Sunday, 30 June 2019

Tough Week

Ugh what a week, I was feeling ok at the start of the week, but by Wednesday I was feeling so deflated, flat and low - and this feeling has lasted all week.  I know we can't always be living on a high but I wish my lows weren't quite so low. 

I am not sure what has triggered this episode, there are a few things happening at the moment that could be the trigger.  I have been having seriously horrible dreams lately, for a few weeks now, and they are knocking me about.  We leave for our holiday on Friday, and I am going back to the place where my Dad used to live to visit friends.  I haven't been back there since my Dad passed away, and I am seeing an aunt who I haven't seen since my Dad passed away.  I have put on so much weight since I last saw her, so I think I am anxious about it.  All little things, but the little things really add up.  

I dropped by a friends house this week and she had bought one of my favourite summer drinks, an alcoholic drink.  It reminds me of home.  I was so tempted to throw the towel in and have one with her, it's probably one of the hardest moments I have had since I stopped drinking.  It has left me doubting myself all week, and my mind is playing havoc with the lies.  Just have the one I think, then it's ok to have one at the weekend, or if you have one by yourself no one will know.  Only problem is I will know.  So for now I am winning that battle, but it's being fought a lot more often than I would like.  I think it's because I am feeling flat at the moment, and drinking was my go to when I felt like this in the past. 

Next week though, on a more positive note I hit the 6 months mark.  The only other time I have not drunk for this long was when I was pregnant with my son.  I am trying to be proud of myself, because it is a huge thing to have given up drinking, especially with the amounts I was drinking on a weekly basis. 

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Reliving Painful Memories

Wow, it is nearly 3 years since my Dad passed away, I can't believe it!  How does time march on so relentlessly, without regard for suffering or joyous occasions. 

My emotional pain has been really high again, feel like I am being triggered.  I have had a lot of dreams recently so think that has a lot to do with it, but there are times when I am triggered and I have no idea why.  I have started to use a mantra that I read about in the Choice, by Edith Eger.  Every time I am triggered I slow my breathing down and say over and over again - I am here, this is now!  It works sometimes, other times it just takes longer to sink in, sometimes I have to hold something solid while I am saying it, other times it doesn't work and the only thing that helps the panic is to talk to my husband.  

He was recently away for a week and I was petrified most of the time he was away, it's the first time since everything happened that I have been alone with our son.  I was convinced something bad would happen and really struggled with my emotions, but I got through it.  He is going away again in August, and I can already feel the dread.  How sad that a past can take so much of a person away from them, and to rebuild takes time and a conscious effort, a lot of effort actually. 

So I am 166 days without drinking.  WOW, I know I keep saying it, but I never thought I would get so far.  Sometimes I just want to pack it in if only for a brief moment, other times I try and bargain with myself, saying things like it's ok, we will just have one drink on a Friday night, or for special occasions.  But deep down I have to remind myself that I have been lying to myself for years around alcohol consumption, so really what would be different this time, it would start with one drink on a Friday night and would slowly escalate bit by bit until I was drinking all the time again.  

So what do I do during those brief moments to help myself stay strong and not drink, especially in moments where I am dealing with the memories or emotional pain, or the sheer panic of a panic attack.  The go to would always have been pills or alcohol to try and numb the pain, sometimes it would work, other times it would not.  Now I have painting, I love painting.  The smell of the paint calms me as does the actual task of painting.  Mindfulness colouring helps when I don't have the opportunity to paint, but I am also trying to practice drawing and that helps too.  I am so grateful that I found art, it has been a life line during some of my darkest moments.  So that's what helps get me through those moments of doubt.  We all need to find that go to activity that will help settle the mind and take the focus off of our anxiety or panic.  As human beings we default to anxiety over joy every time, so another good practice is to talk to yourself about something positive, I only just learnt this technique and it really works for me.  Yesterday I woke up from a really bad dream and I was so anxious and closing in on a full blown panic attack.  Yesterday also happened to be our anniversary, we have been together for 18 years, so I sat and wrote down facts and points about our relationship.  Now it didn't take all the anxiety away, but I was definitely better off by the time I finished writing. 

Practice makes perfect, forever learning.  Two statements I am trying to learn to live by!  

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Shame, the unspoken feeling that we all have over different things

We all suffer with shame at one point or another, differing degrees and differing circumstances, but we all know the feeling of shame, and what it feels like to suffer it.  Why then is it such a taboo feeling, we never admit when we are feeling ashamed, and for some the shame is not theirs to bear.  We land up feeling ashamed because we are feeling shame.  

When I was a child I was molested by my step grandfather, I don't know how old I was when the abuse started, but it continued till I was about 7 when he passed away.  I was also abused by a cousin that is older than me, he was about 16 when the abuse happened.  I was abused by another cousin, she made me perform sexual acts on another child, she is only about 4 years older than me.  I am really struggling with accepting my history, struggling to accept that these things happened to me, and I am ashamed that they did happen to me.  Why was I abused, and why by so many different people?  I question was it something I said or did?  As mentioned before I landed up in hospital last year suffering from depression and PTSD.  

I am going to therapy every second week to work through my past and my shame.  My psychiatrist asked me a really good question, why is it that the victims of abuse feel the shame when the shame is solely for the abuser to feel, yet as a person who suffered abuse I know that I feel a lot of shame around these events in my past.  I was a victim of abuse, I am on my way to becoming a survivor.  I think to be a survivor I have to have no shame about what happened because it was not, and never will be my fault.  I also carry guilt about my abuse.  I have also been sexually assaulted and raped as an adult, and I still blame myself for these two events.  Up until now I haven't delved into these two events much in my therapy because the shame is too great.  In trying to be honest with myself I know this is probably the next big hurdle I have in overcoming my shame, becoming a survivor, and moving forward. 

So, what is shame and why does it affect victims so much.  I know for me when I have flashbacks to when I was a child I feel violated, dirty, ashamed that someone did such vile things to a child, and a lot of anger.  I think of my son and how I would feel if he came and told me someone had violated him.  I think I would go mad with rage, but I would have to hold it together for him.  So I feel justified in feeling so angry towards my abusers.  The big question I am facing is what do I do next, I have tried to go through the legal avenues against one of my abusers but it got shut down before it even began, and yet here I am still holding on to so much anger and pain that I know I need to do something to heal, yet I don't know what that something is.  

I know I have a lot of shame, and I know I shouldn't have it but what do I do with it, how do I deal with shame.  I am ashamed of my past, ashamed of my past coping mechanisms, and ashamed of what I look like today.  I am ashamed that I couldn't hold it together, and ashamed that I still have so many unhealthy coping mechanisms.  So what next.  The only thing I do know is that I have to be honest with myself about everything, I have to face them head on.  If I can't do these things I will be stuck forever I fear.                                                    

Saturday, 15 June 2019

158 Days

A year sounds so long, 365 days even longer.  I am still about 20 days off of half a year, 6 months of no drinking.  I feel amazing, love the fact that my ankles have stopped swelling, no hangovers, and as an added bonus when I go out we get to drive there and back.  So I am saving on taxis/buses as well as all the health benefits to not drinking.

