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Struggling with alcohol

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hello,

I'm struggling a lot lately. I know I'm getting professional help but I'm beyond exhausted and I kind of want to draw back from everything. I know "recovery" is probably what's exhausting me but honestly, it feels as though I've gotten nowhere with it and if recovery is going to be this hard then what the hell is the point when I'm making no progress whatsoever?

I think drinking is like the core of my life, and then situations escalate from that. I recently got referred to the alcohol advice service and after being assessed, have been put in high dependency level. Got a phone call from that team and I met someone from there today.

I don't feel good about that because I never even imagined that I'd get so addicted to alcohol. I know I've always been a little bit dependant on it but to get to a point where I'm told it's important I don't try and cut down or stop on my own, that's terrifying.

Drinking means I become someone new. I don't get to that point anymore where I know I might be going beyond the limit and heading to drunk - I can only recognise I've perhaps drunk more than I should have when I go out and realise I've enough confidence to talk to someone I don't know, or be less afraid to do whatever meaning I put myself in some awful situations. But I don't give a crap when I'm in that moment.

That's the me I know nowadays. It's the me I know and it's the me I like - it's the me a lot of other people seem to like more too. I don't think I want to work with someone from the alcohol service and suddenly have this taken away from me. If I wanted to cut down or stop, wouldn't I have tried to myself? I don't want to be that stupid person that let's so many people walk all over her again.

But then if I don't try to cut down, I could cause a lot of damage and create new problems. I don't want to go into huge detail because I don't want to hear people tell me it would be my fault. Yeah, I know it would, but I've had enough people confirm that. I don't anyone else to.

Carrying on from drinking, in addition to my mental health state - it's not a great mixture. Drinking doesn't make me psychotic or nasty, in fact it's probably the opposite, except it does make me less afraid in general. So when I'm someone that struggles with a lot of difficult thoughts, they aren't exactly easy to ignore in one of those moments.

The general exhaustion I feel recently really doesn't help either. I know those thoughts are there all of the time, even when I haven't started drinking, so alcohol isn't to blame for the way I'm feeling. Exhaustion mixed with difficult thoughts just feels so right. Why not try and escape from feeling so tired? Seriously, why not? I'm struggling myself to find a good reason.

Or why not disengage from all of the professional support? Aren't I just letting them down? They try to help but I'm always too full of alcohol to care. And then when people tell me so much that puts me off something negative, I genuinely hate it. I cannot stand it. Alcohol makes me feel less afraid but it makes me more rational at the same time. Gosh, it's so fucking hard to explain.

I don't even know where I'm going with this. It feels as though I'm beginning to repeat what I've already said so I'll leave it there. I just don't know what to do about any of this and would really appreciate any help.
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Comments

  • Danny!Danny! mod Posts: 560 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hi Butterfly, I was just reading what you wrote, and I can feel how difficult this is for you, to feel more in touch with and positive about the drinking you than the sober one. There were just a couple of things I wanted to say from what you read. It sounds to me like you give alcohol a lot of credit for parts of you that you feel good about, and that other people like. I know that alcohol can make you feel less inhibited and more confident, but I'm not sure it can make you someone new. I know it's not a quick or easy journey, but I think you can find ways to access those parts of yourself with alcohol. Drink can be an appealing and (in some ways) successful shortcut, but it's not the only way, and there are more sustainable ways.

    And try not to worry about letting down professional support. Alcohol addiction is a powerful force and they should understand that. They're there to help you - do you think you could find a way to let go and not worry about them, just let them help you? You might find that that's what they want too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for replying. Just saw GP and apparently I'm slowly killing myself. Have to have blood tests soon but the pain I'm getting is right where my liver is and I have to be careful. In the meantime he has given me medication for it as blood test isn't until Monday.

    I don't plan on killing myself but I cannot stress how extremely difficult it is to stop myself from drinking as much. Mental support worker rang me because another worker has rung her because she's concerned, and I specified that I was letting them down, but mental support worker said that isn't the case at all. Gosh knows, will just have to see how things go.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have a whole lot to say, but I do want to stress that letting support down isn't really a 'thing'. During the times you receive help they're going to expect it to be hit and miss, expect it to take time, and expect to have to learn what works for you before any big changes happen. If you immediately turned your life around right the second you met them then I'm not sure you'd have needed the help to begin with. When working with high calibre support like this you can't expect it to be a sprint; it was always going to be a bit of trek. Moreover, when they ask you to try and do something or tell you what you should be doing, don't take it as a 'failure' if you can't manage it. So long as you're engaging with the support, it's a good result and you're moving forward.

