I’ve relapsed. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t any other ‘negative’ emotion. I just wanted to drink. I was doing really well. I was running again. I was engaged with AA. I was smoke free for a week and alcohol free for two weeks.
I spoke to people from AA. I went to a meeting. However, I didn’t tell anyone about my urge to go and drink. Then I went out and bought wine and beer. I drank the bottle of wine in under an hour. I felt a bit lost. I also smoked. I woke up and the beer was still there. So I drank it. I feel so powerless. I put so much pressure on myself that everything has to be perfect. That I have to be perfect. I hear stories of people going to AA and never drinking again. I’ve been in AA since December. Yet I’ve repeatedly relapsed. AA is just another one of my many, many failures. To stop failing I’ve got to stop trying. If you don’t try you don’t succeed but you also don’t fail.
I’m queen of the self sabotage. I’m focusing on this failure. I’m calling it a failure. I’m waiting for a 7pm meeting, yet I’ve drank today. I’ve been speaking to people in AA and I say how worried I am I will get thrown out for saying the wrong thing, or doing something wrong. Yet here I am drinking. The main thing that I’m not meant to be doing.
I had my weekly therapy session on Saturday and my therapist asked me ‘what do you want help with this week?’ and I didn’t have an answer. I felt comfortable and pleased with the way I was going. Yet that encounter rings through my head so strongly now. I’m beating myself up for it. I felt like I was wasting her time because I didn’t know what to ask for.
I can’t trust my happiness, or kindness from others because I am so used to living with a bully. That bully being me. My self esteem is so low I don’t believe I deserve happiness, or sobriety. When something goes right I’m suspicious and then when something goes wrong I’m like ‘AHA fucking told you. You’re a screw up. Give it up now.’ My ‘failures’ are like I’m proving to myself I don’t deserve anything good in life.
When things go well they feel so fragile, so temporary. That at any moment it’s going to explode in my face. Then I give up. Yet when I feel awful I accept that this is the permanence I should be living in. This is the true state I belong. Failure and self-abuse.
Maybe that’s why I drank. I’m so inherently desperate to self sabotage. In my inability to accept that people are kind, that I am kind, that I deserve to live a good life I reached for a drink. I needed to fuck it up because I am used to living up to my expectation of failure. Success is alien to me.
I had a thought earlier that when I drink I’m ‘deleting’ those days. In that, I don’t do anything when I drink. It’s interesting isn’t it. Why did I want to delete these days? They were going well. Too well. It’s like I am checking out for a couple days and my buddy booze is the train that takes me to that destination.
Looking after yourself is such hard work. Picking up the bottle isn’t. Generally. Yet it just makes the work the other side so much stickier. It’s like I’m fighting through mud and once I’m finally getting clean I dive straight back into the pit because I don’t trust how it feels. Alcohol abuse has been my constant for over half my life. For any occasion, it was to always reach for a drink.
Now, being in AA, I feel when I drink I’m not only letting myself down but also the people I have built relationships with. People who have invested their time and kindness in me. I’m throwing it all to shit. So to quiet these deep painful feelings of inadequacy and failure I reach for another drink. Continuing this cycle of hell. Deleting it. Deleting those feelings. Only for now though. They will be there when I sober up.
I just want people to stop being kind to me. I don’t deserve it. I want to push everything away because when I inevitably fuck up I don’t want to have to look them in the eye and say ‘I’m sorry. I’m useless. I’m sorry I wasted your time.’ I can let myself down because I’ve been doing it so successfully for so long, I can’t handle letting other people down.
I haven’t told anyone in AA I’ve relapsed. I have so many numbers I can call to say ‘help’ and they will. They really will. Yet I can’t bring myself to do it, my self-worth is that low I just don’t deserve it. AA seems like one big success story for others and not for me. So many people crawled into AA in a worse state than me and now have years behind them. I tell myself ‘oh I’m not that bad’ like I need to get worse before I am deserving of it. In reality I would say to anyone, if you want to stop drinking then AA is for you. I would never be like ‘so how much do you drink? oh that’s not enough. Get worse then try it.’ Then when I hear shares from people who (seemingly) didn’t drink as much as I do I think ‘well that’s how they got sober. They weren’t so far down the hole.’
Like WHAT. Every argument I have for why it isn’t working for me is disproved in the people I see in meetings. I’m not that fucking special! AA can work for anyone, why do I think I’m so special it won’t work for me?
It will work. In reality it is. It’s a blip. Yet I’m coming through with my thunder-ton of bricks to make myself feel even worse. I’m addicted to driving myself so low into the ground. I feel so painfully undeserving of recovery, and that fucking sucks.
I constantly tell people to reach out when they are struggling, yet I don’t do it myself. Shame, low self-esteem, addiction. My holy trinity for so long. I need to rework my holy trinity. AA talks about ‘god as you see fit’ in that you don’t have to be religious. Put these feelings of powerlessness into a higher being. Trust in spirituality. What can be my new holy trinity? Answers on the back of a postcard please.