Yesterday I had my first experience of drinking after taking a prescribed opiod antagonist, nalmefene.
It was weird, I had all of the feelings of having had a drink, but none of the satisfaction.
I’m going to repeat the process tonight but instead of the usual excitement I feel when looking forward to having a drink, I’m wondering what the point is. I know what will happen; my coordination will go, my thinking will slow, my speech will perhaps become a bit slurred but I won’t get that feeling of relief that I crave and that keeps me coming back for more.
To me, this seems really hopeful. If I can break that emotional link between “mental” relief and drinking then I can start to make rational choices about when and how much I drink.
My worry is, what do I do with the mental itch that the drink has always been used to scratch. I still need to do something to feel normal (whatever that is), but even if I can’t quite figure out what that should be, I know drink never does anything more than give temporary respite at the expense of piling up a whole lot more shit for me to deal with.
When I learned that there was a pill I could take that could allow me to drink but stay in control, it sounded like nirvana. Now after just one day of trying it, I’m learning that, as with any recovery programme, controlling the drinking is the easy part. Learning how to live with me will be the tricky bit!
An hour and a quarter to wait until I am “allowed” my drink…at the moment I’m not even sure I can be bothered. But there is another thing with this approach; if I don’t drink, I can’t get better.
Because the idea is to break the mental association between drinking and feeling ok with the world, I need to go through several cycles of drinking after having taken the pill in order for my brain to learn that that’s no longer the case. If I don’t drink and have this new experience of drinking, then my brain can’t learn anything new.
At the same time I am waiting info about my job, which I may have lost (because of my drinking) and trying to plan a future that works in spite of having lost my career. So I’ve got a lot of shit on my mind at the moment and could really do with that “aaaahhhhh” feeling I expect from a drink. I wonder if that makes it an even better time than “normal” to re-train my brain in this new way of being.
Bit of a stream of consciousness today…maybe things will seem a bit more ordered later.