The past week has been far from uneventful. I intended to write to mark 60 days of sobriety, but I’ve only just managed to order my thoughts enough to try and formulate this post.
The past weekend was fraught with distressing peripheral events. As J was quick to point out in therapy on Tuesday; it’s all stuff happening to other people, not me. Obviously I’m aware of this. I always find it super annoying when she feels the need to state it anyway.
Here’s the list I read to her.
- My wife’s parents told us they are trying to adopt our nephew, who was removed from my sister in law because of her drug addiction. There are a hundred reasons why this is a bad idea, least of all their advanced age, poor physical health, limited finances, and the fact they’re thousands of miles from any family support.
- My mum let me know she’s cancelled her usual winter month in India because my brother’s wife (yeah that brother) is so sick she needs to be here to help with their baby. That brought up a lot for me. It’s weird knowing she’s got cancer and is in a bad way but not knowing more. Part of me wants to ask questions, but I cut them out of my life and for my sanity I need to keep a limit on even having knowledge about what’s happening for them. My mum seems desperate to tell me about it all, and I have to keep reinstating the boundaries. It’s tough to think they probably see me as harsh and callous because of my disinterest, so having to keep being firm is an emotional drain.
- A good friend was the victim of a horrific hate crime. He and his boyfriend were attacked by a gang, who beat them with baseball bats and left them both hospitalised. His boyfriend has been very sick, with lots of internal bleeding. I am so shocked and angry about this, it’s hard to process. Plus they’re also on the other side of the world, so there’s very little I can do to help.
Then on Monday I made a slightly impulsive decision and quit the job I’ve been doing for almost 7 years. I won’t bore you with the reasons why, but I haven’t started to regret it yet. I don’t have a new job to go to. I’ve no idea what I’m going to do. I just knew I needed a change, and that when we move onto our narrowboat I don’t want to still be travelling back here for work all the time.
It’s odd, because after being there for so long, I thought I’d be sad to think about leaving. But what I’m feeling is apathy mixed with a hint of relief. J asked me how I felt about it, and all I could say is that I don’t really care. I’m perhaps leaning a little too much toward my reckless side, but I honestly don’t care about leaving or what comes next.
It’s also possible I can’t care about this because I simply don’t have the capacity to. There are still what feels like a million things to organise, buy, sell, sort, fix, move, plan and arrange before we leave this house. We’ve got 7 more weeks, but I can’t relax knowing there is so much left to do. This means I’ve been running around almost constantly whenever I’m not at work. I am finding it almost impossible to relax.
That’s making sobriety particularly challenging right now. I know a few drinks would make this all feel more manageable. But I also know that would be very short-term. I’d relax and feel a false sense of optimism and control for an hour or so, and then I’d feel like running away and giving up on the whole project. With the added emotional crap over the weekend, I almost got to breaking point.
So I’ve been using Lorazepam (or possibly overusing it) as a safer alternative that helps me wind down a little and enables me to get some sleep. It’s not the perfect solution, but it’ll have to do for now. I need something to help me feel like I can slow down the chaos and noise in my head.
I want to end by telling you I’ve noticed some really positive changes in the past few weeks, changes that I think are linked to my unusually clear head. I am enjoying being physically close to my wife again. I’m less cranky. I can focus better in therapy, and often come away feeling more secure about my relationship with J than I have in over a year. I’m starting to eat a little more, as I can’t satiate my food cravings with booze now. I think I’ve even gained a little weight – although I’m too scared to step on the scales and confirm that. I still have a way to go with the eating disorder stuff.
When I stop to think about it now, what I realise is that being sober is finally getting easier. Still tough, and there are still days I have to alter my route to avoid the temptation I’ll feel walking past a pub. But I am having longer spells of not needing to resist the urge to drink. And one less destructive urge to fight is a big win in my book.