Personal responsibility

So I’m feeling a bit better and I’ve  had time to process last weekend’s events.

It would be easy for me to play the victim here but I have to acknowledge my part in the whole thing, if I am to move past this.

I have an enormous amount of rage in me. It’s a rage that I haven been bottling up for years. It’s a rage that is surfacing now that I’m not anaesthetising myself anymore.

Personal responsibility means I have to be truthful and say that the violence was not one sided and was as much from me as the other the other person.

This is hard for me to acknowledge but necessary.

Why the rage? I don’t really know I’m trying to find that out. I had a very angry and explosive father and the way I learned to deal with that later on in life is by getting angry back. Fight first, ask questions later.

As soon as I became a mother I drank my angry feeling away, I literally swallowed them whole and they obviously festered. The anger is still there it was just hiding underneath the alcohol-induced haze.

Symptomatic anger covers up the pain of our “core hurts” according to dr Steven Stosny

He writes: “Paradoxical as it may seem, anger—even though it destroys any true peace of mind or sense of well-being—can yet help us to soothe ourselves. Our defensive anger still permits us to achieve a certain comfort. After all, we’re not wrong, or bad, or selfish, or inconsiderate; it’s our spouse, our child, our neighbor, our coworker.”

Anger as the Low Road to Self-Empowerment

“A person or situation somehow makes us feel defeated or powerless, and reactively transforming these helpless feelings into anger instantly provides us with a heightened sense of control. As the title of this article suggests, if anger can make us feel powerful, if it’s the “magic elixir” that seemingly is able to address our deepest doubts about ourselves, no wonder it can end up controlling us. In a sense, it’s every bit as much a drug as alcohol or cocaine. And it’s my strong belief that many, many millions of people worldwide are addicted to anger because of its illusorily empowering aspects.”

So I used to drink when I felt powerless, defeated or hurt now I’m using anger to get the same result!

Need to delve deeper into this. No one said this was going to be easy, this being a grown up stuff.

It’s all fun and games till you fall over at the school bingo night

When I woke up it felt like a freight train had hit my head. Something evil had my head in a vice and I couldn’t breathe. My whole body ached and was sore, it felt as if I had been beaten up, my skin was crawling. A message came through on my phone. I couldn’t open both eyes. I read the message: “Hi lovely, just checking that you are ok. you were a little worse for wear last night, a couple of falls at the school gate. Hope you are ok?”

I looked around the room, I was still in my clothes from the night before. Jesus fucking Christ what have I done?

I was desperately trying to piece the night’s events together. Ok, I was at the PTA bingo night, we were all laughing and joking around…and then nothing…a void. Some blurry flashes started coming back…I was on the bathroom floor with my friend. I couldn’t walk. I fell.

I text her back. Fuck!!! Did anyone see me??? All the fucking PTA school mums?

I was in tears, warm alcohol soaked tears that smelt of gin were rolling down my cheeks. Text came back. “No she said, we waited in the bathroom till everyone left.”

It turned out that I was so drunk I couldn’t stand up straight or walk. I fell and knocked my head on the koi pond. I was out cold for 10 minutes while my friend was wondering whether to call an ambulance. Eventually she managed to half carry me to the school shed. She rang another friend to come help carry me over the school gate and put me in a taxi home.

That was it. That was the turning point for me. There is no glossing over that or denying that you have totally lost control over how much you drink when you fall over drunk at your kid’s school.

I’ve had several of those types of moments in my life, and I think it’s true sometimes it takes a couple of rock bottoms to really reach ROCK BOTTOM.

Tonight I went to a quiz night at the school. I really didn’t want to go, but forced myself. I was so nervous, didn’t want to face the memories of that night and I cried all the way there.

As I walked past the koi pond where I fell and knocked my head I saw the lotus flowers in the water.

Something beautiful out of the murky darkness.

Obsession

I read something on the ‘immortal alcoholic blog’ that resonated with me a lot.

