Sadness Came A’Knockin

I began to write the below Saturday evening but left it as a draft… Sober Me is quite good at leaving those knee jerk reactions out. Instead of throwing it all out there – on here – I wanted to think about it more…

*

Typically on a Saturday night I’m either cuddled up with hubby on the sofa or out somewhere with him. Blogging tends to happen in the mornings of weekdays, but I found myself getting feeling really sad. Had a little cry, even. Hubby is eight hours ahead in Hong Kong, besides it’s hardly an emergency so I guess I’ll speak to him tomorrow. This is a tough one because I want to keep this blog to being MY story and not slap other people’s stuff on here. I find that a really hard balance and frequently fail miserably. I already feel I’ve gone too far in sharing stuff about Bambino, that he might just HATE me talking about even here in the relatively anonymous blogosphere. Then again, it’s quite hard to separate when your life is inevitably and intrinsically entwined with those around you. I also can’t stand cryptic shit – you know when someone might post something in half on social media, like “I’m so pissed off” and leaving it like a cliff hanger. So I suppose I’ll just honestly vent but take care not to tell anyone’s story but my own.

Hm.. Easier said than done.

With sobriety and feeling everything ALL THE TIME, the realisations seem to come in waves and I appear to be caught in a tsunami right now. This evening was the first time I felt really sad in a really long time. Since I stopped drinking I seem to have grown a bit of a backbone and do my best to meet my feelings head on when they come for me. Well, they did. And I answered the doorbell and invited them all in.

Since I was little, I’ve preferred my own company. I’ve just never been particularly social. This goes with the territory of being an introvert – my energy comes from within, as opposed as from being around other people. The glaring exceptions that prove the rule would be hubby and Bambino, but other than that I have more or less preferred to spend my time in my own head. I feel crowded very quickly. Crazy, much? What I’m beginning to realise is that it’s not just a case of being a bit of a loner – it’s my way of avoiding the pain and sadness I feel at being rejected. Or, shall I say, when I perceive that I’ve been rejected – what I perceive and what is real are sometimes two different things. It just dawned on me this evening over a phone call as I was so needy and desperate and then ultimately heartbroken when the person at the other end couldn’t get off the phone quick enough. It’s entirely self absorbed and selfish – other people have their own lives that don’t stop just because it was a good time in my day to call just then. Look, I know it’s ridiculous. It’s just that it came over me and quite intensely too.

Hey, I’m sober. I get to feel all this and today it was sadness that came a’knockin. It’s a good thing and whatever it is I’ll end up untangling, it’ll only do me – and others – good to do so. It’s the beauty of sobriety. If I’d kept on drinking, I’d go to my (much too early) grave with whatever this turns out to be unresolved. God knows what it is. Literally – God knows. I don’t but I think I can just about begin to see it, and Sober Me won’t look away like Drunk Me did. I wouldn’t be surprised if I, with a bit more thought and having slept on it, realise I’m just being over sensitive and irrationally paranoid – I do that sometimes. Or, I discover and unlock something in me that needed discovering and unlocking. It’s an interesting ride, this sober stuff, that’s for sure. And the best thing is that no matter what happens, I’ll be able to deal with it and hopefully this in turn will mean I become a better person for it.

*

And now it’s Monday. On the one hand, I am quite ready to just apply logic and rationale here and accept that I’m by nature quite needy. Because I’m so highly strung and finely tuned emotionally, it’s just how it is – a lot of things sting and I sometimes just need to get a bit of a grip. On the other, I wonder if I’m now stumbling across something that will – once I’ve managed to dissect and clarify it – help me understand better and thereby remove some of a potential void I was trying to fill with booze, albeit somehow unbeknownst to myself…?! I never knowingly drank to suppress sadness, but whether or not it was deliberate, alcohol is an anaesthetic so perhaps a by-product of my drinking meant this particular knot was concealed. And of course now that I’m sober, I get to feel it full on and because sobriety has meant I’m trying to wear my big girl pants, I now also get to deal with it properly.

