Sunday, 19 February 2017

274-1/365 Remembering Relapses

I have gone off the boil when it comes to blogging and reading blogs, I still plan things I should blog about but then just don't sit down to do it. It's all ok though as my life is moving along merrily with barely a thought of booze or even sobriety (well booze sobriety anyway). I just am me who doesn't drink or even think about it much. Who knew this was possible?  Well loads of people, I just never really believed them.

One thing I can say is that I am feeling a great sense of empathy for those out there struggling with lapse and relapse. I am not struggling with alcohol but I have been on and off the sugar wagon this last few weeks and it's just the same feelings, addictive behaviour, regret, remorse, self hatred etc etc. One day I was sneaky eating some sugar laden product in the living room in the dark, eating it quickly in case my daughter came in and saw me. I suddenly came back into my body (not sure where I had been in the past 5 minute lead up) and realised oh my goodness -sugar is the new booze! Well not the new booze but a more intense version of the food issues I've had all my life. Suddenly this issue has be promoted from bothersome overeating, especially when under the influence of alcohol, to full blown cross addiction.

I have recently done a 30 day reset on all potential allergenic foods along with sugar. At the end of 30 days, which was amazing FYI, clear headed no sinus issues, not a single headache, feel lighter, feel better, feel satiated after eating, no bloating, (I could go on and on) you are supposed to reintroduce foods one at a time for 3 days and see if you have a reaction. Well on day 35 I think it was I decided to give it a go. I was holding out to see how long I could go without any of the forbidden foods but it was mixed with a slight fear about eating them and what could happen. How prophetic.  In reality I think I had a craving so thought ok I'll test it out. Well I had some chippy chips (from the fish and chip shop) big fat juicy British chips not skinny crispy fries. I shared a small portion with a colleague who unbeknownst to me like cheesy chips and ordered our (shared) chips with cheese. I didn't make too big a deal of it and thought ok so I guess I'm trying dairy today too. Disaster!!

There are many of you who may not believe in food addictions in the way that normal drinkers think we are just overly self indulgent lushes who need to tighten the reigns on wine. Let me assure you that for some people food is like crack and I have realised recently dairy and sugar are bigger issues for me or have become bigger issues for me than I ever realised. That cheese gave me licence to eat more cheese, buy cream for my coffee and butter for my........ 'Oh I'm not supposed to be eating gluten or even gluten free products' (that was the voice of reason trying to speak up) BREAD a whole loaf of lovely expensive white crusty bread cut thick. And the gloves were off.

This last few weeks has been a backward slide into addictionville with the calorie count some days being stratospheric. The mood has dropped and that ensuing sense of failure, self hatred, self pity, shame and promises to get back on track. Self sabotage to the nth degree. Not to mention bloating, stomach pain and oh my..... the heartburn, oh wow I had forgotten how bad it could be, plus the shakes from all the sugar. It really is like wine or crack or heroin. Ironically I am also doing today as the "last day" like I used to with booze. Today I'll have all my favourites to one last time get them out of my system and "say goodbye" forever. Anyone relate???    FFS it all seems so infantile and deluded, like a big lie I am telling myself that I know is a lie but I still feel I need to say it. I think it's because I need to say goodbye to some things forever like gluten and dairy which I have known for years have caused me issues but because the reward was in my perverted brain better than the punishment (digestive issues and headaches) I kept experimenting,  eating them in smaller portions or only every few day or often in blow out binges. Having gone 35 days or more without them and then diving head first into them in overdose form, the kick back this time has been way more pronounced, the pain worse and the punishment all the more noticeable and frankly not worth it. I am still stuck with the fear I won't be able to get it bank under control though and food is everywhere these day.

This is what happens when you quit drinking for a decent amount of time and then relapse. You now know how much better life can be without alcohol, how good you can feel, how much more alive you can feel and what a sense of achievement and accomplishment you have. When you relapse all you want to do is get back to that happy state, why did you fuck it up, throw it all away, go back to your stupid addictive behaviour etc. It's the worst kind of cognitive dissonance there is and you know it yet it can sometimes takes us weeks or months or worse YEARS to get back on track. In my case it was  about 14 months before I was able to stop drinking after completing my first 100 days, 137 days in fact but one "fuck it" moment caused me over a year worth of misery and truthfully decent into truly escalating dangerous drinking. This recent blip with food is bad for me but on the grand scale of things not comparable to my drinking days. I will potentially have to put my grown up shoes on and take control again as the petulant, deprived lonely child seems to have taken over and run the show for the last few weeks. I see that now and I need to change it.

My food issues are mine just as all of our issues are our own but alcohol bleeds heavily into the lives of others, those around us, our kids, our partners and potentially innocent bystanders if we are out on the roads. If you are still drinking take solace in the fact that you can beat it but it takes hard work and determination to get through the first 30 days, after that you just need to keep going to 100 days and realising you are at the start of a whole new journey in life. However, if at any time you think it's worth testing out your addiction centre in your brain to see if you are cured, chances are you are not the exception to the rule and you may find yourself face first in a bucket of disappointment or cheesy chips in my case.

