In the past when I’ve been stressed out it has lead to me drinking and abusing drugs. I’ve been clean for almost three months and haven’t had stressors triggering my drinking/drugging. The last two weeks have been really tough and I’ve craved drinking more the last two weeks than I have the entire 3 months I’ve been sober. My girlfriend is pregnant and feels we aren’t ready to have a child. I have no one to talk to about it because I want to respect her confidentiality and not tell anyone that might trickle back. I’m a college student and it’s finals week so I’m stressed because of that too. I feel terrible when my gf constantly reminds me that she is feeling tired, achy, and never in a good mood because she is pregnant. It makes it seem as if she wants me to feel bad because it’s my fault she is pregnant. She thinks that I don’t feel anything about the pregnancy because I’ve tried to stay strong for her when she is feeling emotional but internally I feel a slew of emotions that are pushing me to drink.
Life does get messy at times, for everyone. The difference between us and “normies”, is that we default to our crutch, with the mistaken idea that somehow, drinking or using will make the stress more bearable, or even more ridiculously, drinking or using will somehow make the actual stressor go away. If you were on a sailboat in the middle of a storm, and scared shitless, you drank or used, would that make waves and wind and rain stop lashing you? No. While you might be less aware of these things, you are also less capable of doing what you can to keep the boat from sinking, until the storm passes by. Make no mistake, the storm will pass. You just have to out last it.
So focus on what you can do, in the midst of the storm. How do you deal with the stress of finals? Study more, so you are prepared. The finals will come, and you have to take them. No controlling that. But you can control how ready you are to take them. How do you deal with the stress of your S/O’s pregnancy? Show her you are there to do your part. Take those birthing classes new baby and birthing classes. Be her birthing coach. Read a bunch of stuff about how your child is developing in the womb, and talk about it. Go to her OBGYN appointments and ask lots of questions. What she’s looking for is reassurance. She needs to know that whatever storm comes, you are the rock she can count on. You may be the stoic type, but she needs to see and hear that while she may not feel ready (what 1st time mother does, 100%), you both will BE ready, and you’ll be there with every contraction and curse word, every poopie diaper, every 4AM feeding, right along side her.
Life is getting REAL. Best thing you can do for you, her, and the baby, is to be strong. Decide to be strong, and then be strong.
I am both a husband, and a father (X2). Of all the things you “are”, this is the biggest and best job you will ever get the chance to do. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be good, and every day, try to get better. No room for drinking and using in this kinda life, but this is your legacy you are building, your immortality you are creating. Get after it!