A Regular Bridget Jones

26 Jul

Saturday 26 March
Calories; 1,750
Cups of coffee: 10,000
Miles run: 8
Alcohol units: 0

I’ve had a really up and down week feeling like a regular Bridget Jones. Insecure, man obsessed and utterly ridiculous. Life is full of contrasts at the moment. On the one hand, I’m incredibly happy in my job- it’s varied, challenging and fulfilling. On the other, it’s bloody stressful. I’m under a lot of pressure to deliver and am spending a lot of time travelling on my own, which usually would be the perfect excuse to drink. Stress x no one to judge me? Yes please!

But now drinking isn’t an option anymore, I’m settling into the habit of finding other ways of coping. My main comfort, now is knowing that these feelings will pass. Everything is transient. Happiness, sadness, joy, despair, the extreme discomfort of travelling on the tube in 30 degree heat…

For the first time in a very long time, my body has been besieged by anxiety. That’s harder to cope with. The snake in the pit of my stomach was hissing it’s poisonous words, demanding alcohol to be my medicine. Anxiety was what caused me to drink destructively in the first place, so my brain is still trained to think: anxiety = drink. I’ve been trying to breathe deeply and get enough sleep to help soothe myself, which has worked to an extent, but I need to try and loosen this knot further.

I know the cause is a combination of work stress and worrying about men. The latter bit is ridiculous. I went on a date which I thought we were both enjoying until he cut it short 2 drinks in. It was a “thanks but no thanks” signal. That should be fine. I should walk away, chin up knowing that the conversation was good, I looked fine and maybe we just weren’t a match. But that’s not the way this brain of mine works. I was almost in tears on the train home, having decided that no man would ever find me attractive and that I’ll die alone, a lonely old sober alcoholic who doesn’t even have a drink to comfort her. Walking home from the tube in full miserable singleton mode, I wondered with a sense of irony “What would Bridget Do?” Drink a bottle of wine and sob to sad songs. That’s what I really wanted to do. To drink and to wallow a little.

As I type this out, I feel better because doing so exposes that thinking to be ludicrous. This is exactly the sort of stuff I’d have drunk over in the past, but now, I write, I examine and I try my very best to move on.

I’m looking for external validation from the male species all of a sudden when what I need to try and be doing is feeling strength from within.

When I reflect on where this sudden boy madness has come from, it has coincided with me living alone for a period. I come home after a really long day to an empty flat and crave human contact. When my male flatmate is living there, I get a hug, a snuggle on the sofa after a tough day. When I’m living with a female friend we sit curled up with each other, the image of companionship.

This is another sober challenge I need to adjust to, not filling holes in my time or emotions with booze. Some days this is a breeze, this week I’ve had to dig deeper. I feel so spectacularly insecure at times, it’s like being a teenager again. I can’t work out if these unhelpful mind dramas are because I’m an alcoholic or because I’m in my twenties. A bit of both, probably.

Tonight I’ve got a party to go to and I intend to put on a nice dress, get a big bag of ice to take with me (I’m obsessed with drinks chokka with ice at the moment!) and stop being such a bloody drip. Appreciate what I have. Which is abundant. My gratitude lists overfloweth at the moment. If only my insides would get this message, and the knot would loosen.

I’ve got a long way to go until I’m sober and stable but I’m 192 days sober and that is a glorious gift.

Happy Saturday!

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9 Responses to “A Regular Bridget Jones”

  1. ainsobriety July 27, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    Anxiety is a problem for me too. Stress, over scheduling, lack of food all influence it.
    And control. When I try to restrict and control things in my life I panic.
    I never used to…well, I guess I did but I drowned out the panic with booze.
    So now I try to listen to the anxiety as a for of self protection. I’m not ready to take on too many new things. And that’s ok.
    Perhaps you are overextending?
    Take care of yourself!!! Keep your bubble intact.

    • FitFatFood July 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      overextending? Spot on. I definitely am.

      The anxiety has subsided a little bit, and feeling a wee bit more stable. Long may it last!

  2. moretomethanthis July 27, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    Hi there FFF, for what it’s worth (which is not much, I am no expert on life), I think it’s *all* to do with the anxiety which you talk about. Anxiety might be triggered by stress or a worrying situation, but then it seems to get a life all of its own and just eats away at you, attaching itself to whatever situation is happening at the moment. So what would be a normal natural longing for company, companionship, human touch and intimacy, and so on, becomes a Bridget-Jones style panic and terror of being alone, dying alone and being eaten by Alsatians. And if you had just met the man of your dreams, you’d be fretting about why he still texts his ex and whether his job will take him to Japan in two months’ time. None of it is ridiculous. Anxiety is horrible – it’s like the logical part of your head is saying one thing, but your thoughts and feelings just won’t fall into line. Not that any of this helps, sorry. And the answer to getting rid of anxiety is …
    And the validation bit … ugh… I so recognise that. I am always looking for my worth in other people, and it’s always a mistake. Don’t know the answer to that one either. Unhelpful mind dramas? Get em in my forties. I think you’re getting on top of your life at a fantastic age and am massively impressed. Hope you enjoyed the party 🙂 xx

    • FitFatFood July 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Ahhh thanks MTM, very wise words. And since I’ve started on the path of trying to hit the problem on the head now in my 20s, I’m hoping long term I’ll save myself alto of grief, as difficult as it is now!

  3. primrose July 27, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    or to reframe your feelings about being single: you are doing the incredibly difficult job of getting sober even without the support of a significant other – how amazing is that?

    ugh, the Tube in 30 degrees – don’t miss that! a leetle toooo much companionship and togetherness there. fully dressed in the sauna time…

    oh, and even if the 10,000 cups of coffee was a slight exaggeration – just keep an eye on those caffeine levels, huh? because caffeine = anxiety for me, just saying. but on the other hand if it’s what you need to get through right now – set up a drip 😉 xxx

  4. mallards4us July 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    I can completely relate to some of the lonesome- single life- stuff you are talking about. I know that this is the time to really just concentrate on me and staying sober, but my mind keeps headed back to ‘how will I meet a man and date without drinking’….I know, that sounds ridiculous- but, it’s just drinking has always been a part of calming me down and loosening up before I meet or date. I do want a partner someday, for life.

    I do believe that when we shift our pride and focus onto our own wonderfulness (smile)- completely engross ourselves in what makes us feel GOOD…then, somehow, things start happening. Happy things. So, I will try that I guess. And, I do believe that you will someday find exactly what you are looking for…and that it will happen exactly when it is supposed to:) xx

    • FitFatFood July 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      I completely agree, and deep down I believe that will happen, but I’m trying to force fate- never wise 😉

  5. carrieonsober July 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Hey FFF!
    Sorry to hear about the disappointing date night…
    But that’s one (foolish) guy out of millions in this big city we live in, don’t let him get to you or believe yourself unworthy….there’s someone really special out there for you….he wasn’t it!
    There is sooooo much brilliance oozing out if you right now. Changing jobs, amazing career, being independent and getting sober younger that so many of us here did!!
    Progress not perfection eh?! Pretty awesome progress to!
    Hope he’s been long forgotten and that the weekend was fun in the sun 🙂
    Lots of love
    Carrie xxx

    • FitFatFood July 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      I’ve bounced back today, but I admit it did let it bother me. But no more, NEXT! 😉

      I’m threatening feeling awesome by introducing the stress of the cut throat world of online dating into my life- think I need to have more sober strength under my belt before I do any more of that!

      More fun in the sun, fewer boy woes please 😉

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