The big question when people ask me if I found it hard or do I miss it.  Yes sometimes it is hard to stay motivated, and yes sometimes I miss the feeling you get after a few glasses of wine, but these thoughts are not all encompassing, they are brief, and after thinking I miss it, I reassess where I am at and how good I feel for not drinking and I realise I don't miss it as much as I thought I would.  If you had told me this time last year that I would go 100 days of not drinking I would not have believed it.  I was so stuck in the cycle of having wine every night, I remember the panicked feeling I would get if my 6pm I had no wine in the house.  Drinking ruled my life and when I wasnt actually drinking I was thinking about drinking. 

There are other benefits to not drinking too, a huge one for us is the cost.  We have saved over €3000 since I stopped drinking.

Now I do have an addictive personality and I have replaced drinking with eating junk food a lot more than I used to, my sweet of choice at the moment is white chocolate.  So, I have something else at the moment that I need to cut down, but I am going to be proud and happy with the fact that I have not had a drink in over 5 months. 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

5 Months {152 days}

My husband has been away all week in the States for work.  I was in the garage yesterday and I had serious de ja vous, normally when he is away I drink a bit more than when he is here, mainly because I don't have anyone to answer to while he is away.  This week has been so much better than what they used to be like when he went away.  I have woken up hangover free, I can't say that enough, it is so nice not waking up feeling like a bus hit me, and someone took sandpaper to my tongue, and that throbbing headache that feels like someone is taking a hammer to your head.  I do not miss these things one little bit. 

I am proud of how I coped with him being away as well, it's the first trip he has been on since I was in hospital, and there were moments where I felt really lonely and I didn't feel like I was coping, but I have a new mantra when my anxiety kicks in, or my fight, flight, freeze is triggered.  I have to put my hand on something solid and I say I'm here, this is now.  It brings me back to the present.  A lot of my anxiety gets triggered when something reminds me of the abuse, or the violence that was in our house while I was growing up, I still don't know all my triggers but I am learning!

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist recently as well, and according to her I am no longer depressed.  I feel like a weight has been lifted since she said that to me.  Now I still have really crappy days where I feel like my world is ending, or that I've fallen down a well and can't get out, but they don't last as long as they used to, and I am learning new coping skills to help me overcome these feelings. 
My brother had a leaving function at his current job and they invited my husband and I, as my husband is away I went by myself.  I was anxious about going, but I went, and it was great to see people I haven't seen in years, and I coped well.  This time last year it is something that I would not have been able to do, so new things are happening which is really encouraging for me.   I was sitting next to my brother who was drinking wine, and I was tempted a few times to take a sip.  He asked me to get him a glass of wine at one point and I walked over to the serving area with trepidation, but I did it, and I managed not to take a sip.  I just have to keep reminding myself how far I have come, and how much I want to avoid slipping back into unhealthy coping mechanisms.  My son and my husband are my anchors that I think of when these thoughts come around, they both have said they are happier that I am not drinking so that is a huge incentive. 

I am trying to cut down on the sugar consumption, and I am not longer smoking, so it's a few new steps in the right direction, long way to go still, but this week I feel strong about my journey.  I wish I could bottle up weeks like this one where I don't hit too many brick walls, life would be so much easier if they were all like this one! 

If anyone is reading my blog I would love to hear your stories, and your coping mechanisms! 

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

148 Days

Well I haven't written in a long time, I went through a bit of a struggle, not so much with drinking, but with low moods, and just generally struggling with anxiety and emotional pain.  I have realised a lot of my emotional pain comes from shame.  Why do victims of sexual abuse suffer with the pain, my psychiatrist asked me recently, why is it the victim that suffers the shame, and not the perpetraitor.  It is such a good question, and as a survivor of sexual abuse I don't have the answer to that question, I just know that for me at the moment shame is a daily battle.  It's not just shame from my past, but shame in my present too.  Shame at what I have done to my body over the years, with the alcohol abuse, but I also have eating disorders which have lead to me being obese, very obese.  I don't have a good relation with food at all.  I am either overeating, or not eating, or I have bulimia.  Food is such a struggle, it's the next big thing on my list to rectify, only through creating a healthy eating habit will I be able to better control my weight, and hopefully loose weight.  I am not entirely sure how to approach this, but today I joined weight watchers online to hopefully get good ideas for healthier meals, but also to track and hopefully maintain a steady weight loss in a healthy way. 

I have been reading the book I thought It Was Just Me but Brene Brown, it deals with shame and how shame is a universal emotion that we all have to deal with in one way or another.  And we all feel shame over different things, so what might be shaming for one person, wouldn't be for another.  She is also right in saying that as a general rule shame is not spoken about very often in an open manner, it causes more shame to discuss shame which is really sad, because talking about it can definitely make it less taboo and easier to deal with.  This is a mind of matter thing again, and I am amazed how our minds work, and how we find it so easy to lie to ourselves, or to hide away from the things that we struggle with. 

I have realised this last month that I suffer terribly from shame, and I need to open up about it and be honest with myself, otherwise nothing will change.  So yes, I am ashamed of my body because of what I have done to it, but also about my appearance being so overweight.  I am ashamed of my past and the sexual abuse that I have suffered, both as an adult and a child.  I am not sure how I deal with it fully yet, but I am trying.  I am also ashamed at the way my family treated me when I was growing up.  Something that I have realised since I started telling family members about my past is that I was expecting something from them, I am not entirely sure what I was hoping to get from them, but it has become very clear that I am not going to get it from them.  This has been hard to get my head and my emotions around, but I am on the path to getting there.  This too has caused me shame, because I feel what is wrong with me that I can't get it from my own family.  I have realised that just because you are related by blood doesn't mean you are going to get everything you need from family, and for me my friends are my family.  I am closing the door on my toxic relationships.  It's easy for me to write it all down, but much harder to put in place, but I am trying! 

Where do I go from here.  I am taking it one day at a time, and one hurdle at a time.  Some days I succeed and other days I find really hard. 

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Spoil Yourself

So I have decided to do a year without alcohol.  A year sounds SO LONG, I know it isn't that long, but to keep me motivated I decided to set myself small targets.  So I recently purchased a charm bracelet and every time I pass a 50 day marker my husband is going to buy me a charm for the bracelet. 

