I remember the first time it happened. I was over-tired and alone and lonely and I just tried to do too much running on totally empty. The first blackout lasted about 15 seconds but when I woke up, I had forgotten the last few hours of my life. It was like I had been given a chance to start it all over again. But I didn’t, I sat there and cried and wondered what it had all stemmed from. What had caused it all. Why it was happening to me.
I have two toxic relationships in my life. Two totally toxic relationships that I am struggling to have any control over. It is like they are dictating how I behave and feel. And I wish, almost desperately now, that someone could just take one of them away. But they come as a pair and as we all know too well, teams are always stronger.
And it seems that the first relationship dictates the second.
My relationship with Alcohol has never been defined. I can go for days without having a drink and feel all the better for it. I can go weeks when I then realise I haven’t had a day without alcohol being a part of it. I have a drink for the sake of having one. I can’t just have one glass without wanting another. I suddenly reach a stage where my head says enough, and I leave immediately no excuses given. I drink to forget, I drink to enjoy myself. I drink to forget again, I drink because everyone else is. I drink.
Perhaps it is the jobs I have chosen. Perhaps it is my weird way of escaping real life. I never drink to the point of memory loss. I never drink to the point that it affects my work. I drink from loneliness. I drink from sadness. And it never helps. It never is the answer.
But alcohol encourages my second battle. A personal war that has been plaguing my body for years. My relationship with Anxiety. I never used to be an anxious person. I cried a healthy amount of tears and relieved stress through exercise and conversation. And then one day, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t find an outlet. I ran until I couldn’t feel my legs, I cried until my eyes ran dry. And then the panic attacks started, often when I was driving or in the middle of a meeting.
I woke up this morning, after a really fun impromptu evening out, and I woke up with that old familiar dread. The quick heart beat, the raised temperature, the painful lower back and inability to sleep. So I tried distractions. I walked and chatted with friends and got some fresh air (as much as London offers). And then I sat by myself and immediately the creeping A just came back. The distractions are just a temporary fix; a temporary few fleeting moments of me avoiding the actual truth.
And as I sit here and struggle with the endless pit of emotion that is tornading its way around my mind, I realise that the only person that can really help me….. is me.
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