Tinder Has Left the Chat

Ten months into an alcohol free life. Something is bubbling up and I don’t quite know how to handle it. They say that ten months in can be a tumultuous time because the pink cloud you have been feeling starts to drift away and you are left with some of the darker clouds moving slowly over your head. This last week something felt off; I started to get eczema again – a signal to me that my body is in distress (in my butt crack of all places), I have not been motivated to go swimming or to the beach, I have felt angry with friends and felt like shouting FUCK YOU into the sky. Nothing in particular I could put my hand on. Just a feeling, a simmering disgust, barely contained anger.

I try everything to change my mood when I get like this; I walk, I listen to podcasts, I eat healthy food even though I am dreaming about shoving doughnuts in my face. I don’t and it takes all my fucking strength – I don’t because I am in the middle of changing my life and I am sick of taking two steps forward and then three steps back. The boring cycle of behaviour I know so well.

My body is physically changing too – perimenopause I think. It can be from one week the happiest of highs to the lowest of lows. The go-to things that could relieve this pain and discomfort are booze and sugar but they are the two things I am staying clear from because guess what? They make me feel even worse.

I was meant to go on a date this week with someone really interesting and handsome but I realised a few days ago that my heart wasn’t in dating full stop. I started to feel a sort of dread and anxiety about it all because I am just not ready to be vulnerable or even friendly with a new person in the loaded space of Tinder dating. This is the second time I have bailed on someone in the last year and I hate myself for it because it is not fair on them. But I try so hard to feel “normal” and like I am ready to connect with others but then I realise I am not and I back out.

I have deleted Tinder and I have learnt my lesson that I am just not even half ready to go down a path of meeting anyone. I know that now. Dating is fucked up really – I don’t think I am suited for it; I want to meet people in real life and build up friendships. I met my ex at Carnival and it was instant connection at first sight. It was fun to be chatted up in reality, spontaneous and none of the pre-date wondering if they will fancy you in the flesh or not. So it is fair to say I am done with online dating.

I am looking forward to getting my first year of alcohol free life in the bag and to celebrate it I am going to take the famous sleeper train from London to Scotland and spend some days in the Highlands. I thought about whether I would want to do that with someone, and honestly the answer is no, I want the solitude. I want the freedom to wander and to celebrate my first year of sobriety on my own. It feels like empowerment to me. I have spent years of my life in long term relationships and my single life has been some of my happiest. Acknowledging this is powerful.

So I say to myself, I am not ready to share my life, I am not ready to share my life and that is okay.

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