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Posts Tagged ‘mental-health’

Day Two

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, mental health, sober, Sobriety on August 11, 2015 at 10:10 pm

So its day two of being sober and that seems pretty feeble considering a couple of months ago I was close to achieving a whole year sober.

But still, I am here, and I am trying again.

The hangover has almost worn off now; the panicky feeling has gone, but I am still feeling drained and a little weaker than usual. I get randomly hot and then cold. I feel like I need lots of food to rebuild myself back to what I was last week.

Isnt it amazing that one night of drinking can do so much damage to you physically and to your spirit.

I went to yoga tonight and I lay down on the floor just focussing on my breathing.

I suddenly remembered that despite everything I put myself through I am still alive.

Whatever alcohol has put me through, whatever anyone thinks of me, whatever I think of myself my heart still beats and my lungs still work and I have another chance to make peace with my past and move forward.

Its day two and I am at the foot of a huge mountain and I know that its going to take hard work, and a big lifestyle change to get anywhere near the top.

I am going to have to ruthlessly stop hanging around with toxic people, even if it isnt their fault that they dont understand my situation. I am going to stop going to places where getting drunk is the only activity that happens there. I am going to write every day in order to document my progress and I am going to attend an AA meeting as soon as I can.

One day at a time.

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Back to Square One

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, sober, Sobriety on August 10, 2015 at 1:23 pm

My heart aches and my body is burning hot.

Yesterday I woke up in a panic. What did I do last night?

My friend came in to laugh at me and tell me what a mess I am. I told her my hearts stuggling to beat and I cant breathe. She told me to have a cold shower and that I will be fine.

I sat in a cold shower for about half an hour, gasping for air. So dehydrated and numb and possibly still drunk, I was beyond crying.

A fun night out with the girls turned into debauchery so bad I don’t even remember being in the night club.

Apparently I was handing out drinks, buying champagne, kissing random men….the list goes on.

In June of this year I had been sober for 11 months, and then I decided I was being too hard on myself and I needed to loosen up a bit.

‘You’re not an alcoholic’ is the constant message I got from friends and family, and then I started to tell myself that message and finally I started believing it. ‘Lets just drink in moderation, if I can go 11 months without a drink, I can learn to moderate’.

But it didn’t happen and it will never happen.

I want to lie in a black hole until I have recovered and healed. I have been in this situation hundreds of times. Self hatred, self loathing so deep I’m choking on it.

If I disappeared every time I felt ashamed of myself I would have spend a serious amount of the past 10 years in hiding and that is not what living is about.

To accept I am helpless, I am ill and I need to recover and forgive is the only way I can carry on.

I need help, I need support and I need change.

Day one has been worse that I remember ever feeling.

Things can only get better…

New Kind of Sober

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, sober, Sobriety on September 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Seven weeks sober yesterday and I am starting to feel like I am getting somewhere. Each day brings new levels of loneliness and empowerment.

I feel a different kind of sober; I feel calm and controlled about things that scared me before.

I feel like a permanent change has been made from somewhere deep within me. I no longer associate with alcohol or people who live to get drunk. I can’t even hold any alcohol in my hands without feeling weird.

I don’t miss nights out or how they used to feel. I especially don’t miss the hangovers, the major highs and lows, the mistakes and regrets.

I have changed and ultimately its for the better. Some people do not have a clue that I am sober and others still don’t understand why it has happened. I am starting to no longer care about those trivial aspects of socialising, I have switched to focussing peoples attention back on themselves. I feel a new wave of maturity has set in but at the same time a new lease of life which will allow me to have childlike excitement.

I no longer want to deny myself of good feelings, I no longer want to suffer in silence because I think that is what I deserve. My drinking brain would tell myself how disgusting I was and that I brought on everything bad myself.

My sober brain now understands and acknowledges that alcoholism is a sickness and that I am actually a kind, reasonable person who doesn’t have to settle for feeling shit all the time.

I can’t wait to make more progress and hopefully the loneliness of sobriety will fade as I become more used to my adjusted lifestyle.

One day at a time.

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.

A letter to my future self

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety on July 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Dear Abi, my future self,

The one who will probably be up for drinking again because peer pressure is getting too much. The one who has forgotten how you are feeling right now.

As of Saturday 26th July 2014, you haven’t drank. So currently thats two days. And these last two days have been hell.

I have suffered a very bad hangover; physically and mentally. I am currently sat in my pyjama’s having taken a day off work with a urinary infection that won’t budge. I’m coughing, my face hurts and I feel drained.

Why? Alcohol, of course.

Yes, your friend who has fucked you over more times than you can remember and you are probably choosing to forget this.