Yes, there is pain there, when it comes to this. I’m like a child all over again in this situation, handing my heart over unconditionally and met with a “no, thank you, you keep that“. That’s hurtful stuff. Sure, that sadness makes itself known in certain scenarios but they’re rare and most of the time, due to how life has taken shape, I’m completely removed from it all. But here’s the interesting thing that I’m sort of asking myself now… …perhaps it wasn’t so much an adventurous nature as it was a need to get away?

It’s easy to outline all the things that highlight how my life is and always has been a very blessed one, but being blessed is not the same as being fine. Is it? If it were, then by that logic it’d only be those who experience “real” adversity that’d ever feel pain and that’s just not the case. When I say ‘blessed’ I refer to how I have a wonderful family, grew up in a safe and nice home wanting for nothing, enjoyed good health, always had awesome friends and further on was also blessed with my son and hubby. When I say ‘blessed’ I mean that I didn’t have to grow up surrounded by violence, abuse or losing my parents or siblings in some horrific way. I wasn’t bullied at school and experienced no traumas or negative events that could be described as anything more than most people go through. Yet in all of that, maybe there was a void somehow. And maybe I became all the things I am – in particular a loner and also eventually an alcoholic – because I had to get away from the sorrow that void created. And maybe I did run away. Because it’s when I submerge myself in a certain situation that I feel it so keenly, this overwhelming sadness when it feels like I tried to give away my heart only to have it handed back to me.

Then again, it makes little sense because if there’s anything I have always done so willingly and so full of trust no matter what is give this heart of mine away. Over and over! I’ve never been someone who has barriers. The love of my life came along and I had no hesitation in trusting or believing in his love for me or giving myself fully to him, none whatsoever. There was no fear on my part. What I do know, however, is that when someone appears to like me (in the non-romantic sense, like a friend) I end up feeling almost tearful with gratitude, as though my default expectation is that people will somehow automatically dislike me. Sweet Lord, I’m so fucked up. None of this makes sense to me. After all – I like me! I don’t go around feeling worthless or bad or undeserving of love. I go to sleep at night knowing in my heart I’m a good person, that I mean well and that I’m loving and kind. I like who I am and I feel very secure in who I am. And yet… I mean, on the one hand I know I’m a kickass wife and make my husband happy because I’m just a really good egg, and on the other I feel so rejected in some situations (i.e. that are nothing to do with hubby at all). I don’t get it but I’m sure it’ll all fall into place as I continue on my journey. If I can bravely and with absolute honesty begin to map out those knots and where exactly they sting and hurt, then I will hopefully eventually get them out. Or at the very least accept them and learn not to let them sting quite so much.

Thoughts? Any words of wisdom are always welcome and you lot seem to have a real knack for delivering lightbulb moments.

Today I’m not going to drink.

12 thoughts on “Sadness Came A’Knockin

  1. Ah this all rings so true with me, especially when you refer to your head being crowded in there, I TOTALLY get that! I feel it often also, I will tell you what I SO often tell myself, ‘Get out of your own way’. I also use ‘Have a word with yourself’. Honestly, I think you are coping marvelously, when my days are low I use that very famous saying, ‘One day at a time’. When I was in a dark place I narrowed it down to ‘One hour at a time’. And I got there, as will you. You have come so far, it only gets better. xxx

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  2. i very much relate to the rejection thing. i had a childhood where i did have experience of rejection and i have carried that throughout adult life. it has haunted me and made me make choices that did not always serve me well. i am particularly on the back foot in my friendships with other women – somehow my platonic friendships with men have not carried the same stuff. i can see rejection anywhere – if i ring someone and they say they are too busy to chat that is huge, or if i invite someone to have dinner and they say they can’t i feel hurt. i know intellectually that this is my alcoholism and that it is not all about me, but intellectually is very different from in my heart and gut. one of the trickiest things i find in recovery is getting things to spread from my head to my heart so i ‘know’ them rather than ‘think’ them, if that makes sense. the hole in the soul that people talk about seems to be what links all of us alcoholics together, which is why i feel this rejection thing less with my AA friends than with others. the other thing i have learned is that ‘this too shall pass’ which makes it all a bit comfier to deal with. we seems to have less emotional skin than other people so little stuff hurts a lot. i find being kind to myself when i feel like this is a start (chocolate under the duvet!) and just sitting with it, knowing it will go. i have had to learn to sit with feelings as i never let them sit for long without diving into a bottle, so i never experienced them fading and lessening. cyberhugs to you from down in sussex!

