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Archive for August, 2014|Monthly archive page

Craving forgiveness

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety on August 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm

5 weeks today and I feel like sobriety is going well, no temptations so far. I have focussed on family and myself and although its boring and frustrating, I am getting there. I haven’t had to deal with the lows of hangovers or any shame or fear.

Recently though, I have been feeling cravings for something else. A deep desire to explain my side of the story.

I want to confess, I want to clean my slate, I want other people to forgive me and I want to forgive myself.

I want to relive my drunken misery out loud; things I have never spoke of. I want and need to make sense of it all, even if it is just once.

I woke up this morning and started to think about admitting to someone exactly what I had done under the influence of alcohol and what it would be like and how I would describe it.

I can’t tell my family everything because its too personal and I feel as if my therapist shouldn’t hear this stuff as he is male.

Is this a common urge; to want to confess everything?

I also want to hear what other people have done and how they felt.

My grandma let slip that my grand dad used to feel huge amounts of remorse after heavy drinking and for some reason that helped me, because I knew that I wasn’t alone and in some ways I could see where my behaviour stems from.

Perhaps this is a sign I should be brave and go back to an AA Meeting.

Is alcoholism the problem or is it a symptom?

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, mental health, Sobriety on August 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

4 and a half weeks of no alcohol; it should feel good right?

To me it feels boring, as if it is has been almost too easy.

Today I have felt a general sadness. It sits in my chest and ebbs away under my ribs, lingering around my heart which beats with half the normal vigour it usually does. The sadness flows through my blood, coursing around my body, away from my face.

Looking in the mirror my face looks pale and my eyes dull and lifeless. I feel numb as well everything all the time. I talk to people and smile but it is as if my life is lived from behind glass. I am there but not quite.

Although I know I can depend on myself, I seem to want to depend on people who cannot and don’t want to be depended on.

Today I have been let down by my mum who is my main confidante, I want to speak to my best friends but they are busy with their own lives and the guy I thought things were starting to go well with has started to ignore me.

I don’t feel like I have anyone to rely on, to bounce off or to just generally hang out with. I live on my own and when I feel down it can be hard to pick myself up again.

With all that said; after expressing my sadness and acknowledging it, I am determined that it will not defeat me or my triumph over alcohol. I mistakenly assumed that my life would somehow transform into a sort of peaceful, energised world without alcohol. I thought that perhaps I would continue to feel better and better.

Maybe I still have to learn how to live and perhaps stopping drinking is just a small step in the right direction.

I will keep going as I know this feeling will pass. Writing it down makes it seem less than what it feels and it is always good to get your feelings into perspective.

Our brains have a nasty habit of blowing things out of proportion and my mental state is affecting me physically and just generally.

I will survive.

As always, one day at a time.

sobering or so boring?

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2014 at 9:01 am

3 weeks sober today!

Its a little mile stone but I am still feeling very positive and relaxed. I have got a long climb until I feel confident in my non drinking but I m ready to climb and commit.

Yesterday I went to see my counsellor and told him the good news; I have accepted I have a problem and I am doing something about it. And this time around I don’t feel a sense of anxiety, i feel determination.

His words of advice were that the first year of sobriety is the hardest. I should know because of the 5 times I have tried to quit prior to this, I have always failed around the two month mark.

He also said that the decision I have made is a life changing one and should be fully committed to. It’s okay to avoid situations where there are extreme amounts of pressure to drink, you may have to explore other avenues of entertaining yourself whilst sobriety is still new and avoiding any situations where big amounts of stress is involved.

He has worked in a lot of rehab centres and he said that when people first go sober they are advised not to be in a relationship for the first year and to put themselves first.

It suddenly dawned on me how seriously you have to take it.

In the past I have always attempted to make a change but tried to continue my normal social life; I won’t drink but I will still go clubbing, still go to the pub, still go to parties and be surrounded by drinking games.

I don’t know how I expected to quit; but maybe subconsciously, I never actually wanted to quit.

Since I haven’t drank this time around I haven’t had any cravings to drink. I have felt alive, fresh and in control of myself. I listen to a good tune in my car and feel the same ecstasy as if I were slightly intoxicated. I go to the gym and eat healthily and feel a sense of pride that I am making a positive change to my body.

