I posted a while ago about forgiving my ex husband for some of the things that he did during our marriage – one particular incident, which was brought back to me by a location on our recent holiday, I thought I would never ever forgive him for – but I found that nine years later, indeed I had forgiven, and was at peace with what had happened.

In general I don’t carry grudges, I believe that anger with past events ultimately only hurts yourself and I’m lucky that I am able to process and let go pretty much everything ‘bad’ that has been done to me.

The person I find hardest to forgive is myself. I would go as far as to say that I can’t forgive myself at the moment. I hold myself to the highest standards and (perhaps because I know  what my inner feelings were at the time I made decisions that I subsequently see as wrong or stupid) I so often find myself blaming myself for things that have ‘gone wrong’.

I am aware this is unhelpful.I know that if I were my ‘friend’ I would regard myself as entirely forgivable – I haven’t done anything really awful. In fact I would (externally observing) say that the balance of good things I have done v bad things is firmly tipped on the ‘good’ side. But still. I blame myself. In the wee small hours I turn over foolish things I have done, drunk and sober. I blame myself for decisions I made, knowing my motivations were sometimes selfish or ill advised.

I think my therapist knows this, and I think a big part of what she is trying to help me with right now is understanding / believing that I am forgivable, that I am (at least potentially) lovable and not bad or to ‘blame’ for every thing that has happened to me. Now I see why its important to have a connection / like your therapist – because validation from someone you don’t like or don’t connect to doesn’t have much power does it! I also wonder about one of the other building blocks of therapy – the (and forgive my rather inexact language here) – the ‘reenacting’ of some relationships that have not been healthy – and wonder if Angela is being the ‘mother’ to my ‘child’ at this stage (early) in our therapeutic relationship.

In reality I have a good ‘gut’ instinct and if I actually followed it, rather than my impulsive, romantic, optimistic heart, then I would not have gone so far wrong. (at least in my personal relationships) There are (must be) some powerful drivers that make me WANT to have a happy relationship – sometimes I think it must be any relationship with a man. Consciously, I SAY I’m happy alone – and honestly I FEEL happier now – yet my past behaviour shows clearly that when I meet someone I overlook obvious flaws in the relationship, or the individual, in pursuit of that elusive ‘happy partnership’. Of course those inherent flaws don’t go away ….

And where is my drinking in all of this ? I’m dry now for 230 consecutive days, and honestly I love it. I don’t WANT to drink. Apart from a very few occasions, less than once a week, I feel no urge at all to drink. When I started this blog, that was a goal, but a seemingly unobtainable one. Now. I actually do not want to drink. I know it would set me back, and my clarity of thought is far too precious to risk. I’m not complacent about this, I know how fast it can turn, but for now, its all good, and feels secure.

I’m still stuck in that ‘bargaining’ / denial phase of the Kubler Ross Change cycle – I think the diagram below expresses its quite well

Image result for loss theory kubler ross

Of course its not a straight line as depicted here, and I fall between nostalgia, rage, turmoil, loss, hope, excitement and 100 other emotions – but I don’t doubt my decision to end the relationship was the correct one. It was the ONLY possible choice I had.

So, we are moving on. I’m working on forgiving myself, which for me also means understanding the drivers that put me there and held me there. The kids are growing in confidence and security, and I’m spending time with close friends and family. And in three weeks time our new puppy arrives…

with love and hope to you all

Lily x





Yesterday I had a series of email exchanges with my exP.

This was unwise really, as it reiterated my gut feeling that I am still very vulnerable to him, his words, his opinion, and to the bond we had.

it started innocently enough with a question about the location of some gadget or other, but soon developed in to an exchange of painful opinions about the demise of our relationship. Of course, it hit my empathy points. My caring side, the part that loves him. Of course I feel bad that he has no income, no home, no stability. Of course I care.

But then I come back to what my therapist, and my loved ones are trying to help me believe, that these things are not my fault. Not my responsibility. He is a fully able adult who made choices , including not listening when I said I was unhappy , including taking huge advantage of my financial generosity….

i look at my boys, and I see that they are happier. There is less tension, less shouting, they fight between themselves less. I have space and time to support them better, and to involve them in decisions that affect their futures.

last night, we all sat in one room, swathed in blankets, hot water bottles, and the dog for warmth (boiler not working) and watched a movie together. Simple. But so nice.

Our puppy will arrive in 3 weeks time – we are all very excited ! He represents a joint project between me and the boys – and we will all need to do our part. I have a puppy sitter for 4 hours a day when I am at work, so he will not be alone for any length of time for the first 2  months he’s home. After he’s immunised, he will he able to be taken out with Lola …

this is a hard path I’m travelling. I’m lonely sometimes, and afraid of the future. I feel like a failure at times, other times I know I just have to keep going and better things will come for all of us. I know I have love and support from friends and family, and that helps a lot !

