img_0904“It has been a while since your last post. I guess you have succeeded in your battle. Keep it up” 

Last week when I came back to this site after my latest fall, after 4 years of thinking I was fine, I found the above message sent to me in October 2013. Had I read it then instead of now, or at least this year, I  would like to think I wouldn’t be writing this. I don’t know, maybe I would. Maybe I’ll always come back here. I really hope not.

Hannah it turns out was NG. I recognised an old email address I discovered she used last year. I never would have known otherwise. In that complicated, non-direct way of hers that normally went  completely over my head. But she was letting me know I was going off course. She was right. Way back then. Had I been  ‘keeping it up’ she would not had thought to return to the site. The giveaway is her use of the word ‘Guess’. 

It is somewhat ironic that when I met NG I had confided this blog to her. She was impressed with the work I had done and saw me as a character of strength. I was then. I wasn’t tricking her. And she needed that kind of support at the time. But just 15 months later in 2013 I was months away from messing up what I had just worked so hard to get. To earn. To be good enough for. 

Now I fully understand what she meant on that cold day by the river in February when she told me I was not the man she had met anymore. That I had tricked her. I had switched off again following a huge binge after she had moved out for the final time. I didn’t handle the hostility concerning that trip to Goa. I reacted by going to the pub 6 times in the 2 weeks after the Cold War started. I had not done that in a long time. I should have communicated with her instead of shouting louder. She was right. It should have been the last place on earth I should have gone to as far as her Monsters were concerned. Rightfully I had a mostly awful time.

But back in 2013 why couldn’t she just have sat me down and told me this? Told me of her unhappiness? How I always had to be the best I could be to hang on to her. Maybe she did and I had already stopped being present again. Unknowingly I had already started on the long slow path to the hell that I rightfully find myself in again today.

I can see now that the fall is not immediate. No as instantly heart stopping as the day NG walked away. The day I got back from Turkey. To the empty spaces she lit up so effortlessly. Even that took time to sink in. But I know she is never coming back. And I know why now. I am struggling to come to terms with never seeing her or speaking to her again. The Universe is small in comparison to the size of the hole that would leave in my heart. But I hope one day we can be the friends she said we couldn’t be. I didn’t understand that either at the time. She did speak in codes!  But I’ve got a long way to go before I can even be thinking about that.

That would make me feel so much better about our relationship. And about me. It would validate it. I suppose I feel like not acknowledging me is not acknowledging it. And she might not be ready to ever forgive me or acknowledge my reform. As I said in the old blog. That is entirely her right and I can’t expect anything. But I am sure she always wanted the best for me. She hung around for as long as she could until she thought I was strong enough. Strong enough to deal with this. She never understood that I got my strength from her. And so I was always going to have to come here again. She protected me as long as she could. She gave me the chances but I had stopped seeing long before then. And now she has her health to worry about. But at least she is free of me. And surrounded by love and support. She deserves that at the very least. And much more. She always deserved my best. That was the fucking least she deserved. It was a miracle she stuck around so long. She was my Guardian Angel.  Sent by the universe at the right time for her and for me. I’m not sure I ever thought that the Universe would be that generous.

I had stopped being the man that she fell in love with long ago. The man who wrote the first part of this blog. The man I forgot again. The man I can be if I make the right choices. All the time. There is no doubt that when I don’t drink I am a much nicer person. A completely different person in fact. And when I was in total abstinence the light shines so brightly from me that it attracted NG into my reformed life. 

As things got worse over the years I told myself  I didn’t have to try so hard anymore, especially as NG had brought her own flavour of craziness to my world. But that’s wrong. I should have always tried to be the best I could be. And if I had, then I think it likely I wouldn’t have activated her own Monsters. I wrote to her Aunty once that maybe all she had to do to resolve her personal demons was stay away from me. I hope I’m right. As heartbreaking as it is to have to admit that to myself.

If Hannah stops by again in 3 years time, then I hope she knows how very sorry I am that I put her through everything that she had to experience just for me to see it. She told me many times in truth. I didn’t believe her. I thought I was good enough. She deserved nothing less than the man she had met. I forgot I could do so much better. I forgot this was a journey with no destination. You don’t stop Recovering. It’s a lifelong deal. There are no half measures. There are no safe limits. I wish I was better at seeing the warning signs. I wish people sat me down like my Bank Manager did when I was 21 and overdrawn the day he called me into his office. I have never been overdrawn since.

I have no idea if I can do this again. Can I turn the train around after the horse has bolted? The horse had to bolt first I fear. I hate that about myself. Why can’t I learn before I lose everything? Just fucking once. I seem to only learn the hard way. It’s a long, dark, lonely road back to the distant summit I attained 4 years ago. But is that why I’ve not gone overseas? Did I sub-consciously always know this was coming?  Does this have to be a winter of discontent doing the really hard yards again? Alone. With just my thoughts for company? And this blog. Facing all the Demons and Monsters,  physically and emotionally ‘feeling’ all those feelings I have numbed down again without my ‘medication’?

How much more ironic do you need this to be?

Today I have been sober.