Last night my brother threw a house warming party. I turned up and gave him a bottle of wine I wanted to get rid of. (I have decided to clear my house of alcohol…I won’t even use any for baking!)

On arrival everyone was playing drinking games. I stayed to chat to people for maybe 20 minutes and then somebody asked me to join in beer pong. I declined their offer and decided I had to make a plan.

The old me would not have wanted to miss out on a party, but the new, realistic me decided that this was a danger zone. I made my excuses and me and a friend went for a meal instead.

After the meal, I got invited back to the party. Again, a surge of temptation washed through me. SHould I go? It may be nice to see people, meet my brothers new girlfriend perhaps?

Then I remembered; they would all be drunk and I would be sober. They would all wonder why I wasn’t drinking. I didn’t want to unnecessarily put myself in that position. I was also messaging someone from the party who had asked me to return. I said ‘Im not drinking at the moment so perhaps it would be a little awkward for me to be around everyone who’s drunk’ and his response was ‘bore off’.

Thats all I needed. That little reminder.

When you don’t drink, you are viewed as boring. I understand this because I once was the pushy drinker who wanted everyone to get as drunk as me because thats all I knew as good fun.

I decided to stay at home and be ‘boring’.

But boring means that I didn’t do anything potentially life ruining, I haven’t woken up with a self inflicted illness or self inflicted anxiety or depression. I have had a nice cafetiere coffee, watched my baking programme and now I have a whole day to work on my house.

If thats boring, then I like being boring.

One day at a time.

A trip to remember

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

2 weeks sober.

This weekend saw my dad and I go on our first trip together.

Just as some background information to this; this is a big step. My dad and I don’t hang out much or have much to say to each other.

Recently I wrote him a very honest email (only way to contact him) and instead of making the email about our relationship, I made it about me and my flaws and why I behave the way I do. My dad has a lot of pride and can’t take any criticism, so if he got any hint of ‘you weren’t there for me as a father’ he wouldn’t have taken it in the way he did.

Since the email things have improved. I feel a whole lot calmer around him and I feel as though I have laid my flaws out so that they can no longer be held against me and I have vowed to start making small improvements.

Anyway, getting back to the trip. We drove to Germany in a group of car lovers to a race track. Most of the trip was spent travelling.

On the first day we ate at the most wonderful restaurant where they served champagne on arrival (successfully avoided it) and then wine with every course and the waiter poured mine without asking, which usually I would find charming but this made me slightly awkward.

My dad sat next to me and said ‘you have to try the wine, this is not wine that you find anywhere else, it is very special wine’

So I took one sip politely. And didn’t have anymore.

I feel as though I gave in, but admittedly it was very nice wine and I only had a sip.

At dinner I ordered sparkling water and the french lady asked me if I wanted ANYTHING else; espresso martini, gin and tonic, amaretto? whatever I wanted, she could get me. I politely declined and she assumed that it was because I was with my dad. I didn’t agree or disagree. Let people assume, it saves making up an excuse.

The man who sat with us was less assuming. He LOVED his red wine. Dad made me take a sip again, as once again it was very special wine. Even as a non drinker, I could appreciate the quality, but the thought of having more scared me. I looked around at everyone getting drunk. The conversation got more and more self indulgent as peoples confidence increased. I remained the same, and the fact that I wasn’t losing control of myself made me feel very calm and at ease (for once).

My dad stepped out for five minutes and left me and the heavy wine drinker alone.

‘You’re too sensible for a 24 year old, you’re too calm’

I laughed at him. If only he knew. It took me a while to reply because I knew this was a slight goad. The underlying message was either that he wanted me to relax onto his level or he was curious as to how a person could evert self control in this excessive, exuberant environment.

‘I didn’t used to be’ was my reply and I smiled a smile only someone who had made endless amounts of mistakes and was now making a change could smile.

We went on to discuss other things such as university and wild people. It was nice to be on a level with a commercial director of a luxury brand of cars. It was proof to me that everyone is human after all.

I told my dad the next day about my discussion with the man. It was a way to try and broach deeper subjects (mainly our email exchange), I threw him a conversational branch by saying ‘he thought I was calm, isn’t that funny? I remember a time when I was so irrational! If only he knew, eh?’

