Sleep walking to addiction

Over the last few weeks I have spent most evenings under the influence of alcohol. I haven’t been able to sleep without it.

It all started when I got some news about changes at work, which was isn’t the end of the world but destabilising – so I started using alcohol as a coping mechanism

I hate myself for it.

I am a social drinker and alcohol was never a coping mechanism for me in the past.

I come from a family of alcoholics on my mums side, so my relationship with alcohol is messed up. I actually hate it and I hate myself for needing it to cope right now.

Part of the distress I am going through is feeling that I’m not in control and at the same time my brain trying to rationalise WHY I have I started using it now.

I normally drink craft beer or pale ale and now I’m on the Gin & Tonic of all things. I don’t even really like Gin but this fancy flavoured stuff is so damn strong at 40% alc.vol – it gets me where I need to be in a *very* short space of time.

I’m trying to justify it to myself – like, I am struggling to sleep and alcohol makes me sleepy quite quickly, and I feel a million times better if I’ve had a proper nights sleep.

How the fuck has piece of news like this sent me spiralling again?

It’s because I’m still very fragile.

I mean, I know that a big change at work is destabilising for anyone – and of course something like this will cause me a bit of an autistic meltdown.

Is my fragility (PTSD) an explanation for taking alcohol as a coping mechanism?

I’m thinking back to my relationship with my abuser and how his drug and alcohol addiction affected me.

He would drink every night and I ended up drinking with him. I was only having a couple of beers but I was drinking just because he was. I was able to nip it in the bud.

But I’m also remembering the drug addiction part. Like, how he would torment me and then administer Xanax to calm me down. Xanax isn’t prescribed in the UK and he bought them illegally from the dark web.

Needless to say, I was dependent on his supply and this was one of the ways he had control over me.

The physical withdrawals coming off the Xanax were insane. The only thing that got me through it was knowing that for as long as I was dependent on the Xanax then I wouldn’t be able to leave him.

Anyways, back to now…I was doing so well but I’m back in that place struggling to sleep without alcohol or drugs.

I wanted a break off the booze so the last couple of nights I drugged myself to sleep with a cocktail of diazepam, phenegram and propranolol.

Believe it or not, the drug cocktail has made the whites of my eyes really white, which is amazing.

I feel so rested but I need to keep the drugs for emergencies.

I have half a bottle of fancy Gin (43%) in the fridge.

I know I’m sleep walking to addiction if I keep going like this but I don’t know how to break out of it.

Love is a drug

I started dating someone and I am thinking it might go somewhere.

Full disclosure, we have only been on one date. And yes, this is a strange thing for me to say.

I am totally getting ahead of myself.

I KNOW.

Before sounding like I have lost my mind (which is yesterdays news anyways), I will try to explain.

We went on our first date about a month ago, which went well but for various reasons we haven’t had a chance to go on a second date. These being, he is now overseas on holiday – and, in his words, he took it too literally when I said to him “see you in September then”

*facepalm*

Anyways, we are talking a lot, and I like him a lot.

Hes so sweet… I told him I feel bad because I am distracting him from his holiday but he is determined to keep the dialogue (and pic swapping) going.

I don’t talk about it much but I have told him about my past relationship, the abuse, the PTSD and the nightmares. It is so easy to talk to him about this stuff.

An interesting thing happened yesterday at work, which has thrown up some interesting challenges that I am not able to write about yet. When I had an emotional meltdown about it, all I wanted was for him to be there.

And he kind of was, from a distance.

Shit – I barely know him, and out of nowhere I am getting the feels – which is utterly perplexing. It’s nice, but it’s mixed with fear and my brain is like WTF IS GOING ON!!!

Can’t compute.

I googled the science of falling in love today – like, proper research and science stuff.

Did you know that scientists reckon that falling in love affects the same brain reward circuits as cocaine and heroin?

Help.

If we extend this theory to someone like me, vulnerable and a recent victim of domestic violence – then maybe we have some kind of explanation for how I am feeling at the moment.

Maybe I need to rein it in and protect myself? How do I even do that?

I’m not seeing any red flags???

Or maybe its as simple as, I have met someone really special and I just need to chill the fuck out and run with it.

I really don’t want to get hurt again.

Any ideas?

