Friday, 29 April 2016

Busy and Happy

Today brought a different attitude to life -complete about face. Not sure if it was the fact that I was rested and calm (had Thursday & Friday booked off for the Bank Holiday), the fact that I was not at work which had been drudgery lately, or the fact I jut had come out of the funk. I don't know if I will ever know but I do know that I got heaps done.

Following in Anne at ainsobriety I started to spring clean the house, more of a deep clean really. I am a casual housekeeper, I stay on top of it mostly but don't always use as much elbow grease as I should. Saying that is progress for me cos usually I would say I am lazy and slovenly, which I am not but I used never to miss an opportunity to run myself down.  My house is a bit neglected to be honest but that is a combination of being a single parent, working 40+ hours a week, having two dogs that I walk twice a day at 6.30 am and 5.30 pm before having to do all the sundry home stuff like laundry, dusting, vacuuming, dishes etc in addition to being 'man of the house' doing all repairs and diy and tending to both a front and back garden that need mowing and pruning and tending to. I can't afford to get people in to do most of the jobs so I google how to fix stuff and sort out problems "How to change washers on taps?" Most of the time I know if I am able to do something or not or if I need to bite the bullet and call someone. Electrics is about the only thing I haven't tackled yet (nor will I) 

Why the long spiel about all of that? Well it is an excuse, a justification for why I think I relied so heavily on alcohol. There were days that I did loads and felt like I deserved a glass of wine and I would have one, yes one. That was when I first moved in 9 years ago. Sadly it morphed into a couple of glasses at the end of a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which in turn morphed into a glass after work when I took a job in ........... I won't say the name of it but it was the absolute worst job of my life, soul destroying and as it turned out was against some of my morals and ethics. Due to the economy and me living in an area with high unemployment I was stuck for 2.5 years in a job I hated and felt was morally wrong. I tried where possible to maintain my integrity and help people within the system as and where possible but this led to an escalation of the drinking and general low mood. I took a very hefty pay drop £4000 to get out of there and have only just achieved the salary I left there on, 6 years later. By then my drinking was somewhat entrenched, a couple of glasses every night and a Be little more at the weekend. I maintained that level of drinking for about 4 years and even though I knew it was more than I should drink I rationalised that I was drinking the same as a lot of people. I remember seeing my doctor in the grocery store pushing her trolley along, positively jangling along so full of wine was it. I'm sure she would say she was having a party if I glanced her way. 

Fast forward to about 2 years ago and I realised I was struggling with some effects of the wine, waking at 2.30-3.00 am tossing and turning for hours, waking up gasping for water as my throat was dry as a bone, headaches, hangovers, the worry that I might be over the limit in the morning for driving, the expense, the slow but sure awakening that it was a little bit hard to go a couple of days without a drink. I tried occasionally to stop for a few days or weeks and had some success here and there only to return a short while later to where I was previously. And well the rest up until now I am sure you can fill in yourselves. We all have similar stories about how we ended up here and apart from throwing in the towel on 5 great months of not drinking (I erroneously said 6 in previous posts, I think it was wishful thinking) I have been sipping and gulping away knowing that something has to change. My therapist said something the other day that really resonated with me, he said that drinking was a relationship for me because I would not/do not allow people close to me for fear of getting hurt. He said drinking was the "bad boyfriend" I kept going back to because even though it was soul destroying and devastating it was also familiar and (literally) intoxicating. Sounds so simple and silly but I think he is right. I have to learn how to re-engage with real people in the real world because I tend to withdraw and cut off for friends just when I need them the most.

For that reason alone I would like to say thank you to all you my virtual friends who are there when I don't have the courage, nerve or give a shit to engage with real people. Because of the time difference between some of us, hence the delay in getting the response, sometimes when I read the comments it is at exactly the right time and hits me just when I need to hear it.  I value you all and appreciate that 'strangers' take the time to interact with me and I know it comes from a shared sense of caring and desire to help. I can't promise that my road to sobriety will be a straight one but I can say that it is the ultimate destination

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Soooooo low, solo

I am so sad, so low and so utterly miserable. I have been fighting tears all day but welcoming the self hatred that is coursing through my body, mind and soul. I have caught myself in the depths of despair thinking if not now? When? And I don't have the answer!
How can I honestly say "today is the last day I will drink! The LAST of the last days!" Been there said that bought the t-shirt and then drank the next day. I feel like a loser, I feel like I have lost the run of my life and I am terrified as I don't know how to take the next step. Already the cynic in me is going "some smart ass is gonna just say 'don't drink, that's all!' And I'm  gonna be like  'No shit Sherlock!'" So already in my mind I am attacking the hand reaching out to help me. I just feel so sad and despairing and worried for myself. I feel all alone and I have shut down to so many real world friends that I don't know where to turn. I don't know if this is "bottom" but I certainly feel it is deep down somewhere in despair. My life feels the smallest it has ever seemed. I wrote a post called The Chessboard (even this makes me sad 'cos I don't know how to insert the link to the post- more tears) about how all the squares of life are infiltrated by drinking and soon you are just stood on one square with nothing else in your life. That feels like my existence today, sad, lonely and in a prison of my own design.
I watched the excellent Louis Theroux 'Drinking to Oblivion' and while the majority of the audience were commenting about how sad it made them I related to two things; 1. When the young guy commented he wanted one more drink of vodka 'cos he liked how it felt going down his throat.' 2. How accepting Aurelie was of the nasty, scathing, derogatory and vile comments her boyfriend made about her. I don't have a boyfriend but I certainly relate to accepting "the crumbs" thrown at me 'cos I don't deserve any more. On an intellectual level I know I do deserve more but when you pass a certain point it is hard to get intellect and introspect to line up.

