Category Archives: therapy

Therapy session was tough…

This is from my newer blog that chronicles my problem with using alcohol. I drink to hide from my depressive feelings and trying to break the habit is not as easy as I thought.

My Healing Recovery

This is a follow up to my last post regarding being honest about relapsing to my therapist.

Yesterday I had a session with Lynn and, after getting the pleasantries about her vacation and my surgery out of the way, I squirmed uncomfortably on her couch and bluntly said, “I should start by telling you that I started drinking wine again.”

She asked a few questions, the first one, “What day did you have a drink?”

I answered, “May 18th, the last time I saw you before you went on vacation.”

She asked me to tell her about what happened and I dismissively replied, “Who, what, where, when and how don’t matter as much as the why.” She nodded and played along. I say played along because I feel like I was deflecting from the whole truth because I didn’t have the guts to be totally straight forward. I…

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Upcoming events – first AA meeting and back to my therapist

My therapist hurt my feelings last time I saw her. That sounds stupid even saying it, but such an admission shows just how sensitive I am. I began with Lynn so she could help me with depression and what I defined as my use of alcohol to self-medicate. Ignorantly, I believed that if I changed my depression medications then my drinking would stop, too.

That’s not how it went down.

I withdrew from all medications, under Lynn’s watch, and spiraled into major depression. Lynn wisely prescribed a cocktail of medications and my mood improved. Unfortunately, my drinking hasn’t improved. My therapist threatened to withdraw all medications if I don’t stop drinking. She said I am mixing medications and it’s dangerous.

Our relationship had only recently begun to feel safe. Over a long stretch without seeing Lynn, I told her I missed her. Instead of answering the same Lynn said, “That’s good it means you trust other people.”

It was the very next session when Lynn played tough love and gave what felt like an ultimatum. I don’t do well if I feel unsupported by people I trust.

I shut down and accused her of giving me a threat about my meds. It hurt my feelings that she doesn’t understand my emotional sensitivity. When I withdrew in our session she tried to reassure me it wasn’t a threat and she would give me time. But the damage was done.

It’s been 2 weeks and I am scheduled to see Lynn in 2 days. In all honesty, I’d like to bring in my medications and throw them at her. What pleasure I would get watching them spill all over her carefully organized chair, table and office. And with that I would say, “Take your fucking medications and your sense of superiority and stick it up your ass.” What would be the point? To show her I don’t need her pills or her kind of therapy.

Reality check! Indifference is this therapist’s mode of operation. She would shrug her shoulders and think to herself, “There’s nothing I can do. This patient wasn’t ready to hear the truth and do the hard work.” She’s just such a hard-ass, I hate it. I wonder if this is how all addiction counselors are?

So, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I know what the right thing is but it is difficult for me to trust this therapist. I have an urge to run instead of expose myself. But, I am going to try to do what she’s asking on blind faith. Tomorrow is Friday and instead of opening a bottle of wine I will go to my first AA meeting. It’s what my therapist thinks I need. Sounds scary but I will do it and go to therapy knowing I’m trying to do the work. I haven’t ruled out finding another therapist but for now I will see if our relationship can be restored.

Fern (formerly known as Daylily) 

Join me on my new blog.  Daylilies live for only one day and ferns can flourish in the right climate for a long time. 

http://emotionaldrinkingdotcom.wordpress.com/ 

Therapist betrays me (or so I feel)

I truly believe Lynn wanted me to breakdown and cry in therapy today. There was some crying but I did not breakdown. It wasn’t because she didn’t try her hardest. She absolutely did! Contrary to what she hoped, I got angry.  I’m so pissed off I am thinking of ways to get out of therapy.

Before proceeding, I must point out that this is my perspective. By no means am I accusing her of crossing ethical boundaries but my retelling will make you think so. My perception is one-sided and self-protective.

Lynn purposefully challenged my thinking today. It came on the heels of last week when — for the first time — I opened up to her, admitted that I missed therapy and divulged a great deal of painful feelings regarding my past.

I feel trapped because now she knows I trust her so she went in for the kill.

I know I’m skirting the issue. You are probably asking yourselves about now, “What the heck is Daylily talking about?”

How I opened up. How I exposed my weakness and how my therapist turned it around and pushed my problem right up to my nose.

