After all my positive talk about staying strong and not drinking over Christmas, I failed miserably and drank wine on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I managed to not get black out drunk, but still, that is no achievement in itself. Being home for Christmas is a massive trigger for me. It serves to highlight my failure in life to get married and have children, which means a lot to my parents. I also have an older sibling who is likewise, single and childless. This coupled with the fact that we have no extended family, means its just the four of us on Christmas day, and it has been for years, which is intense and depressing. I’ve never been maternal, but more recently, what with friends getting married, celebrating 10 year anniversaries and people posting life highlights on social media, I find myself panicking about how empty my life is.
Me and how many others, I know! I have a lot to be happy about, a good job that I worked hard to get, my own house. But, no one to share it with, and when I start to think about the last 10 years, I wonder, what have I being doing with my time? And who with? Where are all my pictures of myself surrounded by family and friends? Well, there aren’t any.
In the last 4 years I have moved house, 5 times. And not just small moves, each was a full on flit across country. One of these moves involved a breakup, which was actually the least traumatic, as I was so bleeding glad to get away from him. I got really lucky and found a beautiful cottage in the countryside and fell madly in love with it. It was perfect, it had this beautiful fireplace and the house smelled of wood smoke, and I could lie in bed and look out over a river and see the hills in the distance. The neighbours were musicians in a folk band, so I could sit in the living room with the window open and listen to them jamming in the garden, getting louder and wooping as the red wine flowed. It was exactly what I needed after 3 years of hell, it was my haven. And as if by fate, the house was owned by a lovely woman (those who rent will know this is rare!!) who encouraged me to get a dog, as she had lived there on her own with her dog, and like me, loved the house to bits. So the house became the first house I lived in with my beloved dog, and will therefor always tug at my heart. Of all the places I have lived, that house is the only one I can still remember in detail, room for room, and I can still smell that wood smoke.
I knew it was never going to be my house, and I also knew that I wasn’t going to be able to stay in that town. My job wasn’t permanent, and any upcoming posts weren’t going to be in that town. As it transpired, I got a permanent post halfway across the country. I had lived in that town for 2 years, made friends in that town and its where I shared all my firsts with my dog. We had favourite walks, favourite spots, favourite people. I was finally building a life there, and I had to let it go. For a while I kept in contact with people, but gradually it dwindled due to the distance involved, and although I still go over for meetings and see colleagues, its not the same. This makes me very sad.
Since changing job and moving to a new town, which I don’t really like, I have felt lonely and miserable. I’m constantly comparing the job and the town to my old one. I’ve been here a year, but I feel no connection to the area. I have no friends here, and I can’t seem to build any emotional attachment to the location. I don’t have a favourite walk with the dog. No favourite haunts. This is in part due to the town being smaller and more geographically isolated and a bit rundown, but I know, its more likely due to my mindset. Drinking makes all these worries fizzle away. Drinking makes sitting on my own watching TV on a Friday night feel bearable, well for about 2 hours, until I get blitzed. And then there is the next day spent on the sofa feeling like hell, and the associated depression that goes with knowing I’m wasting my days doing nothing at all.
I’ve written a list of things to do today, one of which is to buy replacement wine, again. Other items include buying healthy food to make a new years curry, cleaning stuff (cleaning cheers me up) and take a load of bottles to the recycling, because the number of empty wine bottles in the house is shocking. I’m going to want to buy wine for tonight. I know I will…. 😦