And so, goodbye…

fieldRosie and I leave tomorrow evening. Each time I close my eyes, I try to visualise my home in London: the narrow stairwell, the cramped landing, the avocado painted kitchen, the one bedroom and one living room, the sun filled bathroom.

I am preparing myself for the spacial oppression. There will be no echoey hallways or obscenely large (by London standards) front and back gardens. There will be a kitchen and living room overlooking a dual carriageway. There will be cobwebs spun by carefree daddy longlegs. And there will be rats in the back yard.

If I think back to the first 10 days of my trip here in Canada, I remember the anxiety most – the long distance phone calls to London, the anguished failed attempts at reaching Ben, the desperate clawing at anyone who would listen, trying to get Ben into detox and then rehab. In between, there was the edit I’d agreed to do on a document for work. So, I was working while on leave, too, in between panicked phone calls and bouts of rage.

My holiday started the day after those first 10 days (+/- a couple of days). It really began when I took Rosie and left for the mountains in the back of my friend’s car. As we left the city behind us, as the ground rose up beneath us, I felt the tension in my head do a downward dog and simply fizzle away. We were free.

Where did the rest of my holiday go, I wonder? I can’t quite remember, but there were plenty of bike rides and visits with friends, meals with family, days out with my niece and Rosie, and a lot of thinking about what I will do when I return.

cycling 1

Yesterday, I took my bike out. Friends ask me how I’ve coped with Ben’s drinking over the past few years and my answer is always the same: running. But if I wasn’t running, I’d be cycling.

Yesterday, I cycled through woods and along a river, avoiding highways and rail lines. The route went from mediocre to stunning. My mind emptied and my lungs were full. It was one of those rides where I beat the rain, keeping dry by outpacing the clouds.

by the canal

The view from the bike path along the canal.

I could have kept going. I wanted to keep going. But the last time I went cycling like that, my mum rang my brother in a blind panic, fearing I’d died or was lying in a ditch somewhere just because I’d been gone an hour. (Yes, my mother is one of those types of mums – the type you love, appreciate and have to live 5,000km away from to maintain your sanity and your relationship with her). So, back I went.

On Monday, I went out with two of my oldest friends. One of them, I’ve known for nearly 30 years. We did what we always do when the three of us meet: we  ate cake. And talked. All of us are in a sad place right now, some of us sadder than others. But as my oldest friend told me when we finally hugged goodbye: “We’re going to make it. We are. I can feel it.”

about to take off

Tomorrow evening, Rosie and I will take off into the night sky. We will hang in the air, as the earth turns beneath us, winging our way through time. And when we wake up, we will be in London. Back home. Just the two of us.

The work will really begin then. My bags will be unpacked. My lists will be transcribed from memory to paper. And things will change.

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7 thoughts on “And so, goodbye…

  1. I am so glad that you were able to have some good times here in Canada! I pray that you and Rosie find some peace and comfort in your home back in the UK. I pray for your job securitiy. I pray that you are able to continue to ‘let go’ and let your husband’s recovery journey be his journey. Hard to imagine, I know, when it affects both you and your daughter’s life in so many ways. This quote was meaningful to me:

    “Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. Letting go doesn’t mean we shut down.
    Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave.
    It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment.
    It means we stop trying to do the impossible–controlling that which
    we cannot–and instead, focus on what is possible–which usually means
    taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness,
    and love, as much as possible.” Melody Beattie

    “taking care of ourselves” is the part I tried highlighting. I pray that you continue taking care of yourself a bit more upon your return to the UK. You deserve to be happy. Safe travel!

  2. Have I mentioned how much I love your writing? You paint a picture with your words. Beautiful.
    Keep breathing. You can do this. Look how far you have come.

  3. Pingback: Back up and running « marriedtoalcoholic

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