Once again I stated my modus operandi: change takes time. I not only tell my husband this but I also use it to reassure myself that I’m headed in the right direction. I need time to put a safety net in place for the fall out when I stop drinking. I have no idea what I will do with the feelings and thoughts that I’ve learned to numb and push down with alcohol. Admittedly, I’m scared to be alcohol-free.

I disclosed the contentious marital conflict last weekend.  I told Lynn my husband yelled at me, “Therapy is not working because you are still drinking.”

What felt like a sucker punch, Lynn followed up by saying, “You must stop drinking and then work on the emotions. The drinking is the elephant sitting in the room.”

I expected her to tell me, your husband doesn’t know how hard you’re working. Instead she sided with him.

Lynn threatened to withdraw my medications if I don’t stop binge drinking. She said, “It is the policy at our practice to decrease and eventually cease all prescribed medications if the patient has an issue with alcohol.”

It was then that I shut down. I couldn’t look in my therapist’s eyes. I felt betrayed.

Lynn asked the number one therapist question, “What are you feeling right now?”

My answer, “Cornered. You are threatening to take away my medication for depression.” I began to cry softly but not enough to ask for her help with it.

Survivors of sexual abuse are good at believing no one really cares.

When I feel cornered I want to bolt out the door. I waited as I watched the minutes tick away.

Lynn said things like, “You always have options.” And, “You can find another therapist who will not tell you what I am.”

My nasty response, “I know I have options.”

Lynn said I was angry.

“Yes, I don’t like to feel that you are siding with my husband and ganging up on me.”

She said my husband could come to the next session.

“Right,” I replied sarcastically, “So the two of you can both tell me I’m behaving badly.”

I said, “To get through that session I would need to wear a protective plate of amour.”

Lynn tried to offer assurance that she would be on my side to help explain to my husband the hard work I’m doing. I didn’t believe her. I still don’t feel she was sincere. What she was offering was an intervention. The same thing my husband suggested.

My nasty side came out and I said, “Let’s just invite my whole family and have a true intervention.”

Lynn told me she wasn’t going to take away my medication today. She tried to reassure me that she knows it’s a process. Blah, blah, blah.

My protective inner-self was hurt and I did not absorb any of what she said. She was judging me and that’s all I felt.

Lynn did offer suggestions about what to put in my “basket” to help me when I stop using alcohol as a crutch; but this is not the positive post to express hopefulness. First I need a place to express a sense of betrayal and disappointment.

Please no comments about my therapist being right. I’m a bright woman and I don’t need to be told that. What I need is support and understanding on this journey.

♥ Daylily, in a nasty mood

Family dynamics

My husband, kids and I have been home for Christmas vacation. Husband and kids are having a grand old-time but I am busy cleaning, organizing, doing laundry and keeping the kitchen up. To my kids credit they helped clean their closet yesterday (because I forced them to). There is some pride in getting that nasty job done; but last night I was pissed off that I was not enjoying the same vacation as my husband. I expressed my displeasure a few times and each time my kids and husband say, “Don’t do it.” That’s easy for them to say. If I don’t do it everything will pile up for me to do later. I have ignored the kitchen for 24 hours and the counters are piled with dirty dishes because the dishwasher is full and someone needs to empty it. The roaster pan from Christmas still sits on the stove top, waiting to be cleaned. It’s been there for 4 days. (During this writing I hear the sounds of my husband cleaning the kitchen and making the kids pancakes).

Last night I was angry enough that I wanted to run away. This coping mechanism is totally a mental escape that allows me to not feel trapped. I learned it as a young girl who suffered in silence with the shame of incest. Maybe getting older is not such a good thing because I realize I can’t simply “run away.” I have a house, husband and kids.

So I did the second best thing I know to cope with a shitty situation. I opened a bottle of beer and then had a couple of glasses of wine. I went to bed at 8:30 pm just to get away from everyone. The alcohol worked by easing my anxiety/anger but I wondered why I’m afraid to demand my needs get met. What would happen if I told my husband to help me instead of what he does, which, when he is not working, is hobbies or sitting in the recliner and watching TV.

Earlier in the day I tried to express myself in a non-confrontational way. I asked my husband, “Will you do me a favor?” His answer was an immediate “No.” I responded, “Why would you answer that way?” He laughed and said, “Because it’s the way you ask it.”

I’m not even going to go into the conversation because it triggers a sense of helplessness. I really should address this issue in therapy. Well, I have and Lynn tells me to make lists but I can’t get my husband to do anything on my lists. That would be a topic for therapy.

