My partner and I have had a long running joke that I simply “can’t relax”. This started on a walk on the beach during which she decided to film me walking. I hid my face and head and did the usual “turn it off” etc, and eventually just said, “I can’t relax”. Because I couldn’t – not with her filming me. Anyway, we always chuckle now about it and I repeat it quite often whenever there’s too much noise, or when someone is trying to take a photo or video of me. I cannot sit and just BE. I’m incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin a lot of the time. I don’t really ever have peace of mind, and am constantly on the go (mentally), worry worry worry. It’s bloody exhausting! It makes me feel seriously mental most of the time.
But it’s not so bad when I’m drinking! Funny that hey. That said, whilst the natural anxiety in me is dampened during the actual boozing, the repercussions the day after are horrific – if I think I’m anxious when not hungover, my body and mind literally don’t know what to do with me when I am hungover.
Anyway, this “saying” of mine popped up in an article I read about Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) a couple of days ago. A classic trait of an ACOA is literally described as “the inability to relax”. Wowzers – this is SO me. I’ve always been anxious and a bit on edge, always catastrophising and waiting for something hideous to happen. I don’t, however, feel this “edgy” when I drink. When I’m sober, I get embarrassed when people are nice to me and I absolutely hate compliments or attention of any kind. I find it difficult to maintain eye contact with people, but I’m also quite confident and outgoing?! Seriously – people would describe me as quite sure of myself and gobby most of the time. I’m honestly not autistic (it has been suggested previously!). I’ve always thought I was just naturally anxious and had serious self esteem issues.
Now it turns out that my inability to relax and/or have fun may not be “just me” after all.
I don’t want to psycho analyse myself and sound like a gobshite, but there has to be a reason I’ve drank with a vengeance since the age of 15. I watched my dad drink at least a bottle of whiskey a day and cider and beer etc etc, and had the usual “can’t get in the house, dad’s at the pub, I’ve got to get the giro and do the shopping, when’s dad home, why are social services at the door, where’s my family, why can’t my friends come to the house, why isn’t anyone feeding or clothing me” kind of life. I don’t mean to sound flippant, but any ACOA will probably read this and think not much of it. It was just how it was. As a kid I guess I didn’t think much more of it than “I’ve got to look after dad”. I am an only child. Now, as an adult, I’m really starting to wonder if these “flaws” I see in myself are linked to my early years. Urgh, I sound like Maury Povich (who I love). But there is probably something in it. That said, a load of crap happened when I left dad’s at 13, which may also be a massive reason behind why I suddenly thought it’d be great to start getting pissed at 15. Either way, alcohol ain’t my friend here
(Caveat – I don’t blame my dad for anything – I’m sure he couldn’t handle his drinking issues any more than I can handle mine. There’s a phrase in a Savage Garden song I love which states, “I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do”. I remember this often).
I started writing this blog post at “wine o clock” (a phrase I hate, but a time of day that everyone will understand). I got home, my partner is having a terrible time hormone wise (this led to my usual boring anxiety which subsequently led to a desire to mentally escape), I have a load of admin stuff to do tonight and to top it all off, I have a box of wine in the car (bought before I decided to kick off my 100 days yesterday). Now I’ve written this, I see what a stupid idea it would be to drink it. So I won’t drink it. Instead, I’m having a big bowl of cheesy mash and then I’m going to bed to watch Jeremy Kyle on my kindle (don’t judge me, UK people, I’m addicted to his shows on addiction – the irony!!). It won’t relax me (remember, very little does!), but it will distract me. I’ll take distraction at this point, in the hope that relaxation will follow naturally if I don’t saturate myself in poison.
Day 2 – done – well, almost, anyway : )
The CLARITY. Right now – that feeling that life without booze is possible. I feel like a complete idiot, and having spent the entire weekend eating, drinking and watching Netflix, I have actually surprisingly woken up today with hope that I can kick this near-daily drinking crap. Hopefully by 4pm I won’t be dragging my carcass to the wine aisle at Lidl and forgetting that I’ve written this.
It’s a pretty significant time for me at the moment.
Yesterday marked 6 months since my mum died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 53.
Today marks 22 years since my nan – my mum’s mum – died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 53.
My mum didn’t drink.
My nan was a complete alcoholic.
Fags were a massive issue for both of them – more about me and fags later. This booze fish is a much more massive one to fry than the faggy one for me.
My dad was an alcoholic and I grew up living with him on my own. I’ve recently really started reading about Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) and I have near enough every trait. This isn’t a joke to me anymore (not that it ever was – I just hid my thick head in the sand). This crap can, and will, kill me. It’s near enough killed my mental health as it is, and started doing so before I even picked up my first drink.
I don’t need a shrink to tell me that I more than likely drink the way I do because of my childhood. YAWN. But it’s probably true, and so it’s time to really address why. Why do I seek oblivion so often? This is how I drink – if only offered “1 or 2” I’ll politely (and comfortably) decline. I don’t feel the need to have 1 or 2. Offer me 10 or 20 though and I’ll bite your arm off. There’s a pattern here and I know it. I genuinely see zero point in one or two drinks. I love, however, to get so “out of it”, but still remain in control (there’s the ACOA in me!). What IS the point in that?! I already know how much better I feel when I don’t drink – the two “long” stints of 60 or so days (sounds pathetic I know) last year proved that to me. So why on Earth do I keep going back? I don’t know the answer, but I sure as hell am going to spend this next period of sobriety figuring it out.
