This is raw. So don’t read it if you are feeling low /wobbly …
Yesterday was a seriously bad day.
In the last 6 weeks, since I went holiday, I have been doing well in lots of ways.
- Feeling strong
- setting clear boundaries with my sons, my ex partner, a work colleague
- My eating patterns improved beyond recognition
I am quite sure this is because before I went away I had built some good ‘self care’ habits
- Acceptance of a higher power
- Regular prayer / meditation. Short but regular.
- Attending Church
- Attending AA meetings, again not masses, but a couple of times a week
- Working through stuff with my sponsor.
I ignored the subtle eroding of this routine since I came home as I felt good, and everything was going well. I ignored the subtle erosion of my mood, I ignored advice to go to meetings, I ignored a chocolate binge earlier in the week with accompanying feelings of self loathing …
In my anxiety about my children, increased work pressure, and everything else competing for my time and attention I neglected my carefully, painfully learned self care.
You can guess the rest.
No, I haven’t relapsed in the alcohol way, but I’m sitting here this evening feeling thoroughly miserable, having eaten everything I could find, stressed, anxious and low. And I know I HAVE to do something about this, or I will relapse..
I cannot understand why I have effectively self sabotaged like this. It’s been a long hard road to that place of increasing confidence, relative emotional stability, and peace, and it was such an empowering place to be.
I know what I need to do, I just don’t know why it’s so hard to motivate myself to do it.
Is it possible that these self destructive patterns serve some kind of ‘other purpose’ for me? That, although I desperately don’t want to be a messy, depressed, eating disordered, active alcoholic, that this served some kind of function for me? That breaking the patterns and habits of a lifetime is hard not just because of the neural pathways I have laid down over the years, but because these behaviour shielded me from ‘something’..
this is hard. I also think the re-emergence of my exPartner after 6 months silence has disturbed me. His emails, and the anger, resentment, and distress they caused me, have underlined that I am not at that place of indifference and forgiveness I have been aiming for. I want to forgive him, because then he can’t touch me any more, I want to forgive him for ME , so that I can find peace … but I can’t (yet) . I’m still too hurt, too let down, too angry. And I still react too much to these (understandable) emotions. It’s probably ok to be angry, he did great damage and great wrong to me, and my children.. but I judge myself harshly for not being able/ ready to move on and forgive / let go.
On reflection it’s this self criticism which is more damaging than the anger.
Having largely removed him from my conscious thoughts, and actively decided NOT to read more about narcissistic relationships, not to include books about toxic partners in my reading lists, and not to lurk about on Internet forums where damaged partners of narcissists share their pain, I now find I’m back to reliving my hurt, anger and self doubt … and back to reading others stories, and feeling their pain, reliving my own. I had accepted I will not get answers, I had fully recognised that he cannot see what he has done wrong, because he simply doesn’t get it, and I had accepted that I was deceived, manipulated and lied to not because I am an idiot: stupid and naive, but because he is very very good at lying, manipulating and deceiving for his own ends.
I so want that back.
This place, this emotional desert, with no protection against wind and sand storms and the cold night, is horrible. I need to rebuild my little oasis, and I need to take more care of the metaphorical ‘tent posts’ , canvas and fire that form the basis of my shelter.
PS. It’s Saturday now,. And I’m a bit better. Went to a meeting yesterday and going again this weekend. Been praying. Will go to church tomorrow, will be ok.
Sorry to hear that things are difficult. What I found during the years of sobering up is a pattern of finding my footing, and then losing it and then finding it again, and losing it. This sounds depressing and it often is ;-), but what I now realise is that the issues which swipe me off my feet are things which I need to learn to deal with. (insert swear here 😉 )
Having been in the hell of drinking and all that came with it, I am guessing we all want to be ‘free and happy’ when we quit. What seems to happen after the pink clouds is that the things we have not dealt with in the past, present themselves. By the laws of nature that is bio-logical but the accompanied feelings can be downright awful :-(.
Hope you are seeing that you have learned a shitload in sobriety in how to ensure a stable way of living. What you (and I!!!, insert many swearwords) are learning that we need to stick to creating healthy living patterns on a daily base. Not just after we fall down somewhere but as a daily thing, always, with the same good intention and what have you ‘chance, choice, change’ and blablabla… :-). I can not do this yet and yes, that means I am paying for that by being in a shithole. I should have looked for help way earlier. But that is what it is, in my not so humble opinion: we fall, analyse, get up again and make changes. And you are exactly doing that: you are feeling down, analysing, you write about it without trying to present yourself differently. You look for improvements, asking for help – that is all wonderful :-). NO hiding in booze or lying to yourself or others – you are becoming you more and more and more. That is GOOD. And yes, the process to getting there might be (generally IS :-)) messy and can feel really bad. That is true, but there is no shame in admitting that and feeling it.
What I find that every time I fall dawn, there was something in my Life’s foundation that was not true, not strong enough, not receiving enough attention for me to proceed. Last year I had a good job but I was not paying attention to how I really felt about it and how I felt about me. I was working hours on ends under a lot of stress. That is not sustainable. My traditional move is to go zombie after work; chocolate and Netflix. Well, that ended me at the bottom of a pit again. This pit has learned me that I can not hate myself happy, dislike myself succesful. 🙂 It is a good lesson. On that needed to be learned. I’m still not there yet but noticing the differences in energy if I do not dislike myself the whole day. 🙂 I guess building a new, sober foundation is a good thing. I hope that good thing is happening for you too soon. 🙂
Also, at a practical level: do not underestimate the depressing power of sugar binging. You might want to keep track of binging and mood swings. According to Dr. Joan Matthews Larson 98% of the alcoholics are hypoglycemic. Not sure if they become that, or are, but the relations between high bloodsugar plumetting into low blood sugar is most likely familiar to you being a doctor?
Secondly: do you have to read the mails the ex is sending? Not sure if you still have business to finish but maybe you could ask somebody else to filter them for information and not read the filth? Or even block him from your inbox, unless he threathens you and in that case you need all the info for proof for the police. It is technically possible to move his e-mails automatically to a sub-inbox if you like. So it is not so right in your face every time. He is abusive and narcisitic and that will not change. He has got some dark dynamics going on. Safeguarding yourself against it is important and a good thing. You have to do that by yourself, but you do not have to do it alone.
Hope there is some help in this way to long reply. Sending a looooong loooong hug.
Sometimes stepping back and pausing to allow things to soak in is good.
Not thinking about why ro how things happened.
Maybe watching trashy tv.
Relax. Sleep. Eat.
Build up a bit.
You deserve it.
Love to you. Don’t drink.
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Here it is 3rd week of November and this still rings all kinds of bells with me. Wish I could have read this — and the letters — to our discussion meeting today. Blessings to you.