I’ve been putting off writing this post because every time I feel like doing it, I know that an hour later I will probably be in a completely different state of mind, and the post will not be representative of the “Day” which, for some strange reason, I think it it meant to represent. I’ve also been putting it off because I feel like all I do on this blog is complain about feeling sad and lonely, and honestly, I don’t want to impose my negativity onto anyone. But here I go anyway, because I am hoping that writing will help, and because I want to keep this blog alive. So here I go.
AM I GOING CRAZY?
Life feels like a rollercoaster of insanity these days. I feel like a hyperemotional mess right now, and apologize to anyone reading this for the gloomy mood.
A small example of how intensely the pendulum has been swinging for me in the last couple of days.
On Wednesday, I navigated my first cocktail party sober and it was a breeze. Zero cravings. 100% joy, happy mood. Glad to have chatted to people, amused to see people (i.e. my past self) get more and more sloppy-drunk as the evening progressed, glad to notice the MULTIPLE non-drinkers (somehow I had NEVER noticed these people before. I spent so much time surrounding myself with drinkers that I projected that the whole world constantly drank, and the non-drinkers I simply blocked out of my attention and friendship circles), glad to not make a drunken fool of myself or retrospectively worry that I had, glad to leave when I had had enough, glad to feel great the next morning. Easy peasy.
Last night, on the other hand, as I was trying to sleep next to my partner (who has an aversion to physical contact before sleeping – something with which I struggle as I have very strong needs for affection before sleeping), I was feeling sad and lonely (but keeping it to myself). I then heard my partner stroke the new cat we brought back from the SPCA that afternoon, and whisper soothing and comforting words to it: “It’s ok baby, it’s ok. I love you so much”. I am not proud of what follows.
My partner thought I was asleep, but upon hearing and seeing him provide for a cat what I feel he doesn’t provide for me but I deeply need (in his defense, he says he tries his best and really can’t sleep if he is touching somebody else), I started to curl up in a little ball of suffering and cry silently. (This would obviously never happen if I went to sleep after drinking).
After a while my partner noticed I was not asleep but crying, and when he hugged me and asked me what was wrong, it was too late: I started to weep uncontrollably. I barely had the time to say “I’m sorry, the ‘no physical contact’ thing is too much for me to handle tonight, I think I need to take care of my own emotional needs and be alone” before leaving his house and running home. I then wept until 3:00 AM in my bed, feeling alone in the universe and like nobody loves me.
This is not the first time that this has happened, but it is the first relationship in which it has, and the problem is this is the first relationship in which I have ever gone to sleep with someone SOBER. It is very difficult for me to untangle things: are my feelings due to a dysfunctional dynamic in my relationship (needs too high or badly expressed, partner not able to meet needs, incompatibility between partners, etc.) OR is this just some primitive emotional need that is bubbling up at night BECAUSE I AM SOBER? I have never been with someone who hates cuddling before sleep, and I have never been sober in a long term relationship before. I don’t know which factor is responsible for my unhappiness, and I am seriously questioning whether I should remain in a relationship with somebody if I am crying myself to sleep every night (I am fine when I sleep alone, by the way).
As I write all this, I can’t help but think there is something wrong with me. (For feeling so lonely, for feeling such a strong and unquenchable need to be loved/receive physical affection, for staying in a situation which makes me unhappy, and most of all, for not knowing HOW to fix this: for being unable to decide whether I need to fix myself or fix my situation).
WHAT IS THIS INSANE BEHAVIOR? How can a 31 year old grown woman (perfectly functional by day, I assure you) be jealous of a poor little cat, of a few loving words uttered to it, not to her? My intellect knows perfectly well that all this drama was caused by me being triggered, then creating a series of projections and stories in my mind and causing the resurfacing of some kind of abandonment wound from the past. (but again: is this resurfacing due to my relationship or my being sober?)
But SERIOUSLY, jealous of a cat? urgh.
Does this mean I am unable of being in an adult relationship?
Should I go to therapy for this?
After all that drama and crying, I had strong urges to drink and numb my feelings that night. I didn’t drink though, I simply let myself cry and be sad (this is very new to me, and is something I had worked towards doing in therapy, but never really managed to, since I was drunk most of the time and unaware of my feelings/running away from them). This morning as I sipped my coffee I even noticed thoughts like “fuck it, this sobriety stuff is dumb, I need a break, I am exhausted, maybe tonight I go for a beer, what else is there to do in life anyway?”, etc. popping up. Thankfully, I know to let them pass and breathe through the cravings.
I’m going to keep sitting with these feelings of loneliness and eventually let my poor partner back in at some point (I told him I wasn’t ready to talk yet).
Writing all this (again, sorry to any readers out there) has helped a bit. I don’t feel like drinking anymore. And I feel less sad.
The funny thing is that initially, I was the one who wanted to get a cat for myself. I guess my partner beat me to it. Maybe we can each have our own cat, and work on ourselves separately for a bit.
Living sober is not easy. I hope you guys are having a better time than me, and that I will join you again in the land of happy sobriety soon.