Im sorry I’m not ‘giving’ a lot into the sober community at the moment – I’m struggling (tho not with sobriety) – but I do think of you all xxx

lily 🌷Xx


Today i had a productive day. I took the dog for a run this morning, made 4 fish pies ( and gave two away) cleaned up the kitchen, hovered the house, and went to see my mother and my brother.

I wanted to talk about my adolescence and in particular the role that my father played in our family. Not surprisingly we all remembered things differently, but one thing that did surprise me was the statement of my mother that she didn’t feel ‘resentful’ at the time when my father was not working, (she was) and she did everything for us children, and everything in the house, whilst he sat on his bottom. She explained that was the expectation for women of her generation – and that she didn’t resent the lack of support. I can’t argue with how she says she felt, and I can’t argue with her different recollections. I’m was just surprised.

I also made it both to yoga tonight, and through the yoga class without weeping, this is progress.! 

Sobriety suits me, I wish I’d done it before, it’s turned my life upside down, but it needed to happen.

Night all xx


Clearing out

its been nine weeks since my relationship ended. Lots of things have happened, in general I think I’m more ok that I expected to be (if that makes sense)  my home is certainly a lot less stressed, my children are happier, and I’m coping … do I miss him? Sometimes. When the boiler packed up again this week, and I realise I need a new one, I could have done with another adult to talk to – but day to day, life has less tension and frustration.

im still dry. That’s amazing actually ! 225 days of consecutive sobriety. I don’t feel like drinking, and I’m very clear that my sobriety has helped me move forward psychologically, to the space I’m in now.

Early on, I moved most of ExP’s things from the living room. I didn’t want to sit with them every evening, but I’ve done little else. I’m not quite sure why. He of course has collected only his essentials. Today I decided to reclaim my bedroom. I cleared out his drawers, put everything into a big suitcase and put it out of site. Now I can reclaim 4 drawers and sorted out my clothes from the too small spaces they have been stuffed in. Feels GOOD 😊

each move like this takes me further from the relationship, and closes one more door to any reconciliation. I still find that hard, but as my Ex P really doesn’t think he has done anything wrong, there is no room to compromise, and so no possibility of any reconciliation . I know this, I believe it’s right, but it still hurts. We have almost no contact now, and whilst this is for the best, a part of me is afraid he has moved on already and found a new girlfriend.  I know, however illogically, that this will really hurt me;  I also know, that it is inevitable as this is how he has operated for the last 10 years plus …

im still musing about women’s role in society , in relationships and in the world. I’m seeing inequality everywhere in how we treat ourselves, the expectations that society and the media have of us and the importance of strong positive female role models for our daughters and young women. I’m from the generation who were told we could “have it all” – but you can’t – and I think now, our job is to help young women find an acceptable work life balance that boosts their self esteem and harnesses their skills without making them feel like that have to do everything, and be perfect.

Rant over.

going to see our pup later – snuffly cuddles and fluffy snuggles … 😀



The most basic forms of life have ‘needs’ – water/ fuel, and humans are no exception. There is even a whole theory based on the ‘hierarchy of needs’ created by Abraham Maslow – a psychologist in the  1940s


Image result for maslow's hierarchy of needs

The most fundamental layer of the pyramid contain what we required to live food water, (one might argue about sex on an individual level – but as a species we certainly need it)   Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs. As our needs in the lower levels of the pyramid are met, we look to the next level. All of the first four levels of the pyramid are need to be realised before we can achieve our full potential. ( This is MY retelling of a complex and academic theory which forms the basis of a substantial body of academic psychological study)

This morning I was talking to a beautiful intelligent kind well educated young woman in her early 30’s . She has a boyfriend of 2 years plus. He wants her to relocate half way round the world away from her career, her family, her friends and her life – but he wot marry her, won’t give any assurances that he would like a family with her and wont even agree to buy a home with her. And shes asking is SHE is being unreasonable to not want to do that ?

