I relapsed. Now what?

relapseThis might be the toughest post I’ve had to write yet. Well, I say had to… there’s no obligations that I’m subject to when it comes to this blog other than those I impose on myself. From the very beginning when I started writing it was because this is a way to share information on my struggles with depression, anxiety and alcoholism. It’s a way to let people know how I’m doing without having to have the same difficult conversation again and again and again. These aren’t easy things for me to talk about but it’s important for me to talk about them, and this is a way I’ve found works for me. So in that spirit it doesn’t sit right with me to not share this most recent challenge. Now there are things that I won’t be sharing about the particulars of this incident for a variety of reasons, but the details don’t matter as much as the fact that I had a relapse and I’m struggling with what to do next.

If you’re asking if I’m alright, well, it’s all relative, but yes, I’m doing fine now, almost 48 hours on. By that I mean I’m not trying to hurt myself anymore than I already have, that I’ve been talking with family and have been taken excellent care of by my parents and siblings, who I don’t think I can properly thank for what I’ve put them through.

Monday night I bought and drank most of a bottle of Scotch by myself and blacked out, a foolish thing to do under any circumstance but certainly for me in this case given my history with binge drinking. And the truth is, it’s not the first time I’ve relapsed with alcohol. It’s the second- there was a night this past August where I drank and then kept it from everyone, choosing not to tell anyone at the time. Until now. From March 7, 2014 until August though I had abstained from alcohol. How valuable of an accomplishment was this? I’m having a hard time finding the value of it today, but I suppose it’s something and at this point I need something to hang on to.

Because right now I feel stuck. There’s something going on and it goes beyond any particular triggering event. If you ask why did I drink I can give you a few answers. Because X thing that happened that day set me off. That I’m an alcoholic and need almost no reason to drink. That things have built up and I finally cracked. Those are all valid answers to some extent I’m sure and I’ll be spending some time thinking about them all in the coming days and weeks. But I feel like something has broken and I need to fix it.

So I’ve reached out to my therapist and will be seeing her tomorrow. My mom is flying up from Georgia later today. My parents have asked me to consider attending an AA meeting. And I’ve promised to go. That’s the “now what?” answer for today. Now I take a few small steps in the right direction. I try and take things a day at a time. I’ll do my best to not beat myself up too much, but I am really upset with myself. It’s not a great place to be right now.

I’ll probably have more to say in the next few days about next steps, but right now it’s important for me to be able to get this out. This is my confession. It’s therapeutic to be able to say these things. To share my story, even the rough parts and the parts that don’t make me look very good and may disappoint people. I’m probably the most disappointed right now. I feel like I’ve let myself down.

But like I said, for now I’m OK as far as that goes. I might not respond right away to any comments or messages, but it means a lot to know that even as I write this I know people will be thinking about and that there are people who care about me. Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve it, but I am grateful.

Thanks for reading.

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Managing my #depression and #anxiety. Sober for one year and counting. #Mentalhealth advocate. Black cat wrangler. Son. Brother. Uncle. Mad man with a blog.

3 thoughts on “I relapsed. Now what?

  1. Praying for you Paul and I’ll cry a few tears because I know how hard you have worked at staying sober BUT I know that you are resilient, brave and an overall wonderful soul. I know that you have an awesome family that loves you and support you and I know that it’s always a tomorrow. And now is your tomorrow, so you move on with your life doing what you do so well. Sending you love and blessings.

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    1. We are keeping you close in thought today, as always, and sending lots of Love from AZ You are an amazing person, and have such a big support system of family, and friends, and we know that you can beat this Paul..May you have courage, strength, and peace in your heart, as you continue on this difficult journey…. day by day… We are very PROUD of you for sharing your struggles with us, and wish you the very best always. So glad that your Mom will be there soon. Love, A. Judy and U. Gary .

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  2. Would it help to focus on the fact that being (or rather, becoming) the person you want to be and living the life you want to live is a _process_, not a _state_ of being? I think all of us have done things we wish he hadn’t. Unless there is some lesson or retraining to be learned from it, I don’t think there is much to be gained from beating oneself up over things we wish we had done differently. I try to simply commit (sometimes re-commit) to my intention and keep moving forward as best I can. Good luck!

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