Monday, December 19, 2011

What if you can't abstain?

We all have our stuff, our issues, our problems (our reasons).  And we all have our ways of dealing with them, or avoiding them.  I don't really know exactly why or what combination of factors led to me being a sloppy, out-of-control heavy drinker, but that is what I was.  Pouring wine down my throat even though it wasn't making my life happy.  Drinking glasses and glasses and bottles and bottles of wine.  Endlessly and constantly drinking as much and as often as I wanted, those amounts growing and growing until finally I stopped.

I got to a point where I was acutely aware of what a problem my drinking was and thankfully that feeling was strong enough to overcome all the previous ones and I made the decision to remove alcohol completely from my life and retrain my brain out of thinking that it made me relax (it didn't), helped me with stress (it didn't), made things more fun (it didn't) made me more interesting (it didn't) took my problems away (it didn't).

But what if my way of dealing with (or avoiding) my issues had been different?  What if, for example, the way I had decided to deal with life was to binge on food and then vomit it up?  Or just binging and binging and keeping it in and getting really overweight.  Or starving myself, withholding much needed food until I was a skeleton of myself.  Food issues in other words.

I mean without getting too deep life is actually pretty hard isn't it, we're complex emotional creatures struggling to like ourselves, have decent relationships, deal with problematic parents, or partners, or money worries, or weight issues, or sex issues or .. or .. or ..

And seconds tick by, and new problems arise, and new feelings surface, and new shit happens, and good stuff too!, and then tricky stuff, and then boring stuff, and still the seconds tick by, and the minutes and the hours. 

So what do you do?  Do you drink heavily?  Do you smoke too much?  Do you eat too much?  Do you make yourself vomit?  Do you starve yourself?  Do you inject yourself?   What do you do? 

And then, if you want to fix it, what do you do?  In some ways I've been lucky.  I've had a thing - alcohol - to focus on.  Remove that thing, focus on why it's not helping you, retrain your brain to accept life without it.  Good luck staying the course but if you do, problem solved.  But food issues is a whole different kettle of fish.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I suppose that as with giving up alcohol then the hardest part of " giving up" bulimia is " giving up " the instant release felt when you take the first drink / stick your fingers down your throat and learn to process the feelings in a better way
    It's tough but she's lucky to have you there for her and it's great she feels able to tell you . The first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem isnt it x

  2. Ahhh wait if you're actually progressing in sobriety and not just abstaining then your tools can help her.

    First off admitting defeat to it is the first step, seeking help and being truly willing are next.

    So what can you do?

    Comfort her, tell her how you've found your self-worth and she can too! Hold her hand if she needs it, become a sponsor to her, and help her seek the medical attention she needs.

    Addiction is addiction....we need to retrain ourselves and learn to live.

  3. Sounds like a cliche but being there for her and helping her when you needs help is a huge thing to be able to do for her. Just having someone to talk to about it can be a huge help.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, my hionesty is nothing compared to yours... x