FFS what about OUR needs; her needs MY needs. As women we bend over backwards to accommodate everyone else. we care, nurture and try and fix everyone else problems. We run round putting out own needs and wants and hopes at the bottom of a pile to be trampled on by other people who actually DON’T CARE what we want – and are just looking out for themselves. Their NEEDS are important, but not ours. And we make excuses, explain away the inexcusable, make ourselves miserable trying to accept what we CANNOT. Bollocks to that.Why do we do this ? Why as women are we taught the MENS needs matter more. that we should compromise what we want or need to keep a man happy ?

so , for the records ExP… you wanted the rights of a husband – shared money (read I share mine and you spend it), ability to discipline my kids how you wanted, take over the house and behave as you liked, but were prepared only to give the commitments of a boyfriend. Well that doesn’t work for me. Frankly I cant believe I let it go on for so long. Id rather be alone, or with a partner who respects me enough to WANT to make a commitment to me. Otherwise, be a pt boyfriend, sort yourself out and we’ll have dinner once in a while.

Its OK to have needs, Its ok for me, its ok for my young friend I spoke to and its ok for everyone. we should be less afraid about stating and sticking to those needs and expecting them to be respected.



Being kind to myself

today, despite a good sleep last night , I just felt exhausted.

i came home at lunchtime, and despite good intentions – to cycle, run, tidy ; I just fell asleep in the sofa. I slept for 3 hours.

Ive had a cold for almost 4 weeks now, stuffy nose, blocked up, just feeling tired and rough. After my epic sleep, I went to the gym and sat in first the steam room, and then in the sauna. I had a hot shower, decongested and then went to yoga.

for the first time in several weeks I can now breathe through my nose. I’m going to bed early again,

im going to be kind to myself because pushing myself too hard is not helping me …


one of the subjects that came up in my therapy session today was my tendency to constant agitation. It’s true I find it hard to just “be” , that I find it hard to relax, that my concentration on things like reading is very poor. It’s true that I haven’t been to yoga because I can’t be in the class without tears pouring down my cheeks. I think at  least part of the reason I drank to excess was to manage that agitation.

Whilst my relationship was falling apart , I felt , not unnaturally , quite agitated – and it was easy to blame ExP / the situation for those feelings .

Now my life is much more peaceful, and yet I’m still agitated and struggling to relax. I can’t drink to calm down , so I’m left with my anxiety and overactive mind with no way to soothe it.

we talked, in therapy, about self soothing, as a technique that could help me-   That needs to be learned, and practiced. This ties in with my own thoughts about practicing  with the headspace app, and maybe doing some yoga practice myself. I believe, if I could get up an hour earlier each morning, I could set my day up better and this might have some long term benefits for my mental health.

So maybe I should try this, I will need to go to bed an hour earlier, but I think I should give it a go….


How do you learn to trust someone who is worth trusting ? how do you know, when you meet someone, when they are on ‘best behaviour’; when you fall in love – how do you know that person won’t let you down? How do you know you wont reach a point weeks months or years down the line when the inherent faults, that were there from the beginning prove themselves to have no solution and you end up with no option but to end the relationship. Ending not only the personal relationship but a whole host of others between families and friends. You lose more than just that ‘one person’; you lose the social circle you have built together, you lose the future you had planned and you lose the security of the past experiences you had as a couple.

As an adult of 51 now Im looking back at the wreckage of not only my marriage, but also my most recent, moderately long standing ,relationship (almost 6 years). On paper there relationships ended for very different reasons, my marriage because my ex was a  drug addict who loved drugs and alcohol much more than me or his children, and my relationship with ExP because he hated my eldest son, created a hostile and unpleasant atmosphere at home (and the small matter that he refused to earn a living and basically expected me to fund him in entirety ad infinitum)

Whilst superficially these re very different scenarios. there are  a number of things in common

  • i ended both relationships
  • Both men say they didn’t see it coming although to me it was as clear as the nose on my face that I was at the end of my teather with no where else to turn
  • i tried, fruitlessly pointlessly and repeatedly to get both to see ‘my point of view’ with no effect /result
  • the seeds of destruction were there at the beginning – but I chose to overlook them.
  • I think by the end both were a bit afraid of my frustration and found it as impossible to communicate with me as I did with them.
  • I waited for too long to call both relationships a day, at least two years in both cases

What does this say about me? about my choice of partners? about how ‘desperate’ i was to feel fulfilled by having a ‘man’ at my side. About how much I was willing to tolerate before saying ‘enough’? About how much self esteem I have ,that I allowed myself to be treated like this? about my expectations of a long standing relationship as a dreary, loveless, battleground with little pleasure in it (for the female partner anyway)

And yet I did get out, eventually something snapped inside me and the weight of disappointment and constant let down just pushed a button that said ‘No more’. I never missed my ex Husband when he left, and I don’t miss my ExP. On the contrary I’m rather enjoying the peace, the opportunity to spend quality time with my children and the lack of aggressive hostility in the house. Most of all Im enjoying the loss of GUILT and anxiety that I was carrying around constantly, knowing that I was allowing HIM to treat MY children in a way I didn’t like, but being powerless to effectively stop it.

