Archive for the ‘Anxiety’ Category

Fear of Missing Out

Posted: November 17, 2012 in Anxiety, Oh woe is poor little me

A friend diagnosed me to the tee today. She knows me better than I do. I know I have the FOMO syndrome. I always think that my friends/Porra/the cats/the domestic/the neighbours are all having a fabulous happy life and somehow left me behind and forgotten about me. That I am alone in the world.

To me silence is not golden. A quiet cellphone is not a blessing. It signals everyone else is just too fucking busy being happy.

This became very apparent to be recently when I hadn’t heard much from a good friend for a couple of months. The logical side of my brain knows, but conveniently forgets the fact that she is a) married b) has two children c) has – in the last six months – bought a retail shop that is open seven days a week. Mostly until 7pm each night d) her elderly mother has been recently widowed and relies on her plenty.

I know all of these things, but my emotional brain thinks she is super content and carrying on a champagne squilling, Lindt ball scoffing, socially packed life without me. Because…..I’m not worth it. I admit I have had a good cry about it on a few occassions.

When I did eventually hook up with said friend, the true story is that she’s been battling her own shit and probably has an equal amount of shit on her plate as I do.

Silence from friends means I go off into my head jumping to the wrong  conclusion about me and what I mean to them or is there room for me in said friends life. Sounds very self centred I know. It really is just a really crap self esteem.

I don’t necessary want to be out living it up at fancy smancy restaurants or being at functions all the time. The Fear of Missing Out feelings I feel are more along the emotionally abandoned genre. That I crave the feeling of being liked and loved and wanted. I don’t care if we play Snap ! and have coffee  and a ciggie. It’s the emotional connection that I FOMO about. Not wanting  to feel left out because I’m not good enough.

The feeling of FOMO comes and goes. I don’t feel it all the time. If I am feeling happy and contented and connected to people, a visit to Facebook will not “hurt” me………. but I’m feeling abandoned, bored, lonely and sorry for myself, Facebook is not the place for me to be trawling !

As a matter of self-help investigation, I googled “Fear of Missing Out” and there’s is plenty of information on  it and why Facebook et al makes it worse.

But googling “Cure for Fear of Missing Out” yields a big fat zero.

Anyone got the cure ?! Please share.

Wine would probably work. Because then you don’t give a shit what anyone else is up to.


I am still on my sober “plak” and haven’t had a drink for 16 days straight today ! Before that  was 21 days I think.

Not drinking is rather difficult, but the benefits are that I feel very healthy. I feel like I suppose a vegetarian or vegan would feel.  Like I am not putting poison into my body.

I bumped up my meeting attendance to three last week and have found that each meeting venue is different. Some seem to be for older folks and some are for the young and funky and some inbetween.

I thought I fitted in at the young and funky meeting. Porra did remind me however that I am not young and funky anymore (thanks Porra).

I have also read that you cannot diagnose any mental disorders (like depression, anxiety etc) until you are 3 months sober ! I haven’t been three months sober since I was 15 !!!!!

An unexpected side effect is that my anxiety seems to be decreasing. Perhaps because I am not anxious about only being able to have one  or two drinks at a social occasion  (?)- a rule I set myself pre-AA and that I repeatedly fail. Perhaps because I’m not worrying about wine and when is Friday night going to get here.

I’ve set myself all sorts of rules in the past which I’ve broken. Only drink light breezers alco-pop type drinks, one cooldrink inbetween each glass of wine…….straight strong wine always won hands down.

Tweenie has seen me reading AA books over the last few weeks. And says “Mom, you can drink if you like”. She says she sees it makes me happy.

Awful hey.

Tweenie and I have been doing quite a lot of work on our relationship lately

She will only be a Tweenie until midnight 1 August 2012 so I will have to think up another nickname for her.

Tweenie and I have seen a proper psychiatrist for a second opinion. The first opinion being ADD and bump up her meds to perhaps include a SSRI. The second opinion is that she may not actually be ADD and that her lack of concerntration could be to do with her chronic anxiety. The shrink left her on the same medication which is for anxiety and ADD, but has topped it up with a night mini dose (no SSR!). I do not what has worked…….the counselling or the meds, but Tweenie’s anxiety has also been on the decrease.

We have also been seeing a counsellor together and I proposed to the counsellor that perhaps Tweenie and I are more like sisters that parent and child. Why I say this is because Tweenie has no-one to fight with like you do when you have a sibling.

I remember some real humdinger physical fights with sisters and brothers. Tweenie and I argue alot, but not when Papa Smurf Porra is around. Once the counsellor confirmed that could be the nature of our relationship as we have been together on our own for years…..we have both been able to understand the dynamic between us…..and things are easier.

It’s easier to understand “us” if we know we are in an unique relationship and not stereotypical mother and child.