I am writing on a new laptop I received for Christmas. My husband surprised me with the gift even though we had agreed not to spend money on each other. I know that was sweet of him and I shouldn’t be so angry. He knows a lot more about computers so he spent hours on Christmas day installing Microsoft Office 10, updates and virus protection. When he transferred all of my files from the old laptop, I became nervous that he would open one of my blog posts that are kept in a folder called “Weblog.” He passed right over the specifics and I worried for nothing.

I had to enter a password for access to my new computer and so I typed it in without showing my husband. It asked for a hint in the event I forget so I wrote “flower.” Husband needed to get into my computer so he asked for the password. I said, “It’s a flower.” The children guessed sunflower and Mayflower (that’s my younger one who was thinking of the pilgrim’s voyage to America). Husband guessed daylily, typed it in and got immediate access. “How did you know that?” I asked. His answer, “You told me you had a handle by that name on some website.”

I felt a wall of self-protection go up. Oh crap, what if he has been to my blog? Quick, think, do I say bad things about him? I wondered, Is he the one who visited the day I had one visitor read almost all my posts. I quickly decided he hasn’t been to my blog because he really doesn’t have an interest in what I write. He’s never liked my ramblings on paper and the times he has suffered through listening to me express things similar to what I write about he looks bored. He spent all day on my computer and I know he didn’t read my documents. Emotional stuff is boring. I know this about him.  (I changed my password anyway).

Tomorrow we are traveling to visit my mother and step-dad. They are both 78 years old and live a few hours away by car. We have a reservation at a hotel and will hang out with them most of the time. I look forward to the break from all the things I do around my house. My mom lives in a retirement home and wants to show us off to all her friends in the dining room. She also said her place needs a snowman out front. This is how my mother is. She likes to show others she has the perfect family and so I will play along. I do love her and I like to make her happy. So, I’m bringing along a scarf, hat, carrot nose and my kids snow gear (We haven’t thought of what the eyes and mouth will be yet). My boys will be instructed to build a snowman and just as I was the dutiful daughter so shall my children be the dutiful grandsons. I know I sound sarcastic but all kidding aside; I want my boys to make Grandma happy. I am bringing my Sony Handycam to get some video. Life is short and she is getting older. I want to have video to look back on as a way of remembering my mom.

We’ll see my oldest brother, who was the perpetrator of sexual abuse upon my prepubescent body. Ironically, he has always been my mother’s favorite. I feel slightly sickened by the reality of such facts but otherwise I’ve forgiven and moved on with my life. My brother has admitted his mistakes (been counseled by his pastor) and we have made amends. It took years of therapy but I no longer think of what he did to me when I was a young girl. My boys like to see their uncle and all of this will make my mom happy.

I have been open about the sexual abuse within my family (with my siblings, not with my children) but my step dad has never been told. I sometimes have the desire to disclose this family secret because he has been part of the family for over 10 years. I love him for the wonderful grandfather he’s been to my kids. He is also so good to me and my husband. What would it serve for me to share this? I wonder why I want to. If my mother hasn’t told him would it be wrong for me?

œDaylily

Freeing myself from shame

Wonder and astonishment are the best words to describe what I am discovering about myself. I always felt different from the rest of the world. My intellect told me it was because I suffered an incestuous experience that isolated me from others.  However, knowing the cause of an ailment does not make it better. Instead, I suffered more with the knowledge that I couldn’t get out from under my own self-loathing. As many survivors will tell you, we learn to fake wholeness in order to keep up the façade of normalcy. It is painful enough to hate yourself and it would be more painful to have others know those reasons because they would hate you, too. I know that thinking makes no sense unless you’ve learned to protect yourself through self-loathing; then you too would understand how real it feels – so real that others would admonish you if they knew. But, something is shifting and I no longer feel like that girl who is hiding her sense of inadequacy.

I am immersed in a book that so concisely describes my emotional pain that it blows me away. It’s truly extraordinary! How uplifting it is to read another person’s description of my life. If a book was written that matches my struggle there must be others out there who are buying and reading the same book. You have no idea how liberating this revelation is.

Sounds simple; pretty basic, really. Didn’t I say I always knew what my problem was? And don’t I know that 7 out of 10 women are sexually abused? So what is so special about this book and this moment in my life?

