Tonya Harding, Margot Robbie, Ice Skating, Champion, Medal, Olympics, Competition

Let’s Bank The Wins

I didn’t drink last night. Not even that one drink that I pre-decided I wouldn’t count because who counts one drink? Not even a spritzer. And I’m delighted with myself. I have broken a habit. I have willpower. I am not the alcoholic I was starting to lazily wonder if I might be. Well done me.

I went out to dinner last week. Wearing what could genuinely be considered an ‘outfit.’ I didn’t cancel and I didn’t leave before everyone else and managed to control the panic about being away from home. Also I took something with a rip in it to the mending place. The mending place was shut but I still tried. Obviously now the ripped thing is in the car where it will stay for six months, but I tried. I made the effort to do something that wasn’t woven in to my established routine of doing only what needs doing every day followed by telly. And every time I do something even miniscule-ly other, I feel that I deserve a micro-medal. From the universe. I feel heroic. I am delighted with myself. Is this the beginning of my comeback?

They say ‘bank the wins’, don’t they? But do they really mean these wins? Is it okay to feel quite pleased about finding the energy to buy a new and complicated light bulb when other people are running marathons? Is it normal to be proud of myself for hand-washing a jumper when other people are writing books? My life has become a sports day where I always get a prize just for turning up; even if I’m the one crying and sitting under a tree refusing to do the hurdles.

Is this the turning of a corner? Yes, the worry and self-doubt are always present, thrumming away deep in my consciousness. But these tiny lifts are nutritious. The more I congratulate myself for managing to meet someone IRL for a cup of coffee, the more I believe that life is not over. And there was a time, as we emerged from lockdown in the early summer, that I felt my life was only ever going to be pyjamas, zoom, pilates, deadlines, Instagram, fond text messaging and vodka. The glimmer of possibility is, perhaps, reigniting. And if I can fan those flames by patting myself on the back when I manage to go to see an exhibition, then onwards. Cleaning out the encrusted bins today; books and marathons…at some point. The power of possibility is a beautiful thing.

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