My dad didn’t find this so funny, and he didn’t take the bait in the way I wanted.

He just talked about how to change your life is to properly plan for everything and being in the right frame of mind. He was so vague and irritating.

He was almost lecturing me without acknowledgement of the fact that I hadn’t drank, that I had become a lot calmer and I was making these positive changes. In the mean time he proceeded to get terrible road rage, was speeding (which he tells me off for) and he drank too much the night before, despite having a full day planned the next day.

He was telling me how to live my life as he continued to make mistakes. He bases his measure of success on what car you drive, how much money you make and how well you continue through life without admitting to having problems. As far as he is concerned he doesn’t have any form of weakness.

And yet here he has a daughter who struggles to control her drink and his answer is ‘you don’t have a problem, just don’t drink shots.’

A daughter who admitted her character flaws and makes a big effort to improve and he tells her that in order to improve problems is to pre plan.

I don’t hold this against him anymore. I just accepted that we had our first trip away together and I have let go of wanting a normal dad and instead I will pat myself on the back and reap the rewards that I can give myself from making changes and not drinking.

One day at a time.

Dogs get treats, humans get alcohol.

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Day 8 has brought reflective thoughts which I feel I need to release;

For every occasion, birthday, event (good or bad) we as a society have a reason to drink alcohol. It is around every corner, in the bars you hang out at, restaurants you dine at, and at friends and families houses.

If you earn money and have a social life the chances are that you are confronted by alcohol allot. And not only that but you feel the need / pressure to consume to join in with whatever tradition / ritual allows you to.

But before you get to the event; whether it is getting ready or driving somewhere, those precious moments whilst your brain is not soaked in liquor, are the best moments.

It’s so exciting getting dressed up, putting make up on, listening to up beat sexy music to get you in the zone. Your only thought is that there are better things to come, the main event being alcohol, the secondary event being the party or the actual socialising.

The idea of alcohol is so appealing.

Nice cold wine / beer / champagne, a cocktail with the girls, a bottle with the boyfriend, a shot to get you in the mood.

It’s advertised in such a sexy, fun, sophisticated way, how could you resist?

If you don’t drink perhaps you are deemed uptight and uncool? Perhaps even less attractive?

Thats our fear. Thats my fear.

How can I socialise without hiding behind this image that I am the ‘crazy one’ or ‘the party starter’ or ‘the first to pull’

Sobriety is like socialising with a full length mirror attached to your hip.

‘Here I am. I have nothing to hide behind.’

You’re exposed for who you truly are.

And then you realise that those who care probably weren’t your friend anyway. They cheered you on when you were kissing that 50 year old hairy biker or taking your knickers off in public, but when it comes to life changing matters they don’t understand and never will.

But you on the other hand will wake up tomorrow and breathe air. Not distress and fear.

You will wake up tomorrow and not have driven a car whilst blacked out drunk.

You will wake up tomorrow remembering how you got to bed, who you are laying next to and you will be able to go to work and function like everybody else.

One day at a time.

Weak One

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm

So it’s been a week since I stopped drinking alcohol.

It’s gone pretty well; I recovered from last weekend by wednesday evening and felt positive about everything by Thursday.

Friday was our works meal with some ladies from the office. I opted to be designated driver and that seemed to work very well.

‘I have a no alcohol rule when I drive’

No arguments.

I watched everyone drinking their gin and tonics, red wine, rum and coke etc as I sipped on my diet coke and kept my water topped up.

I noticed how quickly I drink. I noticed that I didn’t waste anything, I even crunched on the ice.

I noticed that I compensated my alcohol for a large steak.

Yesterday was a Saturday night and I decided to stay in and do house work, which sounds incredibly dull, but it was actually amazing.

I painted my nails, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, watched a movie and slept for ten hours, and do you know the best bit? I woke with no hangover, no regrets, no depressive thoughts. The sun was shining and I felt alive.

No alcohol in my system feels like control. I feel scared when I think of going on a night out and waking up not knowing where Ive been or what Ive done.

I am sitting writing this at my breakfast bar with some beautiful flowers in a vase by side and some chicken in the oven. This time last week I hated everything and everyone.

I never want to feel like that again.

One day at a time.