It is as if the stars have lined up perfectly and I am feeling what I’ve intellectually known all along. A new sense of freedom like no other. The emotional work I’m doing is paying off. Practicing mindfulness is putting me in touch with my negative thoughts and emotions in a way that’s allowing me to be aware of the hurt and pain, acknowledge it and then release it. My shame is diminishing and I am feeling stronger.

The following quote is from the book I’m reading.

“As the light increases, we see ourselves to be worse than we thought. We are amazed at our former blindness as we see issuing forth from the depths of our heart a whole swarm of shameful feelings, like filthy reptiles crawling from a hidden cave. We never could have believed that we had harbored such things, and we stand aghast as we watch them gradually appear. But while our faults diminish, the light by which we see them waxes brighter, and we are filled with horror. Bear in mind, for your comfort, that we only perceive our malady when the cure begins.” Francois Fenelon (1651)

Daylily

Confused with PTSD

My therapist confirmed that I was exhibiting classic symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) during the “Radical Forgiveness” workshop I attended.  I guess I put myself too far out on a limb and was dangling by a twig.  I had no way to protect my mind from the onslaught of feelings that got stirred up and I resorted to what I know, to disassociate and shut down.  I told Lynn I can’t remember what I said.  What others said.  What I was supposed to say.  I can’t remember the names of anyone (including the leader) although I said their names many times in the workshop.  href=”https://mydepressionchronicles.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/2188/”>

Radical anything should have been a red flag,” said Lynn.  “Yes,” I agreed.  “But I wanted to practice mindfulness and be aware of my negative thoughts toward myself in order to move on.”

Lynn told me, “You know what your problem is.”

Hmm?  I am wondering what  a person does if they know what the issue is –poor self-image, self-protectiveness skills in abundance and a facade that no one sees through.

I am trying too hard to fix my psyche. I think I know what I need to do.  Share my issues with safe people, open up to my feelings, get healthy in mind and spirit through exercise and meditation.  I’m doing all of that but the acronym PTSD keeps popping up in my thoughts and scaring me.  I fear my own feelings.  I shut down with my own thoughts.  My coping skills are to not deal with raw emotions.  I dissociate. I also drink to escape.

Sometimes, I am strong and can deal with this vision of my life.  Since my medications were increased I was doing well but then I saw my therapist.  She spoke words that I haven’t heard in years. Back 25 years ago, when I was working on sexual abuse issues, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I thought that was in the past.

I wonder what Lynn thinks of me now that she recognizes the depth of my issues.  PTSD is not small potatoes.  It’s overwhelming and I don’t quite know where I stand right now.

There is this general feeling that my whole life is a fake out.  Every “intellectual” interaction is blocking my true self.

Of course, that can’t be true.  My mind is playing evil tricks on me.  It’s those stories my narrative self has taught me along the way.  I blame myself rather than seeing things as they are.

Since I saw my therapist, I have not been able to meditate.  I feel no peace.   I have been preaching about mindfulness but I’m unable to find that stillness in my brain.

I will stay focused on the goal, which is to accept all of me and see that my thoughts are not me they are stories I’ve told myself.

But, again, I must ask, what do I do when the stories take over and feel so real? 

♥ Daylily, who apologizes for this unedited post.  I know it’s all over the place and I sound mixed-up.  To try and intellectualize my feelings would be one more attempt at a fake out.  This blog is the real me and right now I do feel confused. ♥

Changing my thoughts for the better

Here I sit, at a round table within a historic stone library nestled in a small New England town. The library is having a book sale today so I had to climb an old wooden staircase in order to get away from the frenzy of people searching for bargain books. The librarian and I are the only people in this cozy children’s room. I’ve never been to this library; however my son’s soccer club has brought me here. I intended to write report cards but I don’t have the necessary form so I feel unhurried, with time available to focus on my blog.

I saw Lynn at 8:00 am this morning. She fits me into her private practice on Saturday’s. I’ve been descending the stairs to her home office for about a year and I cannot believe that it’s taken me so long to build a trusting relationship with my therapist.

I could go 2 ways with this post:

  1. What the fuck is my problem that it took me so damn long to have confidence in this particular therapy? The post would focus on my blatant and ridiculous flaws.
    Or
  2. Recognize my progress with therapy. Celebrate the giant steps I’ve taken and look forward in this journey of healing my spirit.

The precedent would be to choose #1, based on historical patterns that I can easily list negative thoughts about how fucked-up I am. I will not entertain this old pattern any longer. It is self-sabotaging and not productive.