I was recently wandering what is happening with my body since I gave up alcohol, so I did a bit of research and I was shocked at the damage alcohol inflicts on the body.  It is probably something I should have looked up ages ago, but never did manage to do it.  I have been sober for 115 days now and it's amazing to read up on all the things that are changing.  One huge thing for me is sleep.  I never used to sleep well and always felt that I needed alcohol to help me fall asleep.  It's true alcohol makes you fall asleep quicker, but your overall quality of sleep is very bad.  The medication I am on helps to relax me at night and fall asleep, and I often fall asleep downstairs trying to stay awake to watch the latest show :-)  But my overall sleep has improved so much - I don't wake up in the morning feeling restless and groggy, and by 5 in the afternoon, I am tired but it's a different kind of tired.  It is a revelation!!!!!!

There are lots of good things happening that you can't notice too, organs and cells are regenerating and your body is generally recovering from years of abuse, it's shocking how bad alcohol actually is for your body. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

New Goal - 1 Yr

Well it's been 113 days and I have finally committed to staying sober for the full year!  It took me awhile to commit because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  I knew I had to make another goal otherwise I wasn't going to stay sober, but I kept questioning if I wanted to continue to stay sober. 

I spoke to my son and my husband about it, and they both said they wanted me to stay off alcohol.  It was two very sobering conversations, especially with my 9 year old son.  It made me realise again just how much I was drinking before I stopped, and how badly I had let alcohol become the main focus of my life. 
My husband asked me if I miss it, my answer, yes at times I do miss the escape that alcohol offered.  And the bravery it gave me, you know that phone call you really don't want to make, have a few glasses of anything and it doesn't look so daunting, big problem though is that in the morning you will not quite remember what you said, so is it worth it - no.  Apart from these brief moments I don't miss it.  I don't miss stressing about making sure I had wine or gin at home, or stressing where I was going to find the money to buy it.  Or wandering how I was going to hide the second bottle I had bought, so my husband didn't see just how much I was drinking every night.  I don't miss the person it made me, and I definitely do not miss the fog in the morning, or the queasy stomach, or pounding headache.  There are so many more positives to not drinking than there is to actually having that glass of anything that might numb you for awhile, but it certainly doesn't solve any of the problems you might be having. 

So, here I go - I am officially committing to the full year. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Over 100 Days - Wow, I almost can't believe it.

I had great plans to celebrate 100 days of no drinking, instead I spent the night running to the loo and throwing up with a vomiting bug, and have been in bed for two days with fevers and chills. 
The last few weeks have not been easy, I have been very up and down emotionally, mentally and physically. 

My husband asked me this morning if I miss drinking, and the truth is, no not really.  Over the weekend we were away and met up with friends for a BBQ, and I didn't even think twice about the fact that I wasn't drinking.  I do miss the escape sometimes - when my anxiety is really high, or I get that emotional pain, it was always then that I drank most, but in truth I realise now that drinking only made those emotions harder to deal with, because although it provided an escape at the time, the next morning I always felt worse.  On top of the emotions I had tried to run from I felt like throwing up from the hangovers, or I would wander what I said to someone and are they cross with me now.  I don't miss the hangovers, in fact it is amazing waking up in the morning without the fog, being able to get out of bed on time without feeling dazed and feeling like you are going to throw up all the time. 

Now that I am passed 100 days I need to set myself a new target, because if I don't I will land up drinking again, I'm not sure yet what my new goal is, but I will set it this week! 

In the last 100 days I have learnt that I can live without alcohol, something I was afraid to do.  Why was I afraid of it, because I was worried about dealing with all the emotions I was running from.  I was worried I would be 'boring'.  I didn't want to feel like I was missing out.  I was afraid of trying and failing, I think that was one of my biggest fears, and the reason I started this blog.  I didn't tell anyone when I started because I didn't want to fail and have to deal with explaining, so I started the blog so that I could be accountable to myself, in fact I have realised that it is important to be honest with ourselves first, and not worry so much about everyone else.  I was living a lie, but worse still, I was lying to myself daily, I didn't respect myself, or believe in myself.  I am proud of myself, not jumping around throwing a party proud, but proud none the less.  In time I hope to gain self confidence and self compassion.  I am slowly rebuilding my relationship with myself.  We need to love ourselves, be confident in ourselves, and be our own best friends, we have to respect ourselves. 

Forever learning, and I'm ok with that for today

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

85 Days

I never thought when I started this journey that I could make it to 85 days.  I have even become comfortable at home with my husband having beers in the fridge.  He is not like me, he can leave them in the fridge forever, I'd have them drunk the day I bought them! 

But I am ok having them in the fridge, I just have to make sure I stock up on a few nice juices every week, as well as non-alcoholic beer which has become my saviour at the weekends, and Fever Tree Tonics, love them. 
I haven't been writing as much the last few weeks, they haven't been good ones, I have been feeling irritable and depressed, and have had a very short fuse when it comes to my temper.  It's my own fault, I stopped taking my meds as prescribed, I still can't tell you why I do it, it's like I have a switch in my mind, and once its been switched on I am not fully in control of the things that I do.  I know this sounds crazy and maybe I am crazy, but that's what it feels like.  It's like when I cut myself or scratch myself, I don't really seem to consciously make the decision to do it, but when I come back to myself I realise what I have done it is almost like a shock to the system, but the sense of relief I feel after is often so big that I don't feel the shame till the next day.  Then I really do feel crazy the next day.  I am not sure if that makes sense, but that's what it feels like in my head. 

I have been failing in a few areas lately, the first as mentioned already is taking my meds as prescribed.  The second is smoking, I have had the odd smoke these past week, it's not ideal, but I am going to try and be kind to myself about it.  I haven't had a drink, and I am determined to make it to 100 days, what I do after those 100 days I don't know.  I started out aiming for 100 days I think because I didn't know if I could make that, I still can't quite believe I have managed 100 days.  I don't know what I do next, will I have a drink after those 100 days or not, I just don't have that answer.  The smart thing to do would be to just give up completely, but am I that smart! 

The area I am failing in which I have been in a bit of denial about is taking pain meds.  I have been in a lot of pain with my knee and foot for a long time, and I started taking a codeine based med, which I should not have done, but I was in so much pain.  The pain is much more manageable on the meds but it's not ideal to be on them.  I am caught in a catch 22, I am going to go and see my GP about it and see if she can't prescribe something that is not addictive.  I am nowhere near as bad as I was, and maybe being aware of the dangers is enough, but I still don't like the fact that I have been taking them. 

So while I am doing good with the no drinking I have fallen in a few other areas, but I am not going to beat myself up like I normally would.  They have happened and the important thing now is not the falling, but what I do next, so I am going to try and dust myself off , step up and try and get back on track. 

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Coping, not Coping Ramblings

Sometimes you just have to find a quiet place and cry your eyes out, or you need to do some shouting therapy. 
I think I need to do some shouting therapy and then have a good cry.  I have been on the verge of tears for the last week and have had a very short temper. 