when I shudder and think ‘never ever again’ , there is a big part of me that means it. I cant imagine ever allowing myself to be that vulnerable to another man again. Cant imagine trusting anyone again, trusting them to respect me and my values /opinions enough to take my needs into account. A very small part of me thinks that MAYBE if I could get my judgement AT THE BEGInning. Not ignore the “little nagging doubts” maybe I could do better …

Happy birthday

yesterday my eldest son, B, turned 18. In the U.K. This makes him legally an adult, with all the rights and responsibilities this brings. He is allowed to vote, to drink alcohol, to marry or join the armed forces without parental consent. My rights, as his mum, are diminished – he has complete rights to privacy with respect to his medical treatment; if he gets into trouble I will no longer be automatically informed, I’m not responsible for any debts or credit arrangements he might make, and he is counted as an adult in the census….

weird feeling.

we had a party for him yesterday. Something that would probably  not have been possible were ExP still here. We invited my ex husband and extended family too. I never fell out with my ex brother and sister in law  but haven’t seen a lot of them –  it was lovely to catch up. I wanted B to feel loved, valued and supported –  I think he did.

I ordered some champagne , and everyone drank a toast – I drank becks blue lemon in my glass – I’m so pleased I was sober the whole day. No one drank much, but in the old days I would have wired through the wine I had bought… I don’t think anyone even noticed I wasn’t drinking – certainly no one mentioned it, and I barely thought about it. I couldn’t help noticing how much son #2 enjoyed drinking, and he has been on at me all day about drinking the remaining beer and cider (the wine is on sale or return)

he has the genetic heritage, from his father and I , to have substance misuse problems, and he has anxiety which, of course the alcohol will partially alleviate .. one to watch I think.

There is a lot to think about at the moment.

Thank goodness for sobriety x


Why do we go on caring for people who hurt us? why do we go one expecting that somehow they will do something different in the future?

why when life is better for us all now do I feel so very low today?

why, when I have been sober for 217 days do my moods swing like this.?

why do I miss ExP?

why cannot I accept today that its over; that its right that its over?

why, when I am trying so very hard, do I feel overwhelmed with sadness, fatigue, loss and failure.

and why am I working an on call surgery this evening to cover yet another sick colleague ?

answers on a post card please


a positive declaration intended to give confidence

This is something we have come to in my therapy sessions. I constantly seek assurance from others, but only in my private life.

If you met me professionally – a senior partner in my business with 25 years of medical experience behind me, you would find me quietly confident, assured, not arrogant but reasoned and balanced in my judgement’s. You would a clarity of decision making, backed up by evidence, that provides a second opinion and support to many of my colleagues, and you would not think that I am a woman who seeks assurance repeatedly in her personal life. I rarely ‘fret’ over the professional decisions I make, some extremely complex with no “right” answers, but I have the confidence and experience to believe in my judgement and capacity to justify the decisions I make.

Contrast that with my personal life. I’m still looking for reassurance that my decision to end my relationship was a reasonable one to make. In my heart – deep inside me I KNOW that a man who literally HATES my eldest child and tries to make him “beg on his knees” for forgiveness; a man who has lived off my earnings for six years with no agreement that I am happy to fund him and no plans to ever refund me, is not a man I should be worried about ‘upsetting’ or ‘being fair to’ But I am worried. I feel that I want EVERYONE  to hug me and say , ” Its ok, you are right, its reasonable to be fed up. its reasonable and normal not to want to continue like this’

I am aware that this degree of lack of self confidence is at the extreme end of a spectrum. hat most people sometimes question their decisions, and look for external validation … but I do it to an extreme degree. I NEED it to give me the confidence to stand firm. I’m like an extremely split personality; strong, confident, stable ,a ‘safe pair of hands’ at work; and an insecure, frightened, under confident pushover at home. Who allows herself to be exploited because she does not have the ‘balls’ to stand up for her own beliefs. My discussions in therapy confirm to me that my deepest held instincts are usually ‘correct’ for me, but I am so easily persuaded that I’m wrong…

The first time my ExP and I had an argument ( I don’t remember what it was about) he walked out and ignored me for 3 days. We discussed this in therapy yesterday;  the extreme distress, mental agitation that his withdrawal caused me, resulted led me to take a razor blade to my inner arm. That is the first and last time I have ever cut myself, but it gave me a clear understanding of why people in mental turmoil turn to harming themselves physically – the physical pain does distract – at least temporarily – from the appalling mental agitation.

