5 Dec

I feel so much hurt today, a numb, painless hurt, it’s so contradictory and hard to describe.

I feared that this would come back when I stopped drinking. It’s been a year since I took anti-depressants, and in that year I’ve been drinking heavily and all the bad feelings that I’ve had for years slipped away into the booze fog.

My pain comes from nowhere specific- I had a wonderful childhood, I still have a (mostly) lovely life now with lots of supportive people round me, but yet it still comes. Yesterday afternoon it came in waves, like a silent scream bubbling up inside. I felt fat and desperate and vulnerable and bored and wanted to drink to let go of all of those feelings.

I’m angry I can’t drink- when I drink those feelings dissolve, and before I drank they rarely went away, no matter how much running I did to distract myself or how much support I gave myself. I don’t know what to do. I thought I’d moved beyond this depression, but I can feel it creeping back, it’s like its dark tendrils are curling round my organs and flowing through my blood stream like a poison.

I really don’t know what to do. I can’t concentrate on my work, feel exhausted and just want to crawl away and hibernate.

The sense of injustice is overwhelming- why do I have to struggle with these things? I’ve tried my best to beat the depression and solved my eating problem that was closely linked to it, yet as soon as I give up another destructive behaviour (drinking) it comes back.

This is the stuff that drives you to drink, that makes you think “fuck it.” If I can’t drink, will I be stuck with this pain forever?

God, this post is so horribly self-indulgent, but I don’t know where else to go to articulate it. Perhaps it will all be fine and pass, perhaps it’s just the onset of winter and my ongoing dissatisfaction with my job. I don’t know, but I need something to help me urgently, otherwise I’ll slip and fall into a bucket of wine.

Drinking won’t help, but when in the grips of desperation, I sort of don’t care. I won’t drink, but I sure as hell need to find something else that will help me.

I’m trying to see this as all part of the journey- if you squish down feelings with alcohol for so long, they will come and find you again, I just wish they hadn’t surfaced while my compulsion to drink is so strong. I wish I had a bit more sobriety under my belt to help me fight this battle. But I don’t, and I have to deal with it. 

I’ve just re-read what I’ve written and it feels like someone else writing, not me. This is all part of the process of recovery, I suppose, unearthing unpleasant feelings. 

It will pass. 

But for now, I’ll cling on to my sobriety and take refuge in a coffee and a chocolate brownie to give myself a comforting boost. 



14 Responses to “Despair”

  1. jenisthesoberist December 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I had a lot of feelings surface after I had been sober for a few weeks…I so feel you. I would be up all night absolutely furious at my parents for being alcoholics when I was a kid. At almost 4 months the feelings are still incredibly strong sometimes, but I think they have balanced out a little. I no longer lie awake thinking about them. I have decided to seek some therapy to deal with those underlying reasons why I drank, and having a plan helps me feel better, too. I guess what I am saying is that we all have different reasons why we drank and dealing with those reasons can be hard, but I think it is hardest at the beginning. I am no expert, but that is my experience. Big hugs to you!

    • FitFatFood December 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Thank you Jen- you know, all time time has been taken up worrying about getting sober, talking about it in therapy and focusing everything on that. Now I realise I have much much more work to do, and it kind of sucks, because I haven’t got the magic cure I wanted, but if working at it will take me a little closer to happiness, then fantastic.

  2. primrosep December 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I hope you found it helpful writing this – to evaluate what you are feeling can be a great step in working out what to do next. I am so sorry that you are in such pain. I am glad that you are self-medicating with chocolate brownies – there are far worse alternatives as we all know! I have kept mood diaries in the past to evaluate whether these dark patches are hormone related – even if not can be useful to eliminate. You are doing the best possible thing for yourself by not drinking. It may be that you need to do other things for yourself too. She’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but check out Glennon’s ‘Recovery’ post at – she also says that you should consider medication if it makes you feel more like the real you. Hope you find a log to cling onto in the whirlpool (a Yule log perhaps?!) all best wishes, Primrose x

    • FitFatFood December 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Thank you Primrose. Articulating it really helps.

