by | Mar 24, 2020 | 8 comments

I, like many people, are now working from home. It’s not something I’ve done for a few years. The place I used too work at did it on an ad hoc basis, but since being at my new place (which I’ve been at nearly three years now) I’ve not done it at all.

Last week was my first week. It was a bit of a struggle just getting used to the new way of doing things, but I slowly acclimatised to it. After a few days I started to quite enjoy it. No hour long commute each way, going for a run at lunchtime, having music on while I worked, enjoying the vastly reduced workload as everyone slowed down as they all got used to working from home. It was all ticking over quite nicely.

This week has been a different story. Everyone else is now getting back up to speed so my workload is increasing. I’ve also had my two sons at home with me. Aged 7 and 9. So my day is not only supposed to be spent working, but also looking after two young boys, and making sure they get on with their school work. Essentially teaching as well as my day job. I’m on day two. So far so good but I don’t think you need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out that this is going to go on for months instead of weeks. I’ve managed 2 days. I can’t even begin to think what things will be like after 100.

At the moment here in the UK you are allowed to go out for exercise once a day. So I wake the boys up at 7.30, get dressed and have breakfast, and we leave the house at 8 on our bikes and go out for an hour and a half cycling, exploring, and running around. Going out early means it’s easier to keep our distance from others, as we are currently required to do.

Then we get home, have a snack and get on with work. Having got a few miles under our feet we are all a bit more inclined to sit and get on with something quietly. We are lucky enough to have garden with a trampoline in it, so we have lunch, go on that, then the afternoon is work and quite play. It’s not perfect but it’s something, and I’m getting to spend some more times with my boys which is something I have always wanted. I am even managing to sort our house out a bit, clearing our cupboards, doing odd bits of DIY, getting the washing done and hoovering.

So would things be different if I was drinking? Well firstly I wouldn’t have slept well, so our morning cycle would be a chore, and chances are we would go by the wayside pretty soon. And if we hadn’t gone out for a bit in the morning to get some ground under our feet all of us would be more grouchy and restless, more inclined to bicker and lose our temper with one another. The increased anxiety would have my worrying about everything (and frankly there is a fair bit to worry about at the moment if you are that way inclined). Sitting around the house all day I’d end up over eating and just drinking more. It would be like all the horrible parts of Christmas all rolled into one, drinking too much eating too much, and feeling grotty and restless as a result. Drinking would be the difference between muddling though and making the best of things, and having a pretty dreadful time, losing my temper and feeling stir crazy and anxious.

As things stand these are strange times, but I have a lot to be grateful about. I’m alive, my job is as safe as any job can be in these uncertain times, I am getting to spend more time with my boys, we have food (not necessarily our usual choice but food is food), and so far we are all well and healthy. The interesting thing about gratitude is that you need to feel positive to feel it. If you start to feel low those things just don’t make you feel grateful, you are too busy looking at all the bad things to feel grateful for anything. That’s the main thing alcohol would take from me, my ability to feel grateful and positive instead of worried and miserable.

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8 Comments

  1. Jenny Armstrong

    Hello Mr Porter,
    All very good points and can wholeheartedly agree about being more positive without alcohol. Since stopping on 25/12/19, I focus on as much of the good stuff as I can. The bad stuff feels a lot less traumatic these days. Keep well and your boys.

  2. ron marshall

    Not really any different for me as im retired not much has changed really apart from a bit more worry about things that may or may not happen ,really all we’ve got is this moment really. Gratitude is a good attitude to have Thanks William take care

  3. Tea Total

    Love your writing and insight! I have read both of your books and recommend them on an online sober support group. May I share this blog post there?
    Tea Total (my name in the support group online). Please check us out.
    https://boozemusings.com/boozemusings-and-boom/
    Thank you for all you do!

  4. Anonymous

    Agreed. I’m grateful we have the technology to live our lives so smoothly (compared to the days of the plague or other world issues) while we learn and evolve and hopefully come out of this situation with a whole lot of global post traumatic growth.

  5. Anonymous3

    I am so grateful that I recently quit drinking at the end of February. The timing couldn’t be better. This social distancing is making the temptations non-existent. Thankfully, I’m divorced from my ex-husband who is regular drinker (daily); and I live only with my nine year old and beautiful dog, so there is absolutely no temptations in the house at all.

    This will definitely be a silver lining for me, as it will get me well on the right path by the time this situation is over.

    I do feel bad for those that are still drinking at this time.

  6. Anonymous

    I work from home a couple of days usually anyway – being indoors with the other half working too is a different kettle of fish. Here in australia there have been ridiculous lines at the bottleshop people panic buying. I’ve been sober 15 months now and I don’t what headspace I would have been in if I’d still been drinking.

  7. Amy

    Yes I am so glad to be free of booze right now.. People here are lining up outside our liquor stores it’s unreal. And booze has been declared an essential service so they are keeping the shops open! This is going to lead to more health problems and more alcoholism and therefore more of a strain on our healthcare. I live in Ontario Canada. Anyway I know that the old drinking me would be obsessing about having enough booze in the house. That is happily one less thing I have to worry about right now and I am finding it easier to feel positive and grateful right now even with all that is gone on in the world because I’m not drinking. Thank you for your post!!
    Hang in there!

  8. Sue

    Always love your writing William, particularly love if we were drinking “It would be like all the horrible parts of Christmas all rolled into one” brilliant. Thanks for posting.Hope you and your family stay safe.

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