Where am I going with this ? It clearly has to change, at least before I even consider making any other intimate relationships. I think unpacking it – talking about it – in therapy and with people I trust ( Andrew and Kate I’m taking about you x) helps. Angela. (my therapist) also suggested I consider ‘whats the worst thing that could happen’ if I do stand firm by what I believe… I think this will be useful the next time I come up against such a situation.

The loss of ‘shame’ in myself has helped. I no longer feel that I am fundamentally a ‘bad person’ ( which I think I did when I was drinking) Growth of self confidence is a slow and evolving process, and I need to look / think about why I have so little. I’m in my early 50’s and way past ‘blaming’ my parents; but I do think the emotional environment I grew up in has some part to play …

I like the image at the top of this post; I doubt I will ever achieve the level of self assurance – but I’m pretty sure I can do better in the next few years than I have done in the last.




Back on track

Tomorrow I will have completed 7 months of continuous sobriety.

No-one is more surprised than I am – most people will know me or at least remember me as a woman who liked a drink. A woman who often drank too much. A woman who didn’t know when to stop. I’ve never been an aggressive drunk, or unpleasant to people, but I did get over emotional, weepy, over sharing and rather ‘messy’. Its pretty nice not to be that woman any longer.

I have been reflecting on why I have ( so far) succeeded in staying sober, when I did not the first time I tried. In the end I think it comes back to my own belief in myself. The first time I got sober, I didn’t, in myself believe I could stick to it long term. I convinced myself that a little slip – champagne on a Boxing day with ExP; wine during a weekend away with ExP, would be ok. Those little slips I see now, fed not only the ‘wine witch’, but allowed me to pretend that (in this way) I COULD moderate. No mater that the first sip of champagne on Boxing day made me want to demolish the whole bottle in 5 minutes flat; no mention of the fact that during the ‘weekend away slip’ I drank (alot) on Saturday lunchtime, Saturday night and Sunday lunchtime…. It was lying to myself.

I think it was because I couldn’t face ‘forever’. That familiar anxiety that many heavy drinkers have when faced with stopping drinking  ” What ,you mean I cant drink again EVER” … EVER is SUCH a long time… most of this was subconscious , but I am aware of it now.

This time I was much better prepared, emotionally. I knew that the key to my success was NOT indefinite denial, but rather changing my mind set so that I no longer WANTED to drink. In fact, far faster and earlier than I expected I have achieved that goal. I can honestly say that 98% of the time I do not WANT to drink. Its not denying myself something  really want, its positively choosing to avoid imbibing a substance that I know will make me ill, will set me back and will stop my progress towards a better life.

The other thing I did different this time; I prioritised my sobriety. I did not put myself in positions where I knew it would be very difficult for me not to drink. I accepted that I often feel socially awkward and drink to cover that up. So I avoided situations in which that might occur. I turned down a lot of invitations, and others I drove and planned an escape route. I left several social events early. I told people before I arrived ” Oh Im not drinking right now” usually with some short term excuse, but I set up peoples expectations – especially those who were used to drinking with me.

I blogged, read, invested in sober thinking. I tried to offer support to others earlier on in the same journey, sharing what small insights I had gained. I took up yoga, tried to slow the pace of my life a little (I actually failed at that completely) and I found other things I liked to drink. I didn’t deny myself anything else, sugar / carbs/ chocolate/ice cream.

Its only in the last 2 months I have lost any weight –  and I’m now a stone down ( thats 14 lbs or 6.4kg) I look a LOT better for it….

I’m reading a lot of blogs of folks who are struggling; struggling to start the journey, struggling to get more than a few days continuous sobriety, trying again to moderate. I don’t believe I have more will power than these people, I don’t believe I wanted it more. I don’t actually believe they are ‘sicker’ than I was… I just think that maybe I knew what would work FOR me (perhaps because I had tried it before) planned, and honestly didn’t care if I upset people by refusing invitations….

And the weekend upset ? well, maybe to be expected. Stupid on his part, It hurt me and its left me vulnerable to gossip at work. but in the big scheme of things… I’m ok.

so please, If you are reading this and know you need to stop drinking; believe me, it CAN be done, and relatively quickly it becomes a positive choice… Try something different, and keep on going – it is SO worth it

Self doubt

this morning I woke to a barrage of abusive,sarcastic, critical and Nasty posts on Facebook from my ExP.

its hard to explain how that upset me. I have tried to conduct myself with dignity, and confided in very few people about the reasons for our spereration. Only My brother, and my best friend are fully aware. I have made no reference to it in public or on social media.