If you’re not familiar with the blog its a woman who writes about her husband’s struggle with alcohol.

She describes the stages of an alcoholic’s life. I think everyone is different and this might not necessarily  apply to everyone, however Stage 10 caught my eye.

She writes:

“STAGE TEN – I must be selfish because I’m in recovery.

A regiment of 12-step meetings begins and nothing else matters. He’s never available because he must go to a meeting. Tunnel vision develops and 12-step groups become his only focus. He’s just as unavailable as he was during drunkenness. But how can his supporters do anything but support his quest for enlightenment?”

I think I might have become slightly obsessed with my recovery. I’m constantly reading blogs and just immersing myself into the world of recovery. But I think this might be another form of escape from actually dealing with my life. Am I procrastinating and diverting attention here? It feels like I am…

Perhaps it’s a stage but I think that I need to get some balance back. Recovery is about more than just not drinking, reading about staying sober and listening to people’s stories. It’s about rebuilding a life that has fallen by the wayside because of addiction. I need to pay attention to:

  1. Self care. – Getting enough sleep, eating sensibly and moving every day
  2. Attention – My kids need more quality time, way more than I’ve been giving
  3. Rebuilding my career
  4. Being creative again
  5. Spending my time more wisely
  6. Focussing on the now and really savouring each moment
  7. Learning how to deal with emotions in a grown up and balanced way

On that note I’m off to bed, it’s really really late – (not a great start:)

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

So yesterday I sat down and wrote out all the horrible things I did while drinking. The things I could remember that is!

I cried, I howled and I breathed through it.

I wrote apologies to my children for being an absent mother and for being aggressively hung over for most of their lives.

Facing it wasnt as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I realise now that yes I did all those things and yes its totally deplorable and awful but that doesn’t define me.

That  was a drunk mess who thought she had no other option.

It’s like that quote from Maya Angelou.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

 

 

Facing the guilt & shame

I have been dreading this.

Woke up this morning a cold sweats. I had a dream that I killed someone and tried to bury the body and it was about to be discovered. (I didn’t actually kill anyone by the way, I’m pretty sure that this dream is a metaphor for my drinking problem)

So I know all my instincts are saying that its time to face the shame and guilt I have around what I did at the height of my drinking. Things I’ve been afraid to admit to myself. Memories that I’ve tried to bury really deep.

I have to write it down and then burn it.

I am so shit scared of going there. I’m scared if I write it down it makes it real and then I’ll just disintegrate into a pile of shameful blubber. The useless pile of crap I think myself to be when I really look at how I was, how much I drank and what a shit mother I was to my gorgeous children.

Fuck it, I can do this, I have to…

 

Yes I know the blog title sounds familiar…

I hope ‘Hurrah for Gin’ will forgive me.

That’s how it all started for me…Hurrah for Gin! Thank God for alcohol! My friend, my smoother of the rough edges. The magic juice that makes everything ok, lulls me, comforts me, makes me funny, makes me sexy, makes me happy. Makes me sing Que sera, sera into the sunset. And then one day it doesn’t do any of those things, all that’s left is craving so desperately for relief from the hangover from last night’s binge. Ethanol makes me sad, lonely, confused and depressed.

So this is my first blog post about becoming sober. It has been almost two months since I last had a drink. God that sounds like such a serious confession! This ain’t my first rodeo around getting sober either. I’ve tried to stop drinking multiple times before or maybe one could say I’ve been relapsing in and out of sobriety for the last 12 years. I hope to God this is the last time but hey, if it isn’t I’ll just try again.

What else can I do? I can’t go back to drinking normally, if there is such a thing. I can’t go back into denial because I’ve lived there for so long and its fucking painful! It’s the cognitive dissonance toward the end of your addiction that is enough to drive you to suicide. The desperate state where you wish you didnt have to drink but need to drink to ‘survive the day’