When I Least Want to Write is When I Need to the Most

I just feel like hiding. 

I haven’t even been commenting on other blogs a whole lot, though I’ve been reading.  I just feel like I want to be unnoticeable, blend into the woodwork, crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and sleep.  Sleeeeeeeeeep.

I’m a tiny bit depressed (in case you hadn’t noticed).  This is always Stage One of depression for me: unexplainable exhaustion. 

Well, no, it’s not totally unexplainable.  Part of it is that I’ve been off my thyroid supplements for a while, so I’m always more tired then.  (I just got a refill the other day.)  And a big part of it is that I’ve been staying up late (well, late for me – I get up at 4am, so “late” is relative). And a big part of it is the drinking. A LOT of drinking, even after my last, semi-optimistic post. And I’m embarrassed to admit it, which is why I want to hide, and why right now it’s important not to hide.

So I’m writing.

Clearly deciding to Stop Drinking So Much was about as successful as my attempt to decide to Stop Bingeing So Much. Ah, the joys of naivete. LOL (but not really LOL, unless it’s with a little bitterness and cynicism). So obviously if one method doesn’t work, I need to try a new one and stop hoping that if I just pound away at the old one for long enough that presto! it will magically start working EVEN THOUGH IT NEVER DID BEFORE. (Yes! She CAN be taught!)

A while back, I made a concerted effort to practice Intuitive Eating. The thing I found the most interesting about it was that when I stopped thinking in terms of “good” foods and “bad” foods; when I stopped telling myself I was Not Allowed to eat things; I found that I didn’t actually WANT most of the food I was eating. I was just eating it because it was Not Allowed, and I was rebelling. When I really started to adopt the mindset that I could eat a pound of pasta with cream sauce for dinner EVERY NIGHT if I wanted to and it didn’t make me a Bad Person, I realized that hey – I didn’t actually WANT to eat a pound of pasta with cream sauce every night. Just knowing that this meal wasn’t Special, and that I could have it anytime I wanted it sort of removed the drive to consume it.

I’m not sure Intuitive Drinking would work that well though, LOL.

But it got me to thinking. What if, instead of Not Drinking, I removed the stigma? What if I tell myself, ok sure, have that drink – just make sure you really want it. And remember that if you don’t want it now, you can have it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next. You’re not a Bad Person if you drink it, and you’re not a Good Person if you don’t. Even writing that, I can feel my brain change. I can feel that anxiety relax, that drive, that complusion lessen.

There is one thing different with alcohol than food though, and that of course is is the fact that as you drink, you get stupid. Or I do, anyway. I won’t put that on all of you. 😉 So a drink or even two would probably not hurt me, but that’s about the time that I’ve had just enough alcohol to make more seem like the BEST IDEA EVER. So I have to figure out a way around that.

So I’m thinking that I might practice Intuitive Drinking (Ha!), but add in a caveat: between every glass of alcohol, I need to have some water. My glasses are all 16 oz sizes, so I’ll drink 16 oz of water after each drink. I’m specifically hoping that if I make some herbal tea or something like that, that it will relax me enough to remind me that more alcohol really IS unnecessary. (But not Forbidden – I don’t want to reactivate the kind of thinking I’m trying so hard to DEactivate.) And there will be nights, especially in the beginning, where I will drink too much, and I’ll feel like hell the next day. But if it’s not forbidden, then the lure will lessen (if it’s anything like the sugar binges were, and I think it might be) when I really start thinking about how shitty I feel afterward. As long as I know that I can have it anytime, and that IT’S OK, I’m guessing (hoping?) that the compulsion to drink it NOW NOW NOW BEFORE I CAN’T HAVE IT OR IT’S GONE will lessen.

Any other ideas? Think this will work? Think it won’t work (and have a reason why you think it might not)? Help me out here, people. I’m flying blind on this one. I really want to cure the root cause (the internal mental and emotional crap) instead of just treat the symptoms (drinking and bingeing). 

 

Edited to add: I’m TOTALLY FREAKED OUT about posting this.  Not sure why, but it’s an interesting phenomenon.  My stomach is all in a knot.  Weird.

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9 responses to “When I Least Want to Write is When I Need to the Most

  1. would you be interested in meeting irl…?

  2. I have nothing useful to add to this, only I’d be curious to find out how you get on. I hope it works for you. I think the only thing that ever got me to stop drinking was the calorie content, but then I just stopped eating too, so that clearly isn’t the best approach!

    Lola x

  3. I think it might work, but not for any reason that I can sense. If it works, it will work because you thought of it and the part of you that thought of it can sense the reason. Also, it doesn’t feel like root cause to me, even if it works.

    Maybe it’s only because I read the other post first with its archetypes, but the Bad Person / Good Person idea seems related. So there’s this Warrior… Who, then, is the person whose voice is high (childish?), whose chin is raised, whose gaze falters, whose shoulders are hunched, and who tries to be small?

    (I’m no good at this Jungian stuff, and it’s just gone midnight here…better stop rambling…)

  4. I think it’s a really good idea, at least in the short-term. Try to view it as an experiment, as impartially as you can. That might also help keep away the emotional attachment to drinking/not drinking and what you feel each might represent?

    TA x

  5. I think that it might work *for you*, only because you seem to have a pretty good understanding of how your brain works. 🙂

    That said, it sure as hell didn’t work for me with smoking. I’m gonna have to do the cold turkey thing. And soon, cause I am sick of it (smoking) but I seem to just keep doing it anyways. *sigh*
    Cigarettes are a bitch.

