There's a million ways you can matter.
May I say, your well-to-do family, and then marrying someone who could make buck, might have made you too trusting that they would take care of you and too passive. Well, that's over now, and you can see that now - someone here has the sig "The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything now seems freaking awesome". You have the genes to get ahead, as your family was well to do. But infidelity, divorce and everything can really ruin a family.
How do I know? Well, I came from one of those well-to-do families myself, what I like to call "nouveau poor" (as opposed to nouveau riche) - I was from a well to-do family as well - everything was plotted for me as a child, down to the university I'd attend, but my dad became a WH and then they were divorcing and then my mom had to go out in the world and make do, then she died and I ended up with my maternal grandparents who could only really afford room and food. It happened during my early teens so I saw and felt the transformation. As a result, I became a pull-yourself-by-your-bootstraps kind of person because of it. But I remember the carefree days still, and I remember that pain and that despair, of wealth and opportunity lost. I really do. Incidentally, today that's what drives me to achieve, and why I haven't lost it all yet even through my WW's A.
For budgeting, I like http://www.youneedabudget.com/ - or any other budgeting program. It's tough, I keep it open most of the day and use it on the phone to make sure I never miss anything, but it's helping a lot with the adjustment.
Now on the Guiness thing... Remember when you first became a betrayed spouse (BS)? Did you lose all your hobbies because of the shock (happened to me)? Do you remember that feeling? Well, now that you have lost the narcissistic asshole, maybe you can remember that feeling and stop drinking for a bit. Or slow down. Just don't think about it so much, don't make it your go-to cure. If you feel horrible go to a gym instead, or just jog - you'll release endorphins which will be almost like a high and you'll get your head clear. I remember I started going to walking trails off-town on my own with my headphones after D-Day. I'd set up a playlist with the most "arrrgh! breakup" songs (both positive and negative) I could find and I'd just sing my heart out while walking in the middle of nowhere, where I could yell those stupid lyrics and cry while doing it and nobody could hear me do it. If I felt like shit I'd run until exhausted. It was very healing.
In a sense having the kids makes it both harder and easier. I can't go on a downhill spiral. I can't abandon my kids without a father figure. Maybe you need to find a place to volunteer? Find a group at church or at the local shelter where there will be people you can help, so you know you matter?
What I mean is, find your own healthy way of coping and feeling better. It's in there somewhere. You wanted to be a journalist so you're pretty good at writing - do you keep a diary? I wrote on that freaking thing until I was blue in the face (my brother is a journalist and lit major) and I've slowed down but still occasionally do. Find your passion. You don't have to make money in it if it's going to be therapeutic. And who knows? Maybe you organize it later and it becomes a book! You never know. Photography and writing is all you need for a compelling piece, and the publishing tools are easy to get and cheap to produce. The world is changing, and that's difficult, but it is giving the creative types direct control over their product. So think about what you can write from your heart, and how it will resonate with others. Self-publishing is a thing, you know. Sure, you have to get a day job in the meantime, but JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a freaking coffee shop!
You matter. What's in your heart matters to you and matters to us here - because we are in this together. Some of the best writing comes from this kind of feelings and you know it. All you have to do is find yourself. You're in there. Not only you, but the best version of you. You just have to let it out.
Sorry to unload so much at the same time. But I want to show you you matter. It's all on the attitude.
Hang in there, it really does get better. Or so I'm told
47 is the new year of treating myself better than I have in 6 years.
What ever doesn't kill me makes me stronger so long as I remember that
My favorite drink is no longer Guinness but water. Call me Dasani23
We will cheer you on (and occasionally hit you with 2x4s ) but you have to do the hard work. Take the first step now
I am so far off the mark in my life that I am existing on auto-pilot, I think. I really do not know why I binged last night. It was there, I've done it before and seemed to be a good idea to get buzzed. Pathetic, eh? I don't seriously think I have been able to "feel" anything inside me since my dreams of being a paid photographer full time died in 2012.
Photography, journalism and crafts WERE my passion. I don't know what is next after them. No other options in my life now mean anything to me. At least after the ex left me in 2008 I had the hope of starting fresh in photography - the craft I was honing when he left. I got really good at it. Weddings, portraits, etc etc. With the recession and the Iphone, no one wants to shell out the money they once did for professionals. So I turned to journalism - writing and photographing articles for my local "hyper-local" newspaper chain where the marital home was. I was just gaining the respect and getting more gigs when my house got foreclosed on in 2013 and the closest relative - my dad- is an hour and half from my town I lived in for 15 years. Now the "gigs" are coming VERY slowly. Barely any money. With the onset of newspapers going online like the Patch chain, there is STIFF competition for any staff writer positions and those get taken by the 20 somethings If I had been able to save my home or had enough income to rent something there, my depression wouldn't be this bad because I would have had hope there. Geographically I am cut off from so many opportunities now and no one knows me here. The "networking" thing is just painful.
No - drinking is only going to make my life worse and I NEED to stop.
I pursue my hobbies as hobbies; that's how I balance my passions with my livelihood.
My point is that it can be done. Stop putting your own roadblocks in your way. Perhaps you can get a career going in what you feel passionate about, but start by finding SOMETHING that lets you buy food and keep a roof over your head. Bankruptcy isn't a life sentence. And, damn,those 12 Guinnesses could have bought you healthy food for about a week.
