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Something I hear on a regular basis from outside my own head is, “depression is your problem, you’re not an addict”. This isn’t coming from medical professionals, rather my own family and friends. The issue of course is that ever since I was 11 I have bounced from one self destructive behaviour to another: self harm, food restriction, drugs, back to self harm, then drink. At this point, as someone inside my own head, I would say that I’m an addict with existing depression and anxiety issues and everyone with their own diagnosis that isn’t my shrink can go fuck a cactus.

The idea of having an addict in my family is absolutely more taboo than any other mental health issue. This shit runs rampant in my family, as does untreated addiction issues, both of which have been leading my family to early graves for generations. But I have the honour of being the first person to openly attend 12 step meetings and not be all all cloak and dagger about it. The popular opinion appears to be that addiction is a simple lack of self control. I should go to the gym like a normal person, but lazy skank that I am with no willpower, I choose to drink all day and suffer horrendous consequences for the fun of it.

I am absolutely responsible for my drinking and drugging, but every sober minute is a personal victory since inhabiting this particular skin and brain is apparently something I find challenging and wish to escape from. Considering how much effort I put into concealing my using, recovery isn’t something to be ashamed of and if the words, “right, it’s been fun but I’m fucking off to a meeting now” causes someone’s skin to itch, then that’s on them, not me.

The final fucked up point of this post is “yuck, your feelings are not contagious” which is phrase I just decided I liked whilst in the shower. Because I have been unwell (i.e. mentally unstable), my behaviour is under a microscope of twattishness. If I hold a conversation with someone, I’m informed or even better, I overhear, that I am deemed “manic” even though my doctor will verify that I have zero history of this. If i am quiet, which I often am as I liked to observe, read a book and be left then fuck alone, then I’m prodded, informed I’m “down” and repeatedly asked “what’s wrong with you?” To which apparently any answer I give is inappropriate.

Not knowing who I am in terms of an inherent sense of self has been a problem for a while. It was one of the first things I sacrificed at the altar of the booze. However now I’m sober and there is a sense of…something inhabiting this particular body, I find that I’m discovering new things about myself every day and not permitting the feelings of others to dictate how I feel within myself is a big thing that’s just started happening, hence the “yuck, your feelings are not contagious”.

As it turns out, I’m introverted, need plenty of time alone, love to read, like coffee, hate reality television, I’m obsessed with Hannibal and all related books etc, I like William Blake’s art, I don’t like biographies, I don’t enjoy debates, I like walking in forests, I like opera music, I don’t like tuna as much as I thought I did and I’m better with kids than in thought I was.

That list most likely sounds stupid, but everything on there was like a hazy thought since I was often drunk or in such a bad place that any idea of who I was kept floating away just out of my grasp.

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10 days

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Today I am 10 days sober. This is a huge deal for me since I’m fairly sure I haven’t hit double digits since 2016.

A lot of shit led me to this point, specifically my life quickly unravelled. I went from a secret daytime drinker with bottles stashed all over the house, in a constant numb state with hugely questionable hygenine, to being “outed” by my husband. He told my family, everyone was very upset etc etc. So the big web of lies I’d so carefully constructed for months was ripped apart in a very short space of time.

I’m not at home and haven’t been for a couple of weeks. I’m staying somewhere where I can break habits and learn to live again, sober.

With sobriety, comes a lot of good, but don’t get me wrong, I get angry most days that my secret little fucked up world was disrupted and ruined, even though it was killing me and fast.

When I rolled up to this new location, I looked like a sack of ghost-shit, couldn’t form many sentences and was just physically and emotionally fucked. I’d been living off corner shop piss and dry Jacobs crackers so no guesses as to how fabulous I looked.

So far it has been really hard. I’m eating a lot more, going to daily meetings, my sponsor is great and I’m even showering daily. But feeling things is a bit of a fucking shock. I am happy, proud, angry, resentful and craving a drink all at the same time.

One ongoing worry for me is my relationship. I’m just scared and worried as to what is going to happen and that manifests as straight up “well this sucks and it is all my fault”. I go from 0-60 on the guilt scale in 0.2 seconds.

