It may be a bit too early to tell but I'm feeling somewhat better today. Yesterday I crashed in the afternoon again. Strangely ever since I took time off my job mornings have become easier to deal with but afternoons are mentally excruciating.
Luckily this morning I have enough wits about me to remind myself of a mantra which has been getting me through some difficult times since late September: Don't destroy yourself.
I will not drink today. Drink always makes things worse. I can tell myself a million times over that it will provide sweet escape, but it never does. Sometimes I wonder if it ever has. The last time I legitimately remember enjoying getting hammered was sometime in my early 20s after I graduated, and even then it was a short-lived stint. Prior to that I had a memorable couple of years of fun years binge drinking in my teens. Any drinks that came before, in between or after were only ever intended to numb the pain, lessen my social anxiety or purge myself emotionally and physically.
My alcoholism has recently undoubtedly improved. For most of this year I drank daily; somehow juggling a full-time job and getting a promotion in the process. It's funny because professionally I was doing so well. Even though I was falling to pieces inside I still prided myself in doing a good job up until July. Then I changed office. The stress and uncertainty weren't nearly as difficult to deal with as was the reality that my job has been dictating the way I live my life for the better part of a decade. I've always kept my opinions to myself, shut out any racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks. I've put up with the piousness, the ignorance and the petit bourgeois drivel about boats, inheritances, villas, expensive accessories and private schooling. Before my promotion I told myself it would all be worth when I was making a pretty penny. It wasn't. My first paycheck post-promotion was the most money I ever made in my life, but I couldn't shake off the feeling that I had traded ten miserable years I would never get back for it.
Things went downhill fast after that. My drinking increased; that's never a good thing when you're on three different types of meds. I was also getting through an unsustainably expensive amount of garden shrub (I still can't get over the cuteness of DF's censorship here!). By month three post-promotion I was not managing to save a penny of my sizeable wage because I was blowing ridiculous amounts of cash on mind-altering substances. Things came to a head when I went to bed one weekend and woke up repeatedly every single night dreading work. When the drink and drugs stop working it's usually a giant, red, flashing sign that something in my life needs to change. I spoke to my psychiatrist the Monday after and he agreed some time away from work would do me good. I had honestly expected him to tell me that I should persevere, but I think he could tell that I really did't have it in me at that point no matter how much I wished I did (because after all I had been working towards the promotion for ten years). The mantra I discovered three weeks earlier - don't destroy yourself - dragged me through the worst of it. I told myself that I needed to have the belief that better opportunities awaited me in the future and shortly afterwards my bosses asked me whether it would be at all possible for me to do some part-time work mostly from home. I jumped at the chance: it meant I would still have some income coming in while working on my recovery without having to deal with closed-minded morons.
I'll be discussing the way forward with my bosses on Monday. It has already been agreed that I'd put in a 20 hour week doing four hours from the office and the rest from home but some things still need to be ironed out. It's a very uncertain time in my life, but also a freeing one.
For the first time in a long while I feel stronger today. I feel like I can deal better than I have been able to all week.
I just hope it lasts.