I need help

I need help. It is clear that what I’m doing isn’t working. Last night, I started to drink again. I have got myself into a rut where I stop for a day or two, drink, feel momentarily glad, then wake full of shame and regret and start all over again. I read all the helpful comments, and I try and follow people’s advice, but I keep ending up in the bottle.

I need more help.

I am not going to walk away from the blog, because the connections here are really important to me, and I need a space to write what’s happening, and to chart how I feel. Yesterday I read back over the first few entries of this blog: my voice sounded so different then, so full of hope even when I was struggling. And now  I hear a different voice, a much more destructive voice, and I recognise how this is creeping up on me, and is threatening to take me over completely. Mid-afternoon it is like a hammer in my head, shouting at me to abandon sobriety and to take that first sip. It’ll all be alright, it says.  And hours later it laughs in my face.

I am frightened.  Before, I felt in control to a certain extent.  But now I see that I have never been in control, that I can’t do this alone, that it’s not going to be as ‘simple’ as just stopping drinking.  Because I can’t stop drinking; that’s the problem.

It is Day One again, but it is as though it it is my first ever Day One because it needs to be a completely different Day One.  Everything needs to change, everything.

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20 thoughts on “I need help”

  1. Annie
    please go to AA, get a counsellor and or therapist. be brave and get some help. you dont need to do this alone. tell your GP you need help. tell your husband how serious this is…..
    biggest hugs sweetie
    Lisa
    ps its ok, you are not alone, and you are very brave

  2. Annie, it is very difficult for many of us to do this with no real life support. Maybe seeing a psychologist/psychotherapist/counsellor privately would help? This can be very good in helping you to recognise and use strategies to combat and challenge your old patterns of behaviour, your own individual ways of self-sabotage. There are many qualified practitioners and companies advertising; you can usually read abit about the individuals and select who you think would be most helpful, and you could relate to. You should be able to get an appointment fairly quickly.
    The recognition that you need more support is a big step forward, act on it now before your addict brain tries to tell you that you can do it on your own.
    Hugs xx

  3. Annie – I know just where you are at – been there, done that. It is soooo hard to do this alone…for me, at least, it didn’t work, because I kept caving. I don’t know where you live or what you have available, but I found a place looking through the phone book and went to an outpatient clinic. They had weekly meetings for 10 weeks and they introduced me to all that alcohol does to us. I also I had a personal counselor I met with weekly there. Not only was it enlightening, but it held me accountable to remain sober. There were also small support group meetings every week where I could talk through what I was going through. It was relatively cheap out of pocket because I didn’t want anyone to know. Just a thought. I am pulling for you.

  4. It was really hard to tell my husband. Even though it was obvious I was drinking A LOT, he still had no idea exactly how much because I was hiding stuff around the house. Confessing how bad it had gotten was rough, but it also felt like a weight had been lifted…or at least someone was sharing the load a little. I told him I wanted to start counseling but was afraid to make the call so he made it. I HATE counseling, but I go because it keeps me accountable. At first it was weekly, now I am down to monthly, and I think this time I will finally be able to tell her I haven’t touched a drop in over a month. It’s scary, but it is worth it to share the burden with someone else who can help. Stay strong.

  5. I am one of the most fiercely independent, thick headed Irish you would ever want to meet. I tried everything you have tried without success. And then I overcompensated for the self hatred by over exercising /being overly involved in kids activities/working too much– all to “prove” that I COULDNT have a problem because look at all I’m doing everyday!!!! It’s exhausting and humbling to realize that it doesn’t have to be this way. I have finally taken Belle’s advice (shout out to my girl!) and went to AA and just listened. I have gone to a meeting everyday just about and this time my attempt at sobriety feels calmer ad more manageable. Yes. It’s ONLY 13 days. But it’s 13 sober, actually HAPPY in my own skin days. I don’t know where I will end up. I just know that I won’t drink today. Please go. Everyone in the rooms has been where you are and worse. Hugs hugs hugs– and I’m NOT a touchy feely girl 😘

  6. Step One: You are powerless over alcohol.

    You are finally at the point where you are understanding this step which means you can begin to successfully experience the sober life you so desperately want and need. With hard work.

    I think it is interesting you reread the first entries to your blog because I had done that, too, trying to understand who you are. I still don’t know. I don’t know how much you drink and I don’t know the impact on your family. I do know that for the first time I am feeling you might be able to get sober because you now realize you can’t do it alone. Your doctor is not an addiction specialist although that was a positive step for you. You know what you need to do. Now do it. Your only direction is up. Good for you!