I have realised that sometimes it feels like we are coping, and finding it ‘easy’ to cope, but if someone asks the wrong question, we watch a sad show, or we are triggered by ANYTHING – the dam wall breaks and we have a tidal wave of emotion.  Then we sit back and wander what the hell just happened – because we thought we were coping pretty well.  The danger in thinking you are doing well, is that you don’t address an emotion or feeling as it arises, we push it down, brush it under the carpet because we are doing well, we don’t need to look at that in any closer details – or do we? 
I have been going through the motions, and feeling ok, and I was coping.  That was until a close friend asked me how I was doing.  I nearly started crying there and then!  I met this friend when I was in hospital since then, and for the last year it has been amazing getting to know her and sharing my journey with someone who understands it better than most. 
Was it because of the space we met in I wandered, was it the questions itself?  It made me question a few things on my drive home, and I realised that while I thought I was coping pretty well I had stopped checking in with myself and actually being honest with myself.  In truth I have gone down a side track, and I need to put the breaks on.  I am still alcohol free, but along the way I started taking painkillers for my foot, which led to me taking more painkillers when I wasn’t really in physical pain, which led to me missing a dose or two of my actual medication.  
So, what to do next!  I have to first be honest, and admit that I have wandered down the side track, I have to stop and take stock and decide, do I keep going down this side track, or do I reverse and try and get back to the main road, stop taking the painkillers and get back on my meds properly again.  Aaaarggh why is it so hard to just do the right thing.  It is so much easier doing the ‘wrong’ thing.  Taking the painkillers numbs the emotions that I thought I was coping with, so all it does is numb the immediate sensation, and it gets stuffed down a hole, and it’s like a volcano, once that hole is too full it will explode, and that’s when the tidal wave hits and things go really wrong. 
So I am still alcohol free, but I have to start again with my meds and the painkillers, and smoking.  

My First Email - YAY

I got an amazing email this morning that really made my day, so thank you so much.  

I have been feeling a bit low and uninspired for the last few weeks, and your email made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and gave me the motivation to keep going.

If anyone else wants to get in touch please feel free to email me, or comment on any post.  It is so encouraging for me to hear from people, and makes me feel less alone.  

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Trying Times - Day 57

Being alcohol free, taking your meds at the right times and in the right doses, staying off all forms of self-medication is really hard work.
I have two injuries at the moment that I am carrying and two weeks ago I had to take a stronger painkiller as I was nearly not walking, I was in so much pain.  No, I am an all or nothing type of person, so after the first dose I completely failed at taking the medication as it is meant to be taking and
landed up taking higher doses.  It was an over the counter medication with codeine in it.  I felt awful the next day, not only did my head feel cloudy, but I had failed and done what I said I wasn’t going to do.
Now I hadn’t posted for awhile till this last weekend, and this is the reason why.  I wasn’t sure what to say or if I was going to blog about it at all.  But if I can’t be honest with myself then who can I be honest with.  I must stand up to my mistakes, face them, forgive them, and put them behind me and move forward.  So, I have finally made some form of peace with the mistake I made
I am proud that I have stayed alcohol and cigarette free.  I slipped up, but sometimes you must go backwards in order to move forward, and this was my few steps back – now to make a leap forward again. 
My anxiety is high again, today was one of those days when by lunch time you are craving wine o’clock or gin o’clock to come quicker, wishing the day away.  I must learn to stop doing that.  There are a few stresses in my life at the moment, and one of them can trigger my PTSD so that’s why my anxiety is high again.  I am trying to learn to breathe through it, it can be so hard and debilitating though.

My son isn’t well at the moment either so that just adds another layer to the anxiety.  Hopefully I won’t have to take him into the hospital.  He has asthma, and he is very wheezy at the moment.
I still can’t believe that I have managed 57 days without drinking, I never thought I would be able to stop drinking for this long, and I have to say I am loving the fact that I wake up hangover free.  I am tired though, really tired a lot of the time, and I haven’t lost any weight, in fact I think I might have put on even more weight, and it’s not like I needed to do that at all.
So, now that the alcohol-free thing is ticking over, I have decided to join the gym to try and get my life back on track, loose a lot of weight and take another step to being healthier.  One of the things that I do struggle with is eating, when my anxiety is high, I often can’t eat, so land up taking small snacks, but never healthy ones to tide me over, and this is normally followed by me over indulging when it passes.  This does not help my weight problem at all.  I have bulimia, who would have thought that bulimia is not only for people who are anorexic!  It’s not all the time, but when I am under duress or anxiety is high this is one of the things that I turn to. 
It’s frustrating in a way that I can’t just wake up and be better, it is a slow step by step journey that I am on, changing one thing at a time, it would be too overwhelming trying to change everything in one go.  I have also learnt to be a lot more compassionate towards my self.  I still carry a deep sense of shame because of what I have done to myself over the years, and I think it is going to take a lot more time to get over that feeling of intense shame, but I am on the journey.  I might take a few steps back every now and then, but I have to learn to forgive myself and get back up, never quit – slowly keep moving towards my goals.  Slow and steady right.  This is a new concept for me,

