As the sun sets on another year, like pretty much every other blogger out there I’ve become reflective and thought I would do a round-up of 2018’s lessons, both the shit bits and the good bits.
Here’s a few of my thoughts.
Live events are good for the soul
This year I have been lucky enough to attend some amazing concerts and live events. I have seen Macklemore, Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynn, Katherine Ryan, Michael Macintyre, and been to some amazing venues, Royal Albert Hall, Wembley, the O2.
I love live music, comedy and shows, basically anything that involves a stage.
What I love about these shows is the energy people send out – the laughter, the singing, the dancing, I find it infectious. I’ve written before about going to gigs when I was drinking and not remembering a thing, or not being let into the performance I paid a small fortune for, it’s not like that today. No matter how I feel when I walk through the doors of a concert or comedy gig – I could put money on the fact I would leave feeling 100 times better, (not that I can put money on anything nowadays – that kind of thing is frowned upon in recovery circles don’t ya know).
Fluff balls matter
My cat Ted is my everything.
Pet’s are so underrated, we are their whole world and they make our world so much better. I can always rely on Ted for cuddles, to wake me up, to make me feel better if I feel blue. One of my friends is allergic to cats and that makes me sad for her. I don’t know what I would do without my fur baby. He’s spoilt rotten, has his own toy drawer, food drawer, goes to the groomers more often than I go to the hairdressers and he’s worth every penny.
When I was drinking I didn’t look after myself, I didn’t eat and rarely washed, but no matter what state I was in I always made sure Ted was fed and watered. Looking after someone or something else helps bring me out of my own head and focus on things around me. My advise to anyone who can, adopt a cat or dog, it will change your life.
I do not like skiing.
I do not like being strapped to huge pieces of wood and forced to travel down a mountain at a ridiculous speed. It’s not natural. I tried it, I hated it, and I have no desire to do it again. But I am pleased I had a go.
The hot tubs in the mountains are alright though!
Doing yoga helps
I am not naturally very flexible, but I heard yoga was good for the soul so I tried it. This year I tried it at the Natural History Museum, in numerous parks, at Olympia to hip hop tunes and in the Ministry of Sound (all with other people at a planned event – not on my tod amoungst the tourists).
Though the stretching and twisting feels a bit uncomfortable at first I always leave feeling calmer and more energetic. In 2019 I vow to do more yoga – I might even be crazy and try it in the gym.
New starts are scary but usually worth it
This year I started a new job, it was scary leaving the comfort blanket of my old job, I knew what I was doing and could do it pretty easily but the new job has been a challenge – a good one. I learn new things every day and push myself out of my comfort zone on each new project which means I improve as I go along.
I’ve also had a change in my personal life in 2018, I had my heart broken. With all the horrible feelings that come with that so does change, change on how I live and how I think. Change is scary, especially when it’s not a change you are expecting, but it always leads to growth.
Eventually I will grow and learn to trust again, I will see people for who they really are – not who I want them to be. I look forward to that. But in the mean time and in 2019 I will focus on myself, what I want from life and make that happen.
There’s no place like home
For me, home is family, both the family I was born into and the family I have chosen, my friends. I have made new friends and lost a couple in 2018. It’s taken me all these years to realise I can choose who I surround myself with and I choose to surround myself with people who make me feel good and who make me a better person. I love the people in my life today. Every single one of them.
There is still a lot of education that needs to happen around addiction
I’ve had a few things happen recently that have shocked me and made me realise how much of a misunderstanding there is around addiction.
Someone asked me recently why I don’t drink, in a casual non-drinking environment, I told this person I was an alcoholic and her reaction was; ‘don’t talk about yourself like that!’ She thought I was putting myself down. I wasn’t. I was simply saying I could no longer drink because I suffer from alcoholism. Alcoholic is not a dirty word.
Another situation I had was someone who I had recently met say they couldn’t be friends because they were worried I would turn back to alcohol if I wasn’t able to cope with ‘life’. Suggesting that alcoholism is a weakness. It is not.
As much as these encounters hurt and angered me I’m pleased I had them – it makes me want to write more, educate more and talk about addiction and enlighten the insanely naive out there.
2018 has been a roller-coaster, mostly an uphill one. But I have achieved a lot, I have stayed sober and I have shared some amazing experiences with some amazing people. I’m looking forward to 2019, I’m not making resolutions this year but I am making a promise, a promise to myself to keep doing the next right thing, for me and for those around me.
Wishing you all a happy new year.
Love Katie xxx