Here I am on my march forward, my new life is taking shape. My relationship with my family, particularly my Mum is at an all time high (hope she agrees!?). I have a good life here and a future which is something I will never take for granted again, I look back and wonder how I got through the days, even the hours or the minutes. Its been fucking hard and I'm finally coming back as a person. a person free from addiction and able to love again and not just other people but also myself! I wrote this stuff that follows a couple of days ago and the aim is to finally let go of my failures as a human being, as a son, a husband and an uncle. The time for being angry is over, the healing has finally begun and after over 18 months of grieving my losses I'm now grateful for all the wonderful stuff and people that I have in my life. I was listening to a song by the South African band 'The Parlotones'. The song was 'long way home', the chorus goes 'its a long way home'. That's it! I thought about what that word 'home' meant. Feeling at home encompasses all aspects of life and it summed up where I was, not just geographically. Yeah I was 6000 miles away from home but I was a long way from anything that resembled a life, particularly the married life that I had before the alcohol left me damaged and unable to live for anything without it. I was so far from anything that would be acceptable as a 'normal' life. Feeling that lost and lonely is not something that I would want ever again and all I could do was tell myself that it would get easier to build a new life here, it had to because if it didn't, I didn't want a life, full stop. It wasn't easy and I slipped back a few steps, only making small steps forward. Once, and this is after about 6 or 7 months of intense rehab and therapy, I began to feel a hint that there was a future. After that, I clung on to it and eventually it felt better, even ok at times. I wouldn't wish to go back there again and I won't because I've seen the damage it causes to me and everyone around me. I've lost my old idea of 'home' but I've also gained a new improved one here in South Africa which is going well and It's no longer a long way home because I am home. Home to me is not just where you live, it is where you are comfortable with your surroundings and the people who you call your friends. So much so that in England, although it appeared as if I had everything and was surrounded by such great people, in reality I had nothing and I was the loneliest person on the planet, particularly as news of my alcoholism spread.
So I've found my way home now and all the stuff that happened is distant but still very poignant. I'm thankful for the journey that I've travelled, I'm not that thrilled about the depths that I went in trying to understand what was happening to me but hey, recovery wouldn't have happened had I been allowed to live that old live for any longer. By grace I'm still here and by even more grace, I should suffer no long lasting effects of 20 years of alcoholic drinking. Without the support of my friends here I would be dead. The condition of alcoholism continues and will for the rest of my life. If I study my past closely I realise that Alcohol is not my problem — reality is my problem. Alcohol was my solution. The alcohol has now gone but reality still remains. At least now I can enjoy my reality and most importantly, be grateful for it.
I can look at the past now and it feels ok. It remains terribly sad but it has a purpose. Now, to feel sad is ok, it's just a feeling. I understand it and accept that it's normal, it's what people feel everyday. Now I also feel happiness. Why though, did all this happen to me? Why did I have to get married and lose a wife to see what should have been glaringly obvious? The truth is that I was not emotionally mature or emotionally intelligent enough to be part of any relationship, let alone a marriage. I thought I was altruistic, I thought I lived my life to make her happy. This is amazing when I consider the reality, memories are blurred but I regret that I did and said things that were wrong. Logic went out of the window as it always does when addiction is involved. I now know the answer and even though it still sounds bold, it's with nearly two years of grieving for a marriage that never even got off the ground that I truly believe that the whole process was the only thing that would have made me well again. If my marriage, or failure of, hadn't happened, I would have died a drunk. I do believe that one day, once the dust has finally settled, people will agree with me. At least I pray they will! Something that keeps me from beating myself up to the point of drowning in alcohol again is the knowledge that she will be ok. Ok, I'll always be the blip that temporarily brought her to her knees but she will have learnt a hell of a lot about life. I didn't want to cause pain, I just couldn't help spreading my pain around everybody who cared for me.
So here I am, happy and full of life. Who wouldn't want to live in Cape Town? There is a peace in knowing now that I don't have stuff to hide, I don't have to be someone I'm not anymore. I am myself and I have that sense of peace and reassurance that after all the asking and searching up and down the blind alleys of life and reason, I am living my life and I think I am on the right track. Am I following what is God's will for me? I'm certainly trying and I think I am finally getting it. I'm making the right decisions for the first time and although I still have a long long way to go, I am moving in the right direction. I like my new way of life, it's refreshing. Yeah, it is! It's actually fun being the alcoholfreeme.com!