I let sobriety bore me so I drank

We are here again, at a familiar place where I am contemplating taking you back.
After two years believing you are toxic, I think maybe you could be different this
time because I have a better understanding of myself. You are probably
wondering why I am suddenly coming back to you…honestly it feels too hard to
be without you. When I think of you, I have all these memories of all the
spontaneous things we’ve done together and the connections we have made. You
can make me confident and fun in a group of strangers. You give me excitement
and make me want to go out and be amongst people. I miss that woman….
although even when I’m writing this I’m torn because … it was only a month ago, I
tried taking you back. But again, you took the little bit of confidence I had left
away from me. I came running back because I felt lost and needed some
excitement. I thought you would give me that spontaneous rush I was looking for.
And, for a couple of hours it did, until you left me alone to vomit and pass out.
You left me for days to drown in my own self-loathing and depression. Again, you
brought out all my fears and insecurities and I can’t even recognise myself. Then
as I start to lift myself from this bottom, I can hear you call my name, and again I
am stuck in this endless loop. 

 
 
When I wrote this letter a while ago, I was unsure if I still believed in
sobriety. I was constantly playing mental gymnastics and it was exhausting. So,
like I have done many times before I wrote a letter to alcohol so I could separate
its voice from myself. The alcohol voice can be so loud it’s hard to hear what your
true self really needs. It wasn’t until writing this reflection, that I relised I was
missing excitement in my life.

When I chose to drink alcohol that night, I wasn’t craving alcohol I was craving the excitement I thought alcohol could fulfill. Except it didn’t, because if it did why was I still sending out dozen of texts and swallowing dexys like I was eating a pack of mentos. For those who don’t know what dexys are, it is a stimulant which treats attention deficiency used for people diagnosed with ADHD and from my knowledge I do not have ADHD. Again alcohol wasn’t enough to give me the excitement I was craving, so I was bingeing on anything else that could give me the high I was looking for until it registers in my drunken haze that the high doesn’t exist and all I desperately want is to be sober again. From my experience this is usually a good time to vomit and pass out.

So if you can’t get your excitement from booze, how do you fulfil that craving because I promise you, you will have this craving during your sobriety. Pay attention because you need hear this ASAP – REAL EXCITEMENT IS GETTING YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
The concept of “comfort zone” is a familiar one because it makes us feel safe. When we are in our comfort zone, we can keep a level of confidence because we aren’t taking too many risks.
Although, at times our comfort zone can be a prison which can stop us from
missing out on the exciting things in life.

This is what can happen when we become sober, we get stuck in a life where we feel comfortable. Away from triggers, a way from any situation that doesn’t fit into our sober bubble. When the
pink cloud of sobriety wears off life can become mundane and somewhat boring.
For a lot of us who binge drink we have personality traits which are impulsive and
excitement seeking. So just because we become sober doesn’t mean those
personality traits aren’t still there, which is why it can lead to other bingeing
behaviours.

But, the wonderful part about sobriety is its excitement and spontaneity, because
you aren’t chasing a high that doesn’t exist. From my own experience if I take the
option of drinking out of the equation, life becomes magical. Social events
become more exciting, because you can have deep meaningful conversations and
create connections that are real. When you truly connect with someone it feels
exhilarating. It’s those conversations that make you laugh until your belly hurts, or
makes you want to cry because you can feel what the other person is feeling.
Sobriety allows you to be spontaneous because you can do whatever you want.
You do what your true self wants not what alcohol is telling you to do or restricting you to do.

There is so much you can experience being sober, but it does mean taking a risk and trying
activities outside of your sober comfort zone. Start by creating a sober bucket list
and start ticking them off, whether it be going on a sober holiday, going on a
sober date, or learning an new hobby. Start creating new sober memories so your
brain can relearn that real excitement is not dependent on alcohol.

I triggered someone and this is what I learnt

Today I want to discuss Freud’s theory, the ego which is the only conscious part of the personality. It’s what the person is aware of when they think about themselves.

We all have an identity we have created for ourselves, and we project this identity onto others. 
When the identity is threatened, our body thinks we are in danger, so we go into survival mode. We start to try and fix the problem so our bodies can feel balanced again.

 I had an incident on the weekend where I knew I was irritating someone. This person was openly showing me I got on his nerves. He kept making negative remarks and rolled his eyes when I spoke. Even when he didn’t speak, I could feel his aggressive energy towards me.
Unfortunately, I was in a group space where I couldn’t leave. 

When I first heard his irritation towards me, I was annoyed. 
I wanted to shout at him. “How dare he treat me like that?”
I could feel my body pumping with adrenaline, I couldn’t focus and all I could think about was how annoying he was. He had threatened my ego, he had threatened my belief that I was a likeable person. 

Then my anger suddenly turned into sadness and I became submissive.
“I will just please him and stop talking. I am annoying and I should just be quiet”.
 Now this was the super ego speaking. The super ego is the part of the unconscious that is the voice of conscience (doing what is right) and the sources of self-criticism. It’s the part that controls your ego so you don’t behave inappropriately. My super ego is, telling me this has happened before; I annoyed my mum when I was younger, that’s why she didn’t want to live with me. I was annoying in primary school, that’s why I got bullied. My super ego was trying to tell my ego I am an annoying person so I should change my behaviour, so I keep this man happy.

