Note to Claire

Dear Claire (Nov 2017 – May 2019)

I know you are feeling totally lost and pretty much alone right now. I know you can’t see a way out and this feels never ending. If I could send a letter back in time to reassure you I would. I’d promise you that it will and it does get better.

I don’t know why it happened to you, this anxiety and depression. I’ve tried and tried to pick out one occasion, one single cause, one momentous event but to no avail. There is nowhere to lay the blame and right now you are placing it firmly at your own door. Try not to do that. None of this was your fault. There were many triggers and it was a spiralling road downwards. You can’t stop something that you aren’t aware is happening. You do become aware though Claire and you begin to make changes that turn it around. So have faith in yourself and your own strength.

What would I advise? I’d definitely tell you to stay well away from a few people who appear/reappear at this time. You will invite them in with open arms because you need and crave attention and what you believe is love and friendship. It will almost destroy your self confidence and the cycle of them being there for you and then withdrawing will only serve to confuse you and undermine your self belief. Try to remember, how people treat you is more important than how much you like them. Say ‘no’ to toxic people Claire. Don’t allow them to ‘persuade’ you into situations and circumstances that you know are wrong and are not congruent with who you are inside. That mismatch increases anxiety tenfold and these people thrive on your anxiety, having control and playing the game. Losing certain people might feel like a hole in your heart but it won’t last long and is replaced by a sense of calm that will blow you away.

I would also tell you that you will find ‘true’ people. Learn to identify who they are and stop giving your heart and soul to those that aren’t ‘true’.

Give up alcohol. As soon as you feel ready, do it. Don’t waste any more time pouring the poison down your throat. For every ‘buzz’ it gives you, it takes away something so much more important, part of you. The internal battle you are constantly experiencing, where your outsides don’t match your insides, that disappears as soon as you remove booze from your life. I know you won’t believe me but giving it up brings so many unexpected pleasures and positives to your life.

I’d tell you to give yourself a break. To sleep when you need to, to let the house get messy, to allow yourself time to heal. Take the antidepressants. This happened but you are not a failure. You’ve made some shit choices and decisions along the way and recognising that will be the moment you start to pull yourself out, the moment the fog clears and the moment Claire begins to reappear.

More than anything I’d tell you that you are a good person with some amazing qualities and that a few mistakes do not define you. Forgive yourself. I, your future Claire, am proud of you and all you have achieved. Hang on in there … this too shall pass.

Love Claire (Jan 2020) xxx

9 weeks sober (64 days)

Published by clairei47

My name is Claire. I am a mum, a wife and I work for the NHS. For as long as I can remember I have drank alcohol and my relationship with it has become increasingly complex over recent years. I’m 47 and I want to be physically and mentally healthy. I want to be present in my life and enjoy the journey, not drown it out with wine and hangovers. I have decided to detail how things progress via this blog. I know nothing about blogging but I think support from others is essential. Maybe one day I can help someone with my story. I started my sober journey on 17th November 2019; long may it continue.

20 thoughts on “Note to Claire

  1. This is so amazing, Claire! Truly beautiful, and I am so glad you are proud of yourself. You should be! You did it! You pulled yourself out of that dark place, and now look at you!! You rock. You are so kind and loving and thoughtful and funny. I can’t even imagine how those supposed friends could hurt you like that, and it makes me angry just thinking about it! But no matter now. You are doing so great! 9 weeks! Woo hoo! xoxo ❤️🤗🥳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. What lovely things to say, I suppose there are people who are drawn to others when they are vulnerable and that’s what happened to me. My mind was too cloudy and muddled to see straight and view situations clearly. It was really unhelpful but I’ve definitely learnt from the experience. You are really too kind xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! It is only by looking back that we can see how far you’ve come. I’m glad you’re in a better place now…not perfect, I know…but making forward progress. Can I ask you if you feel like your depression/anxiety has gotten better since you stopped drinking? Xx
    Collette

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely it’s got better. I was improving after antidepressants but even 5 months into those I didn’t feel ‘better’ as such. The change absolutely came when stopped drinking. It was miraculous.. that’s the only way I can describe it. It is important to remember that once I stopped drinking I also stopped engaging with toxic people in the same way. I felt I needed that less. So it all probably contributed. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Thank you for sharing. I was able to stop taking my medication for anxiety and depression after I stopped drinking. It does feel miraculous, but also makes sense when you consider how much alcohol worsens anxiety and depression. 💕👍🏻

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 😊
      I wrote it for just for myself initially, not something I’m in the habit of as I don’t keep a journal. I thought posting on my blog would be a good record for me personally. Hope you are ok xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Claire I’m feeling pretty damn good! The retreat was amazingly restorative. I read back over my posts occasionally – helps me keep perspective and also recognise what I have managed and also where I get stuck xx💞💞

        Liked by 1 person

  3. holy shit Claire that was such an excellent, real and insightful letter. you really can be proud of your past and present selves ❤ I wish I was able to have that kind of self-compassion in the past 🙂 keep going !!! xxx Anne

    Liked by 1 person

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