When the world tilts

Not sure what to do with myself today. Feel shell shocked and scared. I had a row with OH last night. Well, not a row as such. But it wasn’t fun, whatever it was.

I know it isn’t easy to be with someone like me. Whose moods are up and down like the proverbial yo-yo. But it’s not new to him. A two week downward jag and I guess his patience has worn thin. But while I know it is waring to be around one so bleak and joyless, I think the thing which caused the row is that if things go on like this, we have lost something. Someone. That person I guess he fell in love with. Because it is becoming increasingly apparent to me that I can’t drink. Or shouldn’t. And our lifestyle is so wrapped up in drink, and pubs, and my personality too – that when it turns on you, and no longer brings you release, or hinders more than it helps, I’m not sure what I can do.

He hates it. He likes a drink, feels he needs it for the release it does give him from his demons. He likes me when I’m drunk and happy, likes the confidence it gives me, the humour. He seems to doubt the necessity of my getting away from it somehow, and yet has seen the effect it has in me. Is it denial? It is unfair, I know. The trouble being that I’m really not strong enough right now to do it on my own. I need his help, and keep asking for it. And sometimes he wants to give it. Every time I collapse and am crying and desperate, he promises we will get on top of it. But in the fresh light of day, when we’re out and about, neither of us is as strong as we need to be.

I don’t know how, so it’s unfair of me to expect him to have the magic key to making it all better. I have no guarantee that even if I’m sober for six months that the depression will get better. I was a screaming manic depressive as a thirteen year old girl with no drink involved, so why I should be any different at thirty-five I don’t know. And if I’m depressed and off the booze I doubt I’ll be much fun to be around. In need to build a new sense of who I am. Find a new way to be confident, funny, interesting. But will he love that person? He said, we want different things. What am I supposed to take from that? We’re meant to be getting married, surely we need to know that we want mostly the same things out of life?

He said he wasn’t saying he wanted to break up. The thought fills me with blind panic. I feel utterly banjaxed. Is it just, I want to drink, you don’t? Which isn’t entirely true. I want to drink. If I didn’t want to drink there’d be no problem. I’m just scared that if I carry on drinking I’ll be dead sooner rather than later. Either imminently through my own hand, or in a couple of decades through disease. Some things aren’t good for you,even if you like them. You have to make a cost benefit analysis. Does the benefit I get from drinking outweigh the risks? The depression isn’t an abstract risk which may or may not occur some time in the future, it is a probable cost right here and now. About eight out of ten times I will get very depressed. But how many of the would I still have had even if I hadn’t drunk? I don’t know. It’s not like I’m always happy when sober. Maybe when I’m drunk I am more prone to hysteria – everything is exaggerated, just like the good times, and so it feels / looks worse. Maybe it is worse.

I know someone whose husband divorced her on her fiftieth birthday – essentially he’d had enough. Had been dealing with her mental health problems for so long he couldnt take it any more. Bastardly timing, but if the cost benefit equation no longer weighs up, I can’t blame him. If you don’t see someone getting better and they make your life miserable too, you have a right to say “no more” and try and find happiness elsewhere with someone well.

My OH comes with his own cost benefit equation. We all have baggage I guess. I love him, he has been an enormous support to me. He makes me laugh and he makes me feel safe and loved. I know that life might be different with him than on own or with someone else. Not always better. But the scales tip in his favour for me right now. But I can see why they might not for him.

Edit– I think I should add, it’s not like either of us are raging alcoholics. We’re probably your common or garden English binge drinkers. A couple of days a week we drink more than we should, but not in the bottles of spirits or cheap cider kind of way. Pints or wine in the pub. maybe wine at home. More a social addiction than a chemical one.

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