    Having said all that, you are doing absolutely wonderfully. Don't beat yourself up about not moving as quickly as you want because ultimately that would be a bit of a pipe dream. You're giving it you're all and anyone who knows you well enough (including your workers) will be able to see that, even if you struggle to. :) The mindset it takes to even accept the level of support you're getting is half the battle and is admirable in itself. At the risk of sounding like a primary school teacher, well done you.

    "It does not matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop." ~ some philosopher or something

    Keep at it, you'll get there. :heart:
  • SarahRSarahR Mod Posts: 213 Settling in
    Petrichor wrote: »
    I do want to stress that letting support down isn't really a 'thing'. During the times you receive help they're going to expect it to be hit and miss, expect it to take time, and expect to have to learn what works for you before any big changes happen. If you immediately turned your life around right the second you met them then I'm not sure you'd have needed the help to begin with.

    I think Petrichor has made an important point there. There is no right or wrong way to 'do' support. It'd be much easier if everything had a clear narrative, like a book or a film, but in real life a journey of recovery is messy and unclear. However, every time you recognise something positive, it adds a little more to the journey, regardless of whether or not a setback occurs later on.

    Hang in there, we're all behind you *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you both :heart:

    I saw alcohol worker today. We planned to meet somewhere else so that my mental support worker could come with me because if there's a professional I'm going to listen to, it's her.

    It didn't go so well. I had a bit of a strop because alcohol worker was like "you need to cut out so and so". Erm no, because that's the thing that affects me most as it's how I consume the majority of units. She wasn't particularly happy with me refusing to cut that out and said if I'm not willing to help myself then nobody can do anything. Excuse me, we agreed that I'd TRY and cut out the tiniest bit every few weeks or whatever, so of course I'm not going to cut down on how I get the most units. Don't even have to attend those appointments if I don't want to so that IS me being willing to try and help myself.

    When mental support worker and I left, I had a moan because I genuinely feel like the alcohol worker just tries to laugh things off but mental support worker says she thinks the alcohol worker might just be laughing at times because she could be nervous herself.

    Either way, isn't helpful and I don't want to cut down on what has become my entire life, especially when people are telling me I don't seem willing to help myself.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When she suggested cutting out how you get most of your units, maybe she's worried about the concentration/strength of what you're consuming to get them. It might be that it's safer for you to consume the same units in a weaker form? When someone suggests something that immediately doesn't sound like a good idea to you, try not to take it as them working against you. Remember they're getting to know you and how to work best with you, even now. If you do have any quibbles with things that are suggested, make sure you try and communicate them but try not to take it out on them. :) Though it might not seem like it sometimes, they really do have your best interests at heart.

    It also makes sense that she could be laughing as she's nervous. That, or it's her way of keeping things friendly and she doesn't want to come across as 'the serious mean lady'. Either way, I would put a lot of money on her not laughing at you or laughing things off. If she was that sort of character then I doubt she would be in the job she's in.

    You're clearly willing to help yourself but the ways you can do so/are best sound like they need discovering a little more. Well done for getting through today, even if it didn't go how you wanted. *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess you're right as always. She wanted me to cut out whiskey - I'm consuming loads and I don't think people think it's a good idea for me to be mixing whiskey with wine, beer, baileys blah blah blah. I think it's just hard because the alcohol worker is trying to make me cut right down on drinking but why? Like she has no reason to care, it's just her job. Same with all of the professionals really. I feel absolutely awful saying that because my social worker is lovely, as is my mental support worker, and other worker - it feels like they genuinely do care, but it always falls down to the simple fact that they're just doing their jobs, aren't they?

    Thanks Mikey *hug*

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's more that it's their job because they care rather than they care because it's their job. You couldn't do a job like that without having a drive to help people and make a difference. No, they might not be emotionally invested like a parent, partner or close friend might be but they care nonetheless. :)

    Don't mention it. Look after yourself *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm genuinely not sure whether I want to turn up today. I haven't kept a drink diary so there's literally no point in meeting alcohol worker because she'll have nothing to go off.

