Monday, December 29, 2008

You do it to yourself you do - and that's what makes it worse

I managed Christmas. I went home and stayed sober and then it all went wrong.

The crashes as I describe them though are entirely self-inflicted.

Going home is tough. I have a strange relationship with my parents which alternates between completely dependent love, horrible guilt at what I've put them through and what they've done for me only to see me piss it all away, and anger at the way they made me.

When I first went into counselling for depression and alcohol problems my mother thought I was getting 'tips about how not to drink', in fact I was moaning about my her - the over-protectiveness, the failure to launch (to borrow the title of a terrible rom-com), the failure to equip me for any independent life.

Going home then is always uncomfortable for me.

But, I enjoyed myself and their company and that of my brother and his girlfriend and remained quite happily sober. I can stay sober for other people but never for myself.

I lied too in order to manufacture an opportunity to drink. I told them I was due to work on Saturday; in fact I wasn't, although that was only confirmed on Christmas Eve. So off I ran on Boxing Day and I ended up where I always end up - in the pub, all day. My mother and father don't know I've been drinking again, they still think I'm a successfully treated teetotaller - more lies, more deception.

The same on Saturday. Back straight into the old routine. Waking late, dressing and heading straight for the first drink of the day. I stopped eating properly too - burgers and left overs not properly cooked. Just waking up wishing I hadn't and wanting to kill the day and get back to sleep as quickly as possible.

I thought suicidal thoughts for the first time for a while. What an idiot I am. I also felt terrible inadequacy about my ability to do my new job and just wanted to throw it all in.

I am coming closer and closer to the realisation that I am an alcoholic, I just can't do sensible drinking, can't do moderation, as soon as I have any freedom I go mad.

I think I know this, but I dread sobriety so much. It's slightly positive that I got no joy from my drinking binge; I didn't enjoy it it just relieved the awful boredom for a few hours and gave me some semblance of confidence, but there was little laughter, no high spirits, just awful necessity.

I've stopped today and as I have to work this evening should remain stopped, but I'll feel awful, I'll suffer withdrawal symptoms and I'll feel the same tomorrow and Wednesday, which is New Year's Eve, God help me.

Mrs Cardiff Drunk returns this evening which will be a great help.

I think I have to try and go for this. I think I have to stop and stay stopped for a good long time.

I'm due at the doctor's tomorrow and if he's received the letter from the Community Addiction Unit then I should be given Campral and have the Trazodone dose increased. I might ask if I can try to go on Diazepam again, to detox myself again - but I can't imagine that will go down well. I think the most important thing is to try and be honest.

I hope you all had fine festivities.


Lola Snow said...

Hi. I've been lurking around for a while, but figured I'd drop you a comment and say hi.

I'm sorry that the going is rough at the moment, I have plenty of fantastic cliches about time and patience, but I'm going to take a wild guess that you have heard them all.

I'm a bit wary about comparing addictions on the internet, because not everyone finds it useful. But just for the record I recognise where you are right now. More than I can ever explain in just a comment box. I'd say it gets easier but I'm not sure it does, I think we just get stronger.

Hope you feel better by the time you read this (essay)

Lola x

Anonymous said...


I discovered your blog whilst searching the web in desperation yesterday for answers/help/info on my own self-inflicted plight. In short, I'm an alcoholic (first time I've said/written that anywhere to anyone). Its been creeping up on me for years. Other info (if you're interested): I'm 34, I have a photographic memory, I'm a perfectionist with probable ADHD, I suffer from depression, and I hate myself -- most of the time. Little wonder, then, that when i stumbled across your blog, it struck a chord. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your eloquent posts so far. They really helped with the realization that I'm not alone (cliched though that might sound). I'm aiming to detox on Jan 1. Let's hope it works this time.
Anyway, I wish you a happy, healthy 09.
Thanks again, DinL

Mary LA said...

Sorry to hear you had a rough Christmas, hope things go better this week and that you get some good professional help.


The Drinker said...

Hi Lola,

I see you in my followers (isn't that just the perfect ego-stoker? I feel like a prophet or summat). Thank you for the kind words. I think, personally, that most addictions come from the same place - a hole that needs filling - and along the way I've added plenty of pharmaceutical pals to my best friend booze.

Thank you Mary, I appreciate it. Are you in LA? That is the one place in the world I would really love to visit - blame Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy and various other noir types... Of course you could just be saying, La, as in la la la, in which case la, la, la, la to you too! Thanks for the kind wishes.

Cheers, The Drinker.

The Drinker said...

Hi DinL,

Is that Drunk in London? Or Leicester, Loughborough or Ledbury?

Anyway. Thank you so much for your kind words, it means an awful lot to me, an incredible amount actually... the cliches are usually true, and one of the reasons I write this is in the vain and cliched hope that, "It might help others in the same situation."

We do sound very similar indeed - although I have three years head start on you.

Another cliche that is true is that admitting you have a problem is the first step, so, what you've done is incredibly important and incredibly brave. Well done!

I would recommend you get some medical help if you can and you feel you can face it - if your GP is friendly he might help you out by prescribing a tranquiliser to get you through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. If you can make it through without then all the best - it sounds like you've done it before, but, fwiw, eating well and drinking litres of diluted fruit juice really helped me. Others will have their own magic bullets - keeping busy, hot baths, all good common sense stuff really.

I really would take a look at Brighteye if you can - there's a link on my sidebar somewhere. I've found it the best help I've ever had, which includes four detoxes with attendant counselling. People there are so helpful and supportive, all having been through the same thing, that it's quite humbling.

And, I would also think about starting a blog if you enjoy expressing yourself at all in that way. You can do it, as I decided to, completely anonymously and you might get the enormous buzz you've just given me of feeling you've helped someone (that's another real plus of Brighteye, you start to feel useful again just by offering your own advice and experience). Let me know if you start one, I'll certainly follow.

Good luck mate - I post on Brighteye as Waitinglist and would be happy to talk to you there if you want. I hope you keep following here and remember that what you are doing is very difficult and that a slip backwards is not a disaster (if you can get that through your perfectionist head - I really struggle with it) that means it's ALL FAILED AND IT'S NOT WORTH TRYING ANY MORE. Just keep trying to take small steps in the right direction.

Thank you for the good wishes, I send 'em back in spades - happiness, health, wisdom and sod wealth.

Lots of love,

The Drinker.