As I start to write this blog I am strangely nervous. Generally when I get nervous I just stop doing it, but not today. I’m writing this blog whilst lying poolside in Lanzarote and being on holiday is always one of the biggest obstacles to my sobriety, thankfully, writing always seems to help.
A lot of good things have been happening in my life recently. However, with the good stuff has came some new pressures that I’ve never experienced since getting sober four years ago and frankly things have taken me by surprise. I thought I was past all these new feelings and the fear that they bring, however, they scare me as much today as they did way back when.
I recently got a big promotion at work and the elation I felt when I was offered the job was a far better high than any drink or drug. Then came the phase of ‘I really don’t think I’m good enough to do this job’ and then the ‘I can’t do this job’ followed by ‘I have made a huge mistake’ – all within just a few hours of the offer haha.
A few weeks in I’m still finding the transition difficult as the new challenges that come with the job have knocked my mental health a bit. My moods have been all over the place and I regularly have that feeling of ‘I can’t cope’ and strangely find myself seeking out some form of impending doom. Unfortunately when I’m like that a drink is never too far from my mind. I felt particularly down recently and tried to figure out where this dip had come from. There were numerous examples I could pinpoint, from my walking and exercise taking a backseat to finding out I need back surgery (I’ll get to that shortly). I also stopped speaking to friends and family about how I was feeling as I felt like I didn’t want to bother them and that I was just being daft – although I really should know better by now. The phrase I used to tell myself was ‘it’ll be better tomorrow’ but it didn’t feel better because I wasn’t actually dealing with the problem. Yet again, I was letting my pride affect my mental health by not asking for help. When will I learn?
I’ve been in this position plenty of times before and I know what helps and yet I find it difficult to reach out and ask friends for a chat or head out for a walk with the dog. I recently started to go walking again and felt that it was a huge help. I also started to play footy again but the talking thing strangely still alludes me. When I eventually open up, the individuals I talk to all say ‘you should’ve come to me sooner’. Believe me, I wish I could but it’s the hardest thing for me to do. Even when I start opening up I generally stop quite abruptly as I begin to think that I’m wasting someone’s time.
Mrs W and I have recently bought a new house and are due to move in November. We’re staying with my parents just now because our house sold quickly, and as you can imagine this brings its own challenges for both parties haha. I hated the old house as I had so many bad memories that any good ones were long forgotten about. Buying a new house for me is a sign that my recovery is going well and that I should be super proud of myself, but as many of you know I really struggle with giving myself praise of any kind. Even today, I still don’t feel like I deserve it, which in itself is again down to my mental health. I’m still pushing good stuff away which is really frustrating but I really struggle to allow myself get overly excited. I honestly wish I could be excited, perhaps I’m just scared of going backwards? This new house is more than just a house for me and another new beginning for Mrs W and I to make new memories – good ones this time.
I recently found out that the back pain I have suffered from for years is actually worse than first thought and is actually arthritis that requires surgery. I’ve had numerous CT injections which aren’t pleasant at all, unfortunately these didn’t work. The doctors then gave me some strong pain killers which worked slightly… but knocked me out. That’s a dangerous thing if you’ve have been down the road that I have with addiction. A very familiar sense of panic would come over me if I didn’t have the painkillers with me, just like if I had ran out of money for alcohol back in the day. I went to the Doctors to explain, but again that bloody pride reared its head again and I couldn’t even tell him what I was feeling and so I walked out of the doctors with a prescription for the drug that 5 years previous I had tried to commit suicide with. I tried it for a week but my head couldn’t cope and I binned them.
In spite of all of that, I am in an extremely happy place right now with so many good things happening. Here’s hoping I can rediscover excitement.