Against my better judgement, I got a wee bit drunk yesterday because it was my birthday.
I’d like to say that I was out with friends, intentionally celebrating, but no, I was home alone, drinking on my own. I’d even been to my Wednesday night 12 Step SAA meeting and didn’t really feel like drinking. So what happened?
I’m really not very good at asking for help and I’m even worse at actually being humble enough to accept it, so I got drunk because I needed to learn how to ask for help.
My life is currently unmanageable. I consider myself to be well educated, technically skilled and a useful human being. I would say that I am a kind and compassionate person, but somewhere inside my head, the wiring has got a bit messed up and I suffer from none existent self esteem. I have no idea what I want and I am very poor at making any kind of decision. I currently struggle to know what to eat, I currently struggle to feel worthy of food and I really struggled to muster the will to make myself food. Recently, just getting out of bed or deciding what TV program to watch have been major tasks. I feel like I’m asleep most of the time and I mean that literally, as if I’m genuinely plugged into The Matrix.
I feel powerless over my life and I am beginning to recognise that something needs to change. I need to change, in order to start living again.
I feel constantly stressed, having to remind myself to breath and relax all the time and when I let my stress take over I become anxious, to the point of hyper-vigilant.
So yesterday I was feeling very resentful. I needed to ask for help.
So last night, in a very drunken state, just before I went to sleep, I emailed Richard and Jackie and told them that I’d messed up and that I’d been drinking. We usually meet with a group of people on Thursday mornings for coffee, so I was just letting them know that I might not make it.
By the time I woke up I had had replies from both of them. They were both very kind and understanding. I felt rather strange. Usually I would wake up feeling very guilty and shameful, but although my head hurt, I didn’t have the usual ‘uh oh’ guilt trip.
I had been a happy drunk. I hadn’t done anything stupid. I hadn’t even considered harming myself. It didn’t even cross my mind to text an old girlfriend or post something inappropriate on social media. I had a few drinks, enjoyed a film in front of the fire, ate a pizza, then went to bed, watch some more of The Walking Dead and then fell asleep listening to music. There was no need for shame or guilt. I had had an OK evening and I had had the presence of mind to manage the consequences of my actions, by informing two friends, who don’t really know me that well, of what I had done.
So when I woke up, I decided to call out and speak to my sponsor. I made a few phone calls, left a few voicemail’s but kept going until I got through to someone. I had an honest chat with Scott and realised that my drinking wasn’t the end of the world and that I actually felt like getting up and going to coffee to see people.
My head tried to take over just before I was about to leave, but I ignored it and went anyway, even though the anxiety did get pretty bad.
Whilst I was spaced out for most of the morning, I had a nice time and felt genuinely relaxed around people, which is a feeling I haven’t had in a long time. I know the feeling, but it isn’t one that is familiar to me of late. I felt like I was as close to accepting myself today as I have been in a long time. There’s other stuff going on too, but this feeling has been pretty consistent throughout today. It’s a strange feeling of having some clarity and certainty that comes with (self) acceptance.
I received a few call backs throughout the day, which has also been nice and even managed to arrange a walk with my recovery buddy PJ this afternoon.
I actually saw the consequences of my thinking today. I secretly knew that if I stayed indoors, kept myself isolated, convinced that I needed to sleep my hangover off, I knew I was going to act out.
I didn’t want to act out, but I could see and hear the voice that was going to convince me that it was going to be OK to PMO. It was the voice that said it was OK to drink. I knew that I needed to be out of the house and doing something, preferably with other people, if I wanted to remain sexually abstinent today. So, I did and I have.
I’m not justifying my drinking, but having had a little fall, I seem to have learnt some valuable lessons from my mistakes and this actually feels like progress. I feel more genuine right now and I feel like I’m developing more genuine friendships, which genuinely feels good. Recovery isn’t a straight line and I am allowed to make mistakes.
It’s good to be here 🙂