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Please help me :-((15 Posts)
Regular MN user, but have name-changed. This post will probably be rambling and epic but please bare with me...Not sure where to start...
I'm 30 in a few weeks, have a DP and 2 DCS aged 2 and 10 months. I have always had a slightly dubious relationship with alcohol. Started drinking at 14 when everyone else did, getting drunk on a weekend, progressing to drinking heavier, and more often as time went on and especially throughout uni. Not talking alcoholic waking up in the morning gin on cornflakes, but probably binge drinking every other night with recreational drugs thrown in (pills, coke, ketamine, you get the picture...). Followed by significant self-loathing and feeling like shit the next day, but once feeling better the day after, the cycle used to start again. At uni I got caught in possession of Ecstasy and cautioned, but this wasn't enough to stop me doing drugs. Since leaving uni and before meeting DP and having DCs, I lost two jobs due to phoning in sick due to hangovers. All in all, really not good.
My family background is, on the surface, good, I come from a very 'naice' middle-class family, but one where drink was always involved in any occasion- good, bad, whatever. My mum was and is a great mum in most ways, but always facilitated my drinking, and from when I was 15/16 I think enjoyed seeing me as buddy to drink with (wine, of course being perfectly acceptable to get ratted on, not spirits darling), and bought me alcohol and was more than happy for me to go out to pubs. It seemed normal as all my friends did it too.
In about 2006/7 something inside me switched, I started feeling mentally 'unwell' and paranoid after drinking/drugs, and felt that alcohol was controlling me, so tried many times to stop. I managed 3 months in 2007, but when I started feeling 'better' again, I began having the odd glass, and again, this spiralled out of control and I started once more drinking often and heavily.
End of 2007 I met my DP, who is (mostly) fab, and who isn't a big drinker and has never used drugs, and things calmed down slightly, but I was still going out and getting wrecked quite often after work, and at least once on a weekend.
In 2010 I got pregnant with DS, and found it easy to stop drinking whilst pregnant (although I found myself a little bored and boring when going to events/parties/social occasions), and again, when I was pg with DD in 2011/2012, which makes me think i'm not an alcoholic in the conventional sense.
However now DD is 10 months old, I feel my old drink problems and habits creeping up on me again, and i'm desperate to know what's 'wrong' with me I've been drinking a lot in the evenings (never, ever during the day), and when DD was 4 months old (4 MONTHS OLD!!) I used coke on a weekend away. On saturday, I went to a friend's birthday party, which I really shouldn't have gone to as I know the people going would all be off their faces, but I went anyway, and ended up doing a gram of coke and rocking home at 5am. DP was looking after the kids, and just thinks I was drinking, but was still unimpressed as I spent mothers day feeling awful and moody when I should've been enjoying it with the children. What sort of mum stays out until 5am on drugs? I usually would be very judgey about this sort of stuff if I heard someone else had done it.
On the surface, you would never, EVER guess I had these issues. I'm well spoken, have a great house and lifestyle, a beautiful family. People tell me i'm a 'perfect' mum- the kids are always well turned out, I read to them loads and do lots of fun trips and activities, all meals are from scratch, there is so much love. I'm not perfect as you can see, but the above is true, and at the moment my behaviour isn't significantly affecting them, but it WILL. I would like to pretend that maybe i'm like this because of the pressure of being a SAHM and living up to the 'perfect mum' label, but that would be lying to myself- i've always been this way inclined. I'm so desperate not to fuck my children up, and I would be horrified if they started drinking like I did as a teenager.
Going back to what I said earlier about something 'switching' in my head in about 2006/7, I feel mentally unwell in that the same cycle seems to happen all the time. I feel depressed and full of self-loathing for a week or so, then practice healthy eating, only having 1 drink on an evening to prove I can do it. This is great, but fast forward another week or two and I feel so on top of the world from not drinking, being ridiculously productive- batch cooking at 1am anyone?! that I feel euphoric and almost manic, and that i'm invincible, that I start drinking heavily again on evenings and weekends as I feel that this time will be fine, it will be different- and the same bloody cycle starts again
I'm just not sure what to do- I don't know if the drinking is causing me to be not quite right in the head, or whether there is something more going on and I have some sort of mental problem that is making me behave to irresponsibly and causing me to drink. The stakes are so high, and i've had enough.
I'm frightened to go to my GP as i'm scared they might get social services involved. I don't think my DP has any idea how I really feel either. I feel broken, and desperate, but I can't imagine not ever drinking again, or enjoying a social occasion without booze, which is pathetic, especially as i'm no wallflower and actually find it very easy to talk to people.
Has anyone ever been like me? I feel so, so alone right now
I will be back, might not be able to reply straight away if the kids wake from their nap.
My behaviour is also causing more arguments between me and DP, as I've started shopping and spending more money, I guess to make me feel better, something I didn't really do much before. At the beginning of the month I spent 500 quid in one week and felt on such a high, but then felt shit a few days later. DP was angry, as although we are pretty comfortable, we're not rich and certainly can't afford that sort of money. It's making him feeling stressed as the sole earner as i'm a SAHM, and I know i'm the cause of all the pressure he feels I don't want to ruin our relationship and we're rowing more because of it.
Gah, i'm such a fuck up.
It sounds to me like you are 'self-medicating' when you feel low, then when you feel better you are able to stop drinking etc as you are feeling well. You could be rapid cycling (bipolar) or you could be fluctuating in mood due to hormones over your monthly cycle.