Sunday, 3 March 2019

First Test - Day 55

So last night was my first test, having people over and them drinking while I was not!  I think having the non-alcoholic gin in the house helped me, it is a nice treat to have a nice drink in the evening, and it is even better that it is not alcohol!!!  Bonus, no sore head this morning, no feeling wrecked or dragging my heals. 
So, I managed ok, there were a few moments in the evening where I nearly lost myself.  Little things like my husband drinks Whiskey, and occasionally I would normally take a sip and I found myself going for the glass on one occasion as I walked past his drink, and then I realised what I was doing!  The other was my friends left a beer and a bit of wine behind, I had to toss them down the sink, I couldn’t have that bit of an open bottle of wine in the house, it would play on my mind too much. 
All in all it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be, and our friends don’t drink that much either so it was a very relaxed evening and I really enjoyed it even without drinking – who knew staying sober could be fun too!
I am on day 55 now of being sober, I can’t believe in a way that I have made it this far.  Will I drink again, I honestly don’t know?  I started this journey saying I would give up for a hundred days, I am 55 days in, more than half way.  Has it been easy?  No, not all the time.  The first few weeks were hard because I was so used to coming home in the evening and craving that all important glass of wine, or gin and tonic.  I think I lived for that drink in the evening that would take the edge off, even though taking the edge off meant paying for it later.  I never realised how anxious drinking made me the next day until I got a few weeks into being alcohol free.  The alcohol was great at distracting and numbing the pain in the short term, but you always pay for it the next morning with either a hangover or intense anxious feelings. 
Did I find last night easy, yes, I did, I never thought I would be so at peace at a dinner without having alcohol, but it was fine.  To be fair it wasn’t a roaring party, but it was my first try at being in the company of people who are drinking, and I survived, I have to give myself that and I am proud of myself. 
I started CBT therapy last week.  I have never been to a CBT therapist before and I found it interesting.  She confirmed my psychiatrist’s diagnosis of PTSD.  I don’t find it as jarring to hear someone else tell me I have PTSD anymore.  I think I am slowly coming to accept that I have it, and now I have to learn to live with it, and I need to understand it.  I am looking forward to this journey into CBT, it is so different to art psychotherapy which I am studying, but it is good. 
As for everything else in my life, I am trying so hard to be with everything, it is hard, and I am still not 100% good on taking my medication properly.  What is it about mental illness that we don’t want to take the medication?  If I have a headache, I have no problem taking a tablet, or when I tore my ligaments, I had no problem seeking help and doing the therapy and the operations and taking medication when I had to.  But my depression, it is a silent killer, because it is the unseen that is so dangerous.  In front of people we put up a brave front, but a lot of the time it takes everything we have to put the brave front up, and it is exhausting.  I know that I am so much better than I was, but I still collapsed in a heap when our guests left last night because I was tired.  There are a lot of factors to this feeling, a lot of them are not my issues, but I know there is an element of exhaustion which comes from the effort of being with other people.  It is not always exhausting, but it often is.
Now I am heading into day fifty six, I am tired from the weekend – I have a friend going through a really hard time, and I am trying really hard to be there for her.  She recently started therapy because she has been struggling with anxiety, she has been through a lot recently, and is currently going through a lot.  She revealed some of her past to me last week, and it triggered me – and being with her is triggering because of what she is going through, but I am trying to use the tools my course has given me to listen and recognise that I am not always feeling things that are mine.
I apologise if this entry is a bit confusing or all over the place, I have had to sit down to it three times.  I hope you get it though. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

42 Days - Nearly Slipped Up

I have been really struggling with writing my blog this month.  I know what I want to say, but putting it down has just felt wrong.  It has been a strange and sometimes stressful few weeks.  This past weekend I was at college and we had a video assessment to do.  I was so stressed on the Saturday before the video'd assessment.  I think part of my nerves had to do with the fact that I am so ashamed at the moment, since being on my anti depressants I have put on even more weight, and I am deeply ashamed of my body.  I know that there is no one to blame but myself, and like drinking and smoking the next thing I have to do is sort out my diet and get joined up to a gym, only I can fix what I have done.  

So by the time I got home on Saturday evening all I wanted to do was return to my creature comforts but having a drink, a smoke and inevitably I am sure there would have been some self harm thrown in as well.  
It was really hard, but I am so proud I didn't have a drink, instead I went to bed early, I was exhausted.  I know having the drink would not have solved anything, if anything it would have just delayed the inevitable feelings I was dealing with, and it would make me feel worse, because I would also then feel guilty of having the drink!  I have not had a drink in 6 weeks!!!  

On Sunday we had to watch back our video'd assessments for college.  Now for awhile I have completely avoided any chance to look at myself in the mirror, but there I was, confronted by how other people see me.  Now everyone in my college class is lovely, but when I saw myself on the big screen I was truly horrified.  It is imperative that I do something more about my weight.  Since I gave up drinking I did loose a bit, hopefully with a healthier diet I can continue to reach my goals.  
I am going to have to buy a scale, as much as I hate the thought of having one, I have to do something before it's too late.  

So that's it for this week, I am super proud of myself that I have gone the six weeks without drinking, I have been feeling more engaged in my life because I am not suffering with a hangover most of the time.  I am sleeping more which is amazing, I was only getting about 4 hours sleep a night, now I am averaging 8, such a change for me.  I have nearly slipped up but managed to hang on, and if I can, anyone can with enough determination. 
I am horrified that I weigh so much at the moment, but I will start to make changes that will hopefully lead to a healthier life.  

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Healing from an abusive past.

Emotional pain is a b*tch. 
What does it mean to heal from the past?  How do you know when you have healed?  Do you ever truly heal from the past?  How will I know when I am better?
All these are questions that I used to constantly ask my psychiatrist when I was an inpatient for 9 weeks.  9 weeks, sounds so long, in reality it went by in a flash after the first weekend.  I got used to being there, I got used to the routine.  I didn’t want to leave in the end.  But I was glad to get home to my boys, when I was an inpatient, I missed them like crazy.  It was hard in the beginning adjusting to ‘life on the outside’, you become institutionalised being an inpatient with your movements restricted.  But I was so grateful for all the help that I had received whilst I was an inpatient. 
It is nearly a year since I was first admitted to the day hospital, the 29th March.  The last year has been one of the hardest, and longest and at times I didn’t think I wanted to be around anymore because it was so hard.  I had remembered the abuse throughout my life, but anytime it surfaced I would push it back to a place I didn’t have to face it.  Stopping and taking the time to face the past is hard.  Being triggered and finding out more of your past is hard, it’s amazing how the mind works, and how much of our past we are able to bury.  I spent my teen years and in my twenties running so hard from myself, my 30’s I was in self destruct mode along the way, but I tried really hard to be a good Mom and pull myself together.  To cope I started drinking more and more to dull the pain of the present and the past. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Which day is it Again???

Which day is it Again??? 

So, for a second there I couldn’t remember what day I was on being drink free.  I shocked myself, I thought I would be clock watching all the time, turns out a few days went by, in fact nearly a week without me counting how many days I have gone without drinking!  Who knew I could actually have a day or two free of thinking about drinking or the fact that I have gone alcohol free! 

I am on day 24, doesn’t sound like a lot when you write it down.  But when I think of November and December where I couldn’t go a day without drinking I am pretty happy with the results so far.  The last few days have been tough though.  As I have mentioned before I was sexually abused as a child.  I am still finding it hard to know what to do next on my current journey towards healing myself.  I went to the police and they sent the report off to the country where the abuse happened, but it turned out that it is part of the countries constitution that they will not follow up on a crime that is more than 20 years old.  They recommend I try taking the case to civil court.  I have contacted a lawyer and it turns out I will have to go back in order to proceed with the case if I choose to take legal action.  I was speaking with a friend about it this morning, and she said she is really worried about me because she can see that all of this is eating away at me, and that I need to try and put it behind me.  The problem is I don’t know what to do or how to put it behind me at this point.  What if he does it again, and I know I could have done something to stop him.  How would I live with that knowledge! 

