjoyable journey so far.
I have been spurred on every step of the way by the lively and helpful women and men that meet every Saturday and share their feelings. They post pictures and ideas and supportive comments all the time on Facebook, and it’s kept me continually connected to and focused on what I’m doing and why.
Sometimes I join in – sometimes I just scroll through and watch them helping each other, which is nice.
This group has in turn already changed me both physically and mentally. Whereas at the beginning of January there was often an absence of hope for the future, now I can see the possibility of a time when I’m no longer controlled by my size and physical limitations.
When I started my blog I could hardly walk to the end of my street. I can now go much longer distances, and with the help of benches I can make my way round more than one park. My horizon is now further than the distance to my car.
My very first post was also about leaving my job and dropping out with a dog that never materialised.
Since the universe has a sense of irony I changed my mind less than two weeks after writing this. Resigning was in retrospect a decision that was ill thought out and had more to do with grief than common sense.
Then a few months later I was made redundant anyway. Go figure.
If nothing else this proved that the universe has a promising career in stand up comedy should it also decide upon a change of direction. As I type I am still undecided about what comes next.
It’s scary but it will sort itself out.
So internet – a lot has changed in 100 posts and 100,000+ words.
I wonder where the next 100 will take me? One thing I know for sure is I can’t stop now, not even if I wanted to. I need it too much.
I hope you’re here with me to find out. Exciting isn’t it?