This is tough isn't it!?


Hello, I’m Jonathan. Alcoholism doesn’t run in my family, it GALLOPS! From the shape of my childhood to the format of my adult life alcohol has always been a constant guest in my life. Now my first child is here and one year old and looking at me and the unbridled fear of giving him a replica of my smashed up childhood has brought me here. I am almost three days dry and I am feeling pretty punchy. Twitchy and like I want to climb the walls.
I have tried three meetings at local churches and fear stopped me from returning. At those sessions I unpack my suitcase of a head and then the session is over and the suitcase remains unpacked, and when it’s unpacked crudely the wheels fall off very quickly.
I don’t know who I am talking to as I write this (mainly myself perhaps.) Having had a rummage through the chats here I wanted to have a place to check in, my homework that I have to submit every day is coming here to nod hello and regroup my jittery bones. This is tough isn’t it? Hugs and high fives to you all. X


Yep. It’s tough. Days 3-5 have been my worst days in the past. I don’t plan on seeing them again. I am on Day 7 and change.

I don’t really understand why your wheels fall off after you’ve unpacked. Mine are generally falling off because my wagon’s too full.

Glad you’re here. Hope you stick around!


Like they no doubt said at those meetings, keep coming back!


Hello there EarnIt. Thank you for your swift reply, I wasnt expecting that. What I mean by ‘unpacking’ here is that if I focus heavily on the real reasons why I self medicate then I struggle a little. I stopped the meetings and started therapy as it was a little more structured. Then gradually I have been able to try and work outwards towards the drinking, my mental health feels strong enough now to tackle this, it hasn’t always. Hmm, it’s all a little complex and I’m not sure how well I am describing it but essentially what I am saying here is thank you for the kind words and encouragement! X


Hey, nice to meet you.
You’re clear as mud, makes sense to me! You’ll find your way to unpack and deal with it all.


Sure. You bet. I think most try to knuckle down on the sobriety first because they find they can deal with the tough baggage more clearly while sober. I would say that 99% of this forum knows that it sucks to deal with the problems sober. However, if you can - you are on a great track.

I have quit numerous times and found myself unable to deal with…well, me. I couldn’t deal with my feelings, my failures, my heartache, etc. I hope your therapy is giving you some tools to deal with these things. It may not hurt to do both. What does your therapist say about working a program?


Hey Jonathan, welcome. Starting on your journey of Sobriety is difficult, your mind body and soul feel out of whack. Things will calm down after a while, if you put in the work everyday. Becoming sober while your child is young is such a great time-to be present and make everyday count and not waste it away.


Hi, my therapist has been super supportive but has been cautious to ensure that I have suitably booby trapped my daily life to ensure that I am able to function and stay healthy while I make vital changes to my life. In the past I have made a stack of grand gesture knee jerk changes that I haven’t been able to follow through with.


Sometimes when you unpack you find all this stuff you’ve been carrying around - adding to your weight and costing you a fortune in excess baggage fees - that you realise you never really used. For whatever reason you felt like you just had to take it with you.
The real skill lies in only packing back into your suitcase-head that which will be useful to where you are going.
Lighten the load, lessen the cost.

Good to have you here.
Reckon you’ll find some of what you need. Folks are mighty nice… :grinning::+1:


I think we all have!


Hey buddy. Welcome. I’m glad you joined us. I have young children too. So I can understand your fear. But I’ll tell ya that we are blessed, man. Blessed that we have this opportunity to have them never see us drink. That’s a huge deal for drunks like us.

Fear was a huge factor in my drinking. Fear of people. Fear of my kids( I only had one kid at the time). Fear of not being good enough. Constant fear. So I drank. I drank to mask the utter loneliness I felt inside.

I can tell you that it’s not like that today. It was simple but it wasn’t easy to get here. Simple because all I had to do was follow a simple program and follow suggestions from other drunks. Not easy because the only thing I had to change was everything. That’s what I found at AA.

It sounds like you’re gettin there. You’re gettin honest and willing to check out these meetings. Keep going back. They told me to just bring my body and eventually my mind would follow. They told me to keep coming back when nobody else really wanted me around. They taught me how to live sober… one day at a time.


Thank you Gabe, I am grateful for your reply. It mirrors allot of what’s going on here. J


The thing about unpacking is sometimes you find something good you thought lost forever. Turns out you just misplaced it, and couldn’t remember where you’d left it.
It was that way for me and self-discipline. For so many years, I led a very disciplined life. Then my personal life took an unpleasant turn, and I started drinking, and did so for many years after. I thought I’d lost that Marine mindset forever. Turns out, all I had to do was get sober, and it was right there. Picked it up and dusted it off. Has served me well in recovery.

