So after I wrote the last post, I had a pleasant working day, anticipating picking up the girls, having a cup of tea with a friend before heading home in time to prepare slow cooked lamb shanks and potatoes.
And then fifteen minutes before I was due to leave, my boss came in to ask me a series of questions in preparation for a meeting, during which conversation it became clear that a) a huge stressful issue that’s dominated the work environment for the past three months, and which we all thought was resolved two weeks ago, has not been resolved, b) I forgot to do something relatively trivial in relation to this issue back in December which is now going to show up our President who is already getting flak from all sides, and c) the whole situation gives me bad flashbacks to my last work environment, where I pretty much torpedoed my career when I went back to work after having Big Girl and discovered – too late – I couldn’t cope with both roles at once.
During this conversation with my boss, my mobile phone rings three times in a row, after which my work phone, which turns out to be LH telling me that daycare needs me to pick up Little Girl immediately. So – leaving possibly urgent tasks behind, I rush to daycare, doctor, chemist, late to pick up Big Girl from a friend who is doing me a favour already. Home so late that I need to rush the lamb if I’m going to get it done at all, Little Girl and Big Girl are squabbling in the other room but who has the time to intervene, the cat wanders into the kitchen and does a poo before my horrified eyes, and I haven’t managed to pick up the baby carrots for my recipe and what am I going to feed the girls?
Anyway. Standard bad afternoon. But it’s fine until I realise that the recipe calls for half a glass of white wine. And when I opened the bottle and poured it out I had such an urge to pour a glass for myself and just gulp it down. Almost like punishment; sour and caustic, burning on the way down, making my gorge rise. And in return, the woozy head and the not caring. Because honestly, fuck it. Fuck it fuck it FUCK. IT.
But no. Sixty days today. I’m not going to throw that away over a shitty work day. Things are going well. I’m getting my creativity back, I’m feeling healthier…
And here is what the addict said. You’ll love this. Ready?
A relapse will make your narrative more interesting. You’ll start to lose readers if something doesn’t happen to shake things up soon.
SERIOUSLY. That is an actual thing that I thought, in my head. I mean, fuck me. Unbelievable.
But it isn’t unbelievable, really. Your addict, or your wolfie, or however you want to visualise the part of you that guards your addiction, feeding it up like a witch in a gingerbread cottage, is you. So of course it has all the tools to get you in the most vulnerable spots. For me, I don’t care about being fun at parties – I have a toddler, when do I go to parties? I don’t care about what friends think, really. I’ve fought against the ‘bad day at work, you deserve it’ argument too many times for it to have much power, and the idea of moderation has lost its persuasion.
But writing. Stories. An audience. There lies my ambition and therefore there lies my weakness. And of course, where there is weakness there is that force, the addict force, pushing at it, testing to see if it will breach.
Clever, that addict. But of course it would be.