Self-medicating to manage anxiety

Last week-end was a really good lesson in what makes me crave BADLY for a drink.  Mrs D at the time asked me what was going on that might have triggered the craving and that insightful question led me to the answer.

I was anxious, as I knew the publish date for my piece, and was ruminating and stressing about it.  The negative internal critic had a ball dressing me down and laughing heartily at my foolhardiness of putting my head above the parapet – and about drinking of all subjects!  What did I know about it, who would be interested in what I thought, it was just luck that I had snagged the agreement to publish from the editor, on and on and on and I just wanted it to stop.

Before when that voice started up I would drink as the liquid poured down my throat would drown it, literally, as I drowned myself in alcohol in the process.  The next day I would have forgotten the initial anxiety provoker as then I would have had anxiety at the amount I had drunk, the things I had said and done and the internal critic would rag me on that subject instead.

I had forgotten just how damning that internal critic could be when my fear was high and it felt backed into a corner to try to protect me from myself.  Like the drinking was a maladaptive coping mechanism that internal critic was also now maladaptive.  Maybe my self-sabotaging self thought that if I had a drink then that would undermine my success – would make it hollow.  Who knows the answer but I need the time sober to figure it out.  I owe that to myself. Day 56.

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