Feeling like a grown-up, Alcohol Edition

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I have a drinking problem

That feels weird writing and even weirder seeing it written down. Why is it so hard to write about addictions and alcohol? Why is there such a taboo about this topic?

Oh well maybe because it forces you to deal with my innermost insecurities and fears to get to the bottom of the problem.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I have a drinking problem, in so far as that I get a deadly hangover the day after, vomiting violently about every 30mins for up to 12 hours. I can’t keep any food or liquids inside. Believe me I tried, more than a teaspoon of water is already too much. When it’s really bad I am still exhausted the day after the hangover. Turns out that not being able to eat and being dehydrated for an entire day ist pretty strenuous.

The weird part is that sometimes I can drink like a lumberjack and not have any problems at all and one time I was knocked out for one and a half days from one beer.

My mother always urged me to stop drinking altogether, but that was hard. Giving up drinking with my friends and strangers would have meant to becoming even weirder and not feel part of the group. Not to mention the justification. Everyone would congratulate you if you’d stopped smoking, but if you stopped drinking for your health’s sake, people will look at you funny and you need to explain yourself a lot. And still not get any recognition or understanding. It’s so fucked up.

Over the time I noticed some patterns emerging, it got better once I moved out of my hometown, the frustration of living in a small town where everyone except my closest friends knew me as the daughter of or later still the sister from … was annoying as hell. I would still have some bad hangovers after I moved out, but they seemed less frequent. But whenever I came back to participate in some of the village festivities like Schützenfest, I mostly got those hangovers. This is hard to explain in english, I linked to the wikipedia article above, but let’s just say there were a bunch of people around I superficially know, only meet when they are drunk and just don’t enjoy the company of. Like the rural version of Here from Alessia Cara (love the song, btw)

I had to learn the very hard way to detach myself from these situations and just not go the event xyz just because people were expecting it of me. And I am still not sure if it was expected of me or if I just thought it was expected of me. But there were different situations as well without any perceived pressure from my family but only internal pressure to perform and look happy when all I wanted was to stay in and read a book or sleep.

Some lessons I took away from 10 years of violent hangovers:

  • You have to listen to yourself closely, if you are somewhere you don’t want to be, don’t drown that feeling in alcohol but instead leave earlier or not go at all
  • It is okay if you can not and will not drink as much as the boys
  • Don’t just eat a frigging salad, but a plate of pasta before you go out
  • Stick to one type of liquor, I swear by WodkaSoda
  • Beer before liquor, never been sicker ; liquor before beer all in the clear
  • Be kind to yourself if you relapse
  • But analyse what the circumstances where so you can avoid them in the future

 

Cheers to knowing yourself and to self-care

moi pink

picture courtesy of tumblr
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Part IV: Finally changing my life

Changing my life

This is Part IV of a little mini series where I try to share with you how I came from trying to fulfill everyone’s expectations to setting my own rules and started to not only breathe but live. If you are interested you can also read Part I , Part II and Part III.

Making that change in life

In the last part I told you how a therapist put my distorted views into perspective and the internal struggle I had to overcome in order to finally being able to say that I wanted to change my life and truly believe that I am not a prisoner of my current circumstances.

The talk with my parents was in November and in early January I went to my boss and we had a meeting about my contract, which would have ended in March. He named the meeting “permanent contract”. His opening statement, before I even had the time to sit down was that he would be able to get a permanent contract for me asking the executive board for an exemption from the company wide “hiring and prolongation ban”. Ending his introduction by:’ that is if you even want to stay here’

I told him No, but …

My aspiration is to start a full-time master degree, but I could only do that if I wouldn’t have to pay back the study fees which the company paid for my bachelor degree.

After putting this proposal through various committees I signed a follow-up contract until June so that there was time to find and train a replacement and then I was free!

Leaving my old life behind and still not knowing what would come then

I felt so good and relieved and free after that only interrupted at times by worries about getting accepted at a university and of course the financing, because even though I had put aside some money during my three years of working there I would still need some more to get me completely through my masters degree.

I eventually came up with the conclusion that in order to cut out the stress of having to rely on my dad I will do this on my own and finance myself. I think it took me about eight or nine moths to come to this revelation. To stop blaming myself for having started the dual study programme so that he wasn’t obliged to finance me further, even though he did not finance my first education. Being pissed at my brother for being how he is and that he is able to live with the pressure of having his support cut off. Being pissed at both my parents for financing my brother a flat in the very town where both of them live. Whilst I waited to move out from home until I had finished my apprenticeship and had serious moolah at my disposition so that I could finance my own way of living.

But I overcame all those shitty, negative thoughts and decided that it would be best for my own mental health and overall well-being to continue my path as an independent woman.

I first told my stepmum that I will not ask my dad for financial support and she encouraged me to tell him, saying that he would be positively surprised and proud of me. When I did tell him he was really baffled, mind you the inner battles that I fought over this matter was something he and no one really knew of, so his last status was that I wanted to sue him for the money…

Now I am sitting at my desk in my new home in a small university town and I am still proud of my decision to quit my previous job, but university turned out a bit harder than I thought, but I will leave an exploration of those struggles and doubts for another post.