Oh, what the hell? For old time’s sake I will give short due to these feelings, if nothing else but as a way of distinguishing them from my newfound “mindful awareness.”

Here goes:

  1. The self protective walls I’ve built around myself are impenetrable. I never learned to expose myself to others for fear of being hurt and rejected. If I let someone in, they would see my flaws, my shame and guilt and surely I’d be judged as harshly as I judge myself. These thoughts are so imbedded in my brain that even when I voluntarily seek therapy, and go each week without someone twisting my arm, my fucked-up self does not know how to get the help I need.

I have this crazy thought, I should just fix what’s broken. I know exactly what my problem is. I grew up hating myself. I should just let it go. It’s simple, right? Maybe for you and them but it’s not as easy for me.  I’m beyond help.

My thoughts and feelings are deeply entangled in my mental illness and I’ll probably never be cured.

I’m on a roll with this train of thought. It’s so comfortable for me to berate myself. I want to continue. I want to write about how long it took for me to construct my sense of self and how nearly impossible it is to untangle fact from fiction.

STOP! I must learn to see these thoughts for what they are and so, I move onto #2;

  1. (#2 really, but I can’t edit it!)I have fabricated my life with amorphous things called thoughts and feelings but what are they, really? There is no truth to my thoughts of guilt and shame and yet I have allowed them to shape my life. I have conditioned my mind to hold itself separate from others. This has affected the way I connect with others, including the relationship with my therapist.

Truthfully, it is okay that it’s taken a year to let down my guard and share vulnerable feelings.

I will go further and boldly venture to say, I am making progress. I am beginning to see what is before me and not believe my historical interpretations that are riddled with self-judgment and negativity.

The practice of mindfulness is helping me investigate how I look at things and how I view myself.

The book I’m reading teaches me that my thoughts lead to emotions and my pattern of self-blaming thoughts has caused an undeserving feeling of guilt. I must begin to recognize my thoughts don’t represent reality. I will learn to recognize they are only thoughts; that these learned thoughts are arbitrary, nothing more.  Not realistic.

Ultimately, awareness of these thoughts will cause them to lose power. I will no longer be swept into a miserable psychological state of mind.

Realistically speaking, I will also depend on antidepressants to help me on this journey. Every doctor, therapist, psychologist and psychiatrist has told me so. The chemicals in my brain do not properly fire the right neurotransmitters in my synapses. Whatever the fuck doctors mean when they say this shit, I really have no idea except it sounds so technically correct – who can argue?

I hate to end on a bad note but, here’s the million dollar question, Is it the right antidepressant cocktail or my wilfulness to change my thoughts in a way that will transform my emotional health?

Daylily 2012

Me depressed…”insecure with myself”

This morning Lynn left a message on my phone, asking if I could come an hour earlier than our scheduled session on Saturday.  My first thought, I’ve got an out, I can just tell her no and not have to see her.  I still have no idea what I want to talk about and I’d like to take that pressure off.  But, being the good girl that I am, I called her and left a message saying, “I can make the earlier time but if you have to bump someone else, we can reschedule because I don’t have any pressing issues that can’t wait.”  I wonder how that looks to a therapist?  Is Lynn thinking, She’s trying to get out of it.  She doesn’t want to come or perhaps she is thinking, Daylily is such a nice person to consider others before herself.

I wonder what the word is for a person who doesn’t like to trust other people and doubts herself when opening up to others?  Self-conscious?  Thesaurus.com defines self-conscious as insecure with one’s self.  Other definitions are: affected, anxious, artificial, awkward, bashful, diffident, discomfited, embarrassed, ill-at-ease, mannered, nervous, out of countenance, shamefaced, sheepish, shy, stiff, stilted, uncertain, uncomfortable, uneasy, unsure.

How depressing to think I am insecure with myself.  Sad, too.  All my relationships begin with me so that tells me nothing in life feels secure.

Have I just gotten really good at faking it?  How do I put on a strong front and live like I have confidence?  Lately I don’t.  Self-doubt and ruminations are creeping into my thoughts.

Tonight I went to a board meeting and attended a public hearing and yesterday I had a meeting with a group of important people.  I feel depression sneaking in the back door.  Signs and symptoms are that I doubt myself, how I acted, how I looked and what I said.  A voice is telling me I’m no good.

The answer of what to talk to Lynn about is surfacing.  Poor sleep, negative thoughts, ruminations, a lot of self-doubt and a general sense of being out of control.  These are signs of depression.

