Therapy yesterday: I got drunk

I couldn’t write yesterday about my therapy session. It was so horrible I went to the pub afterwards and when I got home the vodka had numbed me enough that I just went to sleep. So I’ve thrown away over 100 days of sobriety. And I self harmed too.

My session with J was so awkward. I had nothing to say, and I didn’t want to let her get close. So I withdrew and stared at the carpet for an hour. I couldn’t find any words. There was a sea of sadness blocking me from being able to communicate. J kept pushing and the more she did that, the less I wanted to speak.

I hate it when sessions are like that. It feels counter productive. Not only is it a waste of time to go to therapy and not say anything, it makes me feel anxious and frustrated. I get angry with J because she wants to get inside that shell I build around myself. And yesterday I felt like I was testing her patience, she seemed frustrated as well. That led to me feeling as though I had failed her, and my codependent nature means I can’t stand that thought. I can’t tolerate the notion that she might be annoyed with me. I care about my relationship with her too much for that to be OK.

When I left her place, I went straight into self-destruct mode. I walked into the nearest pub, knowing it would be dangerous for me to drink, knowing that I would feel even worse about myself if I broke my sobriety. Even with that knowledge, I went ahead and did it anyway. I wanted to hate myself. I wanted to punish myself. And I knew that alcohol would numb me, even if it didn’t make anything better.

The vodka had the desired effect. It felt warm and familiar and for a short time I was soothed by that sensation. I felt mellow instead of agitated. I stopped caring what happened after I left the pub.

Once I was drunk, I did my usual routine of weighing up my next move. First, I considered getting on a bus and disappearing for a while. That seemed pointless, as I knew as soon as anyone was worried I would come home. Next, I thought about suicide. I planned what I would do and how I would make sure it worked and I wouldn’t end up in hospital again. I sat with that thought for a while, feeling excited about it. I got a rush of adrenaline, just thinking about the potential.

Usually if I get drunk, I go ahead and follow through with those plans. But I didn’t this time. I stopped drinking before I was out of control. I took a slow walk home and when I got in I allowed myself to cut. I felt as though not doing everything else I had planned meant the cutting was OK. By comparison, it was unimportant that I self harmed.

This morning all those messy emotions of yesterday have somewhat settled. But I don’t want to go to therapy again. I am glad I don’t have a session today, because I couldn’t cope with a repeat of yesterday. I have to see J tomorrow, and even that feels too much right now. But she’s away next week and I don’t want all these difficult feelings hanging over me until she returns.

So I’m going to have to go and talk to her about it. That scares me. I’m scared she will be angry with me, or disappointed that I reacted so badly to our last session. It frightens me that this has all come up right before her holiday, when I know I have trouble with the thought of her being away. It always feels to me like her going away is a poignant reminder that she could leave me at any moment, and I get so scared of that. And until I feel less like everyone I need wants to reject or abandon me, that fear is not going to shift.

Photo credit: IH, Creative Commons


3 Comments Add yours

  1. First and probably most insignificantly, I love the photo you chose for this post! Did you take that photo? It’s so awesome.

    Secondly, on a self-centered me-me-me-me note, I have a horrific headache today as though I’d done your drinking, but haven’t had anything to drink for several days.

    Thirdly, I can see your hesitation to go back to your therapist and possibly relive all this stuff you did that you now feel shameful about, worrying it could cause another trigger and then the whole cycle could repeat itself.

    Fourthly, how can you write so clearly after being drunk, emotionally traumatized (by your mind) while hanging onto regret? You’re obviously super functional with all of these things happening.

    Sorry about the self-administered vodka hole you went down yesterday. Painful feelings ARE awful and I think it’s natural for so many of us to want to escape pain whether it be emotional or physical.

    Think what the outcome or course would be if you were addicted to weight-lifting instead of alcohol … you could get pissed and then go get pumped. Ah, if it were only that easy!

    I’ve always hated myself when I’ve imbibed too much and said and done things I wish I hadn’t. I’m glad you didn’t kick the bucket because #1 it’s not a REAL answer to your problem(s), and #2 I seriously would miss reading your blog as trite as that sounds. Yes, yes, please live for me, I say! 😉

    Anyway, I know when you’re mind — a person’s mind is in the crapper all thinking becomes myopic and viable reasonable thoughts don’t come readily at all. Sprinkle some self-soothing vodka juice (or whatever liquor floats your boat … or drug) and any thoughts of self-preservation are unlikely to come to the surface of even the biggest brains.

    Usually I do NOT drink when I’m angry or sad … somehow it’s just a natural thing I have (yay for me — sarcasm). But instead of somehow beating yourself up for the lack of sobriety or drinking again, is there some way that you could make yourself NOT drink when you are sad, depressed, confused or agitated? It’s bad enough to feel bad feelings, but the next-day regrets and shame are like the ugliest clothing you can’t remove for days … sometimes weeks.

    The cutting part … no advice here except simply wondering if the cutting happens when your are both sober and non-sober. I’m no cutting expert … I still need to sign up for that “Knifes 101” course at the local culinary school! That’s humor … I hope you know. All I can think of is what could take the place of cutting that could not be harmful and bring you some of the effects you’re trying to achieve with cutting?

    Anyway, I hope you are better today … maybe just different … and the counting of sobriety days begins again. Don’t be so hard on yourself (easy for me to say!) … you had some very triggering thoughts and you ran to the vodka to extinguish your mind fire ASAP! People who don’t experience such painful thoughts can’t relate to this — don’t get any people like this to try to understand you; these type of people will only exacerbate your negative feelings of self-worth, make guilt & shame fester. As much as we all crave to be understood, the audience to which we open ourselves up is equally crucial.

    Take a big breath, go see your counselor, request time-outs when feelings and words start to become TOO deep and too overwhelming. If your therapist is worth anything I’m quite sure he/she won’t shame you. If he/she does … bubbye, and go look for someone new. You don’t need more shame and hate in your life because you have enough for yourself already!

    Every day out will be one day further from this experience. Each day will be another 24 hours away. Know your triggers, have a positive plan and know while you may never “beat this” you can manage these feelings, but it takes practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Black says:

    Wow thank you for your very thoughtful feedback. I love what you said about extinguishing the mind fire. You obviously get it. I’m working on finding better ways of coping when I’m really low, but those moods appear so suddenly and when I’m in them I don’t want to do anything that might be good for me.

    I’m reading about self harm at the moment to try and understand it better. I’m hoping if it makes a bit more sense, I’ll be able to cope without being so self destructive.

    Thanks for the reassurance that I’ll figure out how to manage the horrible stuff one day. That’s why I keep going. I know something good can happen if I’m willing to let it.



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