It still amazes me how little I understand about my feelings. I’ve had a few days of feelings really restless and unsettled. I’ve had a stress headache and been so so grumpy.
I go through these emotions fairly regularly and then blame a lot of other things. I look at people, place and things and then see all the wrong stuff. I start to be behave in a certain way and then create more pain, self-fulfilling prophecies.
Why do I do this? Well I suspect the biggest issue is that I have always masked my feelings with alcohol. In the past if I was worried or unhappy I would drink, I did this from a very young age so have never learned to really understand why I feel the way I do about situations.
I still find it hard to comprehend how I can get to my late 40’s and still not understand why certain things make me feel the way they do. I guess that is one of the hardest things for an alcoholic. It’s often said one of the best things is we get our feelings back, one of the worst things is – we get our feelings back.
Until we can learn to understand our triggers and feelings we will struggle to get better. Feelings are what can cause relapse and it’s not really about managing them, in my humble opinion, but it’s about understanding them. Knowing what makes us tick lets us also know what makes us tock.
I would drink to escape and hide, because I deserved it through joy or self loathing. Either way my crutch was always the alcohol. My best friend that never let me down, while around me people always did. I distanced myself from people to protect me from the pain but I could rely on the alcohol to numb everything. The effects were predictably reliable.
Everytime I drank there was an air of excitement, followed by a slight repulse of the first drink. Ironically I never really liked the taste of alcohol. After the first drink, at home that is, I always thought “I’ll only have one more”. For years I went on like that – just one more.
What actually would happen is that second drink would release my inhibitions and they always led to enough drinks to cause blackout. I can only remember a couple of times when I didn’t achieve blackout when I drank, and that was weird. Like I was still sober and a waste of time and money.
Once drunk I would find my way to bed some, normally I couldn’t remember, then the morning would be met with the normal thumping headache and my vow never to drink again. This was then followed by the concern over what I may or may not have done or said, that was always the conversation that me and my ex husband never had.
Oh yes and then there was the promise to “never drink again” till late afternoon when I would start the obsession and plan what, where and how. Was there enough in the house, what time was ok to start, how many bottles did I need….. it would go on and on the battles going round and round. Then surrender and I would buy some wine go home and repeat the cycle all over.
I guess the biggest relief was the certainty of my actions, I always knew the outcome so felt comfortable at first, but was always met with discomfort at some point in the process, normally when I was pouring out the first drink.
Now sober I have more periods of good than bad, but when my feelings get confused then its horrid. So tonight, after a long talk with my sponsor, I have established what has triggered me this time. Its nothing serious but is a big change for me so I have to work through this and not blame other people, places or things and then, as with everything, this too shall pass.