This morning I reverted back to an old thought, I should not eat and see how thin I can get.  I haven’t been thin for years but when I was first diagnosed and treated with antidepressants I tried to cling to anything and I chose dieting as a way to control something in my life.  This morning I recognized my thought to not eat as a coping mechanism I’ve used in the past.  Back in my late 20’s I was down to 12% body fat on a 5’8″ frame.  I was basically anorexic but very muscular.  I don’t know why I’m going on about this except I wish I had control of my thoughts but I don’t so I’m fantasizing about controlling my life through diet and exercise.

I haven’t had a glass of wine since the weekend but my head is crying out for relief from these torturous thoughts and ruminations.  And it’s only Wednesday.  Sigh.  ♥ Daylily

Therapy was unproductive

What my therapist is thinking… (ptsdforum.org)

I’m back from vacation and it was wonderful. I forgot my worries and enjoyed lying around on the beach reading a good book on my Kindle. I recommend it for those who like to read autobiographies about mental illness. I got it at Amazon for 99 cents . Check it out https://mentalhealthwritersguild.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/eye-locks-and-other-fearsome-things-learning-to-love-as-a-bipolar-aspie/

I returned from my trip Monday and saw my therapist on Tuesday (yesterday). My ability to forget my issues from only a week ago (can you say dissociation?) had me re-reading my blog entries since the last time I saw Lynn so that I could discuss what was bothering me. The stupid thing is I rambled on, repeating what I wrote without any affect because the emotions had passed. I shouldn’t have reminded myself of how I felt before vacation, instead I should have gone to Lynn with how I am now. It was an unproductive session because I wouldn’t shut up.  I walked out of her office saying, “That wasn’t very useful because all I did was talk.” I saw her do her little eye roll as if to say, “Now you say that as you are walking out the door.” Lynn’s parting words were, “Sometimes it’s good to have someone to bounce your thoughts off.” That is true if you are a person who thinks what they say is worthwhile but since I have a feeling of worthlessness, a sense of stupidity prevails.  My life is not that interesting to go on and on for 45 minutes. I can only remember 3 times Lynn cut in and made comments. I should have stopped talking and done more listening. I felt like I was on automatic pilot and couldn’t stop, as if I had to catch her up on the last 3 weeks. We meet again in a month and I will try not to waste the 45 minutes talking about the past.

Lynn’s office clock irks me! It sits on the table between us and is set 5 minutes fast. I’m sure this is due to the patients who get so involved in their stories and lose track of time. But, that’s not me. I always end on the ¾ hour because Lynn told me her sessions run 45 minutes. In the time it takes to set up the next appointment and discuss my meds, her clock says 10 minutes before the hour. I leave, get in my car and my clock says 15 minutes before the hour. This is inconsequential but for some reason the purposefulness of Lynn cheating me of 5 minutes bugs me. It shouldn’t because I’m the one who watches the clock and walks out at that time. Lynn wouldn’t stop me if I kept talking for 5 minutes longer. What is the big deal? What the hell is my issue? Just let it go. I can’t and one session when I’m feeling frustrated I will tell her I know that she sets her clock to be 5 minutes ahead of the actual time. I can see her face now, turning her head, rolling her eyes and giving me a look like, “Why do you speak up about these small things?” My answer is, being straight forward and blunt keeps distance between me and others. It’s a safety thing.

I work in a school and things are getting busy because I must have all the paperwork in order before the school doors open. I have a management/supervisory role and it’s time for me to be on top of my game.

I’ve mentioned my issue with drinking as a way to reduce anxiety and this summer I have not successfully stopped that behavior. Okay, what I’m saying is I’m still drinking way too much white wine. Delving into my past and the issues with my narcissist mother has only escalated my drinking. So, I look forward to getting back into work-mode and curbing my drinking to only on weekends. If I had one goal for myself it would be to stop drinking for 6 months. I really think I would sleep better and my mood would improve. Right now the medications I take are working but they would certainly be more effective without the alcohol.

GULP – I hate writing down goals because when I don’t obtain them I feel like such a failure. But, I won’t take it back. My goal is there, in black, white and bold. Quit drinking for 6 months. I’ve done it previously for my children during pregnancy and breastfeeding and now I must do it for myself. Daylily

Progress is slow…

No major breakthroughs since I last wrote.  I see myself as slowly evolving and, regrettably, few forward steps took place in the last week.

