I’ve not been feeling well for a few days, high temperature, feeling low and wanting to sleep all the time. I’ve had a Covid-19 test and I’m negative, so that’s good. However, the yearning to return to the past has been a persistent thread in my mind all week.
On Friday night whilst on Facebook, I posted a picture of my dog Elvis, who passed away thirteen months ago. I was just missing him. I reckon it was because throughout the 15 years he was with me, whenever I felt low he would sense it, and snuggle in next to me. No second thoughts just unconditional support and love. And I was missing that.
I did receive some nice messages in response to the post though. With one friend reaching out simply to remind me that when I’m firing on all cylinders, I am unstoppable. And while I wasn’t seeking reaffirmations and compliments, it was lovely to be thought of in such a way and gives me encouragement for my new life plans.
This morning I read a Facebook post from my friend and fellow-recovering ex-boozer Katie. It was a lovely post and a reminder that the knee jerk response to setbacks isn’t to reach for the bottle but to remind yourself how much better you are facing things with a clear head. Returning to the dark days of mindless escapism would only kick the can down the road. Yet sobriety alone isn’t the answer either; it requires constant spiritual work to fill the void. It works if you work it, as they say in recovery circles.
I can draw on the good parts of my past, rework it into the present and make it better…
So after this, and a long conversation with another close friend this morning, I put on Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head, probably my favourite album of theirs. I then played a game of scrolling through my iPhone photo library without looking, then at a particular beat in one of the tracks, stopping to see where I landed. The place I arrived at was back to Spring 2018. After that I selected a few pics to edit and work on. The results are with this post, along with another picture of Elvis that I worked on last night whilst listening to Frank Turner’s Be More Kind, another favourite album to lift my sprits.
The message for me from this latest experience of feeling off colour and in a low mood is that there are plenty of things to be thankful for. I know that however shit I’m feeling I can draw on the good parts of my past, rework it into the present and make it better. That’s what I did with these photos and that is what I’m doing with my life.
- Nobody said it was easy
- No one ever said it would be so hard
- I’m going back to the start*
* extract from The Scientist by Coldplay