Sober Mommy (my American blogging twin) commented on my post yesterday that things happen for a reason. And, sure enough, my internet debacle (still not fixed. I'm still one fingered typing on my iPhone) has made me realise something:
I am a total control freak!
I was already aware that my biggest trigger is anxiety. That knot of tension that wine unravels so easily.
Now I realise that what makes me really anxious is when something is out of my control.
Like my internet problem - currently in the hands of some keen, overworked, massively overqualified, call centre operator in Delhi.
It's why I often find being a stay at home Mum so stressful. You can't control 3 kids. Coach, yes. Cajole, bribe, threaten, encourage....but not control. It's like trying to herd cats.
My wonderful friend P (who sent me her 90 day chip. See: AA, and when the virtual world isn't enough) came to stay from the U.S. with her 2 kids (including my gorgeous Godson Mark).
She is the first person I've met in real life who's read my blog. And she's an addiction counsellor.
Naturally, we talked about it all. To my horror I was totally tongue tied! Here I am, perfectly fluent in the page, but - faced with a real person....bag of nerves.
P told me how she felt after nine years of sobriety. I can't remember her words, but what sticks in my mind is the gesture she made.
She kept clenching her hand into a fist, and then opening up her palm. She talked about acceptance, and letting go. And I realise now that what I am is a clenched fist - desperately trying to control everything.
One of the things that always scared me about the idea of AA is the concept of 'surrendering your will to a Higher Power.' Funnily enough, it's not the Higher Power bit that bothers me; it's the idea of 'surrender'.
Surrender? Me? No! I caused this problem, I can fix it! I will write my own program with my own steps, thank you very much! Read blogs? Not only that, I'll write my own damn blog!
I'm still trying to control the process - every step of the way.
So yesterday, unable to control the issue, or fix it myself, I was a tightly wound stress ball. I couldn't get myself out of my funk. I couldn't even turn to the Internet (my usual escape hatch) since it was down. The only way I knew, with an absolute certainty, I could unwind the ball was to drink.
I explained this to The Husband.
"Go for a run", he suggested.
Now, I was not built for speed. I have only gone running a handful of times in my life. But I changed into the closest thing I own to 'running kit', put my headphones in and headed for the door.
#1, #2 and #3 fell about laughing.
I was back 15 minutes later (don't want to overdo it initally! And after 15 minutes of light jogging I felt like I'd run a marathon) feeling way better.
I'm still a little wound up, but there's a song going round in my head which helps:
Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que sera, sera.
Which, spookily, is very much like the AA serenity prayer 'God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change.'
Gradually I feel that clenched fist unfurling....
Love SM x