I don’t know what to do, and I really do feel a bit trapped at the moment.  So I know this is having an impact on my emotional state, and my anxiety levels.  Before I would have consumed alcohol to dull the pain, which in turn would lead to sleepless nights filled with insomnia and bad thoughts and feeling depressed which would more than likely lead to me self harming.  Alcohol consumption is also a form of self harm!  But instead I have eaten doughnuts {I have been craving sugar}, and heading to bed early.  I haven't been getting the best nights sleep, and have had bad dreams twice this week already, but I am proud of the fact that I am not drinking and doing more damage to myself.  

Where do we go from here, well I am still taking it one day at a time, trying not to think too far into the future, but I know that I have already come further than I ever thought I could or would.  I have had wobbles, and I have had hard days.  On those days I tend to treat myself to a cake, muffin or doughnut.  

I have tried a few non alcoholic beers and have found one that I like, I have also found non alcoholic gin, having tried a few I know which one I like.  Pouring myself a glass of sparkling water with ice and lemon has also proved a success.  

The hardest thing so far is having to deal with the emotional pain, it is always there, and I would drink  to take the edge off.  Now I have to find healthier alternatives and I am finding them slowly.  If I can do this, anyone can.  You just have to make up your mind to do it.  I think I need to apply that to my other problems too instead of letting them fester.  

It is all a learning curve, and I am learning a lot about myself, I am finding myself after years of self abuse.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Day 17

It is day 17, and so far it has been OK.  

I am really tired though, but I am getting so much more sleep than I was when I was drinking and smoking!  Part of it is that I used to stay up to drink, and the other is that I used to fall asleep on the couch, and then you are doomed to not get a good nights sleep! 

So, all in all I am seeing a lot of positives, and I am not finding it as hard as I thought it was going to be.  I love waking up without a hangover, and without feeling like my head is in the clouds and I can't focus.  I am going to bed easier, and haven't suffered with insomnia as much as I was.  I am not waking up at 3am, I am pretty much sleeping through.  I think my body is not used to so much rest because I am so tired most of the time.  

I am always one for change, and we are moving house in February.  I don't find moving house that stressful, in fact I secretly love it. 

Saturday, 19 January 2019

13 Days - Weekend No.2

This weekend I have stocked up on alcohol free beer.  Yum!  It tastes the same, and I am loving the alcohol free strawberry and Lime cider, and the alcohol free gin, which tastes just like gin!!!!  Who knew you could have drinks without getting drunk.  Huge plus in my books. 

The last few days have been a bit trying, and I have had the demon on my shoulder whispering sweet nothings about taking the edge off, after a stressful day just have the one and imagine how good it will feel.  Now these thoughts are not always there, but they pop up at the most random times and almost take my breath away sometimes when they are overwhelming. 
Earlier I opened the kitchen draw and saw the scissors and that led me to think about cutting.  I haven't had a thought like that in ages.  I was looking for a torch! 

My anxiety has been really high the last few days with a bit of stress thrown in for fun too.  ~But I am proud to say I have stood firm and not given in to the demon on my shoulder.  I am not necessarily enjoying waking up in the morning, after all it is winter, and it's dark and cold outside {I have never really been a morning person}, but my insomnia has been better, I am sleeping more than 4 hours a night which is amazing, I wake up with energy instead of feeling foggy and nauseous, and I am not shouting at my son first thing in the morning, well just not every morning maybe!  

I have been on a medication that has the side effects of causing your feet to swell.  My feet were so swollen I had to go out and buy bigger shoes, I blamed the medication for months.  Since I stopped drinking they have slowly gone down and are almost back to normal.  So it was the alcohol causing my edema, and not the medication.  I am looking forward to discovering more benefits while I am on this journey.  

All in all a few wobbly days, but I am holding out and trying to beat that demon on my shoulder!  

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

What to name my demon?

A lot of different people recommend naming your inner demon, you know the one that encourages you to drink, and happily pushes an agenda when you try and be good.  The one that says tonight will be different, we really will only have one drink, and you have great intentions to only have the one.  Once you become addicted though, that one is never enough.  

I remember talking recently with a friend and I was amazed at how she can go out and have a couple of drinks and then stop, she was equally amazed when I admitted that I struggle to stop, no matter how drunk I get.  There is the inner demon saying go on, just one more won't matter.  

The alcohol demon sits on your shoulder and begs you to give in, not every day, but often enough.  It is particularly vocal when you are anxious, having a bad day, or have had a busy today.  Tonight is one of those nights.  It wasn't the best day, my anxiety is really high and I would like nothing more than a glass of wine/prosecco to dampen the anxiety down.  It would never be just the one glass though, I would land up buying two bottles just in case, and would probably drink both if not 1 and a half bottles.  

So tonight I am going to say screw you, and I am going to take my medication as prescribed, and I am going to shower and go to bed after a non alcoholic beer or two.  

I still don't have a name yet, will have to think up one overnight! 

Buying Non-Alcoholic Beverages

So my mind has been on what to have instead of the usual drinks in the evening.  I have sparkling water most nights, but I have been wandering what to have in place of drinks especially at the weekend, a treat!  I could do mocktails, but that involves buying lots of ingredients, and who has time to make them.  

So I have found a non-alcoholic gin, and there are a few non-alcoholic beers on the market, so I am going to try them and see what I like.  The big question is, is it right to have a non-alcoholic version, or just stick with the plain things like sparkling water, will the non-alcoholic beverages tempt me further to go back to drinking.  

I like to think they won't, it's nice having grown up time without getting wasted on alcohol, so we will see what the next week holds.  

I haven't been overly tempted or overly stressed as yet, and I don't miss the hangovers, or the fuzzy feeling in the mornings.  I am not exactly waking up fresh as ever yet, am still struggling with fatigue, and not  the best sleeps at night.  Hopefully these will begin to improve.  

Some of the benefits so far, well as I said no hangovers, or fuzzy feelings.  I have also reduced the swelling I had in my ankles by a significant amount, so my old shoes are starting to fit me again.  I never put down the swollen ankles to alcohol, I blamed one of the medications I was on, but I think now it was the combination of the two.  I am finding it a lot easier to fall asleep at night. Through reading the sober mummy blog and doing a bit of research it's amazing how many areas of your life are affected by alcohol.  

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Day 9 - I'm Tired

Alcohol is an addictive depressant drug, it just doesn’t say it on the tin.

Why do we drink when it is so bad for us?  Why do we continue to use unhealthy coping mechanisms?  I realise that sometimes we use unhealthy ones because we are not aware, or choose to keep the blinds down so we don’t dwell on how unhealthy a habit or coping mechanism can be. 

For as long as I can remember I have been self harming, not just physically hurting myself by cutting or scratching or hitting something, but drinking, smoking, taking painkillers.  All of which I have become horribly dependant on.  I need to find someone to talk to about all this because it is wrecking my head.  After a boozy Christmas and New Year I have decided to not drink for 100 days, no self harming, no cigarettes, and using my medication appropriately as the doctor prescribed.  I sometimes forget to take it, and then double the dose to catch up. 

