Sunday, 3 July 2011

Social contexts

I never really realised how affected we are by our social context, the friends we surround ourselves with. I always knew it on a theoretical level but never really seen it. In the meeting tonight this guy was telling his story about how his life of alcohol fuelled crime and violence seemed perfectly normal and something that "everybody" does. It made me think of how I used to justify, albeit unknowingly, my abnormal behaviour patterns. Things like not paying bills on time, always accruing more debt, leaving tabs unpaid for ages, not sorting out paperwork etc, all seemed perfectly acceptable and normal as my boozing friends had much worse stories to tell about debt collectors knocking on the door and what not. If I was ever told off by a more sensible friend of mine, I would worry, get anxious and promptly go to the pub to be amongst my drinking buddies again and after a couple of glasses of wine feel a whole lot better... At least until I woke up the next morning with even less money and self respect.

I have now started to very, very slowly look at the financial mess I've gotten myself into. It's not a pretty sight but I think it could have been much worse. It may seem unmanagable right now, but I know that, really, nothing is unmanagable so long as I don't take that first drink. Somebody was talking about baby steps the other day and that's a good way to look at it. Slowly but surely I'm regaining control over my life and the things I can't control I need to leave be. The Serenity Prayer right there!

The plant is still alive, by the way.

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