DON'T TEST YOUR SOBRIETY EVER! It truly is just not worth it.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Good News

Thank you everyone that took time out to comment and keep Celeste in their thoughts. She has been found and reunited with her mum.

She is physically relatively well but extremely fragile and emotional. I am sure there will be a few hard days ahead.

I genuinely do appreciate the kindness people show here and that we are so supportive of eachother regardless of the subject in this little corner of the web.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

260-1/365 Say a little prayer

07/02/2017 Update: Celeste has been found

Does anyone out there still pray? Do you offer up your thoughts to your higher power? Do you implore 'something' out there to help you when you are in crisis whether you call it God/god or not?

As a 'recovering' Catholic I still use the word God when I feel beyond desperation and I implore God to please help me. I also thank God or the universe or some higher version of myself when things go right or when I feel grateful for something in my life. Being raised Catholic, not just Catholic but Irish Catholic and not just Irish Catholic but small village, backwater, staunch, hell fire and brimstone  Irish Catholic, RUINED religion and God for me and has left me angry, confused, conflicted and bewildered sometimes in life. However, like so many others I have cobbled together something that works for me using elements of religion, spirituality, mindfulness and some kind of natural wonder to help me when life doesn't make sense and when I feel alone and in need of some ethereal assistance. In short at times I need to plead PLEASE HELP ME GOD I CANNOT GO ON LIKE THIS.

I often wonder how people with no belief system cope. When things go wrong and life seems to be hell bent on destroying you how do they invoke assistance or do they not ask for help outside of themselves. I genuinely have no idea as to me having been indoctrinated from birth I cannot imagine any other way. AA advocates calling on a higher power to help you get sober and certainly I have asked my version of a higher power (whatever that combination is) to please help me stop drinking. I also use it at other times when I am in distress, feel out of control and when I have no strength left. Just last week when I was in the depths of despair for both myself and my daughter, feeling personally devastated at her words yet equally upset that she was in so much pain that she was lashing out I sent out an utterance about please help me.

This is a rather convoluted post as so many of mine are which differs from the writers out there who plan posts logically. I am trying to connect all the dots in my head which make such sense to me but don't translate so well in an orderly comprehensible form.

Today and in fact the last two days I have been thanking this god creation of mine as well as imploring it for assistance. Last week my daughter hurt my feelings so badly and I thought horrible things about her like I wanted her to move out, I hoped she'd have 4 girls, each giving her as hard a time as she gave me and I hoped in truth that one day she would feel the pain she had caused me so she could feel bad about it. Yep, I am a bitter mother and shocked and ashamed that I thought those things in the moment. In very quick succession I asked the god thing to please ignore those ridiculous pleas and don't let any of them happen, please, please I had spoken in haste and was speaking from hurt feelings. I do not want my daughter to suffer. Days later as my daughter is in my bed leaning on me crying still sad and confused I felt nothing but love for her and shame that I had ever even let such shocking and abhorrent thoughts come into my mind. This was especially poignant when she came another night, sad and upset that she was worried and deeply concerned over Melania Trump and that she feared Melania was being unkindly treated in her marriage and now social media was attacking her. At that point I glimpsed the compassion in her that we all hope to instill in our children. Thank you whoever, whatever for giving me this girl and for making her nicer than me. Thank you for keeping her safe and for keeping her loving me and coming to me when she needs my help but most of all for her faith in me after I have let her down so many times.

Mothers of teenage daughters are part of a club, only we can understand the myriad of emotions our girl teens take us through. We bitch about them, laugh about them, feel hurt by them and like so many of you helped me with, console each other about them and offer the assurances that they will be ok in the end. I have several friends and colleagues I can do this with and I myself have been the voice of reason for them when their daughter is tearing a hole in the universe.

My colleague's daughter is missing. She has been missing since Tuesday. No-one has heard from her including her friends and family. My colleague came to work two days thinking this was a teen angry at everyone or life or her mum. On the third day she couldn't continue working, the enormity of her daughter still being missing was too much. Then an appeal was launched.Then the police labelled it a HIGH RISK case, then.......they found out from one of her friends that she had just learned she was pregnant from the boyfriend she split up from. Then the story went national. I know what my colleague has told me over the years, the good, the bad, the arguments, the pain, the love, the understanding and the normal everyday bits and bobs. I find myself hoping and praying more than ever that this girl is ok and somehow unaware of the panic and media storm. I am terrified that this will not be the case. This girl is my daughter's age, her mother is my colleague, never has a story been so close to home for me and so consuming. For once this is not a family I feel sorry for but cannot relate to, this is in my bubble and could easily be my family story.

I so want to believe in the power of prayer, the power in numbers, the collective, collaborative focusing on a problem but realise this is one drop in the ocean of sadness in the world. For today I want Celeste to be safe and go home to her family, I want a small miracle for this family that would be the biggest gift they could ever have, tomorrow I can try to send out prayers for the rest of the world but for today I can only focus on one.

I didn't know where I was going with this post and I haven't ended up anywhere concrete. I guess I just need to share. If you do pray, please do. If you don't, please just think a positive thought for this family.