Zoinks it's been hot today. Hot and heavy. It's still shining down now at 9.17pm and it's fair whacked me out has all this sun.
I spent a couple of hours in the pub today. I've been popping in occasionally but without intoxication on the menu I don't have the temptation to waste hours there.
I went down to the Community Addictions Unit to take my Antabuse at around 10am and from there walked into town to look at the new central library. It's a nice building - very open and airy despite, or in fact because, of the concrete functional look. But, and excuse me for being old fashioned, it's not exactly rammed with books. This is the way with libraries now, they're more and more becoming computer sheds. Fair enough I suppose and free internet access is now a massive resource for learning, being an active citizen, having a social life and just straight up living, but for a central library in an important city I was sorry to see the shelves so sparse and so sparely populated.
I went to the pub to hide to be honest. We get on OK with our neighbours. Brilliantly on one side. But the other side make me nervous. They've got three little kids and a growing tribe of visitors, they're boisterous and noisy, which is fine, but they've also taken to chucking stuff over the wall. I went to have my last cigarette last night - all ready for bed - and saw a ball in the garden which I knew came from next door so I popped it back and went back to my fag. Then a shower of small coins comes over, which I ignore. Then a second one, which causes me to shout, "Oi, what are you doing!" Feet scurry away and Mrs CD arrives to see what's happening. While she's there another shower comes over. We're about 30p richer by now. I get enormously paranoid about this, distressed even, and have to be calmed down: "They're only doing it to get a reaction," she says. "They're only little and they're playing, they're not targetting us they're trying to piss off whoever's money it is." OK, and I do remain relatively calm. Nonetheless, the neighbours put me on edge a bit; the police were round while I was in hospital and I'm 99% sure the men of the house are involved in something criminal, I've seen enough to know that. To be honest I don't really care as long as I can have a quiet life at the moment and not get involved (which is pretty pathetic really), I still say hello to them and they're friendly enough, in fact when the kids do come to the door to ask for the ball they're really lovely and polite.
But it puts me on edge when they're home all day - screaming and fighting away and being shouted into submission. That's partly why I got so down being in the house and the pub felt such a good place to be. Today, it's fine. I take a book and sit in the garden and C soon turns up and we chat away while I chug through my blackcurrant and sodas and buy him an SA. But my inability to deal with even the slightest conflict - the fear that any disagreement will escalate out of control and into violence and humiliation (I think it's the humiliation that bothers me in some silly way) is paranoia that I need to deal with. Stuffed to the gills with Antabuse, seven anaesthetising pints of cider and the courage they bring is not an option and I didn't get as upset as I would have done in the past. But it's put me off going into the garden, which is a shame. Mrs CD was going to bring a friend home for dinner and I was glad she didn't because I know she would have wanted to eat outside, which I know would have been an agony of worry for me.
So, that's a trigger. Avoid is probably the best plan but I know I'm going to have to find courage at some point - I'm not really comfortable with children to be honest and my conflict avoidance is something I've inherited from my dad. I can't keep running forever.
One thing that I know will make me more comfortable in my skin (apart from my skin completely clearing up of course) is feeling physically stronger. I've toyed with the idea of learning some sort of martial art in a desultory sort of way - the discipline would be good. But, the first step is some sort of exercise. One for the morrow that because I'm pretty shattered now and once I've taken my pills will be off to sleep.
They're are kids outside now, just early teens, mates play fighting: why do my legs turn to jelly at the sound without a gut full of alcohol? I was never really bullied properly at school or anything; but I always felt under threat from it. Mrs CD is wise in such matters, but I'm learning sober that I have a huge amount to unlearn - a lifetime worth of it and sometimes it feels too much.
This seems a very negative post when in fact it's been a pretty good day.
If you spent it, thank you for your time.
If I make it to the support group tomorrow I'll try and bring it up, which'll take courage of a sort again.