All I can do is keep my side of the street clean, work my programme and fucking continue. For now that means eating dinner, going to a meeting, sharing, helping clear up and then going to bed. And that’s enough, just as it is.

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I totally worship my husband, maybe that’s the issue. He is an amazing human and I can’t touch him since I’m this skanky idiot that is nowhere near worthy. Don’t mistake, I’m not in an abusive relationship, I’ve made myself feel this way all by myself.

My husband found a bottle last night that wasn’t even from last night – it’s old. But that doesn’t stop me feeling even more ashamed to the point that I cry, and cry, and fucking cry.

I needed all the power to fight my addiction, saving yourself is an egoistic process – you come first. There is nothing left for justifying your actions to your family. This can happen, later those feeling of worthlessness are typical. They are not true. Everybody is worth the same, and I am sure there is a wonderful person inside you, fighting the drinking devil. Otherwise you would. it have made it that far. 🙂

My sponsor text the above to me. I hate her. She’s always right.

Don’t escape through the back door

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For the past year or so, my self-esteem has been eroded thanks to the harm I was causing myself through addiction which made me feel more ashamed, which led to more using. For months I have been numb to the point where few things seem to affect me, emotionally. However, the other day something unexpected happened – I got angry and sassy.

Someone close to me was behaving in a way that wasn’t useful to either of us and had been doing so for a while and I went from 0 to 60 on the sass-ometer. I didn’t get angry or shout or anything, but I simply stated that I was sober, I was doing my best, and that’s all I can do and I refuse to feel ashamed anymore since it’s not helpful to anyone and that I will not be told I’m a piece of shit anymore, whether it’s said directly or hinted at.

I didn’t flee the scene immediately after my little outburst, but I did reach out to my friends online (amazing people) and called my sponsor who, as always, had fantastic advice involving at least three instances of “for fuck’s sake, babe!”

Since that event, things have been a lot better at home. I feel like I took some control back and stopped being a victim of the past, my bullshit thinking and suddenly gave zero fucks about certain things. For me, step one, admitting I’m powerless over alcohol and my life has become unmanageable has been incredibly empowering. It finally takes alcohol off the table for me and I can’t escape through the back door; in other words, I’ve finally quietened the thinking (at least right now) that one day I can have a drink or that I don’t really have a problem. That thinking has been going on for seven years and it’s clearly not worked.

I went to a group last night through my rehab centre and it was actually filled with people trying to moderate, not stop. I felt a bit out of place but it was interesting hearing other points of view. One person said to me, “Well once you’re happy and sorted out, there’s no reason why you can’t have a drink again and not be so extreme” and I didn’t get that rush of “Yay an excuse, someone else is justifying it for me!” I instead felt tetchy and wanted to tell them to fuck off. Needless to say, I’m still somewhat irritable in sobriety haha.

 

hello

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I’m Betty and I’m an addict. I’m in long term recovery from drugs and short term (as in, two fucking days) from alcohol. I am 29 years old.

A key thing to note for me is how it has sped up. I should have nipped it in the bud in 2010, but instead I bought alcohol into my home and it’s been downhill since then. I would never try to attribute all my problems to alcohol but fuck me, it’s a big factor.

The reason I’ve redoubled my efforts this time and signed up for a rehab programme (I signed up a week ago) is because I’ve essentially lost that thread which tells me who I am, my confidence, my self-esteem…whatever voice that once got me to AA initially and said “you’re worth recovery” has been covered by a whole lot more drink.

Up till the other day, I had five days sober. I was sober because I wanted my husband to stop being angry with me over my drinking. Needless to say, when I went to my first class at the rehab centre and all these bullshit feelings were exposed, I cracked and the words “And tomorrow we’ll go over how to deal with these feelings” left me high and dry. I couldn’t wait till tomorrow considering all I was left with was myself and a vague sense of why I was in recovery which incidentally, had nothing to do with myself.

People are angry with me for using and not talking to me which is absolutely what I deserve, however I also know that my shitty self-image and the awful things I tell myself are a big problem and have been for many years and I don’t want to be caught in this addiction cycle anymore. It’s exhausting, confusing and it’s the ultimate state of ambivalence.

I’m at another class today, at an AA meeting and meeting up with my sponsor. Yay.