Day 10: The Sober Rollercoaster

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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.

Sigh. 

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.

xx

Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

9 thoughts on “Day 10: The Sober Rollercoaster

  1. Anne, sometimes I skim read other posts but this I read in full and then read again. It was raw, vulnerable and honest and I wanted to scream out “don’t be so hard on yourself.” I get the cat thing completely. It’s the small stuff that sometimes speaks volumes. I’ll also be honest and say your partner’s “no cuddles before sleep” sounds like selfish bullshit to me. I really feel for you after reading that. It is bloody hard not being able to drink on top of all that, maybe all I’d say is you have a lot to deal with as I do just with making the massive change of giving up alcohol. Give yourself the best possible space you can, create the calmest environment you can where your needs take centre stage. I think these early days are a roller coaster. I too have sailed through some events but today seeing people out in the sunshine sipping wine and then going back home to what felt like an empty evening was tough. But it does vary so much. Hang on in there. We started around this thing the same time and knowing that does make a difference. Each tough time will make you stronger and I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have and expect a cuddle at bedtime. Stay strong.
    Jim x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim has some great advice.
    I get too hot, horrible hot flashes, if I touch my husband in bed, but we cuddle before bed! Maybe there is a compromise?
    Just take care of yourself!
    Stopping drinking is a HUGE change!
    Big hugs,
    Wendy

    Like

    1. yes, we have talked about it a lot. Over the last year I have negotiated to get to the point where there is a little cuddling before bed, then I get ONE of his TOES touching my foot, IF HE IS FEELING OK (which is not always the case). Strangely this single toe helps a lot. But I am starting to question whether I can really be happy in this context. I feel emotionally starved, and most of the time I would rather be alone than have to endure the affective difficulty of adapting to this constraint. I still have hope of either adapting or finding more compromise though. I’m trying hard.

      Like

  3. Anne, giiiiiiirl, I get it. As far as the pendulum swinging like crazy during early sobriety, for me, it swang (that’s a real word) like that for a while.
    I’ve been on both sides of this. I too enjoy the bedtime snuggles. Ex hubs #2, not so much. To an extent that he would forcefully push me away until I finally got the point.
    In my last relationship, I was in a very topsy turvey place. The first 2 years I was in hot mess mode and sex and snuggling were great. The last 2.5 years I was struggling with sobriety and relapse REPEATEDLY so I wasn’t giving out nearly as much as HE needed.
    Early sobriety in itself, for me, sucked. So far, despite the crazy ride it has been, it has been worth it. I would definitely recommend trying out talk therapy if you haven’t before and definitely communicating to your partner what your needs are and also his needs. Trying to find balance in any relationship is difficult. Trying to find balance in a relationship where one or more parties is sober is even more so. That’s not to give you feelings of fear. Sometimes the hardest things we work for are the most gratifying and worthy causes. Don’t give up, but do talk.
    Sending hugs!! 🤗🤗🤗🥰🥰🥰

    Like

    1. thank you Monica ! We do therapy each on our own side, and have never tried (or considered) giving couples therapy. One thing you bring up that really resonated is that we are indeed both experimenting with sobriety and learning to de with our feelings sober, and also, it is true that he has only very recently decided to go back into therapy and work on himself (making himself his “top priority”). I think I am feeling a bit neglected but not allowing myself to feel that way, because I support and respect his need to work on himself. I will give this more time and see where it goes. Thank you so much for the support and sharing your life experience, your comment made me smile and cheered me up, and a few hours ago that didn’t feel like that would even be possible. I’m ready for more SWANGing now 🙂 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol!!! Yay!!! Smiles are an excellent start!!
        And I totally understand him needing to put himself as top priority. You don’t sell yourself short tho.
        Shoot for the moon! Even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars. 🥰

        Liked by 1 person

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