BROKEN! That is how I feel, how my life feels, how my future feels and all the promises I have made. The sadness I am feeling right now feels like it is going to break me apart even though I know it won't. I just feel despairing that I can't get out of this pattern and humiliation of daily resolution and then submission. Oh my heart feels like it is breaking! It breaks even more when I understand that I have landed myself here, no one else is gonna do it for you and it is gonna be a hard, dirty, long and challenging battle.

I am trying to just let the sadness wash over me, to let all the feelings bubble to the surface and know they won't kill me. I sit with the knowledge that I have let myself get to this point and I really only have myself to blame. All the wasted opportunity and years, a life unfulfilled etc it all seems so heavy and crushing. I want to hope but as I have said in previous posts, how many times can you say "this time it's for real" The desire to beat myself up about all of this is right at the forefront of my mind but ultimately I think my brain is desperately looking for a solution and catalyst to get me out of this swamp and despair can be the trigger oftentimes but then shortly down the road it meets denial and when despair an denial meet, it is often the slick, smarmy, cunning and deceitful denial that can thwart despair.

I am rambling now so I will stop. I am not sure what the intention of this post is but it is my way of connecting as my world, despite being surrounded by others has been a universe of ONE recently and only in semi anonymity can I reach out and share the secrets of my soul. Make of it what you will but this is me, raw and unsensored and somehow desperately trying to connect the dots to get out of this horrible headspace. Apologies this is all so very 'pity party for one'

Ginger Groundhog


Monday, 4 April 2016

Ready, steady, BIG eye roll

I felt so positive about sitting down to blog tonight until I actually did it. That feeling of 'Oh my, I have to try and find a new and more believable way of saying this time I mean it'

That is the kicker though, each time I or any other sober wannabe sits down and says I'm on day 1 or day 2 again, there is that element of belief that this time it'll stick and that is how I feel tonight. I know I want this, like really want it and I know I CAN do it it's just a case of not picking up that first glass. Actually scratch that, it does start mid afternoon when the wine witch has sobered up enough to think 'yeah I can handle another round of wine soaked denial, but only tonight, tonight is definitely the last night'

It struck me that I have a long history of this denial and have done it with food, smoking and now booze. I am never more determined and pumped to quit than when I am actively engaged in said bad behaviour. For donkeys years when I lived in the States (and was much smaller than now) I would watch The Biggest Loser whilst eating my last ever bag of Dill Pickle Lays potato chips or crisps as we call them here in the UK. When I would plan to quite smoking I would be reading Alan Carr's (not the goofy tv host of Chatty Man fame) book on how to quit smoking, over and over again. Lastly I cannot be the only one who has browsed the sober blogs with determination in my mind and a wine glass in my hand. I am choosing to call it the The Last Ever Paradox.

So I am all plan, no action or little follow through at best. I plan and I read and I research but I don't DO and it is the DOING part that is the key part. All the plans in place for if I want  a drink, read blogs, go back through my diary, go and sit for a while, play it through to the end, all go out the window and I make a sprint for the shop. The time between permission to drink and drinking is very short, probably so some reasonable part of my brain doesn't chirp up 'I say, weren't we doing the no drinking thing tonight?' But the voice of reason is getting louder and the message is always the same - I just can't keep doing this anymore.

So this weekend on top of all the daughter drama, which thankfully seems to be calming down (ahhh my poor girl) I was full on depressed and just sad and lonely and worried for my daughter and beating myself up for being a crummy mummy, even though I am not, and just generally sorry for myself for having to deal with it all. Saturday night I sat down and I drank and then Sunday when I woke up I wrote down exactly how I was feeling physically, mentally, emotionally and I wrote down how bad it was and how bad I felt. I did all this before the post lunchtime recovery period when it all starts to look good again and like it wouldn't be such a bad idea to go to the shop just one more time
Thankfully it didn't happen yesterday and it hasn't happened today. So the short term plan is simple when I start to think 'Oh come on how bad was it?' I can think BAD, it was REAL BAD!

So one more time... Ready steady BIG eye roll - Day 2 done.

Thanks if you are still with me and popping in to see if I made it past the first few days. I will get there by hook or by crook. I appreciate all the kind words and endless positive comments when really it must be hard to keep saying the same thing over and over.

Ginger Groundhog