Urgh…. I knew this would seem “too difficult” for me to handle at some point.
Last night I didn’t feel like writing anything: I had nothing to say, except unproductive platitudes, such as “this sobriety thing is boring and repetitive and so is my life”. I felt sad and lonely and miserable. I also “forgot” to meditate in the evening, and I ended up Netflix and binge eating, went to sleep late, feeling guilty. Guilty at what?
At not being able to just sit with my emotions. Needing a crutch (in this case, food and TV shows) to get through the evening. Am I ALWAYS going to need a crutch like this? Is sober life going to feel this awful forever? Am I going to end up all alone in front of a TV, with junk food having replaced beer as my only friend?
More importantly: What is life without a crutch? Do I have to ban all entertainment, sugar, caffeine, relationships, all forms of pleasure from my life to know what it’s like to live without a “crutch”? gaaaaah! I can’t to this!
This morning I still feel guilty. I used to get so mad at myself for binge eating after having too much to drink, and thought being sober would make me miraculously lose all that weight, since I would be 1) not drinking empty calories, 2) eating healthy 100% of the time.
Now I can see that the disinhibiting effects of alcohol caused me to make many poor (in this case, poor nutrition) decisions, and prevented me from making more mindful ones. Drinking = WAY more likely to act on impulse. I remember a shrink who told me once that I should practice doing sober all the things I would only allow myself to do after drinking. WHAAAAAAAT? I was like “B***h, you crazy ! I’m never downing a pint of ice-cream in public, NEVER!”. Looking back, I still remember that advice, which was some of the most valuable any therapist has ever given me.
To this day I still struggle with allowing myself to do the things that liquid lubricant makes doing much easier. Even writing about binge eating here is hard. I feel so ashamed when I fail to meet the (often impossible) standards I set for myself. I’m the kind of person who eats their SINGLE candy bar in secret because even that is already too much and a “shameful” behavior.
BUT. Writing this, I can see now that alcohol was not the problem per se. It is more like the really really bad solution to a preexisting underlying problem – which it just makes worse, (John Oliver would say “and f***cks the first problem and) creates a bigger, giant, blob of a problem.
The underlying “thing” which makes me BOTH crave a drink and want to keep shoveling junk food down my mouth (and then shamefully regretting and/or hiding it the next day) is the same ROOT CAUSE. I drink because I feel sad and lonely and bored and unsatisfied. I remove drink, and switch to other forms of self-soothing, equally unhealthy. Underneath both of those behaviors lies my inability to accept reality (and myself) as it is. My belief that “ordinary” life is valueless. That feeling sad is “not ok” and must be avoided at all costs.
I wonder how I can reframe these beliefs.
I know on a factual level that yesterday I spent most of the day with a friend, helping HIM make it through a wave of depression. Boyfriend Dude is also coming back to town tonight, I am seeing him in a few hours. It’s not like I am Gollum, talking myself and biting the head off of a live fish in my cave.
If I feel lonely I think it might be because something in me still thinks it needs intensity and “exceptional” things or events to make a life “worth living”. Something which is deeply dissatisfied with anything repetitive and automatically labels them as “boring”. I think I need to work on accepting myself as I am, stop running away, and face the “boring loneliness”, aka. life without drama. BUT HOW?
OR I COULD JUST GET A CAT.
I am scared. I don’t now if I can do this forever.
Am I being too hard on myself? Is this normal?
In any case, I DID NOT DRINK last night, which makes 5 consecutive days.