Sink or Swim (1)
Monday 17th January 2011 11.10pm – One Last Greedy Monday :
Well, after 10 years of dreaming about doing this I am finally putting finger to keyboard. And it had to be a Monday night. I have only just made it as it is nearly Tuesday….
I look around me. The contents of the dolls house are empted out on to the floor, but the wooden structure is still standing proud in front of our wooden cabinet of DVDs. On top of the drawers in silver and wood frames are beautiful photographs standing proud, of my little girl. The monitor rests by them in case she wakes. I glance to my right and her clothes are neatly folded on the toy box ready for tomorrow, and the books she loves so much are waiting to be read. To my left are my precious albums, out and ready for the couple I will be seeing tomorrow night about me doing their wedding photography. Sky plus is on pause while I write this, and I will watch the rest of my period drama before I go to bed. I stop and look up for a minute, and my eyes catch sight of the beautiful framed images on the wall. Black and white photographs I have taken myself over the years, which now have pride of place in our home. Along with the numerous pictures of my perfect girl. And one of the three of us. Only one!
I pause again to take a sip of wine. My eyes glance towards the mantle piece where, next to my favourite photograph of Emily, is Ben’s pouch of baccy. I will finish my wine and have a rollie…. Stop tomorrow….. My eyes glance through to the kitchen, and see the empty bottle. And the bank statements that made me cry earlier. I also see the Slimming World booklet which I picked up at my first meeting only last week. Tucked under a pile of old Sun newspapers and hardly showing. Next to the large takeaway pizza box, still slightly warm from having been delivered, and eaten, only an hour ago.
What a fucking mess.
A thousand times I have promised myself, I will sort things out. On Monday. Then Monday arrives and I feel crap, so then it will be tomorrow, but by Tuesday it seems pointless, as I need a full week, so fuck it, the following Monday becomes the new goal. “Do whatever you want until next Monday and then sort it….” And the vicious cycle begins again.
Well, Monday is now, for at least five more minutes, and I have made a start at last. For years I have wanted to write and for years I have needed to get a grip of my failing situation, and now I have made the first step. Tomorrow I will begin to sort my life out, and this time I mean it. For too long I have buried my head in the sand and ignored the shit that is going on around me. I am a decent person, with good morals but I have been clouded for too long. My daughter and my parents are the three things in my life I strive to look after and I want so much for them to be proud of me.
The wine stops tomorrow. The occasional rollie stops. The over eating stops. The money worries have to stop some how. This never ending shit I am in has to stop tomorrow. I have to take control. For myself and for Emily and for my mum and dad.
Midnight. Monday. A fitting time to drink the last mouthful of wine in my glass and pray for a hangover free day tomorrow. Tomorrow. The start of a new life….. I hope.
Tuesday 18th January 7.35pm - Hangover:
Well that serves me right. I have felt like shit all day. Stoopid boxes of wine – you can never tell how much you are drinking. And the thought of that greasy donner pizza and burger we shared, along with the two rollies I smoked makes me feel sick.
Not sure about a new life starting today. I may not be drinking and I have eaten well, but I feel so down. I am in mess – financially, physically and emotionally. All I want to do is look after my little girl and provide for her, yet I can feel everything slipping away. Ever closer to my over draft limit, and thousands and thousands of pounds worth of debts, it is only a matter of time before the bank shuts my business down. No business, no mortgage payments, no home…..
As I mentioned last night, I have wanted to write for years. I think about it all the time, yet can never decide what to write. Now, I know things are going to change – either because I change them for the better, or because my circumstances will catch up with me and things will change out of my control. All I can try and do is tackle each problem / worry individually and hope to God I can find the strength of character to deal with them and make things better. I cannot go on like this any more. I realise I am wallowing in a self centred world of shit here, and I also know a lot of people have a much tougher time than me. And for this I feel guilty. But I am obviously not a strong person, and when things get hard I fall apart. I am not a good talker, so in a way I hope that by putting everything down in writing, it may help me get things straight in my head, and give me the confidence to change. Either that, or I will have given up by tomorrow, and added “writing” as another thing on my “tried and couldn’t be arsed” list.
Whatever happens, my easy, comfortable, lazy and hazy days of old are over, and in six months or so, for better or for worse, I will be in a very different place to the one I am in now. A different place in my head would be good, as it couldn’t be much worse, but an actual different place, i.e. a one bed council flat in a shithole full of drug dealers, is a very real possibility.