Changing my life in the sense that I finally took ownership of my own decisions and stopped blaming the circumstances is what I believe to have made me a grown-up. And even though it took me nearly five years of struggle I am proud to be able to say that I am where I am because of me and the work I have put and will continue to put  into myself and my relationship with myself and the world.

Have any of you made similar life changing decisions and did it take you so long to come to these decisions as well?

Picture by me feel free to use it as your wallpaper

Not a digital-native after all

Twitter_75only75

Hey Gals,

as some might have noticed I installed the twitter widget and I am now even planning on using Twitter [had already an account for the blog, strategic marketing minx that I am,  but never used it] !

The trigger to take action with Twitter was because I was mentioned in this tweet, which landed in my e-mail inbox. And it got me freaked out, I did just not and still don’t, understand what that means.

What is paper.li ? Am I considered an adult ? I am not even 25 ! I am in grad school, that’s hardly considered adult learning, is it? Still so confused..

But as it is with Social Media: it set me under pressure to act. I logged in and than sat paralyzed in front of my screen just staring blankly at the Twitter GUI. And it just felt overwhelming. What is all this : retweet , fave, and what about the @ in front of my name and what does this even mean?

Then I sent an emercency text to my best friend and the only person I know  using twitter and she didn’t respond right away. So after waiting 5mins, still staring blankly at the screen I just came over my fear of the unknown technology thingy in front of me. Remebering that I had the same paralyzying deer-in-headlights feeling when I first joined Facebook some years ago was very helpful, because now I am a facebook whiz [yepp, modesty is not my strenght]

So I ignored the confusing tweet, looked at my Interwebz hero Sarah von Bargen from yesandyes.org tweets, saw that she was looking for new style bloggers, recommended Sarah from Sarah’s Real Life. Got an immediate response from Sarah vB, saw that, had to restrain myself hard from jumping up and down and just acting like a crazy fan girl [see Jess below].

newgirl gif

Then Sarah RL responded (do you still say that with Twitter?) and started to follow me [at this point I was resembling Nick in the GIF above]

And BOOM now I am in love with Twitter, especially because I don’t know how this new Facebook policy http://www.yesandyes.org/2014/01/7-ways-to-work-around-fact-that.html  would affect my blog’s Facebook page ( Which I can’t even find on Facebook [Still not taking back the Facebook whiz, when in doubt blame the algorithm 🙂 ]… and I don’t even recommend “liking” me over there, because I only have the post updates going up…) .

But, back to Twitter

Only negative thing, the 140 character limit, I tend to write a lot more. But I will tackle this as another challenge and a good writing excercise in being concise.

So can you make any sense of the tweet? Hints are very welcome in the comment section and tell me your two cents about Twitter and embracing new technologies into your life.

gif courtesy of vulture.com

Holy Moly I did it – the big step that changed my life

Not my granddad's garden, but it looks pretty similiar

Holy Moly, I did it !

I did it, i turned my life upside down, quit my job, moved back to my hometown to live with my granddad. And the odds of getting into my favourite grad school, any grad school at all, turn out to become smaller any day that’s passing. {Update I did get into one!}

Doing it right

I always figured that I did everything right, in “their” mind whoever you want “them” to be. And almost immediately I hated it. Half a year before I even finished high school, I got the offer of a “dual studies” programme with a coal-trading company. I happily took it, being the type A personality that I was back then and needing the security of knowing what the next step would be.

When I started this programme consisting of an apprenticeship for the first two years and after that a full-time position within the company, all while going to university lectures 2-3 times in the evening and on most Saturdays, I immediately hated it. I didn’t like the general management stuff they taught us at university and I felt not needed and bored during the apprenticeship.

After convincing myself that I just needed an adjustment phase and that afterwards the big career I always wanted during high school would await me. Money to buy Jimmy Choos, get a BMW Z8, fancy designer clothes, etc. Needless to say when I envisioned that I was a clueless high schooler, pumped up on talk about the demographic shift and how we are the Generation that can choose their employers freely.

After sometime I just couldn’t take it any more and I started to plan my “escape” (I will blog about the detailed process in an upcoming mini series)

Now that I have “escaped” and things do not go according to plan, again, I still feel calm. I am full of confidence in my decision, my future, and most important of all, I am full of confidence in myself.

That is when I don’t get a letter of decline from a grad school that I thought to be a sure candidate….

But after watching bad TV for an entire day and nearly crying in the car, the next day I was okay again. Now I am sitting here in my new favourite spot to write, in my granddad’s big garden and…

I am so happy and proud of me that I did it, that I let go of my unfullfilling day job and started anew.

moi pink

PS: I wrote this piece while on my blogging-hiatus so it’s probably a bit confusing. Because I did get into grad school after all, but I just wanted to share this article with you nonetheless.

picture courtesy of jour de pluie via Ilorias hub