Very quick summary of my situation- Severe mental health declination 2 years ago coinciding with increasing addiction to alcohol and a variety of prescription drugs. Suicide attempt April last year. Move from London to Devon with my wife in September for a ‘fresh start’ under the promise I will not drink again. The drinking creeps back in. Fast forward to January, our relationship cannot cope with it anymore. I take a job in London and stay at my friends but cannot trust myself to not drink constantly. In desperation I move into my Mum’s (also in London) purely because i know i cannot get away with my addiction behaviour there (or at least not as easily!). It only gets worse however, and eventually my family are financially clubbing together with me to get me into rehab in a last ditch attempt to put a halt to the destruction.
I came out in March and moved back in with my mum. I work for a substance misuse service (albeit in an admin-only based role), my wife is coming to meet me after work tomorrow and I am so excited. Since leaving rehab we have been spending weekends together with increasing trust and really rebuilding our relationship. It has got to the point where it is now just so nice to see each other and the only remaining step is to move back in together which she understandably is not quite ready for yet. This is my first vulnerability.
Without someone seeing me every day and eve, I am vulnerable. I can feel “I could get away with it this evening” in mad moments where you forget the insanity of it.
Another moment of vulnerabillity in when I am resentful that I live with my Mum and am not where I ‘should’ be, living happily with my wife. In these moments there is the thought “well I may as well drink while I am here, seeing as once I’m back with her I won’t be ever again”. It is so wrong. In addiction tomorrow never comes. You have to change TODAY.
An obvious one is high anxiety and harsh depression. I learned for 15 years (I am 31 now) to numb myself any time I felt anxious or depressed. Which is a lot. But that is ultimately what lead me to feeling suicidal. You cannot bottle emotions, as humans we simply cannot cope well with not facing and dealing with them. I now understand well how to explore my emotions (diary/blogging is great) and often I am able to get to the root of an anxiety or moment of depression. Of course more often I can’t and it is just chemicals. But i know that pouring acid in my brain (drinking) will make this 10x worse, even if it does not feel like it initially.
The final and most dangerous vulnerability is when you are feeling HAPPY and WELL. You stop being as proactive in recovery techniques and maybe you begin to think well I am healthy again, I can drink in moderation. I am trying to avoid this with the use of daily communication with addicts and by listening to podcasts (I’ve enjoyed High Sobriety available on Spotify). These serve as timely reminders.
I wish all fellow addicts/anxiety/depression all the very best for today. Just focus one day at a time on what is directly ahead of you and you WILL cope.