Since my last post I’ve been busy living. Lots of work, some weekends away and I threw caution to the wind and bought a new horse! He’s an ex racer who’s had his basic retraining, and is very sweet natured. Hilariously he’s called Puff. Part of my thinking around getting him was that I would give up smoking ’puff’ in order to free up time especially given my mum’s health and needs. I’ve had him a couple of weeks now and have felt happier in myself than I have for a long time – probably since I retired my last horse in 2017. Looking back I think that was a catalyst for my drinking becoming increasingly problematic, the loss and more time to fill; followed by stopping alcohol, getting depressed and increasing my cannabis use to compensate. The pandemic allowed this to flourish and I withdrew more socially. Cannabis has been my default choice to fill my spare time for the last couple of years. Like alcohol it became less enjoyable as it became more compulsive. As I write this I have been cannabis free for a week.
It’s not all been positive. I’ve been grumpy with C, the return of the smoke devil! I’ve found myself thinking about drinking again. Could I have a glass of wine now and then? The idea of no mind altering substances to smooth the rough edges of life is difficult, especially as loss and grief are ever present currently. One day at a time is a helpful mantra to deal with this. Each time I’ve come close I’ve been glad that I’ve not succumbed. I’m feeling my feelings more with down days and ridiculously cheerful days. Im also getting more joint pain from my arthritis. I think I need to get some CBD supplements to address this.
The positives are I’m waking up earlier and getting more done. Things I want to do like riding and writing. I have more motivation to do other things, especially socially and like giving up alcohol, it’s liberating to not be thinking about when and how I’m going to smoke in any situation.
I’m not sure this is permanent. At the moment my thinking is that I might have it occasionally. I’m seeing this as changing my relationship with it – from best buddy and daily companion to a casual acquaintance. The therapy has definitely resolved some of the underlying issues that led to my addictions. I know old habits die hard though and I may be kidding myself. Hopefully having the new Puff in my life will mean there just isn’t the time and space for the old one!