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.
- my name and the names of my husband and daughter
- who I work for
- my exact location (not that you would want to know that)
- my phone number (ditto)
- a photograph that is recognisably me
And now, here are the things I can tell you.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?