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  3. Just my .02 – take it for what it’s worth. 🙂
    I think it’s important to analyze things and not to just bury hurt feelings or to lash out (against yourself or someone else), but I think also sometimes it’s good just to say, “Ouch!” and accept that you are a (wonderfully) sensitive feeling person and that other people aren’t always going to get that, for whatever reason – their failing, not yours. Your feelings were hurt and that’s no small thing. Acknowledge that you’ve been hurt, say to yourself all the things you said to Bambino when he was small (oh, sweetheart – I’m so sorry that happened to you…), let the tears come if they’re there, and then let it go. I’m VERY sensitive to rejection, and have been known to have a good cry over the smallest of slights. It’s okay to grieve for your tender heart and the small you who is so squishy and easily hurt. It’s not a flaw to be corrected, it’s simply who you are, and instead of drinking to numb it, now you have to find different ways to deal with those hurts and repair your heart as you go along. I have found that reminding myself (repeatedly) to not take everything personally has helped alot. Life is hard and everyone is struggling with something – their slight of you at any given time is most likely not even about you specifically – and you or your thing are just more than they can handle in that moment. I’m so sorry you were hurt. I feel for you. ❤

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  4. I’m sooooo with you! Ok so firstly, Sunday nights for me are a nightmare – as was proven last night. I had a complete meltdown. Hubby now thinks I’m a total loony tune no doubt, or hormonal at best, but he was there … and yours was not. It’s so, so hard when someone like you and I are left on our own whilst having a down moment (or hour, day, week …) without our rock to support us. I get this. I get this completely. My husband has to often go away and I go into a complete decline. I’m not very social at all, so the family that I have, I’m reliant on. I loathe being let down by a friend, I find it a complete kick in the teeth. I’m just not very resilient, am easily hurt, expect to be hurt and then cry a lot. Not a great combo. So, in terms of advice or help, what can such a loopy lass offer you? Well, firstly, you have a friend in me. Secondly, what I have found is that when my husband is away I have a choice … either I go into a decline or I see it as an opportunity to wear no makeup, eat boiled eggs and soldiers and sailors for supper, and watch all the trash on telly that I would be ashamed to admit to him that I enjoy. It could be an opportunity to write all the Christmas cards, and do the Christmas shopping. I do think it helps to get out of the house/flat … it makes the time go faster until he returns. Ring him and tell him how you’re feeling and that you need love (albeit via the phone). I am extremely needy so resort to this quite a lot but thankfully he obliges and tells me I’m wonderful, he misses me and can’t live without me … works a treat as I’m a simple creature. And then finally you can see me 😀😀 to pass the time and drink copious amounts of coffee and we can drown our sorrows in hot chocolate. Helpful?? Possibly not but I’m here if you need a shoulder. 😘😘 . Kxxx

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  5. OMG move over on the couch please!!!!! Seriously I have been having a big battle with being a “needy over sensitive soul” with my friends as well. So bad to the point I have been thinking something is seriously wrong with me. While reading the part of the friend I thought this is me and my story. Then I thought oh no hang on it’s not my story but you have inspired me to write my version of this soon. Once again by you doing something like this you have shown myself and others that we are not alone, thank you ❤
    P.S. I'm here for you, a zillion miles away (it bloody feels like it) but I'm here, sending you a huge hug, love you my needy twin XOX

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  6. You are mucking around in some very fertile woods there. Stay there. Do not apply logic and reason — it’s wonderful stuff but in here it only serves to keep us stuck, confused and self-medicating, because our pain doesn’t make “sense.” You are totally on to a rich thing. Yes, people with good stable happy childhoods get wounds, and yes they go on to drink to fill those good stable happy childhood wounds. Sit still, invite the small sweet honest voices out into the open, over and over again. Ask them (or her) what they want. Send her warmth and love and be patient, and she’ll come out, and you’ll be softer and more wise and will send soothing to the little kid who got dinged and hardened around the pain, now for decades. No big self-improvement goals. Just slowly down to be present and warm.

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