It’s been a while since I posted on here. I thought I was in a great place and had nothing more to say. However this mental illness snuck up on me and gave me a really good smacking, and I realise I have a long way to go in this battle. Being able to put my thoughts down and get them out in the wild helps me to organise my brain, and also can make me see some insights that I may now have spotted otherwise. My posts are a bit rough and ready, I don’t read over them much as I want it to be my raw thoughts, editing would take away from what it is I hope to get from this. So apologies if the style is all over the place and the writing isn’t as well thought out and as eloquent as it could be. This is straight from my brain to the keyboard.

So what has happened? I don’t know when to begin. I’ve been trying to go through it with my alcohol key worker and I know why the first drink happened. I’ll get to that in a minute. First of all I want to talk about language a little, something that has been pointed out to me recently.

Firstly, one I’ve mentioned before, I’m not an alcoholic. Something that has alcohol in it is alcoholic, I don’t have any in me. I have an alcohol dependency, that is psychological in nature. And it dominates my life at the moment. I need to retrain my brain to ignore this yearning that I have for a drink, and that is incredibly hard.

Secondly, I have not had a relapse. A replace is something that happens to you, this is something I did to myself, I had a drink. And that’s the language I should use. We use phrases like ‘a slip’ ‘I fell off the wagon’ and again, these are things that happen to you. I jumped off the wagon if anything. It may seem like a small issue of semantics but it’s important that I take responsibility for what has happened. I did this, it did not happen to me.

Now that’s out of the way, why did I drink? When I stopped back in November, I started eating a lot. This is called cross addiction, where I replace one unhealthy behaviour with another. I put on a lot of weight, hurt my back and started to feel really down about the state I was in. So I reached for my old friend in a bottle. This obviously did not help. And a short binge turned into another one a couple of weeks later. Which led to a longer one. Which led to a 12 day binge that I am now terrified has done permanent damage to my liver.

I’m a week removed from it now, and still feel unwell, am not sleeping properly and I have made other parts of my life more difficult. My flat is a mess, I’ve really hurt myself financially, and I hurt my family and friends. But I am now starting to pull things back together and get things back into order. But the key thing now is how I react going forward. How am I going to stop this from happening again? What changes can and will I make? And how will I stick to those changes?

I don’t know. I really don’t. Some simple first steps :

  • Get to my volunteering tomorrow. I attend a community centre where I help people, typically pensioners, with IT issues and questions. It’s a scheme that sims to reduce digital poverty and I have let them down in the last 2 weeks. I need to be there.
  • Get the flat ready for my eldest son coming tomorrow.
  • Continue to eat more healthily and strengthen myself by getting out each day.
  • Attend my alcohol key working session on thursday.
  • Don’t drink.

That’s this weeks plan. Simple and achievable. Thursday will lead to making more plans. I also plan to try the 5:2 intermittent fasting regime. I need to really clean the flat. I need to get fitter and start to look for a job. But that’s for later in the week, once my son has left.

Beyond that, at the moment, I genuinely don’t know. I think I need to stay small for a while. In three and a half weeks, I go for a scan on my liver, and that really scares me at the moment. But I am trying not to think about that, nothing I can do now except look after myself.

Plus, there are things to look forward to. My eldest will be here tomorrow, his brother will be here at some point too. It’s the NFL Draft on thursday night. The Legend of Zelda is out next month and I paid for that months ago, at nowhere near retail price. These last two may seem trivial, but they are part of life being fun sometimes. And that’s important. I’ve no money at the moment, but all my bills are paid, and I have enough for nice food. I’m cooking more. A few years ago I was really struggling financially and had no money for fun things, could take no pleasure in anything. Small wins.

So that’s where I am. I feel very down, but I’m on the way back up. And I’ll keep spewing my thoughts out here because I think it helps me.

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