Worry 1 – my dad:
Although not mentioned before, this is my biggest worry by far. However, it is the one I can’t do anything about. I will write of this in more detail later, but to do so now will make me cry. Suffice to say, he is the kindest, most loving, patient, mild mannered, gentle man you could ever meet. He has an inner strength that I never thought possible to find in a person. And he has been dealt the biggest pile of shit I have ever known any one person have to go though. Lymphoma was diagnosed about 10 years ago, and the constant and excruciating pain he has endured all over his body, every minute of every hour of every day is incomprehensible. If that was not bad enough, aggressive tumours were removed from his head about 8 months ago. Then he had a stroke. And another one. And a third. During the week he had to spend in hospital following the third stroke he was a different person. Depressed, confused, scared. It was horrendous. A very slight and slow recovery seemed to start happening after a few weeks, and then he found more lumps in his head and neck. As frail, weak, and exhausted as he was, he has just endured a 7 week course of radiotherapy, travelling 30 miles to the hospital every day. He finished a week ago. I have no idea where he found the strength to get through this, and the same goes for my mum. When I say I don’t know where they found it – I do actually, their unquestioning faith. Today, it seems the tumours have not gone, and maybe he went through all that for nothing. If I had to live in a shithole and have to sign on the dole, I would happily, if dad could just be well again. Like I say though, there is nothing I can do to change my greatest worry…..
Worry 2 – being fat:
I am fat. When I say that, I am not some size 10 silly cow, who has the slightest of ripples in her stomach when she sits down. Which is actually skin anyway, not fat. No, I am properly fat. 15 stone of it. Realistically I need to loose 5 stone. It is a worry, as mainly it is round my stomach – due entirely from over eating and drinking too much for years. The worry is obviously my heath, and if putting that much shite in to my body has made me look like this, then what the fuck have I done to my insides? As well as the health issues though, being fat is actually ruining my life. I am self conscious in everything I do. I can’t sit out in the sun, or go swimming. I dread summer. And I hate mirrors. I feel uncomfortable all the time, unless I am slobbing around in my size 20 pjs, and then I just feel like an extra on The Jeremy Kyle Show. There are no recent photographs of me and Emily, let alone me and Ben who I know is completely ashamed of the way I look.
Suffice to say, I have to loose weight. Or accept the way I am, but I doubt I can ever do that. It is a vicious cycle – I am depressed about the way I look, so I drink a bottle of wine and order a large pizza to cheer myself up. Often during the week, I will text Ben at work, and say “fancy a greedy Monday?” (or whatever day it is). The feeling of knowing that as soon as Emily goes to bed, I can have a drink and eat grease, strangely makes me feel happy for the day. And then I hate myself for doing it. And I feel too fat to go anywhere. I hate going out with friends, as I never have anything to wear, apart from the 2 man tent on top of our wardrobe, and even that is getting tight…. Which is worse – this feeling of hideousness that is in my mind all the time, or not being about to eat and drink what I like? I think I have finally realised the former is far worse, for so many reasons, and I just hope I am able to change. It may help if I could get my lazy arse off the sofa and do some exercise. I cannot let Emily grow up with me as a role model, and every time I fancy that burger and fries, I must recreate the image that haunts me - collecting her from school when she is old enough to go, and me waddling to the gate in my flip flops and size 30 black tracksuit, covered in cat hairs and ketchup, with yellow fingers from smoking rollies, and grey greasy hair slapped back in a council estate pony tail. I cannot become that person…..
I have often joked that “if I could just loose weight, life would be perfect”. Actually, that is not far from the truth. I can’t do anything to make my dad better, and another worry is lack of money, but I also think if I was slim and attractive, a. I would get more work because people would like the look of me, and b. I would have more energy and a better state of mind to go and find more work. Maybe I am being shallow and naive, but being slim seems the answer to so many problems. So, the plan is simple, diet and exercise and all will be well in my world. The problem, however, lies in the weekend, when on Saturday night I will think I deserve a “glass” of wine. Which will lead to a bottle and then, “fuck it” a large donner special and burger and fries to share. Then Sunday, another bottle of wine and huge Sunday dinner “coz it’s Sunday”. Then the dreaded Monday will arrive, when I will feel depressed and hung-over, and all I will want is a “greedy Monday” -and it starts all over again. Have you ever seen the episode of The Simpsons, when Barney, the fat disgusting alcoholic tries to stop drinking? He becomes articulate, intelligent and smart, and no-one can believe the transformation. Until he has one tiny sip of beer, burps, can’t stop drinking again, and becomes his usual slobbish and drunk old self….
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