All or nothing

If I were to pick a theme tune for my life, a strong contender would have to be All Or Nothing by The Small Faces. For the title and chorus more than the sentiment behind the song. It sums me up in a lot of ways because I’m a binger by default. I used to binge (and some) on booze. It was always ‘all’ back then. Now it’s ‘nothing’.

I still binge on things I find pleasurable, e.g. football, well Manchester City rather than football generally. I can only give strong emotional attachment to one particular entity to each segment in my compartmentalised life.

My attitude to work is ‘all’. My ex-wife always used to say you work to live, not live to work. I never agreed. That’s probably more a criticism of me though than her. But therein lies my problem. How to compromise whilst maintaining passion and commitment to something I believe in? I think I’ve got better, in that I can now switch off at the end of the day, and do nothing (maybe binge on a box set). Whereas when I had my own business I never switched off, I simply couldn’t. And it consumed me and spat me out as an alcoholic wreck.

That of course was then, this is now. I have become better at recognising and avoiding the triggers that lead to personal destruction. Yet I can still struggle with focusing on positives when something negative happens to me. I start to believe that the perpetrators of the negativity can do nothing right from that point onwards. I subconsciously look for the validation of proof that they are in the wrong and will seize every opportunity to feast on that.

I am not a grudge bearer though. I never have been. I soon get it out of my system and without the hindrance of alcohol it spurs me into positive action. Back in the bad old days though, it was more of a ‘don’t get mad get even’ type of thing. However, I now believe that to be a bit of a vigilante seeking revenge approach in that is reactive rather than proactive. Reacting to circumstances brings too much emotion to the response, and often results in poor decisions. This probably explains why there were more misses than hits during my excessive alcohol consumption days.

The sober self reminds me that I have to take a beat – pause, reflect, practice forgiveness and let go.

The sober self reminds me that I have to take a beat – pause, reflect, practice forgiveness and let go. I can still have an emotional wobble and a sweary rant or two, but the important thing is not to act at that point. I have to understand that life is not always how I want it to be, not everyone does things to make life better just for me. Accepting this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, as the Serenity Prayer states, is the mantra to use when things are not going my way. Forgive and let go has to become my new default setting. Invariably it results in better decision-making.

The pictures accompanying this blog were snapped a couple of weeks ago near Louth in Lincolnshire. Just some ducks living in the moment on the side of a brook in a nature reserve. I’m not sure if they have any relevance to what I’ve just written other than I was bingeing on editing pictures whilst simultaneously bingeing on Spotify. Escaping my negative thoughts with something creative. The music was the latest album by Ambrose Akinmusire, it’s called on the tender spot of every caloused moment.  The Spotify info says he is a trumpeter, a forward thinking musician mashing up post-bop, ballads, free-jazz and funk. It’s awesome when you want your mind to wander into a free state and let go.

Ronnie xx