It’s been 7 months since I last wrote here. I have hardly been reading sobriety blogs either. I’m not sure I completely understand why but perhaps it will come to me as I write now. I hope you are all ok in your worlds and finding your way forward on your paths. Here’s what’s been going on with me.
After the visit to my dad I started smoking weed again. The niggling pesky uncomfortable feelings were too much when I knew just what would make them go away. However I also decided to get some therapy. “Physician heal thyself” being a familiar refrain in my mind. ‘I thought I’d dealt with all this shit” I said at my assessment. ”You have cognitively but not emotionally” he said and allocated me to M.
One of the things that has put me off going back to therapy (I had some in my 20s) is the thought that I’m a scary patient to have; or that I will be dismissive of their knowledge and skills. A sense of being ’too much’ for them. Of course that’s not happened because what matters is the relationship and being seen as you are and accepted as you are. M is gentle and kind, and reflects things back to me in a helpful way. We started where I was at which was the losses – my own and my children’s. He recommended a book (https://bookshop.org/books/adult-children-of-emotionally-immature-parents-how-to-heal-from-distant-rejecting-or-self-involved-parents-9781626251700/9781626251700) that I’ve since recommended for my clients, my step-sister and bought for my daughter! I recognised my parents, my step mum, myself and my ex in there. I said this to my daughter adding ’I like to think I’ve changed though’. ’You have mum’ she replied. That comment means everything to me and I am holding onto it tightly.
So the autumn months were spent thinking about my parents divorce and my divorce; how I was in my first marriage and beyond. The key has been forgiving myself for my wrongs. that’s allowed me to forgive my ex and my parents, instead of holding us all to some critical judgemental standard. Acceptance can follow forgiveness. I visited my dad again and it was fine as before. I invited them to come visit me but they looked bemused. I know they won’t but I think I’m ok with that. We shall see.
As I work through this stuff, back and forth in between working and living, there are periods of heaviness, sadness and feeling weighed down; but then a joyful lightness of being – dancing in the kitchen, kneading bread, looking at trees when it feels good to be alive. I realise that my yearning to live in the countryside is in part about loss and I’m not yearning very much and am happy here now. I think I might be done with therapy but I’m still smoking so I figure M will help hold me to account.
So far so good. I finally get my vape working and stop smoking cigarettes with a plan to stop all tobacco soon, which will I think massively reduce the weed to a level I can live with. The fellow addicts among you will recognise the bargaining with the devil going on here!
Then I went out for a meal for a friend’s birthday. Not any old friend, my close friend who was my drinking buddy, who gets loud when she’s drunk and who I’ve had issue with in this situation before because she has a problem with non drinkers not splitting the bill. All of the above panned out again. We went home and once more I found myself preoccupied with it. Angry with her. When I brought it up at my next therapy session M got me to stay with how I felt in that moment in the restaurant. Wanting to disappear, embarrassed at being different. He commented ’you’re scared of her’. This shocked me as I get to feeling angry so quickly I hadn’t noticed any fear. I’ve spent this week feeling like a frightened 7 year old. Ive realised the significance of mealtimes, as that was often when things would kick off and get dangerous. The thing with alcoholic families is terrifying things happen and then you all just carry on. The title of this post is from another book about ’the rules’ that alcoholic families have. You don’t tell or trust anyone, you don’t feel, you just carry on as if everything is normal. No one comforts you. No wonder as soon as you can you find ways to comfort yourself. Trauma is frightening experiences without any comfort. Most children of addicts will not have experienced comfort as children making them so much more likely to become addicts themselves.
I’m working on feeling, talking and comforting myself in healthier ways. I don’t know what to do about my friend. She’s reaching out more and I’m stalling her. When I talked to her about the last time she denied having had a problem or very much to drink. I don’t feel safe sharing my feelings with her as I fear she will ridicule me to others. I don’t want to give her emotions that belong in the past and untangling it is difficult. I do know meals out with her are off the menu for the forseeable future! Thanks for reading – it’s good to be back. 💕💕