Last week I wrote about training to be a volunteer recovery coach. How I had started to see that there is an alternative to continuing in my current job. When I returned to work the following Monday I felt a complete lack of interest- I felt so desperate to leave that I considered feigning some kind of vague illness so that I could go home.
That same day I found out that I have an interview for a more senior role. I have been trying to make this move for a while now – since I hit about 7 months sober. When I got the news, rather than feeling pleased, I felt irritated – this adds a complication I could do without. My first thought was to withdraw from the process.
I have also been told that now my lying colleague has been suspended I will have to give evidence against him at a formal hearing. What I would really like to do is withdraw my evidence but I know that would be ludicrous. It’s just that I really cannot be bothered to go through the process. A process which will take goodness only knows how long.
I can see a clear pattern here. My instinct is to remove all complications from my life. To get rid of all the crap.
I had a catch up with one of my senior managers. I went to the meeting with a list including all the things I have mentioned above and some more, written on the back of an envelope. I told the manager that I have had enough and am considering seeking a paid role working with people in recovery. We also talked about a visit I had made to a bereaved family as part of my job and I found myself describing how I had found I was able to offer them genuine comfort and support and how much I had enjoyed doing something which felt as if it really mattered.
The manager listened and then asked me why I couldn’t go for the promotion AND do the volunteering. She suggested that if I wanted to, in time I could work 4 days a week and keep one day for volunteering. It hadn’t occurred time that this might even be a possibility. Surely that would be having it all ? How could that be possible ?
The manager took my envelope and folded it up. On the outside she wrote “Open on 5th June”. She told me to go on holiday (it’s Half Term this week and I am away with Mr So and our girls), catch my breath, rest, relax and forget about work. She said that when I get back I can see how I feel and decide what I really want to do. And she will support me.
So that’s what I’m doing.
This is my third sober holiday and it’s good. Holidays without alcohol are starting to feel more normal although I did have a brief pang of envy when I saw a woman sipping a large glass of white wine while I was drinking my elderflower and lime soda. But when I think about the reality of my holidays before I stopped drinking, everything comes back into focus. I don’t think I ever sipped on a glass of wine. In fact I know I didn’t – sipping wasn’t my thing. So I’ll stick with my elderflower and lime, with catching my breath and finding my way and hopefully I will begin to work out some answers.