Before you drink remember the shame, the sickness, the guilt, the despair that alcohol brings. Sure, sometimes alcohol doesn’t fuck you over, but thats always a gamble. You have so much to lose; your health, your responsibilities, your happiness.

At this point in time the thought of never drinking again scares me, as it always will. But the thought of drinking scares me even more. It scares me enough to know I cannot lead a normal life. I don’t drink normally and never will be able to. I need to change and if that means being unsociable or boring then thats what it will have to be.

No one will understand your decision or pat you on the back. But you will be happier, healthier and there will be no risk of fucking up your life with no memory of how you did it.

It will take more than two months to feel a difference, but stick with it. If you are thinking of giving up re-read all the depressing shit you ever wrote with a hangover. Remember how a hangover makes you think that sometimes life isn’t worth living.

But life is worth living, even if you dread social events in a sober state. Embrace awkwardness and learn to laugh at them and yourself. Embrace other people challenging you and your decisions. Embrace moments like watching the sun set, being with your family and listening to loud music in your car, singing along like an idiot.

There is no reason to drink. If you had the same reaction to coffee as you did alcohol, you would cut out coffee. There is nothing to be gained from getting drunk and thats something you have to swallow.

Anyway, I am rambling. I hope that you remain strong and remember how rubbish this day felt, because right now I am not feeling too clever.

Love

Abi, Present self.
28.7.14

Raising the bar

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Something that has got me thinking and I’m sure it is the case for lots of people who have their own struggles to deal with; I set the bar too high for myself so that failure is almost certain.

In my case it’s always; I’m never drinking again, I have to live up to my successful family, I have to earn more money, I need to be independent, I will try and cope with everything, try to look good, keep fit, be happy and the list goes on…but as a result of failing to be perfect I have learnt that you can’t always cope and you are going to struggle and you will sometimes depend on people or things. 

I told my dad on the weekend that I had made the decision to not drink again (last attempt was two months last winter) and as always, he was sceptical; not because he doesn’t think I won’t be able to do it, but because he doesn’t fully agree with it.

‘Why do you always feel the need to set unrealistic expectations of yourself? I think you are getting sucked into the drama of “defeating your demons”‘

In some ways he is right; I can see how you can get wrapped up in the drama of sobriety…

But I would like to just be dramatic and self congratulate for one tiny moment, because it’s not very often I have had the opportunity to. Allot of my life I have been my own worst enemy; allot of what I have done has been criticised by myself or those around me. I am an extreme self critic to a crushing degree.

This time I have set another ridiculously high standard; to not drink and to change my life and to stop hanging off everyone else’s word and opinion, including those closest to me but this time I feel very differently about it.

The act of not drinking is a physical abstinence. Physically we are capable of anything we want; we can physically buy the alcohol, physically pour it, physically bring it to our lips and physically act out drunken antics. But mentally we have to try very hard, we have to ignore voices, memories, peer pressure and cultural traditions. We have to battle constantly on a mental level; which is harder than anything I have physically encountered.

By not drinking and talking about it we have achieved something that some people never face up to; we are brave enough to admit to a problem and we are willing and committed enough to try to change. We are going against the grain, swimming against the current, flying against a jet stream culture that tells us without alcohol we aren’t good enough.

Alcohol is that sexy woman you could be in the bar, alcohol is that cool cocktail you can drink at a beach bar and alcohol is that expensive, luxurious champagne that makes your birthday / wedding / occasion the event of the year. 

I don’t want a medal or a big deal made of me but I wouldn’t mind a little recognition or acknowledgment from someone (family, if I’m being honest.) I yearn for that tiny bit of acceptance still… but I already feel that part of me fading and the more control I gain, the less negativity I hear, see and feel. 

 

 

It runs in the family

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm

In my addiction counselling; ironically the same day I caved in to alcohol, I was asked the question ‘is there a history of addiction in the family?’

Umm…yes, actually.

It’s only once you are asked this question and you have to start categorising your relatives, you realise maybe you are not the only one to have gone through this.

Our family don’t like labels such as ‘alcoholic’ ‘binge drinker’ ‘gambler’ ‘workaholic’ we tend to prefer the terms like ‘stubborn’ ‘loose cannon’ ‘liked to party’

Turns out when you start putting labels on behaviours displayed by my relatives we have some family history of alcoholism, gambling addiction and workaholics. 

I only started to uncover, or realise these things by remembering certain conversations I had heard growing and putting together the pieces. 

My grandad is someone who particularly resonates with me. He is very eccentric, quite sociable but has tendencies to over think…and over drink.

He was born in South Africa where there was a culture during his teenage years to go out and drink heavily and thats exactly what he did through to his early adult life. The family then moved to UK because of his dual british passport. Shortly before he moved he had attempted to cut down on his drinking and found that a lot of his friends were only interested in getting on the beers. On moving to England he drank less and started a business, which is still running successfully today.

