Day 14 – I still don’t trust myself yet.

12am, snuggled in my light grey fleecy blanket, eyes burning with insomnia, I saw in my 2 weeks of sobriety!
I had just finished catching up with the new series of ‘The Good Place’ and caught a glimpse of the time on my phone.
Two weeks dudes!
That feels good!

This morning I have realised that, despite the awful insomnia I have been suffering with, I have been feeling much more positive and been getting shit done every day!
Alcohol really was this vicious cycle of despair I couldn’t clamber my way out of.
Alcohol was my remedy, my escape and at times it was my only friend… But it was also the cause of my need for a remedy, escape and friend.
Stockholm Syndrome kept me in this cycle, the monster was a very clever, scheming narcissist that I had come to think of as the only thing that understood me and could take away the pain of the dribs and drabs of the mundane everyday, the fears and anxieties of what lies waiting to trip me up around the corner and the memories of the wounds in my past.
In fact, the monster’s plan was to fool me into worshiping it and then quietly betray me by magnifying my original problems and causing even more.
It worked.
Yes, I had anxiety before, alcohol gave me more reasons to be anxious.
Yes, I had depression before, alcohol made me feel worse about myself.
Yes I had insomnia before, alcohol made me even more tired.
You can see where I am going with this!

When you hang around with someone long enough, you naturally start to take on some of their traits and that is how I feel about my monster.
A lot of recovering alcoholics talk about waking up in the morning, worried and embarrassed about their behavior from the previous night and that was true for me too, though I’m pretty sure nobody would have noticed.
I am a single mum, so I never went ‘out’.
My monster and I spent the evenings together alone in my living room, eating junk food and posting on Facebook.
I am a little obsessive about checking my spelling and my monster is too, so there were no slurring, obviously intoxicated blasts on social media.
Everything I wrote whilst drunk, was immaculately articulated and seemingly of sound mind.
I have been an activist for a long time, so the things I wrote were not out of character, but the way I behaved when people challenged me in the comments was something I cringed about in the mornings.
No one would have noticed that I was drunk, so they would have just assumed I was an arsehole.
But it was my monster, not me.

Weirdly, even at 2 weeks sober, I still wake up in the morning, shuffle into the kitchen rubbing my eyes, flick the switch on the kettle, grab a mug from the cupboard above my head and have an initial pang of ‘Oh shit, did I post on Facebook last night?’ quickly replaced with a sigh of relief when I remember that I didn’t drink.
But the funny thing is, alcohol made me doubt myself for so long and I lost so much of who I am that the feeling doesn’t go away completely with that sigh.
I still don’t trust myself yet.
I have a lot of work to do to start believing in myself.

I can’t wait for the day I wake up and just think about the day ahead with a smile and I have hope that it will be here soon.
One step at a time.

Amy

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