I would say that the drink/drugs are not necessarily an addiction but a symptom, although you have been relying on them so long you may be now addicted.
The reason you found it easy during preg is that it was absolutely not permitted, and so therefore the was no question in your mind. As soon as there was a time when it was permitted again you were unable to stop yourself.
If it was me, I would go to the GP and ask firmly for a referral to a psych with an interest in drug/alcohol abuse. Don't be fobbed off by the GP- you need guidance in both mental health and addiction.
All the absolute best to you and yours- good first step to a more 'real' existence!!
Thank you peachypips for getting back to me so quickly.
I think maybe I should go to the GP, but do you think they might get social services involved? I'm so scared this may happen.
Don't you have to be really depressed to have bipolar? I sometimes feel quite low after drinking, but I don't always want to drink when feeling low. I'm not hugely depressed (although I actually suspect I had mild PND after having DD last year, I was crying all the time until about November, but this has mainly gone now). I mainly start boozing again when I feel great once more and actually really happy, I feel that i'll be able to drink and nothing bad will happen this time and feel on top of the world! I actually get physical shakes of excitement when on the way to the pub to meet a friend! <weirdo> Reading all this back, it's not quite normal is it?!
I am not an expert by any means, but reading your OP I also thought it sounded like you were having symptoms similar to bipolar - you described what sounds like episodes of being low and then high/manic - and the spending money also sounds like a symptom of a manic phase.
I would see if you can self-refer to a mental health team or perhaps there is a helpline about drink/drugs that you could try, might be worth a shot if you are worried about getting SS etc involved. If they say you need to go via GP then you would need to do that, but if you can avoid it by going direct that might help you feel calmer.
Your post rang huge bells with me. I have had very similar issues and was diagnosed bipolar last year. PM me if you'd like to talk.
I don't think the GP would refer you to SS unless they thought you were putting your kids at risk which I don't think you are. The fact you are seeking help of your own accord is a big positive sign.
Oh gosh, so several of you think this sounds like possible bipolar? I've just googled bipolar and symptoms, and without wanting to self-diagnose, lots of the symptoms ring true, although more the 'high' symptoms than anything. I frequently have big plans and ideas and start things that I never finish, which has made me embarrassed quite often as I feel like a twat for not following things through. Last year I worked on a business plan through the night for a business that in reality was never going to happen as we wouldn't be able to afford to start it up, DP thought I was erm motivated but bemused by it all! A few years ago I was convinced that I was going to organise a big charity concert, and get loads of famous celebs to preform- my best friend humoured me but I feel about it now.
I'm quite frightened by the possibility that this may be what's wrong with me. Is it possible to be a good parent with this condition? I think I certainly should go and see the GP. Would not drinking help cure bipolar?
I know someone with bipolar, and tbh she found it a huge relief to know there actually was something 'properly wrong' with her and she wasn't just crazy!! Of course it is possible to be a good parent - it sounds like you are already and there are plenty of ways to manage the condition (IF that is what you have of course). I don't think you can 'cure' it as such, just manage it - but once you and those around you know what you are dealing with, that won't be so bad.
And not drinking would probably help, but you might well find that drinking is one of the symptoms of bipolar, rather than causing it, iyswim.
First step, GP - you need to be sure this is what you have, rather than going along with Dr Google and a load of strangers on t'interweb!
Well I've booked a docs appointment for early Thursday morning, lets see what happens.. Thank you for your responses.
Out of interest, those of you who think this might be symptoms of bipolar, is this because you have bipolar or because someone you know does?
No, the person I know with bipolar manages it very well so I don't really see her unwell (work colleague). She does have a few weeks off every couple of years for when she is depressed but generally copes extremely well.
I am an HCP and although I don't work in mental health, it was a large part of our course when I was studying. We looked at all sorts of conditions but the bipolar one stands out because of the awesome video we saw, made by people with bipolar going through a manic phase. It was very entertaining and really helped us to see what they were going through. It struck similarities with what you were describing - I seem to recall one woman was convinced she was going to have lunch with the PM and loads of other celebrities!
Good luck with the docs on Thursday.
I have major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. I have a close friend with Bipolar 2.
at being able to parent!!!! Yes you can have BP and be a bloody great parent!! It can be tough when you are finding the right meds as your moods can swing around which can make it hard for the children, but people with BP are generally creative and can be full of life. You can have lots of variants with depression being the main feature or mania.
I would write a diary of your moods for two months to see what is happening. Then you can see what is happening and get a more accurate diagnosis.
Come back and tell us about doc appointment.
Hey there, went to the docs this morning and she was great, really non-judgemental, but I think it did take me a little while to make her listen to me and for her not to think that I 'just' have drink and drug issues, but that I feel that something else might be behind the abusing them at certain times. In fact, I showed her this thread, as I couldn't get started explaining to her how I felt, so having it written down helped no-end.
She has referred me to be assessed by a MH professional and I should get a letter through the post soon with an appointment, although no appointment for another 6 weeks most likely, which seems an age away... have to go back and see her mid-may to catch up. Have to stay of booze and drugs otherwise they won't touch me with a barge-pole apparently, which is fair enough, but tbh this shouldn't be TOO hard for me providing I don't put myself in vulnerable situations.
Feel more positive that I have got the ball rolling.
Thanks for your kind responses and for thinking of me- I will report back if/when I know more!
So glad the GP listened- well done at persevering and making yourself heard. Six weeks will fly and will give you a head start with the addictions. Good on you!
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