Day 80! There's something beautiful about round numbers. This one reminds me of one of the children's jokes. Q: "What did the zero say to the eight?" A: "Nice belt!
Appropriately, given that I'm already on the topic of zeros and circles, this post is about coming full circle.
This is my 68th post. Eighty days ago I never would have imagined that I'd be able to find so many topics to ramble on about. I keep a list on my iPhone called 'blog posts', and whenever a relevant thought pops into my head I stick it on the list.
The list items are a bit like fish in an aquarium (spoiler alert: another analogy approaching). They swim around for a bit. Some of them get bigger and stronger and more acrobatic. Some die, end up floating belly up and have to be fished out. Some cannibalise friends who are just a bit too similar to them, and end up an amalgamation of two or three different fish.
Each morning I open up the aquarium, peer in and see which fish is throwing itself out of the water with enthusiasm, and that's the one I write about.
About three weeks ago I wrote 'full circle' on the list. I wasn't sure quite what that fish was all about yet, but I thought I'd let it swim around and see what happened to it. That fish kept bugging me. I knew it was important, but couldn't quite work out why.
Then I read one of Anne's brilliant posts (see Ainsobriety). Anne had taken my tiny little common old garden goldfish and turned it into a gorgeous, tropical Angel fish! Suddenly the 'full circle' thought made sense!
The reason I'd become interested in the full circle idea was that, yet again, I'd been thinking back to my pre drinking days. I remembered that when I was at boarding school I started THE DIARY.
THE DIARY (that's a JOURNAL in American) was a huge lever arch file into which I wrote religiously every day. I added photos, letters and news clippings.
THE DIARY wasn't private. I let all my friends read it. I also encouraged them to add their own news and comments. In fact, it was - in those pre-interweb days - a rudimentary blog! And I loved it. We would all gather round it reading back over our antics from the previous year "Weren't we all so immature and pathetic!" we'd shriek about our antics in the lower sixth.
Not only did I have THE DIARY, but I was constantly writing. I wrote most of the end of year comedy skits, taking the mickey out of all the staff. I wrote 'odes' for all my friends - long, comic poetry - on birthdays and for other significant events.
Over the years I stopped doing all of that. Until about 6 months ago (when I started writing a book) I hadn't written a thing except e-mails, thank you letters and work stuff for twenty years. In fact, it was probably starting the novel that got me thinking about quitting the drink.
So, here I am, full circle. Back to writing THE DIARY every day, and sharing it with my friends, encouraging them to add their comments.
Here's what Anne wrote on her blog a couple of days ago. She'd heard Wayne Dyer, self help guru, speak at a conference, and she said: "What stayed with me from his talk was the idea that at the end of our journey we will recognize it as the place we started. The circular path of life. The returning to source."
She, and Wayne Dyer, had blinged up my little fish!
Then I thought, if I've come totally full circle, does that mean the last twenty years were a complete waste? Where would I have been if I'd gone in a straight line???
But, you know what? I reckon that everyone comes full circle eventually. It wasn't the drinking that created the circularity. It's the self analysis caused by the stopping drinking that allows you to see it.
Big, circular, hugs to you all. SM x