No strings attached

I’m starting to feel more comfortable with intimacy and sexual contact. I discovered this earlier this summer, after a lovely weekend away with a very attractive male friend.

To give you a bit of background about my friend, we met on Tinder a few years back. Our friendship was never platonic but it was never romantic either. One thing is for sure it has been entirely uncomplicated from the beginning.

I like uncomplicated.

There is comfort in knowing we can enjoy each others company, and then go our separate ways. It could be months before we make contact again and this how we like it.

I consider this weekend away, a major milestone in my recovery from domestic abuse, but I have ways to go yet.

I’m still incredibly tetchy around men. So much so that on the drive to meet him I found myself catastrophising and getting anxious, but it was fine. He was an absolute gentleman and we had a lovely time.

But I still have ZERO self-confidence at the moment.

My abusive relationship ended in February, just 6 months ago and it still feels like yesterday. As a result of the abuse I’m struggling with PTSD (chronic anxiety, inability to sleep, etc.), and severe self-esteem issues.

I know I need to cut myself some slack but I feel really shit about myself right now. My old hang ups about things like body image are now tenfold.

I feel utterly undesirable and unlovable.

On top of this I have discovered all kinds of new baggage that I didn’t have before. Baggage that is causing me to arrange a “first date” with someone from a dating site and then cancel it at the very last minute.

Right now I have ZERO faith that I’ll ever be happy in a loving relationship.

I need to be brave now. I’m trying to be brave.

I have identified that I have unhealthy coping and avoidance mechanisms, where I deny myself physical contact.

I’ve taken a bold step and I’m trying not to shut myself away from the world. I’m trying to be more sociable but it’s so hard.

Im finding that spending time with people, even friends – is either boring or emotionally exhausting.

All things considered I know it will be sometime before I can embrace a new relationship – but I can take baby steps.

I am taking baby steps.

My weekend away has shown me that maybe I should start “seeing” someone regularly, BUT there are so many caveats to this.

First of all it would need to be very clear that I would not be looking for anything serious right now.

In my case of being Autistic, having PTSD and recovering from an abusive relationship – I think I’m asking for too much.

He needs to be laid back, reliable and predictable. I need to be in control of the pace and he can’t make and any emotional or sexual demands from me.

So, last weekend was major milestone in my recovery – but I still have ways to go when it comes to intimacy and relationships.

Life update: cuddles n stuff

Just a quick update as I haven’t been posting much lately.

Home

Leo is settling in nicely. He’s so affectionate, sleeps beside me at night and follows me around the house. It’s so endearing.

He’s looking really well, much better since he was first rescued. I’ve spent lots of time grooming and pampering him. I had to buy some interesting contraptions that deal with long hair and managed to get all the knots and dreads out. He’s so beautiful.

For some reason he has gone off wet food. I’ve now tried every “high quality” veterinary brand available and he seems to prefer the dry food. Very confusing, but he’s is eating lots, drinking lots of water and looks happy so I’ll try not to obsess about it.

Work

I had a serious wobbler at work on Friday, sent some angry emails, etc. It was not as bad as it could have been but I felt so sad / angry / frustrated that I was close to packing it all in. If you read my last post then this wouldn’t be surprising to you…I was definitely ready to burst.

I’m glad that there was a couple of days build-up and I didn’t just “snap”. I was passive aggressive as fuck which is perversely, preferable in a corporate environment. 

What else can I say. I was in a bit of a state but I don’t really want to write about it just now because I’ll get upset again.

I know I need to find a way to address some things that are bothering me, but I probably won’t. Not in a healthy way – it will escalate and I’ll have to be forced before I can have those difficult conversations with people.

For now I’m going to bury my head in the sand and wait to be pushed.

Social Life

I’m still not feeling particularly sociable moment. I have a select few trusted people that I want to be around. Everyone else seems like hard work at the moment, particularly those who are opinionated or come with their own issues that they want to project on to me. I just don’t have the energy for any kind of toxic bullshit at the moment.

Love Life

Non-existent.

I decided not to go on that “third date” because something didn’t sit right with me. He has since informed me that he’s found my blog, made a weird comment implying I have gender privilege because I can talk about being a victim of domestic abuse.

Having seen a couple of passive aggressive posts and hashtags on Instagram, (presumably because I don’t want to see him again), I think I might have dodged some kind of bullet there.