      I’m not ruling medication out, but I’ll give it a few months before pursuing it.

      I suppose one of the things I’m exploring in sobriety is what it means to be authentically myself, and medication at this stage would be another thing I use to paper over the cracks.

      Thanks for the tip off on the Recovery post, I’ll definitely check it out.

      Not drinking is definitely a good thing for me, it’s just not easy.

      I’ll keep going, keeping 30 days in my sight and go from there.

      Really appreciate you posting- it helps me so much to get people’s wise words 🙂

  3. carrieonsober December 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    She has written a book called Carry on Warrior. Took the name from an article about her I was reading just yesterday in my local surgery, what a coinsidence!!
    , you know that drinking would be just a distraction from the pain with a different kind of pain, that’s all. Brownies are good, so is talking. Here if you need a chat…

  4. soberjournalist December 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Am thinking of you during this tough time – hold on in there. I think you’re right, this is stuff that you squashed down with alcohol before, so perhaps it’s all working its way to the surface? Just know this: by not drinking you are already doing yourself a huge favour. Things will get better xx

    • FitFatFood December 6, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Thank you so much Kate.

      I do know it’s the right thing not to drink, it’s just remembering that my default reaction (‘a drink will help’) is not the solution.

  5. Lilly December 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Oh honey. The black dog of depression (and anxiety – it’s evil twin) hounds me too and it sucks, it really just sucks sometimes. And in early sobriety sometimes this felt especially hard for all those reasons you talk about. But, what I can say is that while neither has totally disappeared for me from quitting drinking both are honestly a whole lot better and more manageable – less frequent and less intense when they occur. It’s a nasty Catch 22 – we drink to medicate these feelings but it really makes them a whole lot worse.

    I promise that a) Drinking won’t help – then you’d still be depressed AND upset you drank and also b) Sit with it, be kind to yourself, it will ease – possibly even by the morning.


    Lilly xo

    • FitFatFood December 6, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      Thank you Lilly- you are always so kind to me.

      If I’m honest drinking has never made depression worse, it’s just deferred it, which is why it made sense to only have a few days from drinking at a time…

      I’m sticking to sobriety to see how I can work through these feelings- they’re part of who I am, and I’d rather work out how to deal with them than loose years to drink and still have to deal with them eventually anyway.

      I love how you respond to my posts, it makes me feel I’m not alone and have a really wise support network I trust 🙂

  6. Lilly December 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    p.s. Read up on PAWS too as that could be adding to this.

    • FitFatFood December 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

      Really interesting- thanks !

    • FitFatFood December 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

      Lily thanks so much for the PAWS tip off- the more I read the better I feel! Sure this is a contributing factor and some people say there’s a peak when you’re reaching a month.

      If I can stay AF and work through my issues and how to handle the depression which I never really have, life will be more my own to control.

      Reading articles on PAWS has caused a real shift in my thinking though- hadn’t even heard of it so thanks 🙂

      • Lilly December 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

        Oh good, I found it helpful to understand too. And if you drink again you’re just undoing all the good brain healing too!

        I also mean to comment on your other post about fun but was reading it on iPad – still am so this will be briefer than it might otherwise. I think this was and is a HUGE shift in realisation for me that has really helped me stay sober.

        The tricky thing is, there was a time in our lives when booze was more fun good times (along with the bad) but then the bad got worse and the fun less so. One good thing about all my on-off was during it I became more aware that I wasn’t really having that much fun drinking. The actual amount of time it really feels fun had become quite limited and mostly it just wasn’t addictive. Addictive, solitary drinking is not fun. Messy compulsive drinking is not fun. I have more fun now. This is really important to grasp. I still romanticise drinking and all it’s “fun” sometimes but then I think through some of my last drunken states and realise it just wasn’t.



  1. Restoration | FitFatFood- Blogging to Stay Sober - November 17, 2014

    […] It scares me, when I read back how I felt then, but also gives me a huge boost when I compare that to how I feel now. Early sobriety was tough, I was dealing with some intense stuff: […]

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