Thank you, Nature Girl. The book you mentioned seems to be about getting past the ex. I AM past him.
I'm going to challenge you in your snap judgment of a book you've haven't read. I'm going to tell you that I think you need to go all the way back to the beginning of this nightmare and work through the pain.
You are completely wrong about the book.
I understand being resistant to change, even when you want to change. It hurts and is scary to transform.
First things first, though. You have to get yourself into a 12-step program immediately and get a sponsor. Nothing else matters right now except getting yourself sober. Alcoholism destroys your brain and your ability to think clearly. It's going to kill you. It's already killing you. The fact that you think your life is over already tells me that.
Get off the booze. Find a sponsor, work the steps, and then you can start working on recovering your life.
I'm going to tell you that I think you need to go all the way back to the beginning of this nightmare and work through the pain.
How? I feel so numb. I came so far in my life since him. When my career path went bust and my home foreclosed on, so did my hope and joy. Sorry I cast judgment on the book, Nature Girl. You were trying to help me. Thank you.
I know change can be done. I know I am 46 not 66 starting over. I know no ones life is a piece of cake. I just feel so weighted down by circumstances beyond my control. Yes - of all the beers I chose to abuse, Guinness isn't cheap. I am broke and I have bought it. That is how illogical I am right now..
I'm in a recovery group at my church. Some are recovering from drugs. Some from alcohol. Some from anger. Some from domestic violence. There is no judgment in that group. We share our stories. We support each other. There have been people who've relapsed. We didn't judge them, we reached out to them while they were in jail again.
My point in sharing this is that you will not find judgment in an AA group. You will find support. You don't have to be a falling down in public drunk to need AA. You don't have to drive your car into a telephone pole to need AA.
Twelve step programs work.
You need to find one in your area and go.
If a 12 step program is too much for you right now at least get *some* support to help you drum up the courage. How about IC?
Your lack of friends makes this hard, and I imagine npd asshole isolated you from whatever friends and family you did have. Is there any way you can try to get back in touch with some of them? A few might surprise you by being overjoyed to have you backin their lives after so long. They might even drive you to AA and hold your hand through the first few sessions. You never know.
But 12 is too many and you know it.
After D-day, I could not touch alcohol without binging which in turn paralyzed me.
So, first things first...
go to a meeting
get a sponsor
Everything else, while important, can wait.
If you saw an injured person in the street, his items spilled around him, would you start gathering and organizing his things? Of course not, you would check on him and assess his injuries...or, you would yell for help.
G - don't worry about the economy, living at dad's, not knowing anyone...
You are drinking yourself to death and you need AA now.
After D-day, I could not touch alcohol without binging which in turn paralyzed me.
Seeing myself through your eyes, SI, is very disturbing, humbling, embarrassing and necessary. I guess that is why I joined. I guess like any addict, you never think "you" will be "that" person.
The above quote is dead on balls accurate: I've been numb, paralyzed and in over my head with all the problems I have faced in the last 5 years. Binging was the only way I could start to move forward when the reality of bankruptcy and losing my home to foreclosure last year was looming which meant I would be losing EVERYTHING I built. Autopilot helped me. Now I need to stop but something has to replace it. I have no real hope in this new environment I have been thrust into. Mind you, I am GRATEFUL to my dad for letting me live with him, but my life was in the marital home town as all my contacts, friends, etc and career paths. It is easy for everyone here to say 12 step program, get help etc. All I can say is that I have no more Guinness in the house. I have told someone close to me I plan on NEVER drinking it again because I can't stand the reality of what I have snowballed into. I am religious and suicide is not an option.
I have pretty much painted myself a very sad and pathetic loser. I am sorry for that. I don't want to be.
I literally had to change my mindset in how I perceived everything. IT WAS NOT EASY and I still struggle with it at times to this day. Struggling with it right now even. Since I was such a negative person I literally had to force myself to think the opposite. I'm still a skeptic by heart but I've forced myself to become an optimist. I find that with the positive optimist outlook I could get more done and get myself into a better life. Not to mention that positive energy draw positive things and people to you too. I went back and put myself through school and got a finance degree. Originally I wanted to become a musician/music producer. I realized those weren't in the cards for me so I changed what I wanted to do when I went back to school. Lots of the people I knew called me a sell out. Maybe I am. But I have changed my life for the better and I am a better person for it today. I still play music any chance I get. It's more than a hobby to me. It's another way of expression for me so I will always play.
Sorry I'm rambling. The bottom line that I'm trying to make that in addition to going to AA and all of the suggestions made here, force yourself to think positively if you can. Even if every once in a while. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. It's almost a learned behavior in a sense. I'm not a spiritual guy at all and have only recently started to go to IC. Forcing yourself to change your thinking can help stop the downward spiral and eventually help move it upwards.
In fact you are inspiring me right now to change my outlook on this coming week. I have been really down this past week as I found out that my mother had more to do with my brother's suicide than I originally knew about. Long story. But here I am 19 years after his death, and I'm going to force myself to put on a smile for my kids. It doesn't always work, but many times it does.
Wishing you a positive week Guinness23. Baby steps in the other direction. We are all routine for you and will help pick you back up each time you fall down. Sometimes with a 2x4.
I was doing so good tis week to. why is it it so helpful to tell a room full fo strangers your probelems and weaknesses but it doesn't work for family and firendsz?
Did you find an AA group in your area?