A handful of me

(c)Married to an Alcoholic

I’ve been writing this blog for more than a year now, and it occurred to me today that you good folks out there know a lot about the awful shit that’s happened to me over the last several months, but not much more about who I am.

This is what happens when you live with an alcoholic. Their turmoil sweeps over you, saturates you, and defines who you are. But now that Ben is in recovery, I’ve been thinking a bit more about me. And as I’ve been preparing for various job interviews, I’ve had to sit down and reflect on what I’ve achieved and what I really want from life. In so doing, I’ve stumbled upon some long forgotten joys.

So, before I get to a few of these potentially savoury – or simply bland – morsels (ie. a handful of stuff about me), here are the things I can’t share with you.

  1. my name and the names of my husband and daughter
  2. who I work for
  3. my exact location (not that you would want to know that)
  4. my phone number (ditto)
  5. a photograph that is recognisably me

And now, here are the things I can tell you.

  1. I write and edit text for a living. A lot of that material is heavy going, covering all the horrible ways that people treat other people. And by horrible, I mean despicable: rape, torture, summary executions. That’s my daily bread.
  2. I’m the author of one screwball novel and several short stories. The novel came out many years ago, attracted some good and bad reviews, and has been optioned. It hasn’t changed my life.
  3. I’m finishing my second novel. It has nothing to do with alcoholism or any of what you’ve read about in this blog. Maybe some day. Just not this day… or any day soon.
  4. I live in a one bedroom flat in London. My daughter, who is now aged five, shares a bed with me. And when I say “shares”, I mean she sleeps in star formation while I cling to the edge of the mattress, wishing I had the means to move into a bigger place and finally give her a room and bed of her own. 
  5. I have an abiding interest in primatology, and one of my greatest dreams is to go on a gorilla trekking expedition with a team of scientists in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda or Cameroon. Crazy? Yes, particularly for someone as dirt-and-bug-averse as me, but it would only be for a couple of weeks. What could go wrong?

Those are my five. What are yours?


15 thoughts on “A handful of me

  1. 1. I was an event planner for ten years. Before that I owned a gourmet coffee shop for seven years. 2. I am a born organizer but I’ve learned to accommodate my clutter loving family. 3. I’d love to write a fiction or non fiction book some day. 4. I’m getting ready to begin my own wedding planning business (the website should be up soon), not a bricks and mortar store but just an independent freelance planning service. 5. I am praying you find a job that is upbeat and fills your heart with joy!
    Blessings, Joanne

    • ah, thanks for sharing, Joanne. I love that you’ve learned to let go and let the clutter take over a little. My home is so small, I’ve given up. I’m an avid organiser, too. Well, I was, in another life. Now I just organise my thoughts. Good luck with the wedding planning. And thank you for your positive thoughts and vibes. x

  2. I love your list and that you are re-discovering yourself again. That can be joyous, but a little scary too. I have a background of codependency (I’m a recovering alcoholic adult child of an alcoholic home– geez that’s a mouthful!), so I spent many years defining myself through others’ eyes and putting others ahead of me (so that I didn’t have to work on myself… Ya know?)

    I smiled at the image of your daughter hogging the bed, you clinging for any available mattress surface. And I have always wanted to go on safari–but I too hate bugs and “roughing” it.

    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, Christy

    • Thanks, Christy. What’s your list? Come on – do tell! Add some tracks, if you feel like it. Am obsessively listening to Radiohead’s Nude right now. A real pick-me-up. ; ) On co-dependency, yes, very familiar territory… not sure I’ll ever break out of the co-dependency cycle. I meant to say, when my husband was at his worst and I thought I couldn’t take it any more, I went out for a run. Running saved me from a nervous breakdown. So your running therapy is one of the best things you can do to keep you happy and sober. Now, those five things, please?

      • Radiohead… nice! Glad to hear running saved you too and your love for music is awesome.

        Hmmmm well I know you saw my About page, so you already know a bit about me, but I’ll play along and give you 5 bits of trivia about me:

        1- The first concert I ever saw was with my mom–Barry Manilow. The song Copa Cabana always makes me smile and tap my foot.

        2- My favorite vacation spot is Aruba.

        3- One of the things on my bucket list is parachuting from a plane.

        4- One of the items I scratched off my bucket list is running a marathon. Though I’m planning to run another one this November. I run with music most of the time, I’ll add one of my running songs from yesterday in another comment.

        5- If I could be on any game show of any time, I would be on Name That Tune, because I would be pretty damn good at it.

      • Ah, now that’s what I’m talking about. Barry Manilow…well, well. My first concert was Duran Duran (and just so I don’t give my age away completely, I won’t tell you which tour). I’d love to parachute from a plane… or sky dive. But only provided I was attached to someone who knows what they’re doing. Very impressed that you’ve run that marathon. You’re running a metaphorical one right now. At some point, you’ll look back and say, ar-riiiiiiight – and you’ll be so very proud of what you’ve achieved. You should be already. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Somehow I missed this post and I’m only now discovering it. I will try to think of my 5… Being a stay at home mom for the past 9 years, I’ve kind of lost myself and am trying to rediscover, as well. Not that it was a bad way to loose myself; but I’m trying to remember my passions and definitions that extend beyond my children. While they will always be the most important aspect of my life, they won’t always be in need of all my attention.

    • It’s hard to find that person again. In fact, we can’t because we have become someone new. Finding that person is a careful process – a diligent carving and chipping away at stone to find the sculpture within.

  4. 1. I’m a labor & delivery nurse. I love what I do, but not because it’s such a “happy” job because often it is not. I thrive on the critical thinking and making an impact in people’s lives. Most would run away from all the screaming, but I run toward it.
    2. I have 2 amazing kids, both were unplanned, but aren’t most great things in life?
    3. I have nursed a husband through addiction and recovery. I hated being my family’s glue, and yet thrived on it as well. I had to go through my own recovery from that dark time.
    4. I wanted to be a concert pianist till I realized that I would starve. I have a piano, but rarely play anymore because I will only play when no one else is listening. I also wanted to be on Broadway, but came to the same conclusion as the pianist career path.
    5. I also struggle with being a “shouty” mom. I hate it about myself, and work on it all the time.
    6. I can always live without dessert, but have a terrible weakness for nacho cheese.

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