Is the winter harder for recovering substance abusers?
February 22, 2013 8:24 PM Subscribe
Happily one year and a few months sober, after close to a decade of progressively heavier drinking and self-destructive tendencies. After the first three months or so last year, dealing with the day to day of people having alcohol around me started to become much, much easier, until the past month or so, where the urge has hit me substantially harder. Seasonal? Just part of the territory?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I really have been blessed to have a wonderful support system. My wife (at the time of starting sobriety, fianceé) put up with years of me being a chaotic asshole and has been the anchor that keeps me sane and balanced through this whole thing, and all my friends, while they still drink (some heavily) at least get the idea and know why I'm doing it and remind me periodically that they're proud and that if I ever start to slip, to let them know (presumably so they can set my ass straight). The first three months were absolute hell (as I've heard they always are), but after I got past the anxiety and the physical cravings, it seemed to settle out and I grew more and more comfortable in my own skin. I'm still leagues beyond where I was at the same time last year, but over the past month or so, I've noticed that I'm starting to get cravings again, and it becomes harder and harder to mentally justify what I'm doing. Once I get back into a logical state of mind, it makes perfect sense (I'm a horrible, horrible drunk), but there's that awful period where... it's like a goddamn fixation, I can't get my mind off it and, in that state, I assume the only release is to take a few pulls from a bottle.
Is this typical? I'm assuming there are always highs and lows, and that it's possible that this is just a protracted low, but since I know there's a correlation between emotional health and the change of seasons (see: SAD), I'm growing curious if there's the same kind of hardship experienced by other people with substance abuse history. It's less of a "how can I make this feel better" (though of course, I'm not going to turn down advice, and it's greatly appreciated!) and more of a "does what I'm feeling make even an iota of sense?"
Thanks in advance, MeFi. Reading through old AskMes has gotten me through some of the tougher periods of this.