As Beelzebub is my witness – I am going to promise myself today that I will try to get to 100 days. I’m not promising anyone else, and I’m not doing this for anyone else. This is just for me. If I don’t “make it”, then fine – I’ll have to deal with the consequences.
I’ve just turned my nose up at my breakfast that my partner so lovingly prepared for me. It’s salmon and potatoes, and I was just about to take a mammoth gobble of it when I remembered that she put white wine in it whilst cooking it yesterday. Whilst yesterday I lapped it up, followed by most of the remainder of the box of wine, today the thought of wine horrifies me and so I won’t eat the salmon!! HA HA! I’m so weird. And I don’t care.
Day 1 – let’s be having you. 😊
What is it about Friday? I will drink any day of the bloody week – but Friday (and Saturday, oh and Sunday) feel like “entitled” times to booze. This is completely retarded. My job is not demanding – I don’t work overly hard all week and I don’t use many of my (rapidly depleting) brain cells.
All of the “usual” drinking justifications therefore don’t apply to me. I don’t need to “unwind” after a long hard week. I don’t have anything new “stress wise” to deal with today. I’m not celebrating anything. But still, it’s Friday, right? That equals crap food and loads of booze?
I almost wrote myself a blog post at 8.00 a.m today to remind myself at 4.00 p.m that the feeling of “it’s Friday, let’s have a fun night tonight” would lead to the usual descent into oblivion.
I was going to tell myself to remember how much better I felt this morning than yesterday morning. How nice it was to be able to drive and not need a change of underwear whenever I saw a police car. How nice it was to feel, even slightly, better and to have more manageable anxiety levels.
I didn’t write myself the blog post, and I did have my usual “it’s Friday night” feeling. But instead of heading to the shop to put a load of money down the drain, I put Masterchef contestants to shame and “cooked” fish fingers mash and peas.
The mash was frozen. I’m 35 years old. Enough said.
Anyway, it’s still Friday. I may have eaten and written a load of crap, but I’m not wanting booze anymore. Was it a craving? Just a thought? Who cares.
Happy Friday 😀
I haven’t been trying hard enough. No two ways about it. I enter into these ridiculous targeted “dryathlons” I set myself with less than half a heart and then wonder why I don’t “succeed”.
The truth is that I need to make an effort to look after myself. I don’t do self-care, probably because I’m not my own biggest fan. But psychologically I’m at one of my worst points in years. I will get some help but I am not approaching any professional, GP or otherwise, whilst I continue to chuck this crap down my throat.
Something has changed today. It’s almost imperceptible but it’s there. I have no idea what it is but I’m going to TRY and grab it.
I don’t want to live like this anymore.
I want to be a good laugh again and not an irritable, anxious ball of fury. Booze isn’t the only cause of this but it certainly doesn’t bloody help.
I want to save some money.
I want to want to get up in the morning.
I want to eat ice cream and fruit gums and not give a shit for a few weeks!
I choose to try properly this time.
Posting this for accountability, and to re-read as and when I ever develop the notion that alcohol brings anything positive to the table.
February 15th. The day I TRY again.
FUCK OFF ALCOHOL.
Tea time. Not been shop yet. Been having a mental battle with myself since 10.30 a.m. Yep – 10:30 IN THE MORNING. Not that I wanted to drink then (“oh no, I’m not THAT bad”, ha ha). I’ve just had this “something to look forward to later”, “we’ll have a laugh, watch a film, get a bit pissed”, “have a lie in tomorrow”, etc etc. I literally debated with myself all bloody day. It would literally have been so much easier just to go to the shop and get some booze. FFS.
Fast forward to 6pm and I had my first check of Reddit for the day, and found the following quote:
“I drank for happiness and became unhappy. I drank for joy and became miserable. I drank for sociability and became argumentative. I drank for sophistication and became obnoxious. I drank for friendship and made enemies. I drank for sleep and woke up tired. I drank for strength and felt weak. I drank for relaxation and got the shakes. I drank for courage and became afraid. I drank for confidence and became doubtful. I drank to make conversation easier and slurred my speech. I drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.” – Unknown
Maybe I’ll drink tomorrow, not tonight. 🖕🍷
– feel like absolute shit all of the time
– need to take up to 3 anti anxiety pills a day
– eat a curry pot noodle and then forget I’ve eaten it by the next day
– forget what time I went to bed
– forget what I what’s apped my friend
– spend a shit load of money on poison
– have a niggling ache in my right side (liver)
– obsess over what time is “ok” for me to drive the next day
– feel ashamed when I go to the same shop for booze
– shit myself whenever I see a cop car
– feel lethargic and unable to do any proper work during the day
– eat 10 biscuits with a cup of coffee at midnight because “that will soak up the booze”
– wake up bleary eyed, late and quickly dress to sort the animals out, realising en route that my clothes are on back to front and inside out
– feel so god damn irritable most of the time that I could easily rip my own head off
– crap on about anything and everything, being a total and utter gobshite
– feel so swollen that I need maternity clothing to accommodate my booze gut
– feel deep and complete sadness a lot of the time
– have that “old haggard wench” look
– crave chips for breakfast
– stay up until ridiculous o’clock drinking vodka and red bull and watching The Inbetweeners
– wake up sometimes with puffy eyes from excessive crying
– have a mouth that tastes like a drain