I am confident that there is something waiting for you to rediscover it. Welcome, friend. I hope you stay.


Congratulations on your sobriety and steps in recovery. Therapy sounds like a good match for you, allowing you to unpack and sort out at a pace that is suitable to you. Having gone through therapy myself it can be a challenge but the benefits of understanding yourself and being able to change your thinking or at least see a different way are lifelong. It is tough but so worth it.


It’s tough, but it’s so worth it :grin:


Early sobriety sucks. Eventually, if you want to stay sober, you are going to have to deal with all those things going on inside your head. But you don’t have to do it all at once and you don’t have to do it right away. Maybe for now just focus on keeping the drink down. Once you get some time under your belt it gets easier. Most of my growth has came after my 1 year. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be addressing patterns and behaviors, but it may help to save the bigger issues until you are more stable in sobriety. Get a sponsor and work the steps. That’s the easiest way I’ve found.


Welcome, glad you’re here. You write so well an intriguing way with words! I understand completely about unpacking, I’m glad you have a therapist they should be able to help guide you and unpack in a way that’s not so overwhelming. I go once a week to counseling and we unpacked some trauma that sent me spinning- luckily I was in month 3-4 I don’t think I would have stayed sober of it was early on. So my advice is to trust your judgement on what you’re ready to unpack so you can sort through it more clearly. First week was by far the hardest for me as far as detox and physical symptoms, lots and lots of boring self care. We tend to love instant gratification as alcoholics so it’s normal to be eager to unpack it all at once and just fix it now! Take your time it’s a journey, not a race, took us a while to get here so it will take a while to move forward in a new direction. Much luck to you!


Hello Megs3. Nice to meet you and thank you and thank you to everyone who has chipped in kind words and cheering on from the sidelines. Today has been a stinker as I get closer to day 4. The quiet spoken imaginary little swine that sits on my shoulder telling me I am a phoney has found a megaphone today and is making functioning like a normal (or what I think is normal) human kinda hard. I took my 19 month old son swimming this morning, that’s all I managed. It was one of the biggest theatrical performances of the year for me as I pretended to be ok. I am shocked at how much of myself I am potentially going to have to reconstruct. Therapy has saved my bacon this year and I am glad to hear that it continues to be of benefit to you. Best wishes


I suggest you take your “saved bacon” and show it to the swine, so it knows what’s coming!

Dear Megaphone Swine, I hereby name you bacon, because I will make you into bacon and eat you. The end. Quiet swine on a breakfast plate.


As the end of week 1 comes into view I have spent time each day free writing to give my head and heart a much needed enema. I set a timer on my phone and for ten minutes I am not allowed to stop writing, I start with the sentence ‘I am stopping drinking because…’ and after ten mins and not planning what to say my subconscious sort of leaks out onto the page. This exercise is one that my therapist has taught me, the process of transferring the tangle in my head onto a page really helps, and sort of feels like removing a metaphorical tumour of sorts.

I have been unpicking my ‘thirst’ back to my mother and how she was demolished as a child and she used alcohol and strong tranquillisers to self medicate her own trauma. Both her and my father grew up in Dublin in the early 60’s and very much live up to the crude cultural stereotype of the Dublin drunk. As I developed a sexual relationship with a man 35yrs my senior at the age of 13 my mother helped me process this by providing me with booze and temazepan. It makes sense to help somebody cope with a problem in the only way you know how. After allot of work in therapy I have grown to see that this relationship was in fact grooming and child abuse. I am now working steadily away to see the positives to this unhealthy relationship and also the gnarly way my mother mothered. I am learning to parent myself, and no longer be a broken person looking for a parent to substitute an absent parent. Alcohol has served as a great tool to help me avoid that and I have suffocated many relationships as an adult. As a professional playwrite and theatre director I have based my career and identity on exploring trauma as a means of avoiding my own. I have been lucky enough to tour all over the world being paid to pick at imaginary scabs using whiskey as a means to cope. Now as a father I have stopped touring and working away, I have gotten a desk job near my home and am desperate to turn up for my child and wife. I am in effect trying to do all of my growing up all at once and my dependency on alcohol is making that really f**king hard. I am writing this here as a means of fessing up and naming my reasons for drinking, tonight I am attending a new meeting and hopefully in time if it is the right meeting for me I will chop the above story into sections and find ways of making friends with all of its chapters. Every so often it will help me continue to do this on this thread as well as participate in chats on other threads. You are very welcome to comment if you wish but I am writing this as a means of ‘confessing’ (for want of a less catholic sounding word.) All of the of info I have free written this week will go on a fire but it helps to consolidate it and place its highlights on this thread. With love.