Space for more

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - YOUR LIFE -

The next re­al­i­sa­tion – this one hap­pened to me fairly re­cently – is that you fi­nally have real emo­tional space for other peo­ple, other things, other thoughts, other pur­suits. The sheer emo­tional en­ergy that prob­lem drink­ing gob­bles up dras­ti­cally nar­rows your abil­ity to do al­most any­thing else. ‘Func­tional alcoholics’, for in­stance, may get to their jobs on time ev­ery day and pay their bills, but they sel­dom have much go­ing on in their lives out­side of work and so­cial­is­ing.

The ad­di­tional en­ergy I now have is, ad­mit­tedly, due partly to the phys­i­cal changes: I’ve been eat­ing and sleep­ing like a nor­mal hu­man be­ing for three years, and that will nat­u­rally show in prac­ti­cal ways. But I now also have the emo­tional space and men­tal abil­ity to plan and ex­e­cute, time to spend on things that make me sim­ply con­tent: hand­i­craft projects, gar­den­ing, walk­ing and hik­ing, chal­leng­ing work as­sign­ments, mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tions to char­i­ties, time with fam­ily and so­cial­is­ing with friends in ways that don’t in­volve open­ing an­other bot­tle of wine.

Do I miss heavy drink­ing? I’d be ly­ing if I said I didn’t – be­ing a party girl de­fined me for most of my adult life. And there was lots of fun. But there was also lots of damage and pain, and so much wasted time and en­ergy. The some­what rocky jour­ney, and be­ing a judgy killjoy now and then, are a small price to pay for this lovely wide-open space on the other side.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.