  7. I relate to your story so much. I haven’t written about all my Day Ones because I don’t have the same courage. Even though I am still struggling to get sober, I am finding every day easier because I focused on everything else I needed to fix first. Here’s an analogy. I once read a book about cleaning up your diet which said you need to crowd out the bad food. Eat a pile of vegetables first and then you won’t be hungry for junk. Well, you need to crowd alcohol out of your life. Make plans that depend on driving. Commit to a night class – yoga, painting, dancing, whatever, which depends on being sober. Plan your weekend well in advance so that you have fun and fulfilling things to do which require you to be fully present. What I have learned from the past year is that I didn’t need to get sober to be happy. Instead, I need to be happy to get sober. Crowd it out. Make it unnecessary. Show it you don’t need it any more and it will stop being so loud.
    Here for you and holding your hand.

  8. Annie, could you show your husband this blog? I know that’s huge and scary. But it may help him realize that you need more help than what you’ve been letting on. Public, real-life accountability looks like it’ll be key for you.

    Also – @littlemsjones hits the nail on the head with the idea of “crowd it out.” I completely stopped giving a shit about alcohol once I turned my will toward the goal of getting back in shape. There just isn’t room in my head or in my day for two competing lifestyles.

  9. You are NOT powerless over alcohol! YOU are the one making decisions in your life, decide to drink, decide not to drink. I’m not saying AA is wrong I just believe we all make our own decisions. I have cut my decisions way down by deciding not to drink, I don’t have to decide when to start, I don’t have to decide what to drink, I don’t have to decide how much to buy so I won’t run out, I don’t have to decide where to hide it, I don’t have to decide how I will carry an extra amount to friends homes because I’ll need more than I want them to know about, I could go on and on. You are strong Annie! DECIDE you DON’T want to drink!
    Mary 💕💕

  10. Thinking about you Annie. You are massively brave, and Im sure you will find the help you need now you know that you need something more, more support.

    I wish I could be there with you, we could try a meeting together!

    Keep writing, we’re all here for you Annie xx

  11. Crowding it out is hard. It might help you to fill your life with business, but there always seems to be time for booze when you are a drinker.
    And hiding from that fact won’t fix anything in the long run.

    It’s time to enlist real help. Call AA or any alcohol abuse number in your area and ask for help.
    You deserve help and the continued starts and stops sound like they are wearing on you.

    You can do it. It’s scary. But it will be ok.

    Hugs and love

    Anne

    1. I didn’t mean it to sound like Annie’s main priority should not be to stop drinking. Obviously it should. But clearly sitting around feeling awful is not working. I object to what I see as a theme that early sobriety must suck – that people should sit around feeling miserable and avoiding all social situations. I guess I hold out some hope that it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone so it doesn’t have to be that way for me.

      1. I agree. I’m just saying you can make yourself super busy and still drink. I did that for years. Work, super fit, cooked from scratch, volunteered. Still found I drank.

        Definitely don’t sit around in misery! I found yoga in Early sobriety and loved it. But also look for help.

      2. Oh yes, I have also been that busy, high functioning drinking person. I guess I am talking about finding something to bring on some spiritual peace rather than just filling in time. And I agree about yoga. For me, it’s a lifesaver.

  12. I have been making a plan to quit and hoping that I’m only one day behind you in our sober journey. If in any way it might help (since I haven’t tried it out myself yet) here is my plan …
    Finally made an appointment with a therapist (so hard to make that first call)! Sending all my wine glasses to Good Will and buying new glasses that will only hold fabulous AF drinks. For some reason, the glass is important. Having an evening plan of making an AF drink, watching the news and changing into comfy clothes. Going to bed early and reading. Keeping a journal since I don’t blog. I know I should try AA, so it’s on my list, but like making the therapist appointment, it may take awhile. My hope is to have day one tomorrow. One day behind you! I wish you the best of luck on your journey!!
    Nicole

  13. Hi Annie, you are obviously really struggling. I have never been to a meeting so don’t know what they’re like, but maybe you should try one? It can’t hurt. If you go and decide it’s not for you then you don’t have to go back. Have you been back to your GP? She sounded very understanding. Thinking of you. A xx

  14. I thought about your post all day. At work, at the grocery store, on my hike, in the shower after my hike, washing the dishes. Now it’s 10:20 pm and I’m still wondering how to respond.

    You are scared to give it up. That is totally normal. That’s your thing. Giving it up leaves you with nothing else, that IS scary. But sometimes you have to just sit and let the scary shit hit you and wash over you and float away.

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