Not that I’m losing sleep over this but I’m really fucking tetchy right now but if I’m honest, it doesn’t take much for me to feel harassed.

Moving on!

So, I’m not officially dating anyone but I’m getting plenty of affection from the opposite sex. I’ve taken the next step in my recovery and allowed myself some intimacy with a few people that I trust.

I’ve said this before, I’m incredibly lucky for all the lovely gentlemen in my life, for all the ways they have helped me whilst I’ve been at my lowest.

I have amazing bonds with most of my exes and a few of them have been taking care of me since leaving my abusive relationship. For those that are geographically close to me, we’ve been able to spend quality time together…no agenda, a home cooked meal, cuddles and kisses on the sofa. I’ve felt cared for and safe enough to fall asleep in their arms.

I can’t think of anything more tender and healing than this. Exactly what I need right now and I’m so grateful. I’m more than happy with how things are at the moment.

Of course I want nothing more than to fall madly in love with someone amazing…but I’ve accepted that healing from domestic abuse will be a long and painful journey.

I’m in a much better place and I can afford to be patient with myself.

Hobbies n Activities

I’m appreciating my freedom and how I don’t have to ask for persmission to do the things that I love.

I’ve had a action filled bank holiday weekend full of surfing, hiking and managed to squeeze in a bike ride in the forest. 

I really can’t complain.

I’m not gaming as much now that the weather has improved but last weekend I did buy the DLC for The Division 2 and spent a whole day gaming (which was amazing).

Health and Well-being

My overall health and well-being is improving. My energy levels are good and with the warmer weather I’m getting outdoors to do lots of fun stuff.

I am still not eating well or cooking proper meals for myself. Unless someone else feeds me I will just resort to microwave meals, cerials, nuts fruit and tinned soup.

It doesn’t sound so bad but the reason it pains me is because I have never lived on microwaves meals before. It’s just not me – I am half Iranian and was brought up to cook my meals from scratch. if I find the motivation to eat well and cook for myself again then I’ll feel more like myself. My routines will be back to where they were before the abuse started. Before my system of living was taken away from me. 

To conclude, I’m okay right now, things are “up and down”.

I am still trying to find my way back to normality.

I know there’s some difficult times ahead with work and my PTSD. I’m very much reliant on my support network but I’m feeling hopeful, and that’s the best I can do right now.

I feel like I’m drowning again

Im having a PTSD episode as I write this. I don’t know what happened. I was doing so well but but the last three days have been awful.

The most visible physical symptom is that I’m crying all the time.

I’m having waves of anxiety where it’s hard to breathe and it feels like my heart is going to explode.

I’ve just messaged my friend (my guardian angel). I hate worrying him, he’s stressed enough as it is as he is touring at the moment and it’s been a rough one for him.

He’s going to ring me back in an hour or so. I just have to wait.

Breathe.

Calm down.

He’s just sent me a link to a song On YouTube, Lola by the Kinks , because we would listen to that song when we were sixteen and it always makes me smile.

I’m calming down a little bit but the tears are still streaming down my face as I write. I don’t think it’s helping but I’m going to keep writing.

I look over to my little man, Leo who is sleeping beside me on the sofa. He’s making funny noises and I think he’s having a nightmare.

Apart from Leo and I, the house is empty.

As I sit here weeping uncontrollably, I’m recognising that yes I have PTSD but I’m also depressed and feeling so alone right now. I wish I had a boyfriend who loves me and cares for me.

I want to be in love with someone with the security that nothing bad is going to happen.

I want to feel safe but I’m asking too much because for me, feeling safe is to be in a loving relationship. Maybe this is part of my Iranian upbringing but I want to be held every night, to feel cherished and looked after by a man who loves me, and I love him back.

All I feel now is emotional turmoil, anguish and heart ache from what is missing from my life.

What’s worse is the that deep down I think I’m going to be alone forever.

I’m remortgaging my house to pay for cosmetic work to be done on my teeth and face. Im doing this because the last time I was in a committed relationship, I was made to feel like I was ugly and worthless.

If I’m honest, I really don’t think I will ever find what I’m looking for. I’ll never be truly happy and in love.

I can distract myself with appointments and forking out to fix my teeth and my face. I can lose more weight and feel prettier than I do right now but what does it matter?

I’ve been broken far too many times.

I’m damaged beyond repair.