Today I hung out with my grandparents and I told them I was cutting back on my drinking again but explained the difficulties because of social pressure. I used the phrase ‘I am a yes person, and therefore I struggle moderating myself’ I also said that it has been noted that when I drink I drink about 5 times quicker than everyone else without realising it.

‘We’re more similar than you realise, Abi’ was my grandads response. 

I told my nan that I was worried about the fact that next weekend I was going to a social event revolving around getting pissed and that I was worried and maybe should have some drinking rules in place. 

‘I think it is best you don’t drink’ was my nan’s very direct response. I know she is right but for some crazy reason I needed someone to confirm this for me.

Today I haven’t drank and even though this weekend didn’t get crazy, I am grateful and relieved it didn’t. I don’t want to get out of control. I don’t want to be that girl anymore. And thats a good enough reason to stop completely. I shouldn’t be influenced by others who don’t understand what this feels like. I should listen to my relatives who have more in common with me than I realised but most of all I should listen to myself. Not drinking means I don’t risk progress. Not drinking means so much more than giving into peer pressure or being called boring. 

Today is day 1 of no drinking. Again. Baby steps.

 

Weakness

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety, Uncategorized on May 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Well, this weekend I caved in, in so many ways.

I havent drank to excess, but I have drank.

Now that I have ‘relapsed’ my brain isn’t sure what to do because it didn’t go wrong…this time.

Im getting the same ideas about continuing to drink but limiting myself to weaker drinks or just three drinks in one go. I have a big social event next Saturday and I know there will be so much pressure to drink. How or why will I say no?

I am confused as to how to repair myself or in which way I should continue to live my life?

The reason I caved was this; an old old friend was drunk and decided to get in contact at 1am. We used to be very close but then he moved away and started a family. This weekend he came back and got drunk with some other people. He rang me at 1am for me to pick him up because he didn’t want to stay at our other friends house, he wanted to see me and chat.

I was wide awake and decided to see him. 

He got to my house and asked me for a drink; i had amaretto for baking in my baking cupboard. He poured a couple of glasses and asked me to drink with him. He told me about his troubles and we chatted for four hours.

I had work the next day and I felt horrendously tired all day. 

He also flicked his cigarettes into the next doors garden which burnt a whole in their trampoline. I feel very guilty.

I tried to help him, but I put him before me; seems to be a common theme. I end up paying for it too.

I wish I could assert myself all the time but I worry about the wrong peoples feelings instead of my own.

I have no idea why I should continue drinking but in the back of my head I think I would only drink to please others which is crazy but other people have that power over me.

I need to pull it together but I am struggling with my own weakness.

There is no rewind button

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2014 at 9:13 am

Day 6 no drinking – yesterday i went to see a counsellor who I have seen before and he knows me quite well. I told him about last weekends drunken episodes and how I was completely ashamed of myself.

Every time I drink, the more ashamed of myself I become and all the memories are stacking up. I told him I wish I could rewind and start over again. I wish I never had been pressured into drinking or influenced by people who just wanted to corrupt me. I wanted to be the nice, young girl I used to be again. Its such a strong desire, that it makes me angry about who I am today.

‘Dwelling on the past is not going to help you move forward, if you start to change now, your perception of yourself and other peoples perception of you will start to change and eventually you will be a non drinker and it won’t be an issue. Your past will be in the past and you can move on from that’ were my counsellors words. Such a simple concept which most people could have told me or I could have figured out myself, but because it came from him  I listened and I understood.

You can’t change your past and no matter how upsetting it is, going over and over it is not going to benefit your future.

How I behave when I drink is uncharacteristic to who I actually am and I want to separate myself from that person and become a better version of myself.

In other news, tomorrow I am doing a 10km obstacle course in the mud with work colleagues which I am scared / excited about!!

I want to run away

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Day 4 of no drinking and I have arranged a counselling session for Friday which is something I am looking forward to. I also spoke to an addiction therapist who has been in the ‘trade’ for twenty + years and has seen many different cases of alcohol problems. I found speaking to him oddly calming and soothing, very non emotional but as if, even through a phone, he knew and he understood.

Today I had a relatively good day. I ran 4.5 miles (only because my colleague made sure i didn’t stop) and work went quickly. I am still haunted by the weekends mess and what I did. These are things that I hope will fade, as mulling over them in my head isn’t helping my deep down self loathing. 

I want to scream at everyone who thinks I am crazy or promiscuous or non directional that I am a good person deep down but I have a problem. I also want to disappear and never see them again. I feel like the area I live is laced with drunken memories that haunt me at my every turn.  I want to be able to start fresh and also to run and hide.

Cowardly? Or is that normal?