And it passes…

401 days today. And a (much) better day today …

I wish I could find some equilibrium. When the bad days (like yesterday) come, I’m as raw and as edgy as I was when newly sober. There is no balance, I cant make myself believe it will pass, I can’t be kind to myself with any conviction, I can’t settle to anything (useful or otherwise) and I’m just looking desperately for something / anything to ‘self medicate’ the anxiety / distress.

I don’t know what I expect really ; In an ideal world some serenity, some courage of my convictions, some inner peace and sense of purpose. If anything I feel more adrift, less sure of myself and more indecisive than I ever remember. I can’t stick to anything at all, I cant use my time purposefully, even the simplest and most benign committment seems like a mountain to climb.

What would I like to do ? I’d like to get back to Yoga, and headspace meditation; but I lack the motivation and inner peace (and my right hip is bloody painful which limits the yoga somewhat)… I’d like to keep the house cleaner and tidier – but its a thankless task tidying up after three teenagers, assorted friends and two dogs – it frustrates and annoys me… Id like to be a bit creative – maybe get my paints out …but again I lack the motivation or drive to actually get the paints out…. I need a hair cut, I need to sort out some tax stuff, I have to cancel stuff relating to the old car etc etc… but another day passes and nothing gets done, adding to the general irritation levels. (with myself)

Do I think drinking would help? Of course not.

I stopped drinking for lots of reasons, and none of those have changed. Its just that the novelty of waking up clear headed, the loss of the creeping anxiety, the fear that something bad would happen, the shame of being ‘out of control’  – those initial big ‘wins’ have become , well humdrum. Expected. I’ve forgotten how awful I felt every single day before I quit.

Now I’m remembering the bits that were, well nice… because, lets face it, there ARE bits about drinking that were / are nice.. If there weren’t no one would do it at all now would they ….   But like someone said, I have never been one of those drinkers who could stop after one or two ….or limit my drinking to one of two days a week. And one thing I DO know for sure, I was a  problem drinker from the first day I tasted alcohol (aged 14), and I would be a problem drinker again the minute I started drinking again…

So, not much option there then… onwards, and hopefully upwards. 401 days down…. And as it says at the top of this page… I need to try and enjoy the many many many things I have going for me… the lack of alcohol is really SUCH a first world problem ….






400 days – four hundred ; FOUR HUNDRED BLASTED DAYS

I have now been completely sober for 400 days 

The shine is really wearing off relentless sobriety, or perhaps ive not yet realised the full potential of being 100% “present

Either way – this, THIS ….. is NOT what I was promised … 

Indulge me: I’m sure I could write this the “other way” and extole the virtues and multiple benefits off all these sober weeks … they are there I know… but right close to the surface right now … it’s tough..

I’m stuck in a kind of restless agitated boredom, can’t move on, can’t go back. Something needs to change, but I’m paralysed by fear anxiety and indecision. So many past decisions have not been great, I can’t cope with another “error”, or perhaps more accurately I can’t cope with the emotional beating I will give myself if things don’t go to plan. I don’t feel that well this weekend and I’m grinding my teeth in frustration that I can motivate myself to do neither what I want to, nor what I should. Instead I’m drifting about in a slightly off kilter haze – headachy and tired (despite 11 hours deep un-interrupted sleep last night) feeling irritable, over emotional, frustrated and bovine. 

I just feel like being drunk would be nice. Not clever, not advisable … but nice … just to drop all this bloody misery and angst, and just get a bit pissed …

The whole “Forever” thing is weighing very heavily on me too. For ever ? No alcohol ever ever again? No slightly giggly ordering of the second bottle, no champagne before holidays ? No cocktails with a kick in the evening … never ?   

Why is it all such bloody hard work ? Why did I get stuck with a bloody drug addict for a husband? Wallow wallow wallow. Menopausal hormone swings. Old age staring me in the face, bloody sober, dull, joyless old age ….. 

and I’ve done 400 days of this. When is it going to get better ? 



I have written in the last few weeks about how my ex partner makes me feel ‘safe’; several people have commented on this and asked me ‘why?’. My therapist picked this up and asked similar.

What do I mean by ‘safe’, why is it important to me and why do I think he, pretty uniquely, makes me feel this way ?

I think I feel ‘unsafe’ quite a lot of the time. I make decisions that I cant stick with, I am easily swayed by other, contrary opinions, I find it hard in my personal life to be confident that what I feel or think has much weight or is very important. The kids, particularly son~2,  are adept at pressuring me in to changing my decisions once made.

ExP is very decisive. He holds an opinion and is not able to be pressured into changing his mind. He knows what he believes. This certainty and conviction ( when its weighed in on my side) is very very attractive. It makes me feel safe. As though my thoughts and opinions have more value because he supports them and as though I’m not on my own.

Being ‘on my own’ is quite  a big theme for me at the moment. I’m really conscious of trying to be both male and female parents to my boys, and that, as a woman I simply cannot be a male role model to my sons . Added to the fact that their father is so completely useless as a role model (rather is is a positively negative influence), and I’m left feeling that, due to my own stupidity in choosing such a mate and father to my children there is a big gap in their lives. More of that stupid relentless self blame in another post.

So that’s one thing, he adds weight and surety to my decision making.

Physically he makes me feel safe. He is 6’2″ to my 5’3 (on a good day) Hes stronger, more powerful, just bigger than me. Sometimes I feel vulnerable, weak & small … he makes me feel protected and safe …There is something quite basic about this feeling, very simple but very important.

And whilst I’m with him,  now at least, I feel valuable. Like I matter. Like I’m not alone.

