Day 44: 1 month and 13 days and 21 hours and 26 minutes

All this self help and therapeutic work is driving me a bit crazy… I’m spending a lot of time alone. Rather, since I’ve been listening to the book called “From Abandonment to Healing”, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to distinguish between my inner parent, my inner child (the infantile emotions part) and my outer child (the self-sabotaging addiction loving reactive part). I have a whole internal family to tend to and it’s exhausting. The irony is that it doesn’t even keep me from feeling lonely. Though I must say, it feels more like occasional glimpses of loneliness these days. Nothing like my previous feeling of being “alone in the universe” no matter how many friends, relationships and dramatic events I have in my life. I used to think things like “I am lonely because I am alone, I am alone because my life is boring and nobody loves me and I am unworthy of love”. Whereas now, I have miraculously started to believe that “I am choosing to be alone and it’s not as painful as I thought it would be, and I am getting to know and get along with myself and it’s actually kind of nice. Oh and I’m definitely worthy of love, and I am actually in fact loved, and maybe it would be a good idea to remember that, instead of ignoring it just to confirm my limiting beliefs”. So there’s progress on the inner work front.

But today there was a major regression on the addictions front. This evening I bought another pack of cigarettes. I made it 8 days without after my first “breakup relapse” at the beginning of the month. A promise to my therapist got me through the first week. But the second week felt too hard. Strange how when I quit with my (ex) boyfriend it felt so easy. Whereas I have been obsessing non-stop about it for the last three days. Had these cigarettes been a human being, I would be in jail right now with a restraining order on my ass because I would have borderline-personality-disorder-obsessonally stalked them until there was nothing left to stalk. I’m talking insane obsession and cravings – which I resisted and resisted, until yesterday I was literally weeping at my desk -the craving was so strong- and felt so helpless and yet somehow still managed to not act on it, but the effort felt superhuman,  I didn’t know what was happening….…

  Today at 6 pm at the prospect of having to go through that again, after yoga (oh, the irony of the yoga-attendee smoker) and a long day (I went to the hospital and got an ultrasound to check out a lump in my breast which thankfully turned out to be benign), I threw in the towel – “I can’t fight anymore” – and let myself be washed over by relief as I just gave up. I didn’t care anymore, I just needed the struggle to end. I had run out of self-care tools, or self-care energy, and entertained the absurd thought that smoking somehow had something to do with reclaiming by identity as a separate individual. (My inner parent knows that it’s the 15 year long habit of daily smoking that I “reclaimed”, nothing else). Today I knowingly chose the guilt/shame of smoking again over the intensity of the cravings. Guilt/shame felt easier to handle. How is this even possible? Especially with the specter of cancer looming thematically over my day. I can’t tell my inner child or genuine emotions apart from my permissive thinking these days, and all this work on myself plus being in my head all day long feels too heavy. I am not feeling strong enough to be the perfect self-parent right now.

So I’m smoking, and doing my best on all other fronts. Not reaching out to my ex despite the sudden pangs. Not drinking. But I get so frustrated at myself for switching the object of my addiction – from drinking to food to nicotine to love to exercise to work. When and HOW does it end? What is an addiction? I keep fantasizing about living a life “without a crutch”, but when I do well, I find myself identifying subtler and subtler crutches (“chocolate is a crutch”, “meditation can be an addiction”, etc.), and become a complete fascist with myself. I end up denying myself all forms of pleasure, I forget that it’s ok to feel ok. What a horrible internal parent ! No wonder my inner children act out at some point. I wish I knew how to get out of this rabbit hole. (healthy pleasures – do they exist? Where are they?) Resisting all cravings on all fronts just feels beyond my strength. I feel weak, fragile and disappointed on the one hand, but on the other, I feel soooo relieved that the internal fight has ended. And this makes me feel guilty. Maybe I need a life of balance more than a life “without a crutch”. I wish I could be more gentle to myself. 

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

8 thoughts on “Day 44: 1 month and 13 days and 21 hours and 26 minutes

  1. Please be kind to yourself! You are doing a good job!
    Quitting drinking is very hard! Having a relationship end too!
    Many recovery people I know don’t try to quit smoking at the same time as quitting drinking.
    Maybe give yourself a bit more time before you try again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Wendy. Yes – I’m giving myself until the end of October. If on November 1st I still haven’t pulled myself together and I’m still smoking, I’m seeking professional help to quit 🙂 In the meantime I’m focusing on staying sober, not contacting my ex, and getting on with my work – which has suffered this week from all the dramatic feelings xoxo Anne

      Liked by 2 people

  2. ” Had these cigarettes been a human being, I would be in jail right now with a restraining order on my ass because I would have borderline-personality-disorder-obsessonally stalked them until there was nothing left to stalk.” 😂😂😂 Love that so much

    I think you went for the right decision, cigarettes imho are a far less harmful drug than alcohol since at least they don’t interfere with self-governance… i.e. if you quit drinking you can have the wherewithal to quit smoking… oh I don’t know. Tbh I succeeded a quitting smoking before I succeeded at giving up wine… everyone’s different though and it took me SO MANY tries before I finally managed to do it, same as wine so far…

    What you are going through is major major with the end of a long and intimate relationship, I had nothing like that to deal with, I think you really need to go easy on yourself and if you stay alcohol free for this day, isn’t that enough for now.

    Lots of love to you Anne, always always love your posts, so real and honest and your lovely soul shines through ❤ xoxoxoxo

    p.s. I've been terrible about practicing full lotus! I might have to let that one slide for now and just go back to half-enjoying my half-lotus 😩🤓☯️☯🧘🏽‍♀️:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Instead of focusing on the smoking, remember that you have quit drinking and are recovering from a breakup too. That’s not easy by any means so be proud of yourself! Those are some major obstacles that you’re overcoming.

    Say “today is a new day and I will do my best to stop smoking again”. You’ve got this! Keep your head up so your crown doesn’t fall off. 😊❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Annneeeee! (That’s me trying to badly indicate that I’m screaming loudly at you across the Atlantic) STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP! Did you hear that? A less subtle version of what the others are saying. Who cares if you smoke a few fags, eat a dozen donuts, pig out on chocolate. You are giving up something in the booze that is very hard to give up. I know because we are at a similar stage. It’s bloody hard. On social, psychological, and biological levels it’s hard and most people fail. You are succeeding. Part of that success has to be not worrying about other dependencies. They can wait in the wings. Oh and you’ve had a break up. If that were me I’d be back on a bottle of wine a day no problem. Sticking with being sober is brilliant. Anything that helps you progress with that is OK for now I think. Ok I’ve stopped shouting now. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

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