Last week was not the best. I think my own personal bank of Patience and Giving was dangerously low on reserves. In fact I’d go so far as to say it had sustained a pretty violent armed robbery, carried out mercilessly by 3 midgets with spudguns.
On Wednesday, I reached the point where I couldn’t take any more complaints, or whining, or arguing, or refusals to cooperate, and I lost it big style. I was grumpy, shouty, miserable Mummy. The kids spent a lot of time bursting into tears, and I got told on one occasion that they wanted Happy Mummy. (I could bloody cry just typing that). I did manage to snap out of it by the end of the week, and apologised to them all. I just felt like I had nothing, nothing left to give, and I kept feeling really quite angry. Mr Red had a minor disaster at work one day, which meant he was very late home and I missed a coveted appointment. I was disproportionately pissed off, and fell out with the poor guy for 24 hours. Really, it was nothing, but it was just the pooey brown icing on the shit-cake that had been baking all week.
The problem is, I’ve started to feel as if I have absolutely zero control over my life, not a shred of free-will; it’s just an amalgam of relentless caretaking and having to constantly be places on a never ending schedule and Not One Bit of it’s for me.
And I don’t have wine to escape into anymore. I’m facing up soberly to the fact that life’s a bit of a dull grind. I also expected to feel amazingly bouncy and full of energy after not drinking for over a month and I just bloody well don’t. But I have to remember that this is February in the UK. Possibly the greyest time and place on Earth. I usually feel pretty pissed off and weary during Jan and Feb, but at least I don’t have a hangover this year…
So here’s something good about not drinking – when shit happens, I’m actually reflecting on how things have gone wrong and trying to work out ways to improve or change the negative situation. This is a vast improvement to drinking Red, who would ignore all the problems and just drink until they became utterly compounded.
So after last week, I’m going to:
- Read some parenting books a friend has loaned me, and see if anything in them strikes a chord or could be used to bamboozle my miniature emotion-bank robbers.
- Try to make my life easier on the tough days where I work and wrangle kids alone. Pizza for tea anyone? Peanut butter – that’s a food group, right?
- Start using the two hours free time I get on a Monday while all the children are at school/nursery for me-stuff. For reading, or haircuts, or exercise, and/or cake, or all those things at once. Not for cleaning!
- Ask some friends for advice. (Hint: that’s you guys). Is this raging anger and emotional upheaval normal? Is it usual to still feel totally knackered over a month into sobriety?
- For years, I’ve threatened to book a holiday in Jan or Feb. The one year I can particularly remember not hating the start of the year was when I went to Spain for a week in February with a friend. Conversely, possibly the worst January ever was the one when I’d just returned from 6 weeks bumbling round the glory that is New Zealand.. try a rainy UK after that one! I barely spoke for about a month.
It seems that something to look forward to is pretty key for a happy start to the New Year for me. So next year, after a year of not drinking, maybe I’ll be able to afford to take the 3 little felons and their lovely Daddy on holiday somewhere sunny in the half term break. And if not, I reckon between us we have the combined skills to knock off a Securicor truck and head for South America..
Ps coming soon – a list of things that I’m happy about. And less navel-gazing. Honestly!!