    I hate the idea of writing down everything I drink. I don't drink to be able to put onto paper that I've had so much. I feel like they just want me to brag a bit. But when I drink, I do it for a specific reason, for example I could be sobbing and want to try and block whatever out with alcohol - so it never, ever crosses my mind to write in down when I'm in whatever moment.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've basically doubled my intake a few days this past week and I just want to carry on but I'm so angry and upset at the fact that it basically does nothing now. I get more confident and less afraid but when I drink to help, to block things out, I just never get that outcome. I want that outcome. Even when I drink way more than I'm used to - I can tell I've reached the limit when I suddenly feel like I'm going to throw it all up but I can never get rid of the things in my mind that are stressing me out, or the urges, anything. It just screams to me that I'm a failure even at the one thing I really know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I feel like mixing absolutely all spirits at some point so I can get beyond wasted.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I took drinking to a whole new level last night. It terrifies me but at the same time, so does the thought of actually working with the alcohol worker.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Hi Butterfly :)

    How are you doing this morning?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey apandav,

    Thanks for asking. I'm not great. I know it's disgusting that I drink so much but I just hold onto the hope that it will help again one day like it used to. I saw alcohol worker again on Monday with my support worker and yet again, I've agreed to keep a drink diary but haven't actually done so.

    I don't even know where to go from here. I'm such a let down. I don't drink just for fun. It's not even fun. I don't think about anything more than the units I'm consuming because the more units, the more it'll affect me.

    It's hard. It's actually an addiction, like seriously I'm addicted. I just want something to help me escape. Surely I'll achieve it with the drinking one day soon?

    I'm being stupid though. I know how this seems to people.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Butterfly you are not being stupid at all *heart*

    Don't worry what other people think- just because you may have issue with alcohol doesn't make you a bad person or a let down. I can't imagine how tough it must be for you, but well done for being strong enough to admit your struggles! Admitting is the first step to recovery.

    You know you can always come here if you want to chat!

    Take Care *hug*
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    *hug* butterfly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Admitting that I know I'm heavily reliant on alcohol doesn't feel like a first step - it's more like a "I've got a problem and I like it". I turn up to the alcohol worker meetings only if my support worker comes with me and I prefer her to do the talking for me which I know is silly but I refuse. And then I don't keep a drinking diary at all. That's like nearly four weeks now I think - nearly four weeks that I was supposed to write down what and how much I drink every day and I haven't done so. I cannot fucking deal with how much I know that I'm letting people down. God, the amount of hours so many professionals put in to try and help me and all I do is throw everything back in their faces. I also cannot fucking deal with the fact that alcohol doesn't even block things out anymore, no matter how much I drink, it doesn't block things out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yesterday when I met with one of my workers, she asked about drinking so I told her what I'd had. A bit later she mentioned that she shouldn't actually meet with me if I've been drinking but she did stay. Later on I asked my support worker if it was the same with everyone else - like should all of my workers refuse to stay at meeting if I've been drinking. My support worker said that is the case with everyone.

    Why does everyone meet me then? I've literally always been drinking and all of my workers know I'm reliant so why don't they ever say they can't stay as I've been drinking? People are just wasting their time on me. I'm a lost cause.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Perhaps you could ask them? Different workers may well have different policies and if drinking is something they want to support you to cut down on then it sounds positive that they are still meeting you - I guess the thing to ask is if you think you might get more out of the sessions if you weren't under the influence of alcohol?

    Take your time, and keep talking to them and asking questions :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My support worker said that because people know that I've got a drinking problem, it wouldn't be right of them to refuse to see me if I've been drinking because that's one of the things they're trying to help me with. She said that if I turned up like completely beyond wasted and talking rubbish then she'd send me home at that point because she doubts I'd remember anything at all that was said at that appointment but luckily that hasn't happened yet. Gosh, I'd be even more awful if I turned up like that.

    I have a meeting with my alcohol worker this morning - support worker comes with me to all of them now. When we met last week, again, she was like "I really need to see written down what you drink during a week". I haven't done it. Support worker asked me yesterday if I had and when I said no, she told me to try and back track and at least write a bit down. I haven't done so. Soon enough, I'm hoping the alcohol worker just says she's wasting time and chooses to stop working with me.

    Seriously though, why would I think about writing it down when I'm in the moment of trying to get wasted to block awful stuff out? I feel like it's an impossible request.