  6. I just want to share with you my own experience.

    For me, I used bingeing and drinking to cover up a lot of stuff that I didn’t want to feel, didn’t know how to feel, didn’t want to see or know about or think about etc etc etc. I did this for a long, long time and I did a lot of damage to my body and my spirit.

    I stopped and started drinking a lot. I got to the point where the drinking was killing me. Literally. When I got sober this last time, I finally started becoming willing to look at some of the things that I had been covering up with food and alcohol and denial. It was scary and hard and horrifying and I really didn’t want to do it. At all. But I didn’t want to die, either, and I was quite sure that if I drank again, I would.

    So I did IOP (again), including group therapy. And individual therapy. And AA. I got a sponsor and started working the steps. I started reading blogs and reaching out to people, here and IRL. I started my own blog. I started talking . . . and listening to myself . . . and it’s still scary and hard and sometimes quite horrifying. Sometimes I still don’t want to do it. In the process, though, I have also seen a significant change in my relationship with food. My binges are much further apart and much smaller than they used to be.

    I don’t cover stuff up the way I used to.

    I’m not telling you you’re an alcoholic or a food addict because I don’t know. Only you can know that. What I am telling you is my experience, because I want you to know that I was a hopeless case, near-dead, terrified person who was very very not wanting to do the work you’re talking about in your post above this one. But I’m doing it, and it’s helping. And I’ll be here for you, if you want my support. xo

  7. LOL, Lola, I guess that approach didn’t work out so well! But I appreciate the support. 🙂

    CBTish, this is probably right on: the part of you that thought of it can sense the reason. That makes a lot of sense to me: sort of knowing something without KNOWING I know it. As for the other: the Good/Bad Person or the childish person, I wouldn’t say that I am normally child-like, though I see how it reads that way. But the base theory of the archetypes is that we all have 12 dominant ones, and (ideally) they’re usually pretty balanced. But often, depending on the situation, one or another rises to the top and sort of overlays the others. So if someone breaks into your house and threatens your kids and you go all “Mama Bear,” that would be the Warrior. It doesn’t mean that on a different day you love your kids any less. It just means that in that moment you need to be more of a fighter than you do on a normal day. Does that sort of make sense? I’m not sure I can get any more detailed here (though I’m thinking I might have to post on this soon, since it informs so much of what I say and do.)

    TA, I can actually quit drinking and bingeing if I think of it as an experiment; I’ve done that before. But the thing I’m starting to hit now is that the detachment allows me to still not deal with whatever it is that’s causing the drinking and bingeing, and eventually, I “relapse.” Does that sort of make sense? I think I might have to try and strike a balance between detaching and feeling it. (Detach on a bad day and feel it on a good day? I wonder if I can control the detach/feeling that precisely.)

    Sassy, I can’t imagine trying to quit smoking. Although I drink a lot, I haven’t noticed any physical symptoms of withdrawal any time I’ve quit, but I’m sure you go through that with the cigarettes. Frankly, I don’t think I could do what I’m planning to do if I had physical sypmtoms, too.

    Sarah, THANK YOU. Frankly, I have the gut feeling that if I don’t deal with this now that I will endanger my health seriously within the next 2-3 years. I have no data for that, but I’ve always “known” my body and mind pretty intuitively (I even knew when my back had ruptured a disc, even though it took the doctors 2 years to find it), and that feels like where I’m headed. I’ve gone through the Big Book a couple of times now, and at the moment, the alcoholic label just doesn’t QUITE fit – I feel more like it’s a bingeing substitute. But I also feel in my gut that I’m walking a VERY fine line, and that alcoholism is sitting in the corner, waiting patiently. So I’m trying to get my act together NOW, before I fuck myself up any further. Does that sort of make sense?

  8. It totally makes sense. And the Big Book talks about there definitely being a difference between a hard drinker and an alcoholic (see pages 20-21). You certainly wouldn’t be the first person to use alcohol as a substitute for a binge — I don’t have numbers but I know that some post-op gastric bypass patients wind up abusing alcohol and drugs when they lose their ability to abuse food.

    For me, it’s all part of the same thing. It’s not WHAT you’re using (alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, gambling, etc), it’s WHY and HOW you’re using it. And you sound very determined to figure that out — and I support you in that, 100%.

  9. Quitting cigarettes sucks ass, having just done it (for the third time in 10 years). Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson. On an aside, I can’t drink for at least a month when I quit, because after a drink or two, I decide that a cigarette wouldn’t be such a bad idea, and I can have just one. So no ciggs, no alcohol (except in situations where there are no ciggs, and I’d have to walk more than 15 minutes to get one-way too lazy). I prefer weed instead, much healthier, doesn’t screw up the judgement very much, won’t cause hangovers, not fattening.

    I just wrote a post on how I stopped bingeing last night. It’s not very detailed, because the whole thing still makes my skin crawl to think about it, but one of the important things I learned was how to sit with myself, even if I’m uncomfortable or unhappy or distressed, without having to try to numb it out. I guess the weed numbs lightly, and I could conjecture that exercise numbs me out, too, but we all need our crutches in this world. That was only one important piece of what made me stop bingeing, the other is actually learning how to eat, including fat and protein to keep me happy and satisfied. That’s a post for another day.

    Good luck! Be careful with that alcohol. That seems like an unforgiving addiction.

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