I Want To Be Where I’m At – By Nicola O’Hanlon

I made a pot of my favourite Ethiopian coffee this morning, like I do every morning. As I flicked through my emails, I realised I hadn’t got my cup in front of me. I had left it down somewhere in the house, and now I couldn’t remember where. After ten minutes of searching and getting increasingly annoyed with myself, I found it on the white, tiled floor, in the bathroom, by the toilet. Yes, I’ve been sipping and peeing at the same time way too often lately.

I realised also, that today I have an important medical appointment. It’s my six month diabetes check-up. Too important not to keep. Once upon a time I didn’t go see my diabetic specialist for two goddam years! So, I had to cancel something else and reschedule that for next month. Later today I’ll sit in a crowded waiting room in an attempt to take care of myself.

I opened the washing machine, and realised I had filled it, but hadn’t turned it on last night. There’s also clothes hanging outside on the washing line for two days, that have been rained on several times and will need to be washed again. All this means that the pile of dirty clothes never decreases.

I need to write something this morning for The Café….

I’m forgetting to answer emails….

reply to texts….

can’t decide what to write about….

I’m really not that good a writer anyway….

is there anything in the fridge for dinner today….

Jess has football practice tonight….

gotta pick Chris up from the gym….

rent….fuck rent is due….

let me check my bank account….

damn it (enter name here), does all this working and mother stuff as if it’s a breeze….why can’t I be like her?….

the car needs to be serviced….



Meditation! I should meditate or pray…..or something before I…..

Snap!….the sound of my mind breaking.

My brain is packed to capacity. So crammed, that it’s spilling into the rest of my body, causing my muscles to ache, my head to hurt and my heart to beat too fast. I’ve become so full that the weight of it has led to fatigue that almost has me paralyzed.


Because yet again, my expectations of myself are unrealistic and unmanageable. I’m in a maze, with no clue where I should be going next. For months now, I’ve been scurrying around trying to find my way out….my way to….who knows where!

Have I overdosed on recovery?

I haven’t stopped in seven years trying to improve myself, be well, sober, stay well, achieve, not be crazy, depressed, anxious, poor, isolated. I cannot go back to that psych ward!

Have to, supposed to, should be…..are the words assaulting my brain and I have finally, just this morning, given myself enough attention to realise I need a break!

I need a break from my head, my dreams, my wants, my expectations, from comparing myself…..from wanting to be better, more, enough!

I stopped this morning and took stock of where I’m at. I mean like took time to just sit down. I collapsed into my recliner and let the sage smoke engulf the room. The struggle was unbearable. Getting the frantic me to listen to the calm rational side of me (there actually is one), is the same as trying to get a toddler to sit still. Almost impossible.

I became aware of just how detached from myself I’d become recently. In my quest to fulfill my potential, to prove something to myself, I was on my way to becoming a dysfunctional mess.

I haven’t given myself the chance to just be right where I am and enjoy where I’m at for years. There’s always the next level to get to in life.

I recalled my kids chat over breakfast, about music and school. They were showered, dressed and eating good food. All the animals were fed and happy. There was no anger or violence, no addiction, no poverty, no sadness, no crazy, present in my house this morning.

And there hadn’t been…..for years.

There was however, me, their mother trying too hard to be too much.

Who knew. I’m right where I have always wanted to be….again….probably for years.

I made a wish when I saw 11.11 appear on the clock on my computer. Usually I wish for a job/career opportunities that I love and can get well paid for. A forever home. Good health. Security.

Today I wished for continued calm and peace and to stop beating the absolute shit out of myself.

Nicola O'Hanlon

About Nicola O'Hanlon

Meet our Editor-In-Chief, Nicola O'Hanlon. She created this website, along with the help of the InTheRooms team in September 2015. Her work has been published in several recovery magazines, including Recovery Today, In Recovery Magazine, AfterPartyChat.com, Psychology Today and Reach Out Recovery to name but a few. She has also had her work published in two Feminist anthologies and a book of personal recovery stories. Born and raised in Wexford, Ireland she still lives there with her two children, Christopher and Jessica. Her background is in healing through Massage Therapy, Reflexology and Sechiem Energy Healer. She has combined her professional and life experience and now coaches women on how to empower themselves. She runs the Womens Wisdom Healing Circle meeting, on InTheRooms.com every Sunday (Noon est 5pm UK & Ireland), which is a non program specific gathering of women seeking support, encouragement and healing. Already an expert on how not to live life she is a constant seeker of new and better ways of being. Nature is her Higher Power and she believes in magic, crystals and blames the phases of the moon for her multiple personalities.
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  1. Wow, just wow. Thank you for this piece. I too, have got myself in the rat trap of trying to hard and I needed to stop and remember, we are human beings, not human doings. Well done! Thank’s for sharing!

  2. Avatar
    Cassandra or gowithhp

    Wow! So very much to relate to Nicola. I’m not crazy when I’m spinning around trying to do everything, be everything. I need time to just stop and rest/be. I’m ever so grateful for deciding to come on and read this right now. The Universe moves us to just what we need when we need it. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this with us.

  3. I have a book by Doreen Virtue titled “Angel Numbers 101” This book tells of Angels sending symbols to communicate with us. Number 11 – “Stay positive! Your thoughts are materializing rapidly, so you want to ensure positive outcomes by focusing only on the good within yourself, others, and this situation.” Divinely guided indeed : )

  4. I love the real raw vulnerability that you reveal. I So identify with the calamity that stirs internally when we are trying to prove ourselves.

  5. Thank you for making your writing and your journey available. I have a question: you mentioned that at 11.11 you made a wish. The number 11 is very significant to me as well and some very important events and revelations have come at this time. What do I need to know about the number 11? Is there lore, a history, etc that I can read about?

    • There’s lots of stuff to read on 11.11. Some believe it signifies synchronicity or good luck. Others say it’s a sign that you’re being divinely guided. For me it’s just become a habit to make a wish when I see 11.11. I’ve been seeing the number a lot the past few days.

  6. I love this piece Nicola. It resonates very deeply with me. Thank you x

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