Day 30 sober is quite a biggie in AA…..I’ve been told not to worry about it and just to focus on getting into bed sober each night.

Getting into bed sober as we speak,\.





Because my juice of choice is wine, it does lead to misconceptions of grandeur in my own head. It does always seem elegant yes ? Let’s get “elegantly wasted” as INXS said.

I live in the one of the wine capitals of the world, Cape Town ! The start of the wine route is a ten minute drive down the road. My name means “goddess of wine”. If I am an alcoholic, it would have to be WINE !

I do not miss beer. I do not miss cane. I do not miss vodka. I do not miss Old Brown Sherry. I do not miss breezers.

I could quite easily dodge doing anything about my drinking. I don’t get into too much trouble around it. Porra only flips out now and then. My work is not affected except for the very odd day twice a year when I have a week day hangover <I am a weekend drinker usually>. Tweenie does not mind me drinking. She actually encourages it as she says it makes me smile and seem happy. That is quite sad in itself. That my child says I seem happiest when half way down a bottle of River Red.

I do not have many current day consequences around my drinking because of one factor. Porra. Although he abhors drinking, he unwittingly enables me. He is a non-alcoholic and has unwittingly become my nominated sober driver when I am in the need for a four glass/one bottle of wine evening.

The questions that helped me solve my 5 year riddle, Am I an Alcoholic ?

Here in A.A., we practise abstinence. Can you abstain from alcohol? And if so, when you’re sober, do you miss drinking? And when you start to drink, say you plan just to have a couple, are there occasions when you drink more than what you planned and know is good for you?

These are just general questions to ponder; in A.A. no-one tells another that they’re alcoholic – we just try to help provide the information so anyone can make up there own minds.

Like it says………no-one can tell me whether or not I am an alcoholic. In fact, some of my friends have told me “bullshit, you’re not an alcoholic”

But I answer yes to all these questions and I am the one that wants to make a change and not self medicate on wine to relax and cope.

I’m on day 7 of abstaining.

It’s not easy. I’m fine when at home or work, but socialising is a bitch. I got hugely anxious at a social gathering today. Wine takes the edge off socialising. I’ve known the host for over 20 years so you think it would all be a breeze…..

But with a lot of my life, wine and champers is perhaps the glue that holds us together. Them in a non-alcoholic manner you understand !

I’m also co-dependant though and feel the need for socialising and interaction.

So stuck somewhere is social no-mans-land at the moment.

Craving a social life, but finding it difficult at the same time.

The best recovery advice I have received in the last 6 months is from the freaking You magazine of  all places.

The article suggested giving up alcohol for a month and based on the outcome of this, determine your relationship with said booze.

I managed to get up to day 20. Not too difficult, but much more difficult that I thought.

After three weeks of mostly work, a few meetings, parental duties and not much socialising, we went to a friend’s house for dinner. I mistakenly thought I could handle “just one drink”. I didn’t even take a bottle of something with me to lessen the chances of me getting alcohol down my gullet.

The evening after 11pm is abit of a blur. I remember grabbing my handbag. I remember getting into bed, but I don’t remember the ride home.

With insight from sitting in a few AA meetings and being a little active on a great recovery forum, I realise that I have no control once I “take my first drink”. That yet again I “drank more than I planned to”.

These are all “you are an alcoholic” symptoms.

I woke up with dread at 3am on the Sunday. With the familiar “oh no !” feeling.

Here I am, trying to remain sober and failing. I do not drink like a normal person. I never have. A normal person can take a drink and perhaps have two. Not me.

A real stumbling block for me is my parents alcoholism. They were the vodka on the cornflakes type.  My step father turned abusive and violent when drunk. And well you all know, he liked to fiddle sexually with me when on the juice. My mother – well towards the end – she had a drink or two before work.

My concept or misconceptions of alcoholism is that you have to be “as above”.

I’m not. Unconsciously…I was very sly and became a different type of alcoholic. A Friday night alcoholic. And it has been progressing past just Friday nights….and oozing over into other nights…

I never wanted to be like my parents. And I lived up to that. Does not mean I am not similar.

Sunday morning after fretting for what felt like eternity, I woke Porra up.

I think I am an alcoholic !!! I bleated.

No shit ! He replied.

This two sentence conversation may seen little and not worth much, but although I have been surmising and humming and harring here about my addict status and shared with you that I’ve been going to a few AA meetings, little old Porra has been in the dark.

I realised I have not confided in him before now because this would mean he would expect me to be accountable and stick to the AA program of abstinence (gulp !!!!).  Once I am honest with him, I can no longer have one foot on the alcohol party bus.

After this weekend’s experiment of controlled drinking (which failed) I feel more convinced that I am an alcoholic.

My misconceptions of alcoholism are still rather firmly entrenched around my parents  drinking patterns.

Because I am “not as bad as them” I’ve been in denial.