    I feel like I'm literally done with trying to engage with the alcohol worker now. It's clearly not working. There's too much going on so I actually need alcohol.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cannot stress how much I'm craving whiskey but it didn't go down well the other day and I know I feel unwell still, so it wouldn't be a good idea, but god I'm seriously craving it. It affects me so much so I want to down a load. I hate that I'm this messed up. Withdrawal symptoms have kicked in and it isn't fun. But I don't want to just puke and collapse. So I don't know what to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Been pretty unwell for almost a week now. I'm starting to feel much better than I was thankfully but I do feel iffy this morning yet I need and want alcohol. This is where it all goes to pot.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I will go with a random fucking stranger if it means I get alcohol. I am that messed up and that reliant. I basically live for danger right now so it makes no difference to me. It just means I have to put in more effort than I can be bothered with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think I'm struggling to know the difference between getting support and being a burden. I feel like I've always burdened all of my workers by being such a fuck up and getting myself into dangerous situations - alcohol just adds to that stress I cause people.

    I don't know what to do though. I adore alcohol, I drink to try and block things out and that's fine with me. But how will I possibly sort other issues out if I'm not even bothered about my drinking? I'm not sure I'm explaining this properly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not even eight in the morning and all I can think about is the alcohol. I was supposed to see alcohol worker today but I'm not anymore because it's pointless - but then I'm disappointed with myself because all I want is to prove I'm a good auntie. I can't handle the battles with my own mind though - this whole "do I or don't I" thing I driving me insane because it hurts, and it must be what makes people think I'm nothing but a joke. It's too difficult though when I like my alcohol so much.
  • JamesJames Posts: 1,706 Community Manager
    Hey butterfly,

    Sorry to hear you're feeling like this. From the sounds of it, you're having a really hard time at the moment and struggling to understand your own thoughts and feelings around alcohol and the relationship you have with it.

    The last series of posts seem to reflect a whole torrent of conflicting thoughts and emotions. If things are that confusing, it must be incredibly hard to know what's going on and what to do about it.

    On of the things you mention quite a lot is what other people might think of you (your support workers etc.). Does it feel like those thoughts put you under a lot of pressure?

    You also mention your own thoughts about your situation, the person you are and the person you want to be. And a lot of these seem quite conflicted. On one hand, it sounds like you have thoughts around living up to what you think others expect/need you to be (e.g. to just be 'okay' or be a good aunt?). But on the other, I get the impression that there are some strong urges undermining all that (e.g. that craving for whiskey you mentioned). Is it like a 'should do x' versus 'want to do y' situation?
    On top of that, it sounds like you know all this, which seems to just make things worse and causes more difficult feelings like frustration and guilt. Is that sort of what's happening do you think?

    If even some of that is about right, then I can see how tough, frustrating and complicated things must seem right now
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, I would say that feeling like my workers actually hate me does put me under pressure - it's like I'm constantly trying to change who I am to avoid that from happening. I'm having a day like that today. They all hate me. I'm not stupid and I don't blame them, but it's difficult not knowing who to turn to when I'm struggling so much. My support worker is back and I want to ring her because when I'm sobbing, she knows how to calm me down. I know I'll sob soon, I've been crying on and off all day and I've recently added alcohol to the picture today so it's only going to get worse.

    It's the ceramics group tomorrow and my support worker is meeting with me to catch up and then taking me to that but I feel like they would all be relieved if I didn't show up. I can't imagine the frustration I must cause them all. I'm a horrible person. I'm so fucking selfish. I'm supposed to be meeting the alcohol worker at the same place, but after the ceramics group has finished. I'd say she would be relieved if I didn't show but we've never really got on anyway. Having an alcohol worker is fucking pointless.

    Nobody expects me to be a good auntie anymore. In fact, I think everyone actually expects me to be the shit auntie that I am. It's horrible y'know, it's fucking awful. I feel him slipping away from me. I feel myself slipping away from everyone but that little boy is everything to me, but now it doesn't feel like that feeling is returned. There are days where it's clear he loves me so much but then there are days it seems like he could do without me.

    All I want to do right now is down as much strong alcohol as I can get my hands on, I want to be that me today, the one that doesn't give a fucking shit about anything other than showing the real me. I just know that I'm setting myself up for a fail though so it's a fucking difficult choice to make.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Another fucking argument about alcohol. Fuck this shit. Can drink what I want and how much I want. I am an adult and I'm fucking sick of everyone trying to take control. It's like people forget I'll actually stick up for myself nowadays. Getting more mental just means I don't give a fuck anymore.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I need to get drunk so that I have the confidence for the gym assessment and it makes me feel like shit. I'm freaking out just because there will be someone I don't know actually watching me because it's an assessment, so my answer is to get so drunk that I don't give a shit. I'm a fuck up and I hate it sometimes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    confidence is nothing compared to the other stuff drinking does. It's such a hassle to try and explain this shit.
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