Even though I am prepared for the change, it is pretty confronting and terrifying writing this all in a blog, even if it is anonymous, being honest with myself is hard.  But I want to be able to practice healthy habits, and self compassion, and self care, and to do these things I have to be honest, brutally honest. 

According to my watch last night was the best nights sleep I have had last year, but I feel so tired.  My body is exhausted.  I am trying to be kind to myself and not stress that I am not getting much done.  Hopefully when the fatigue passes I will be more inclined to get stuck into the house.  

Today is day 9 – in some ways it has gone by really quick, KJ was back to school last week,  my husband went back to work, and me – well I have assignments for college so that’s keeping me busy, and this blog! 
I landed up getting a few non alcoholic beers yesterday, haven’t had one yet, but bought a few to try.  I was a bit wobbly yesterday.  I went to the shop, and on my way up the stairs my addictive side wanted to get a bottle of something, just one, but I soon forgot about it thanks to my son chatting away to me.  I did however subconsciously not go anywhere near the aisle with the alcohol.  I felt great when I got home, my willpower won out this time!  One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, but I am still determined.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Getting There, Wherever that is!

Since coming out of hospital there have been lots of good days, lots of bad days, and lots of days that were just OK.  Thankfully the bad days are a lot less now.  I am still on a fair bit of medication, but my psychiatrist is confident this will be for the short term, and not forever, but we will see what happens.  

While I was in hospital, not long before I was fully discharged I went to the police to report one of my childhood abusers.  He was a relative, but it was tricky because he lives in a different country to me.  
Reporting it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  It took a total of 6 hours, and honestly any woman or man that reports sexual abuse of any kind to the authorities is my absolute hero.  It was so much harder than I thought it would be.  

I went in the morning, and they have to be as thorough as possible so there were so many awkward questions.  The Garda {police} were as kind as they could be, but from there perspective they have to get all the facts.  When I left I was a shaking ball of anxiety.  I felt awful.  I phoned a good friend as I didn't want to go home for my son to see me in this state, and she very kindly had a glass of wine waiting for me.  Now the wine was not the best idea, but up until recently I have been using alcohol to take the edge off, dull the senses.  I had no idea that while it did take the edge off, the next day my anxiety was worse, and this was most definitely down to the alcohol interacting badly with my tablets.  I had carried on drinking when I got home.  

The next couple of weeks were really hard as I waited for news.  They had to send the report to the country where my abuser lives and wait to hear back from them.  Now, the country I come from is not known for efficiency, so I knew it would be a long wait.  

At the end of November I got word from the police here in Ireland that the police where not going to do anything about my claims.  Apparently where I come from there is a clause in the constitution that crimes over 20 years can't be prosecuted through criminal law, but the police did recommend civil proceedings as I have an email where my abuser apologizes for his behaviour.  

I was devastated, I really didn't think I would be so hopeful of something happening, but I had been, and hearing the news really rocked me.  Of course I turned to alcohol again, and I kept drinking every night through December.

I shelved all decision making about what to do next until the New Year!  Now here I am in the New Year not having a clue what to do about it.  I guess I have to make some calls to lawyers and go from there.  
I am however in a much better place.  No drinking for just over a week.  All still brand new but I am trying.  I am tired, today I was very anxious, but I am sticking to my guns at the moment to go alcohol free for 100 days.  

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Day 6

My first weekend without drinking.  Friday night was ok, I was busy trying to finish off my assignment for college so I was busy.  Last night after college was a bit hard, all I wanted to do was come home, put my feet up and have a drink!  My usual routine.  But instead I took my son shopping.  I was going to buy some alcohol free beer, but in talking with my son and walking round the shops I forgot all about it.  Driving home I realised the only days I would be driving around so late (7pm) before would have been because we had no wine at home, and I had to go out and buy some.  Now I could drive around because I am alcohol free.  It was quite liberating really to not have to worry about making sure we had wine at home!    

I am trying really hard not to give myself a get out of jail free card, what's the point if I do that.  Then I have given myself licence to fail.  So no, I am not going to drink for 100 days.  

I am sitting here on Sunday it's nearly 4 pm and I was just wishing for a drink.  Instead I have sat down with some chocolate.  I should be trying to cut down on the amount of rubbish that I eat, but I am not going to be hard on myself today.  I have given up drinking and smoking, so for now the chocolate has to stay.    

Friday, 11 January 2019

Opening Pandora's Box

You do not honour yourself by denying aspects of yourself.  To accept yourself fully, you have to accept all aspects of yourself.  

The next week in hospital I almost never left my room, I set up some art stuff, and the only time I left the room was to go to art on the following Wednesday morning.  I also didn't eat a thing the first 10 days or drink very much.  I was so overwhelmed with what was happening I was in shock.  I couldn't function let alone eat or drink.  I barely spoke to anyone.  

When I saw the Dr again she put me on more medication.  After opening up a bit about some of my past I seemed to have opened Pandora's box.  The memories now would not stop flooding in, memories that I really didn't want to be having.  

I remember one night lying on the bed in absolute terror, I had woken from a bad dream and had a very distinct feeling that someone was getting into the bed on top of me.  I was frozen in fear, the flight or freeze reaction left me paralyzed in my bed.  So she gave me something to help with the ruminating, and I had stayed on the sleeping pill.  It worked until about 2 am, then I was awake and restless until about 4 or 5 am when I would doze off again.  It was torture.  
Into my second week one of the nurses came and sat with me and got me talking, and I was put on xanax 4 times a day, as well as a different PRN to help with the feelings of anxiety.  

Day by day it got better.  I remember making those first few phone calls to extended family to let them know where I was and what had happened, I hated having to admit it but it was also good for me to not hide it anymore, any of it.  Everyone was really understanding and supportive, and I slowly started to trust a few people in hospital as well as trusting that I would get better.  I don't think I actually believed I would for about a month, every meeting I had with my team the first questions out my mouth were always how long will I be in here for, and when will I be better. 

I eventually stopped asking after 6 weeks, and I think that was when I realised that there was a very faint light at the end of the tunnel.  

The horrid thing about staying in hospital for 9 weeks is that you become dependent on the routine, so the day they told me I was being discharged from the acute unit and sent back up to the day hospital I had a panic attack.  I had spent a lot of time wishing I could go home, now that I was I was terrified all over again.  

The same thing happened when they discharged me from the day unit, it was panic stations all over again, and I was living in terror trying to adjust to my new life.  Once you have opened the box and faced everything that's in it, it can't be put away the same way as before, you have to find a new route and a new way of getting around all the obstacles that come flying at you.  

