Deciding to Quit, Compounding the Guilt

I realized a cycle I’m in last night when I was already feeling emotional (children being at their Dad’s an extra night, reading the Sunday obits, watching Call The Midwife, contemplating my own mortality and how my drinking habits may have accelerated it, the whole city feeling generally on edge about the Chauvin verdict….)

The cycle: Drink too much, feel awful, decide to quit for a long period of time, then the decision to quit is almost an admittance of how bad the problem was in the first place, which I don’t want to accept, so after a few days when I’m feeling fine I decide I can moderate, because then I don’t have a problem, right? But I know I do and have for a long time and when I really reflect on it am terrified of how it may have impacted my health.

Anyway.

This week is bringing flashbacks to the end of last May when riots over George Floyd’s death erupted in our city. Our neighborhood is a few miles from where things were the worst, but I have friends who live near the police station that was burned down and had to flee, or stayed up all night protecting their streets. I have many more friends who live blocks from the police station in our neighborhood, which was heavily barricaded, and which my ex-husband was working out of. He was a cop at the time and was in the middle of it all, and it was terrifying. Yes he’s my ex but he’s also the beloved father of my children.

Of course I drank my way through that and I know it made the anxiety so much worse, but it was also the only way I knew to relieve the anxiety, glued to the news and waiting to hear he had made it home safe. Thankfully he is not a cop anymore.

But there are National Guard troops stationed a mile from our house. Someone shot at them in a drive by over the weekend (different neighborhood, but still…) Schools have been cancelled this week. The mood is ominous. I am going to workout with my Mom’s group and try not to drink, at least for tonight.

9 thoughts on “Deciding to Quit, Compounding the Guilt

  1. Wow you are surely in the thick of it! This stopping daily drinking was the hardest thing I have done in a long time. My cycle was just like yours! Well still is in many ways. I have rules for myself and I am not strong enough yet to have liquor in my house on my non drinking days. Even when I choose to drink I only purchase enough that I can that particular night but I can’t have any left over. I’ve failed too many times thinking I’ll be fine and leave it alone. Just not there yet! I def had to start with small rules for myself and then expanded them. I hope you have a great workout tonight! You can do it with not drinking tonight! Maybe get yourself a coffee or something special! 💪🏻❤️😘

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  2. Yes, I think tonight will be ok, there will probably be no verdict until later this week. It’s just super tense. Our workout was cancelled last week because of a 7 p.m. curfew!

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  3. Hug
    That must be very distressing and scary.
    I know it took me some medication and therapy to learn to survive my anxiety after I quit drinking.
    Of course, by that time drinking has made my anxiety crippling.
    The first few months sober were very hard. I often wonder how I stuck it out. Much of it was fear. Fear that I would be needed and wouldn’t be available because I was drunk. So I stayed sober.

    Keep writing. You see the truth, now it’s just finding a way to make the change that will open up your life to joy and possibility.

    Try and trust me. I never lie!

    Anne

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just started re-reading Sober Diaries – there is a part in the beginning where she asks her newfound blog community what happens after all this and you answer “Freedom”. Keeping that in mind. Tired of thinking about drinking!

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  4. That’s a lot of stress around if your community feels unsafe. I recognise the pattern you describe – I did that for years! Plan to take a break or not drink in the week which turned into just a day or 2 off – felt better – ‘I’ll just have one’ etc etc! It took up so much headspace in the end. Stay safe and take care xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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