This is where we have to remember our bodies are always searching for balance and it will make up whatever story it needs, to solve the problem. The super ego is  powerful and that’s why we easily fall into the people pleasing trap. We are convinced if we change our behaviours to meet the person’s needs, we will please our ego by being the likeable person. Except it doesn’t work, me quietening down and not participating in the group didn’t make this man like me.
He still only grunted when I tried to say goodbye.

 The only thing it did was trigger me and gave me resentment because I wasn’t able to be myself in the group. I had changed my personality to try and meet someone else’s needs but to be honest I didn’t even know what his needs were.
So I had created a story to try and restore my ego and super ego.

We live in a world where we are going to trigger people. I can could get triggered by you and you wouldn’t even know it. I could get trigged by the coffee man because he is wearing a Cologne that smells like my ex-boyfriend and it’s brought up some uneasy feelings. Though it’s not the coffee man’s fault, and him changing his Cologne doesn’t change the story behind the trigger.

  There was nothing I could do to change why this person was triggered by me because only he knows the story which activated the trigger. I can only control the stories I create and not feed the stories that serve me negatively.
This man wasn’t triggered because I was annoying, like the reason why I was bullied and left by my mother because I was annoying. I was just a child. These people have their stories and only the person has control of how they react and feel to a situation.

Love Mel xxx

The relapse – why am I still drinking?

It was only yesterday I was confused about my relationship with alcohol. I thought we could be casual, I thought having a relationship with you could be on my terms but I have quickly realised this is not possible. The worst is you make me hurt other people and hurt myself. You aren’t my friend, you are secretly trying to ruin me…

Well I just read that and it sounds, dramatic. To be honest some people are probably thinking, here we go again… The fact is I need to stop bullshitting myself and realise I can’t do moderation. If I’m feeling guilty for drinking, it is my intuition telling me I shouldn’t drink. I am not going to remind myself about the shitty things I do when I drink or how crap alcohol makes me feel. I know consciously I do not want to drink so subconscious please wake the fuck up!

Going into summer has been a massive trigger for me, the balmy nights, colourful cold cocktails, loud tropical beats and a social scene that is always on. It’s exciting and I crave the thrill of that buzz you get drunk on a night out, it’s exhilarating fun! For a lot of people they can have a few drinks and call the night at a decent hour but for me I need to keep on having fun until I am the last one standing and things aren’t usually as fun anymore, they are just weird. The problem is over the years I have upped my threshold of fun which means regular activities like going to the movies, socialising sober or going for walk are not as fun.

I have been listening to a podcast, ‘This Naked Mind by Annie Grace.’ One of her regular podcasts is ‘Questions with Scott Pinyard’. In episode 221 Scott speaks about people’s fun threshold and how we have upped it so high that it can only be done with artificial substances. This hits the nail on the head, I remember when I use to get a buzz from hanging out with my friends sober. Then I was introduced to alcohol and going out sober was never as fun. A few years later I started experimenting with party drugs and almost instantly I required drugs and alcohol to have a fun night out. I had without thinking rewired my fun threshold in my brain.

Scientifically this fun threshold is the brain’s reward system, the place where dopamine, a chemical messenger, is released and creates pleasure and reward. Guess what, my brain is amazing and did this naturally but I chose to fuck the whole system up. Now my brain needs large amounts of dopamine for an amazing fun time, which can only be done with alcohol and drugs. The good news is the brain is powerful and does more than just create pleasure. My mission is to rewire my brain by creating new thrills, trying to bring down that fun threshold by keeping myself distracted with challenges and new activities. Using tools such as meditation and being more mindful can help quieten down the brain’s craving for reward and hopefully I can be at peace with no alcohol.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/the-addicted-brain

https://thisnakedmind.com/

Alcohol after a break

Alcohol I have been silent…I’ve been ignoring the conversation. You have re-entered my life and I’m still not sure on what capacity that is. Are we casual, can we just be friends or are we done?

Four months ago I decided to change myself. Even as I write this I know it’s a huge and rather dramatic statement but I had to be real. For years I have been waking up regretting my reckless decisions and living life to get through the hours rather then making the hours count. From the surface everything looked fine but occasionally I would break and it was the people close to me that had to pick up the pieces. Living this life can bring excitement and even insanely mind blowing moments. Though it’s the days in between that leave me feeling like i’m just going through the motions and could break any moment. These days make up the majority of life.

Recently I broke my booze free life and started moderately drinking socially again. There is a part of me that was disappointed in myself and there were days I thought I had failed. But then I realised how can I fail when my journey is still beginning. I’m still here living and trying to change myself every day. I gave up alcohol for three months and I am proud of myself because through that break I found out what I value in life, who I want to be and the standards I want to live up to. As quoted from Henry Ford Don’t find fault, find a remedy:anybody can complain.

The truth is right now I don’t know where I am at with my relationship with alcohol. I know how to differentiate myself drinking mindfully to drinking recklessly. Before I had the break from booze I had no idea of my actual intentions when drinking and now I realise I can’t drink when I’m stressed or seeking that rush of excitement/high because I’m bored or hyped up. I have continually lived life from one extreme to another, my personality hasn’t understood balance. Over the past few months I’ve introduced discipline into certain areas of my life from drinking, diet and exercise. I’ve had non-negotiable rituals and habits that have given me strength and resilience in my body and mind. Having this consistency in my life has given me integrity and confidence. My overall goal is to find a peaceful balance so I can consistently be that reliable friend, loving partner, influential boss and a happy me.