Much is written of AF holidays. This is my third. It's got me thinking. A lot! The thing with holidays, especially those largely spent on a sunlounger is you get a lot of time to think. Especially when you are up with the larks and not drinking.
What I've realised is that my mind can run riot. It brings thoughts to the surface that I sometimes don't like. I wonder if others experience the same. It'd make me feel better about myself to know I'm not alone here.
These are the thoughts that I used to try and drown in alcohol.
Don't worry. I ain't going too deep. No criminal offenses have taken place. I'm a good lad, honest.
I'm just talking about the constant internal debates I suspect we are all guilty of. Certainly many of those in the OTI community, if we are being honest, will be guilty of the same constant ruminating and negative thought loops. It became a circular thing; it became the reason I drank. To turn down the volume on the incessant internal debates. A vicious circle.
It's always taken me a few days to acclimatise on holiday. Here we are on the second full day and I'm only just starting to unwind.
I found this annoying and, to be honest, agitating. I thought I deserved to pitch up cool as a Greek cucumber now that I'm not drinking. Why am I still agitated and snappy? But it's perfectly normal I now realise. Let's examine how to make a crotchety cake.
4 hours of broken sleep.
1 3am alarm
1 large Airport
1 teaspoon of dried covid regulations
2 hours of self-navigation to accommodation
1 18-year-old son recently returned from 1st lads holiday
1 15-year-old daughter steeped in iPhone duties.
1 fraught father
1 wife to bind it all together
Bake at 35 degrees for 36 hours until nicely agitated.
You see really it's perfectly acceptable to take a while to acclimatise. I'm now feeling better. I know when I'm crabby but sometimes it's difficult to be Mr Happy and calm when I'm in this zone. We just need to learn to ride out these, upon reflection, they are perfectly normal mood swings.
These are the observations of the new guy. Old me never saw this. Old Me left the crotchetey cake in the oven for way too long. Added way too much alcohol and didn't let it cool down.
Learning to listen to feelings and trying not to react to them has been perhaps the most important change I've made in recent months. It's as a result of not drinking and subsequently trying to learn mindfulness.
It feels like a first-world problem. How to manages one's mental health on holiday. But we lead lives that are a million miles an hour at times. We self-medicate for years. We're up then we're down, up down up down and so it goes.
So here I am, day 3 of 10 and eased in nicely, quickly over the inevitable minor turbulence caused by the flight ordeal.
The moral of the story? Ride out the lows. Don't react to the burning mood fires by pouring alcohol on them that makes them burn longer and more aggressively.
Listen to your body and try not to react. A good night's sleep, some light exercise, and time to relax is all it needs. Oh, and some baklava.