Seasonal Anger

Last week was not the best. I think my own personal bank of Patience and Giving was dangerously low on reserves. In fact I’d go so far as to say it had sustained a pretty violent armed robbery, carried out mercilessly by 3 midgets with spudguns.

On Wednesday, I reached the point where I couldn’t take any more complaints, or whining, or arguing, or refusals to cooperate, and I lost it big style. I was grumpy, shouty, miserable Mummy. The kids spent a lot of time bursting into tears, and I got told on one occasion that they wanted Happy Mummy. (I could bloody cry just typing that). I did manage to snap out of it by the end of the week, and apologised to them all. I just felt like I had nothing, nothing left to give, and I kept feeling really quite angry. Mr Red had a minor disaster at work one day, which meant he was very late home and I missed a coveted appointment. I was disproportionately pissed off, and fell out with the poor guy for 24 hours. Really, it was nothing,  but it was just the pooey brown icing on the shit-cake that had been baking all week.

The problem is, I’ve started to feel as if I have absolutely zero control over my life, not a shred of free-will; it’s just an amalgam of relentless caretaking and having to constantly be places on a never ending schedule and Not One Bit of it’s for me.

And I don’t have wine to escape into anymore. I’m facing up soberly to the fact that life’s a bit of a dull grind. I also expected to feel amazingly bouncy and full of energy after not drinking for over a month and I just bloody well don’t. But I have to remember that this is February in the UK. Possibly the greyest time and place on Earth. I usually feel pretty pissed off and weary during Jan and Feb, but at least I don’t have a hangover this year…

So here’s something good about not drinking – when shit happens, I’m actually reflecting on how things have gone wrong and trying to work out ways to improve or change the negative situation. This is a vast improvement to drinking Red, who would ignore all the problems and just drink until they became utterly compounded.

So after last week, I’m going to:

  • Read some parenting books a friend has loaned me, and see if anything in them strikes a chord or could be used to bamboozle my miniature emotion-bank robbers.
  • Try to make my life easier on the tough days where I work and wrangle kids alone. Pizza for tea anyone? Peanut butter – that’s a food group, right?
  • Start using the two hours free time I get on a Monday while all the children are at school/nursery for me-stuff. For reading, or haircuts, or exercise, and/or cake, or all those things at once. Not for cleaning!
  • Ask some friends for advice. (Hint: that’s you guys). Is this raging anger and emotional upheaval normal? Is it usual to still feel totally knackered over a month into sobriety?
  • For years, I’ve threatened to book a holiday in Jan or Feb. The one year I can particularly remember not hating the start of the year was when I went to Spain for a week in February with a friend. Conversely, possibly the worst January ever was the one when I’d just returned from 6 weeks bumbling round the glory that is New Zealand.. try a rainy UK after that one! I barely spoke for about a month.

It seems that something to look forward to is pretty key for a happy start to the New Year for me. So next year, after a year of not drinking, maybe I’ll be able to afford to take the 3 little felons and their lovely Daddy on holiday somewhere sunny in the half term break. And if not, I reckon between us we have the combined skills to knock off a Securicor truck and head for South America..

Red xx

Ps coming soon – a list of things that I’m happy about. And less navel-gazing. Honestly!!

 

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Seasonal Anger”

  1. Red, you cheer me up. After a weekend of shit weather and a wet and windy drive back up the M4 last night for work, I need some lightness of spirit. Day 37 for me and am yet to see the weight loss. I am knackered and no energy and I poured the nearly full bottle of Jack Daniels down the sink on Saturday but I am sober and that is something, particularly as it was the start of the 6 nations and that would normally have seen me out of it by early evening. Buy your angels some nerf guns – more accurate and no potatoes. Have a good night.

    justonemore

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    1. Ha – thanks Justonemore.. lightness of spirit does not describe me at the mo it has to be said. Interesting that we’re both still so tired. It’s got to be a period of adjustment surely? Although it sounds to me like you do a hell of a lot of travelling for work, which must be draining, I feel rather bad at my whinging. Glad you’re still here with me and congrats on pouring away Mr Jack. I’m avoiding sport as I can’t imagine it without beer in hand.

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  2. Hugs. Some days the kids just dish it all out. I have been known to break down and cry. My kids are 10 and 12. I warn them….but sometimes it just happens.

    I think anger and frustration are completely normal. My first 8 weeks of sobriety were spent in a paranoid state of anxiety. Happy I was doing it, mad I was doing it, frustrated, scared, elated. Generally hysterical.

    And exhausted.

    It turned out that I had truly been self medicating some severe anxiety and dove straight into a severe depression. I think my body revolted.

    So, time heals. Sometimes we need help. Vitamin d, tanning, magnesium, chocolate and, if need be, medication.

    You are doing great. Hug. This is hard.

    Anne

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    1. Thanks Anne – it’s reassuring to hear that. Sorry you had such a bad time of it in early sobriety though. I will keep an eye on myself as it were. I’ve a family history of anxiety/depression. It’s always possible. I guess the abuse I’ve put my body through needs time to heal! I like your list of things which might help, I’ll try them! Red xx

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  3. Ugh, I get the anger thing. There’s no getting around it, no suppressing it, it just sits there beneath the surface and pops up to surprise everyone at the slightest aggravation.

    I don’t have kids, so I’m not qualified to comment on your parenting (who is?), but I bet you a doing an amazing job under the circumstances and I get the impression you’re really hard on yourself, which must make everything a million times harder. I know my mum still feels guilty over yelling at us when we were kids, but all I remember is her being an awesome mum, so try not to be so hard on yourself.