Although I took the posts done immediately, and as they were posted late at night, i doubt  too many people saw them, I feel shaken, invaded and desperately upset. Partly that my personal business has been plastered over the Internet, partly that some one I once loved so much has such contempt for me that he would do that, and partly because it has again awakened that lingering sense of self doubt.

perhaps he is right in his assessment of me.

perhaps I was hasty, cruel in denying him access to what was his home. Perhaps I am stupid to get a second dog, perhaps I am useless & slow on my bike and won’t be able to meet the challenges I have set myself. Worst of all, perhaps my eldest son, is in fact the terrible evil person ExP believes him to be.

all of that doubt. Disquiet, distress. Anxiety. Fear.

I have been so positive in the last couple of days, the photo of our new puppy is at the top of the page. I believe that my posting this picture on FB set off his rant, because he is very opposed to the idea. Tho since he doesn’t live here, willl not be paying and is not asked to take any responsibility for said puppy I’m not really sure why he’s so upset.

Perhaps is a feeling of loss of control. That I am doing what I want, regardless of what he thinks.

Anyway , I feel very low again now, and fearful.

Crap 💩



Accepting responsibility

I have written quite extensively about the reasons for the breakdown of my relationship with my ExP. Whilst there is no doubt in my mind that he has behaved pretty badly, and done some pretty shitty things, I’m well aware that it takes two to make or break any relationship.

As I realise that I find myself playing out aspects of my parents relationship again and again,   (something which had not occoured to me prior to discussions in therapy) I talked to my brother about his memories of our childhood. Similar to me, he remembers the hostility, frustration (of our mother) and the grumpiness and shouting of our father. He pointed out to me that one of the problems was that our mother had “let him get away with it” … the lack of active parenting, the inertia, the non participation in household chores.  That, probably long before my brother and I were even aware of it, our mother had allowed our father to get away with not pulling his weight. Now I can see how that could have come about … he often worked away from home, and late nights. I imagine she didn’t want to create waves when he was home, and so she just got on with it.

Speaking for myself, I can more clearly see the part I have played in the deterioration and ultimate breakdown of my relationship with ExP. At the beginning, so in love, perhaps a little insecure, certainly not wanting to provoke an argument I let the little things go. I agreed to “support him to get back on his feet ” for a short period , but crucially , past that period I didn’t put my foot down and issue an ultimatum – rather I carried on, for a quiet life, creating the impression I was happy to do so. Similarly , when the issues started with my son, that was the moment to pull him up and lay down MY lines. What I would find acceptable and how I wanted to live( it is after all my house, I pay all the bills and was 100% supporting him)  – at that moment, it should have been a take it or leave it. By allowing the “slippage” and letting some things go, for a quiet life, I in fact created far larger problems down the road .

On a small basis, by the end ExP used to talk to me quite disrespectfully at times, enough that my children noticed , and enough that my friend K was quite shocked when she heard it. I discussed this with my brother, and he said that, if ever spoke to his wife less than respectfully, in front of their children, she would pull him up on it. She doesn’t let the little things go. And that’s the right way to build healthy relationships – make it clear what your expectations are, and stick to what is acceptable TO YOU … 

I will need to look at that insecure, uncertain part of me in therapy. Where does it come from, and how can I develop my self esteem and self belief so that I don’t repeat these mistakes … because this last relationship is not the first time I have behaved thus … 

it’s much to early for me to be up, so I’m going to try and go back to sleep now 



Today I am happy. Actually Happy.

I had forgotten what it was like to live without anxiety. stress. unhappiness. resentment. That’s pretty sad isn’t it.

My home is a mess, my bedroom especially. I’m broke, we are about to get a new puppy and I have no idea how I will manage, work is bonkers busy and we have a shortage of staff,  but I’m happy.

I have my health, my children are well, home is a much more relaxed. loving, supportive place. I went cycling this morning with son #1, as I started work late, and covered a good distance. I enjoyed his company. I am beginning to address ‘issues’ in my therapy. I am sober.

I thought I would be miserable without ExP; I thought I would pine and miss him. Do you know what, I don’t really. Some days I do. I miss what I thought we could have had. I miss the dreams for the future we had. But I have lost a huge burden of anger and frustration by not beating my head against the brick wall of his NOT LISTENING. or listening but not changing anything.  And so I feel lighter. Much lighter.

Today I feel that my future is bright. I can shape it how I want. I’m sober, and free, and healthy; and still reasonably young

And I’m giving thanks for my blessings, of which there are many

Women and anger

I’ve now been seeing my therapist for a few weeks. I value the sessions enormously, and I feel that, in a short time, I have connected to some parts of me that have been ‘hidden’.