That doesn't mean I came out cured, and able to cope with everything, and not drink and smoke or over eat, quite the opposite happened.  A week after being released the freedom of it all hit me and I realised I could drink again.  I had started smoking while I was in the acute unit so I continued promising myself and my husband that I would give up soon.  I never gave an exact amount of time.  

The problem with the drinking this time was that I had a lot more stuff to run from, and so at the end of every day I found myself reaching for the bottle, most nights I was drinking two bottles.  I switched from red wine to prosecca telling myself it was a good move because the alcohol level is less, but the sugar content is higher.  That and I wouldn't have to share any with my husband because he doesn't drink it.  The weekends we started drinking whiskey or for me vodka and whiskey, sometimes gin and whiskey.  I tried not to drink the whiskey but when I ran out of vodka I would always have a bit of whiskey too.  I was wishing my days away, waiting till I could have my first drink, and every morning I would tell myself today will be different, I won't drink, or I will only have one and make it last.  

Nothing worked, in fact bargaining with myself made it worse, instead of pouring just a tot of vodka I would pour bigger tots, because if it was going to be my only one then I might as well make it a big one.  The problem was it was never one. 

On the really bad nights I would stay up drinking all night, and then sleep most of the next day.  I would make very poor judgement calls, and in a few instances I have landed up phoning the hospital in tears in a total panic and full of anxiety, or calling the Samaritans, just to have someone to talk to.  They were all always very supportive.  I am lucky enough to have gone to a hospital with the after care and support is second to none, and I am lucky to have the Samaritans to call too.  Without these two life lines I don't know where I would be.  

The problem with going home when I did was that my emotional pain was so high, it was hard to breathe sometimes.  It was causing me to have massive panic attacks, and I was always anxious.  I felt completely broken.  From doing a bit of research I realise now that the drinking was only making these feelings and attacks worse, at the time I put it down to being completely broken and weak. 

I will never understand why I self harm, maybe through this blog I will find meaning, find out why I do it, but when I came out of hospital there were lots of things around me that enabled me to self harm, and self harm I did.  I have two favourites, cutting and scratching.  I was cutting nearly everyday, and when I was drinking the cutting was really bad, but in a horrible way it helped, it helped to feel physical pain instead of emotional pain.  I had no one to stop me, and so long as I wore long sleeved tops most of the time they were hidden, or so I thought.  It's amazing how many lies you tell yourself, and amazing how you believe them.  My Dr knew what was going on as did my husband, and some of my friends could see what was happening.  My Dr tried not to highlight it too much which was probably the right thing to do.  

I know at the time I felt worse than when I had gone into hospital, but people kept telling me I looked better and sounded better.  I think at the time my emotional pain was so high every day that I felt broken inside.  

Thursday, 10 January 2019


I wander how other people deal with being triggered.  

I am really struggling this evening, I have this sick feeling in my stomach, and my body feels cold but my hands are sweaty, I think posting my previous post triggered me, and I am also slightly terrified of others reading my posts.  It's the first time I am putting myself out there, but more importantly it's the first time I am being honest with myself.  I won't recover my life if I am not honest with myself.  

So I am sitting at home this evening wandering how to cope, I am not drinking, I am not smoking and I can't find my xanax, so I decided to post another blog.  Three in one day.  I am trying to keep myself busy.  

I am on a fair bit of medication which I have been on for about 10 months.  After being admitted to the day hospital I was there for about a week and a half and I was finding it really tough, I was an emotional wreck, and I couldn't function in my own life.  So there was one night I came home and all I wanted to do was hurt myself.  I hadn't done any self harm in over two years, well no significant self harm, or so I thought.  Substance abuse is considered a form of self harm, so I guess I have been self harming for a long time!  Anyway this night I didn't want just a drink - I wanted to actual cause physical pain, all in an effort to stop the emotional pain.  Emotional pain has to be one of the hardest to deal with, nothing seems to cure it, it's there when you least expect it, and I haven't found a way to smother it yet.  So I phoned one of the nurses from the day hospital like I'd been told to if I felt overwhelmed.  They were lovely on the phone, and I was given some advice and I felt better for having spoken to someone.  It didn't stop me from coming down the stairs and finishing off a bottle of wine, I didn't see this as self harm, but rather something that I had gotten into the habit of doing, and I had had a hard day so why not reward myself with a glass of wine (a bottle).  

The next morning I woke up a bit fuzzy, but dreading going into the hospital.  I felt like a naughty child.  It wasn't long before I was called into a meeting with one of the nurses, and they said they had spoken to my psychiatrist and my team and they all felt that I would be better off in the acute unit, which meant staying in hospital, something I had promised my son I would do everything to avoid, and here I was not even two weeks in and I was failing.  This is what I told myself anyway.  In truth, going in was my only option left to try and get help, and save myself from myself.  It took me a few hours of crying and a call to my husband JJ to agree to be admitted.  It was a very low day.  

I remember driving home to pack a suitcase.  JJ was working from home so he would be able to drop me off as soon as I was ready to go.  He sent our son round to a friend and I came home and packed my bag, and before I knew it we were on our way back to hospital.  One of the nurses was waiting for me at the front door when I got there, they had called to see where I was because we were delayed in traffic.  I think they also thought I might be a flight risk.  I think I was.  Being shown to my room and being shown around the ward is all a bit of a blur, but I sank to a new low.  I was in shock being in the day hospital, this was so much worse.  To make it worse it was coming up to the Easter weekend, and I was going to be in hospital.  I wasn't allowed to unpack my bags until the nurses had come in and checked for contraband.  Basically anything that I could hurt myself with, they even took my scarf.  This is one of the worst things, watching someone go through your bags removing things they see as a threat.  

Once they were done I sat on the bed and burst into tears, I was broken, I was ashamed of where I was and what I had done to my life.  I suddenly realised I hadn't told anyone outside of my immediate family and two friends what was going on, I had been so overwhelmed with my own life I hadn't thought about anything else in weeks.  For the first time in a long time I didn't even have energy to think about work or anything, I was officially broken.  

I remember walking into the shower room, it was a full wet room with a toilet {no toilet seat or lid} in the corner and a small basin.  No taps, everything was operated by buttons.  I decided to shower, so I turned it on, locked the bathroom door and locked myself away for about an hour.  I was just sitting on the floor in the shower for that first hour.  

I remember lying on my bed and nurse coming in to say hello, she was apparently from the same country as me, I nodded without saying a word and rolled over.  I couldn't muster up anything for my fellow countryman at this point.

At some point someone came to offer me food, I said no.  Then someone else came to finish off my admission to the acute unit.  She was lovely.  I couldn't get through talking about what brought me here without breaking down.  I was asked if I would stay the night - I said yes, in my head I said no way, but what was I going to do?  

They gave me a sleeping tablet that night which I was so grateful, because if they hadn't I doubt I would have gone to sleep at all.