I have had a problem with drink for many years. I can stay away from booze for long periods, but eventually I will go back to self-medicating with alcohol.
How to stop this binge drinking has puzzled me, and long seemed an insoluble problem. However, after my last relapse a couple of things have become somewhat clearer. It is now plain to me that my going back to boozing has always followed some crisis of negative emotions.
These negative emotions include irrational feelings of;
Anger, anxiety, bitterness, conceit, depression, disgust, envy, fear, frustration, grief, hatred, jealousy, perfectionism, possessiveness, resentment, righteousness, ruthlessness, sadness, self-hatred, self-pity, shame, unhappiness, and being untrusting.
Usually what I feel is an amalgam of several, or all of these emotions, at one in the same time. Basically I feel angry, anxious and miserable. From some research I have come to believe that the onset of these negative emotions may be the result of attention seeking and drama addiction on my part. For goodness sake, attention seeking is something that one is supposed to grow out of! Maybe when I was younger I discovered that displaying powerful negative emotions were a certain way to get attention?
Brains wired to equate lack if attention as dangerous, naturally respond to it as a threat…. Psychology Today
However, there is one piece of good news. Excessive attention seeking is not considered a character defect, it is usually the result of childhood neglect, (in relative terms).
I suspect the reason compulsive over-eaters, alcoholics and substance abusers are more prone to excess attention seeing and drama addiction is because those populations are more likely to have endured developmental trauma. ~ Billi Gordon Ph.D Psychology Today
There are undoubtedly better strategies for dealing with negative emotions than getting drunk. There are also probably strategies for dealing with an excessive need for attention and drama
Spirituality, meditation, self-control are not strangers to me, so why do I sometimes lose these good things and wallow in anger, depression, jealousy and drink?
What I need to do is find these new coping strategies because drinking is doing me no good at all. My last two, (or was it three), day binge caused a complete memory loss ~ I cannot remember several important events that took place during my latest ‘slip’ as Alcoholics Anonymous call going back to drinking again. As these important life events mostly involved my losing my temper, they are something to be avoided. In the past three months I have also badly hurt myself, twice, while intoxicated.
Psychologists say that there is no actual cure for what may be wrong in my brain. The doctors say the rewiring is permanent, short of invasive surgery, but they also say I can manage my condition. In order to do that am resolved to accept what I am, and love what I have more than what I don’t have. I shall look for the good things in my life and try to accept these negative emotions for what they really are, a dangerous chimera which I can fight with the right strategies.
Life presents itself in constantly changing ways, but you’re able to accept the challenges, rather than recoil, throw up your hands, and go on a binge. Carnie Wilson.
I have realised that I am not my pain. I know I may never beat my problems, but I can ameliorate their dangerous effects. Perhaps instead of binge drinking, I need to do something spiritual, like watching the sunrise over the sea. Perhaps instead of losing my temper I should focus on the good friends I have, and how supportive they have been. All I know is that I will give these new strategies my very best shot, and hope to do better in future.