One of those things is the huge burden of repressed anger I have been carrying around for most, if not all of my adult life. Much of that anger comes from the way my father behaved to me, and the rest of the family.

My father was born in Australia in 1912. He was a musical ‘prodigy’ – piano, and at 18 years old won a scholarship to the Royal College of music on London. He left Australia in 1930 and never saw his parents again.

My mother was his third wife. When I was born she was 26, and he was 52. As a small child I think he loved me – he had previously had three sons with wife#1 who had returned to Australia after WW2. As I grew up my memory is of a critical, grumpy man who had no interest in me really. He did very little round the house, well nothing really, even after he retired, so mu mother worked, looked after her children, managed the house, shopped cooked cleaned and did EVERYTHING, while he watched the TV and critisised his children.

The realisation that I have unconsciously picked men with whom I have re-enacted this scenario is stark, and painful. It seems the lessons of childhood; that women do everything and men ignore their needs and behave totally selfishly – have been deeply ingrained.

I also, at almost 52 myself, think how astonishingly selfish he must have been to embark on fatherhood again at that age. I adore my kids, but the thought of starting again, with a baby ? no way, I simply could not provide the necessary parental support as I get older. And neither could he / did he. I’m sure there are some men who can / could –  but he was a selfish man who was not prepared to put himself out for anyone…

I think the birth of my anger comes from here.

But ‘nice’ people don’t get angry in out culture. Especially in the UK. ‘Nice people’ (women especially) do not express their needs. Nice people Bottle up their anger and resentment and drink to keep it suppressed. Except that they drink more and more to suppress the rage and frustration and hurt, and still it wont go away.

To be clear, I dot blame my alcohol issues on my parents. But The anger and hurt I felt at my fathers abdication of his responsibilities to me, his daughter, are a very real and potent source of distress. And this distress probably contributed to my excessive drinkoing



Letting go

on the front page of this blog, I outlined my wish/ aim .. to not WANT to drink alcohol.

i would add to that now, I want to Not fret about my relationship breakdown. It’s been almost seven weeks. In one way I can’t believe I’ve actually done it;  I’ve split from the man I adored, he is my ExP. in another way I can’t actually believe that he has allowed this to happen. That the way ‘back’ was , at least initially, really simple. And he didn’t do it. I spent some time ( and still do occasionally)  raging that this man who supposedly ‘loved me so much ‘ couldn’t even book ( not pay for, Just book) one session of couples counselling  … couldn’t even make that tiny effort to try and maintain our relationship.

What was I really worth to him ? Nothing, nothing at all is what it feels like, and all that money I spent, trying to support him.  Just wasted, that’s all he wanted. Money, and I’m left tens if thousands of pound in debt, whilst he waltzes off to catch the next insecure vulnerable woman and spin her the same shit ….

All the heartache, the mental breakdown I endured, the stress and hurt and anguish over his relationship with my kids… he was NEVER EVER going to even try and see it my way, because what I feel is irrelevant to him. Whether I am / Was happy, literally didn’t . All.

this is a big realisation for me, and it’s hugely painful. But it takes me further down the road, that I have to let go of this relationship –  not just him, but the hopes and dreams I once had for our future. And I have to believe that not just ‘doing with out’ is the answer. The Answer is, like alcohol, I need to not want him anymore. I need to not want the future we had planned … I need to genuinely believe this man was BAD for me, BAD for my children and was not going to deliver on a happy future for me.

im worth more than that.



Rough weekend

I’ve had a rough weekend

not physically very well, courtesy of son #3. Couldn’t cycle (training), couldn’t swim and couldn’t run ( bad knee – still) Managed two long walks with the dog

My lovely friend J is not well, and this hurts me and worry’s me. I did some cooking for them on Saturday as a small thing I CAN do to hep their family at this difficult time.

Full of RAGE yesterday at ExP ; out of nowhere. Feel like he has swanned off ( yes, I know I told him to go) leaving me with a mountain of debt I start to think I will never clear. Furiously fucking angry, between coughing and sneezing – so no peace. And couldn’t face yoga with that much anger buzzing round me.

Son#2. for reason best known to himself, has decided that it is UNNECESSARY for me to be sober. That I could moderate my drinking. Really. Like I haven’t tried that darling, since before you were born. Son #2 is 14 and believes he has ALL the answers at the moment. Without expressly saying “your mother is a drunk who does unwise / dangerous / stupid things when she drinks and has no control AT ALL over her drinking” I wasn’t sure how to convince him that I KNOW sobriety is best for me…I tried….