I again went to visit my mother to help her post-operative and this time I brought my 11-year-old and I chose to stay in a nearby hotel.  Mom was disappointed and said, “I wanted you to make me breakfast in the morning.”

My reaction, which I did not express was, where’s I want to spend more time with you?  It was nowhere because that would require her to think beyond herself. (Daylily—check yourself on the negative thoughts!)

My son said to me, as we drove off to our hotel after dinner, “I want to get up early and go back to Grandma’s to make her breakfast.”

Didn’t I feel like an asshole?  Who is the selfish one now?  Me, who was only thinking of my needs when my mom is scarcely able to walk.  Sometimes it takes a person who is not enmeshed in the psycho-dynamics of a relationship to see the picture more clearly.

So, the next morning my son and I brought Grandma breakfast from the hotel’s buffet.  Mom enjoyed the donut while Grandpa ate the hard-boiled egg, sausage and bagel.

You may find this hard to believe but my brother, the perpetrator of incest upon my prepubescent body, went off with my son and Grandpa for a day of fun while I stayed back at the house with my mom.  My ability to accept my brother’s apology, the sincerity in which he confessed to me and went to counseling with his pastor, leaves me confident he will not harm my son.  Of course, my son is not an 11-year-old-girl and my boy was also with Grandpa.  But, I wasn’t in a panic so I feel good about moving-on and letting the past go.  I haven’t forgotten it but the traumatic events no longer have their hold on me.

Upon returning from my trip, house guests arrived from my husband’s side of the family and they stayed for the weekend.  Our nephew is 32-years-old and drinks beer like a freakin’ fish*.  The first night he drank a dozen beers and then, in the morning, he went to the local liquor store and bought more beer and began drinking before lunch.

I make it a habit to never drink before the acceptable “cocktail hour,” between 5 and 6 pm.  I – in no way – want to begin the day with the hair of the dog that bit me.*  (The only times I’ve had a drink early in the day is on deep-sea fishing excursions where it feels like time stops and it’s just you, the ocean and the sky.)  Our guests were lounging by my pool all day and possibly this nephew feels the same about pools as I do about the ocean…but I doubt it.  Husband and I discussed his excessive drinking and worried that he is following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.  There is alcoholism on my nephew’s side of the family (not on my husband’s side but the in-laws.)  We worry if he doesn’t get intervention it’s not going to end well for him.

Well, my point is, when I see someone overtly abuse alcohol, it concerns me.  I know I will never be that person because I have so many boundaries around my drinking.  When I over-indulge, it’s private and self-destructive.  I don’t socialize/drive or go out partying.   But, I still admit it feels like a problem because I use it as a poor coping mechanism.

My two books from Amazon arrived (plus a fiction for when I have time to kill*).  I have been reading the book about narcissistic mothers and I’m seeing a lot of my mother but it’s not completely ringing a bell* for how my mom and I relate to each other.

I never wrote my “vision of wellness” that I mentioned in my last post.  I’m standing in stagnant waters* and not making progress.  I really should write that.

I give myself credit that I’m thinking hard about my intentions to heal and I’m preparing for the day when I stop using wine as a crutch*.  I am the type that needs time to intellectually prepare for change, time to psych myself up for success.  If I fail, I will have trouble forgiving myself so it’s best to get all of my ducks in a row.*

I saw Lynn and she and I discussed triggers that cause me to block out painful emotions with wine.  She agreed that any feelings outside of the norm cause me to doubt myself and self-criticize.  I do not handle emotionally-packed situations without remaining completely calm and in-the-head.  I’m all intellect.  Then when I’m in private, and the emotionally-charged event/activity has ended, I don’t have the skills to manage the psychological aftermath.  I usually have no idea what I feel, except I dislike experiencing anything negative — it makes life feel out of my control.  I need to be in charge of my response to a situation and when a monkey wrench gets thrown into my plans* I suffer later.  As I said, I handle the moment with poised perfection but the shit hits the fan* when the dust settles*.  That’s when I wait until the acceptable hour and drink to continue to blot out the emotions of the day.  I just don’t think AA will fix this problem.  I need to recognize my emotions and express them appropriately.  That means learning self-acceptance.  When I put it like that, it’s fucked-up really.  I apologize for the harshness of my language but it is the best description for when I’m overwhelmed and not sure how I feel or how to proceed, such as now, as I write.

Okay this is spiraling downward* and we’ve had enough idioms for one post. ♥ –Daylily

*idiom