    Spending your 2 free hours a week eating cake sounds like a lot better use of your time than cleaning by the way! xx

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    1. Thanks Rosie – those words really help, especially about your Mum feeling guilty and your perception of her being a good Mum… I’m the same with mine! I need to get better at not giving myself standards I’d never expect anyone else to live up to. Where the hell does that come from eh. Perspective is a wonderful thing, and a lot easier when the sun is shining! Red xx

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  4. “Miniature emotion bank robbers”…hahahahaha! Now if that isn’t a perfect description of young children, I don’t know what is. Effing brilliant. I don’t know how you do it, let alone how you do it without booze. But somehow, you do. The anger and frustration seems perfectly normal for what you are going through, and it seems like you have a plan to work through it. And I agree with Rosie…eating cake sounds way more fun than cleaning. A wise lady once told me: Rabid self care = required!!

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  5. First of all, you’re a month sober. That’s a massive thing you’ve managed to put control on in your life. Remember that! Secondly a month sober is definately not the place where I was bouncing around with energy. It was the time I spend roaring at the kids and eating copious amounts of sugar and having baths. And roaring at the kids. And my poor lovely husband. You are doing an amazing job. Take it easy on yourself if you can! xxx

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  6. Hi Red,
    We are the same here, only freezing with snow.
    Gray and more gray.
    Drives me nuts. This January has been very NOT fun. So you are not alone!
    February is better for me because our daylight is longer, so it’s not dark at 4:30 anymore.
    In any case, I agree that the second month is still hard. Feelings are all over the place.
    Do be very good to yourself!
    Hugs!!!
    xo
    Wendy

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    1. Hi Wendy! Jan and Feb are so rubbish aren’t they? At least it’s getting lighter though, good point! We had a rare sunny day today and I felt so much better, despite bring busy and tired. Us Northern Hemisphere folk all need a little spring sunshine I reckon. Red xx

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  7. Mothers guilt is like Catholic guilt, it’s hard wired into us. Read Taking a New Path, Prim’s post on emotions(still can’t figure out how to link stuff grrrr) In it they talk about how we should experience our emotions in the moment and the return to normal. Like when a child has a tantrum and then it’s over and it’s as if nothing happened. Kids aren’t thinking ‘I wonder if I have traumatised mummy forever by rolling on the floor kicking and screaming and then punching her in the face’ no kids just get over it and return to neutral. Being a mum is really hard and unless you a screaming at them all day every day with no respite for fun mum or tickle time etc then you are probably doing just as well as all the other mums sober or not. Dad’s do not feel guilt for shouting at kids, they may apologise to the kid for shouting but then they let it go. All your emotions are at the very tips of your nerves right now and your nerves are frayed and on high alert anyway. Give yourself time, it’s hard enough being a mum without beating yourself up.
    As for the weather, well I may traumatise you all if I started my rant about that 😡

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  8. Dearest Red- I lost your blog for a while there. Are you transferring it to podcast or something? Anyway feel bad that I’ve not managed to comment for a few days. Hope you’ve had a few good days since you wrote this. Kids are such hard work. I absolutely adore mine but they bring out the worst in me at times. Love Ginger’s comment above about kids getting over their tantrums in seconds and not dwelling on whether they have traumatised Mummy or not. I’m so going to bank that tip. The guilt thing is rife among us Mama’s isn’t it. Anyway Red – I’ll bet you’re an amazing Mummy and you really need to cut yourself some slack. (once again that’s half self talk to myself because I am queen shouty shouter (at times) with my kids – and I’m paranoid that I’m damaging them in some way). I have to say though, that I can definitely feel that I’m calmer with my kids since going AF. And I’ll bet you are too – even though you may not notice it at times. Chin up my lady. Day 42 for me – new record tomorrow – feel kind of excited and proud – even though it’s only my online virtual sober pals who are really aware of this!! Happy Valentines Day to you and Mr Red. Love SFM x

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    1. Thankyou SFM – great to hear from you and glad you’re doing so well!! Congrats on your new record, that’s awesome! Not done anything different with the blog, so that’s strange. Anyway, am still here and will probably post later methinks. Happy Valentine’s right back at you, hope it was a good one!! Red xx

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  9. Hi Red, I am enjoying your blog. I am only on day 2. Well, yesterday I had a hangover so wondering if that counts as day one really. I’m determine today, but will see how I go at 5pm. I’m doing it for my kids too. I, glad I found your blog. Don’t feel so alone now

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    1. Hey there SWE – so good to hear from you!!! I reckon you count from day 1 hangover or not ;-). I hope today is a good day and you’re starting to feel better already? Good luck busting through 5pm. It’s a hard time of day when you have kids. I find playing it forward helps, ie imagining how it would go if I did drink, and how bad I’d feel the next day. Also eating definitely helps me. Sod the calories! Please keep in touch and let me know how you’re getting on. Red xx

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  10. Hey Red, you still alive? Not been caught in friendly cross fire by an errant spud gun shot? Have been cursing on Mummy Was a Secret Drinker’s blog. I hope you and Mr Red and all the little Reds had a good weekend.

    Justonemore

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    1. Ah – hey there Justonemore.. well, please see my latest post; I fear I’ve been rather a fool. Feel free to smack me over the head from afar with a large object of your choice. I hope your weekend was better than mine! Red xx

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      1. Yeah, read your words. Champagne!!! Would have been my poison of choice as well but it was chocolates and fizzy water on Sunday. You’ll be OK. At least you made 40 days. If you can do it once you can do it again but I did have a small spark of envy – which I quickly smashed down with a copy of the AA 12 steps book (sorry AA people – I don’t really have that one).

        Justonemore

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      2. Yeah, please don’t be tempted. I realistically had about 4 hours of fun in total. And I’ve had about 48 waking hours of feeling shit over the last four days. Just not worth it!! I cannot wait to wake up feeling good again, maybe tomorrow. . Red xx

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