The Hamster is lost. Her cage was being cleaned and Hollie escaped from the holding pen. We cannot find her ANYWHERE. I do not believe Lola has eaten her because Lola does not come upstairs. I think shes hidden herself under the floorboards of our Victorian house and will never be seen again.

the business is not in good financial shape. I’m not sure if this is just cash flow issues or underlying bigger problems. My business partners deal with the financial side. All I know is my expected income this month is down by a 1/3. Our accountant is on holiday. Clarity will follow. But it probably didn’t help the RAGE.The joys of self employment.

I had a drinking dream last night. A very real, frightening drinking dream involving a bottle of Merlot. which, since I rarely drank red wine, is weird. I was in company of ‘famous people’ – cant remember who, and before  knew it I was necking the red wine, Then I remembered that ‘I don’t drink’ but it was too late. There is probably meaning in there somewhere…

This morning I saw a long standing patient of mine. I have no wish to break confidentiality in any way so I will keep this vague. She is in late middle age but looks at least 20 years older. She used to work in a prestigious job that involved a lot of travel. To ‘keep going’ she drank. As she got older, and others were replaced with younger staff, she continued; commuting, travelling and drinking. We talked about it a lot. She spent a lot of money on useless ‘private detoxes’ and charlatans who gave her tranquilizers and disappeared. She went to see a private doctor who she did not tell about us, and she did not tell us she was seeing him – to obtain extra medicines.  Her health deteriorated but she clung onto her job and great cost to her well being. Eventually she retired and after a severe illness and hospital stay, she quit drinking. The change was dramatic. She looked well. She had energy, she started walking and occasionally going out. Her health parameters improved. And then she relapsed. maybe after 18 months or so, I’m not completely sure. Last year she almost killed herself in a house fire because she fell asleep drunk with the stove on. Today she looked very unwell. disheveled, unkempt, tremulous. Her memory is poor, probably alcohol related dementia. Her physical and mental health is declining, swiftly and dramatically. We discussed briefly – until her eyes filled with tears, she asked me to stop as she just didn’t feel well enough to talk about it.

That’s what happens when you cant stop drinking

I don’t judge. That could be me. It could still be me if I cant stick to sobriety. Its a scary , sad, depressing outcome for this nice lady.

one day at a time right now , one day at a time




My life

Twenty nine weeks ago today I sat in my consulting room on a Friday morning, planning the day ahead. Friday is and was my busiest clinical day when I have back to back patient appointments all day – with phone calls and messages and consultations, I will have approx 60+ patient contacts on a Friday.

I had known for ever  a long time that my drinking was out of control and for the last month had been making a serious effort to moderate, in that I had drunk only on a Friday night for 3 weeks. I was in effect on a Day 7 (again) BUT It was Friday, I was ‘allowed’ to drink on a Friday.

At that time I was living with my partner of 5 + years. I would not describe our relationship as happy, although there were happy times / days. We drank a lot together, and always had done. we argued quite a lot when drunk, usually because my frustration with one thing or another (income or my children) boiled over. the arguments were tense and never resolved because in a few days the issues were pushed back under the carpet, only to recur at another time.

Son #1 had failed most of his GCSE’s and was ‘resitting’ at College. He had a deeply unpleasant needy girlfriend, and spent most of his time at her house. Playing computer games and eating junk food. He did no academic work ,was surly and uncooperative at home and I could see he was not going to achieve anything much from his extra resit year at College. The relationship between my exP and my eldest son was truly awful.

I had huge debt, that was spiraling out of control. Overspending is on of the other ways I had / have of managing something that is wrong with me. This is despite earning a good salary

I got really really drunk that night. I dragged my family, and J & K to a local pizza restaurant and probably drink 2 bottles of wine. I don’t remember coming home. Apparently I fell in my bedroom and missed banging my head on an open window frame by inches.

when I woke I was ill, dehydrated, headache, nauseaous and deeply ashamed and afraid. Thats when I decided I HAD to stop. Not at some vague, ill defined point in the future. But NOW.

so where am I 29 weeks later?

My relationship has imploded. it was coming. The sobriety made it inevitable. I’m angry, sad, lost, grieving and relieved all at the same time. I have started individual therapy to look at how I have got myself into this mess – because its not exactly my first failed relationship.

My home is calmer, less arguing and more kindness. Its not perfect yet – probably never will be; but its better.

I am still in debt, and in reality I will be for a long time. But at least its now falling, and its under MY control.

I’m still sober. and I have greater clarity, I feel present although there are times i LONG for oblivion and abdication of all my responsibilities.

I could not have imagined THIS life 29 weeks ago. But when I review it – I think its better.