I think there is more, but that’s the basics. What does it mean ? I don’t really know. Picking it apart a bit in therapy there are somethings which are quite normal, and some others which are fall out from my own poor self image and self esteem. … Back to that again … always back to that

Dry Drunks

You know that person who doesn’t drink, but comments all the time on what you are drinking, inspects the wine bottle, suggest what you should order, tuts if you order another glass pf wine and speculates regularly about who has an alcohol problem?

That’s a dry drunk… dry, but still thinking about it ALL THE TIME

I hate and fear the idea that This could be my future…My ex husband is obsessed with drug and drug dependency and being clean (he is NOT) and who takes drugs, or took drugs, or is clean from drugs… on the odd occasions he was abstinent from substances he talked about it ALL the time… and he still does ( to the kids).  He is a “dry drunk”

I read this article  and it resonated so strongly with me… For several months I didn’t think about alcohol all the time, or even very much … but I am right now and I absolutely HATE it.

I have talked to my friend K and to me exP about my drinking. Both accept my decision that I cant drink, although both I think don’t really ‘get’ how bad it made me feel, or how afraid I am of that impulsive behavior and how hard it was / would be for me to drink  ‘moderately’.

I totally understand that bit

A top addiction expert once explained to me that I suffer from Multi Impulsive Disorder.  This basically means I have no self-control, so if I control one bit of my life, it spills out somewhere else.

oh yes… I really ‘get’ this bit….

and another pull towards my former partner is that being with him makes me feel less ‘lost’ less out of control, more balanced and “straight” …being with him settles my desperately disordered body image / eating patterns; my compulsive financial behaviour be it spending or saving; …. he makes me feel less like a dry drunk …

I hate this.



Self belief

My thoughts are all over the place so this will probably be a disjointed post

there are several things in my head at the moment that I will just spill out…

We don’t see ourselves as others see us. This is suddenly really obvious to me. Walking last weekend with K in the park, she was talking about her work. My friend K is an astonishingly capable woman; I don’t want to risk her being identified so I will just say she has a career in media and latterly in marketing and communications. She has many talents but three stand out to me. 1, She can see straight to the heart of difficult issues and put her finger right on the problem. This is evident in her personal relationships and constructive advice, and in her work 2. She thinks laterally and can develop solutions quickly and effectively 3. she can spot trends… see whats round the corner in terms of popular culture.

To me, K is extremely employable. she has a great CV, is personable, works hard and has a track record of success, she has worked in many different environments and has a lot to offer.

She doesn’t see herself like that.

She lacks confidence, not I think in her ability, but in her employ ability. Its  a very real fear and anxiety she has in a fluctuating jobs market. She has not been out of work, so really she should be confident. But shes not.

K sees me differently to how I see myself. She thinks I am worth better than my exP and am short changing myself if I chose him. She sees in me qualities I really can’t see, appreciate or acknowledge.

This theme comes up repeatedly in my therapy. The lack of self confidence and self worth.

bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this..

Last weekend I went out for the day with my exP. We went to London to an art exhibition and then had lunch together (he paid). Honestly, It was a really lovely day. We talked and talked, about trivial things and about our relationship and its breakdown; this is the first time we have managed to do that and It was important to me to talk some parts through. I felt utterly safe, protected and complete when I was with him. We parted at the end of the day and I went back to real life.

I have been thinking a lot about how I felt when i was with him. My brother just said ‘Why?’ (good question) and K says he is not good enough for me. I have read back many of the blog posts in which I poured out my hurt, anger and resentment about our past relationship and those that document my slow crawl back to a stable emotional platform (sort of). All those things are true. So Why?

Is it because I need to understand what happened? (Although we were only together 6 years, I truly truly believed we would be together for ever and somehow I struggle to accept that’s not going to happen)

Why is it important for me to feel ‘safe’ ? What does ‘safe’ actually mean? I have identified an almost childlike need to be ‘protected’ by a father figure… to be looked after. Is that part of all of us? Why does this man fulfill that need in me so well ? And why does that fulfillment trump all the other (logical ) negatives about him?

And to pick up the thread above, is it lack of self belief, lack of self confidence that has meant that childlike part has never been dealt with and developed into a more adult emotional need?

In answer to the inevitable questions,

  • are we “together” ? No. But neither are seeing anyone else
  • Are we more than ‘friends’ yes, but in a limited way.
  • Is he moving back in , No never ( we both felt this was impossible)
  • will I financially support him ? No.
  • Will I see him again? yes, but again in a limited way. Days out, walking the dog, a coffee in town … as schedules allow….

I discussed this at length in my therapy. Angela joins the list of ‘Why’ I think, though she is neutral and measured in her discussions. She looks into my past for possible “seeds” and reasons why I am as I am, She looks at my emotionally absent father and my critical mother as potential causes of my lack of self worth. Wherever it comes from, I need to change it, develop my capacity to forgive myself (as I would unquestionably believe others should be forgiven) learn to value what I am, and not judge myself so harshly for every error.

And where does alcohol fit in all of this? I’m thinking more about the ‘never’ decision. I have successfully avoided thinking about ‘never again’ for the last 390 days… but now its popping into my mind pretty often. At times I even WANT to drink. I won’t, but sobriety seems like a pain right now. I want to drink and be drunk and carefree.

And then I remind myself that it won;t be one drink, it won’t ever be “just one”, It won’t be “just for special treat” , it won’t be ” Just this weekend”. If I drink I will blow it, within a month (maybe less) I will be back to a bottle of sav blanc a night and all the anxiety and despair that caused.. so why am I even thinking about it ? and why now…

Like I said ; all over the place