Monday, 6 February 2012

Off the wagon

There is an expression about addiction that I always get the wrong way round. So I am either 'off the wagon' or 'on the wagon'. I don't know which one means you are doing the thing that you are trying to stop doing. But which ever one that is, then I am doing it. My addiction is to oil and all that that entails and I have been trying to give it up since I joined transition and gradually I have changed my life but it only takes a few things for me to be indulging again.

So for example I had gradually changed my life so that I was much less dependant on the car. I had done this by never agreeing to be involved in anything that meant I had to drive, so if someone invited me to join a book group in Wymondham then I would just say no.

I had started visiting my parents in Peterborough by train. This turned out to be cheaper than driving and much easier to knit on the journey.

I started to walk to work and sat smugly by as people ran round my office looking for the person who had blocked them in in the car park.

I moved to the city centre and started dating someone also in the city centre so that I was never more than walking distance from where I wanted to be.

I nearly, I repeat, nearly got rid of my car and then disaster struck....

My mum went into a home and my dad got really ill. Then my work got moved to 3 miles outside the city centre. I had to travel to Peterborough at a moments notice. When I walked around the office asking if anyone was driving into the city and could give me a lift I was looked at like I had asked for spare change for a cup of tea outside Macdonalds.

So I started driving around everywhere like an ex-vegetarian who has started eating meat and can't get enough of it!

Then my car broke and the garage asked me to pay £2000 to get it fixed and so I have parked it in my ex's driveway while I have a think. You could say that the car and me are officially 'on a break'.

So there you have it. My story of how you an end up off or on the wagon and then back on or off it in just a few months.

My name is Helenofnorwich and I haven't driven for 6 days and 3 hours...


  1. Hi Helen
    At least you are trying - in a world that is set up to make travel dependent on owning a car, unless you want to seriously incovenience yourself. You are at the mercy of other peoples' decisions such as where your work place moves to.
    By writing about your experience you are encouraging other people to re-evaluate what they do and that is always a good thing.
    Best wishes, Anni Kelsey

  2. Thank you Anni for your kind words. I hope to inspire others. I was inspired myself by once asking for a lift home from an Art Therapist without realizing she has tandem! It was amazing being on the back and so quick. That experience got me into cycling.