The only judge of how bad an alcoholic I am will surely rest with Tweenie one day.

(this time round…..I went through a batch a couple of years ago)

….was freaking scary. I just wanted to run away. I could smell someone’s booze breath in my vicinity. This is “allowed” although if a person has had a drink, they are not meant to “share” as it would be the alcohol speaking and not the person.

Last night was my second meeting. Not half as scary. I’m starting to feel more relaxed. Slightly. Which means I am not off in my head worrying during the meeting.

“the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking”. Yes. That’s me.

What scale of alcoholic I am or am not does not matter, I have realised. That was what I was all hinged on. Whether I am or not.

It doesn’t matter.

My desire is to stop drinking.

Boss invited me out for a glass of wine at lunch time. This was quite an honour as she is rather “high up” in the company and I am a mere underling.

Old me would have loved it……the comradie around having a glass of sneaky vino with the boss…….being part of the inner management circle.

Took quite a bit of balls to decline feigning too much work.

16 days sober.

Not just wine sober.

All alcohol sober.

Feeling physically clean from the inside out.

My mental need to be sober wavers now and then, but I am choosing to stay off the juice one day a time.

Only I know how low I’ve stooped to get an extra glass of wine or three into my throat. Did you know that Porra does not notice wine if you put it into a coffee mug after you get home from dinner on a Friday ? You didn’t know that. But I do !

Is being sober a tad boring ? Hell  yes. I’d much rather be at book club quaffing Alto Rouge than  in bed with my kindle and not-very-sexy-flannel-pajamas on my lonesome.

But I feel ……I don’t know what I feel……but I feel like this is something I am meant  to do. For me. And for Tweenie. I am handling Tweenie much better.

There’s a saying in biking “keep the rubber on the tarmac”. or “keep the sticky side down”…keeping upright and on the road

Any the hoo….

I am abit of a Doris. I have been in therapy and in recovery of one sort of another for over 20 years.

I have the winning formula on how to stay sane……but I repeatedly try and tweak it a little ……just a tweak here and a tweak there.

Diddy’s Winning Formula

<this is the current winning 2012 edition of the formula by the way …and is subject to change… any time……this is a mental health blog after all…..and that’s how it rolls>

  • do not date anyone who has a more serious mental disorder than yours. The “better half” must really be that. The Better Half
  • do not date anyone who takes more drugs or drinks more alcohol than you do
  • do not date anyone who has been to rehab. They are complicated and were not there because they were misunderstood by their ex and/or family. You “get” him ? So you can fix him ? No. It does not work like that. Run a mile  sweetie.
  • date a man that is kind to animals. It shows inner compassion and softness
  • stay on your meds. Yes. You do need them. You think you don’t need them because they are working you Doris.
  • go to meetings. AA. Adult Child, CODA….sheesh a church cell group. It doesn’t matter. Get your ass into something spiritual. Yes. Every week. Yes, it’s a cold freaking church. You’ll get over it. They have free coffee. Put on a beanie and off you go.



I’ve decided to eventually admit I lean on wine too much. And that I drink it in an unhealthy way.

There I said it. At last.

Other ladies at book club may be able to have one glass and feel fulfilled. I don’t. I need my whistle to be wetted continually and I feel a panic at the thought of only being “allowed” one glass of wine. Ever. One glass of wine doesn’t cut it with me.

When Porra suggests we go for “a” drink, I think “one”? What’s the point ?

This Friday was slightly tough. We usually make our way to our local pitza place or sushi bar where my attention is more on my three big glasses of wine than the food. I planned a small excursion out to get takeaways and then we settled in for a warm cozy evening on the couch. No wine in hand. No wine in cupboard.

As you may recall, I love the Graham Norton show. My “list” for my Friday night tipple led me to notice – with a sense of loss – that Graham Norton allows himself and his guests to quaff wine on set.

One day at a time. Saying goodbye forever to red wine, dry white and Pongraz is too much of not a nice thought.

Au naturel Diddy is not necessary a pleasant experience.

I am feeling sensitive (I had a good idea about something – that the whole company will do because it’s a good  fecking idea – s0 my boss called me a brown noser last week which hurt all day. I am humming and haring whether I should tell her it was not “on”)

…on edge all the time (especially around my boss)

… my head and over analysing (I have quite a stressful job and cannot tell if my anxiety is job appropriate or whether it is Diddy being Diddy)

……plenty of stored up anger and irritation bubbling under the surface (fucked off at the world Emo style)

I’m using wine more and more to cope. Not copious amounts you understand, but this week – two or three glasses twice in a week to take the edge off. Thursday evening Porra bought a bottle of white home at my plea that “I’m stressed !

Friday night I had my usual three glasses with dinner….If truth be told, I only organise the meal out so I can have my wine. I have no interest in the food.

I’m very aware that my alcohol intake has upped from once a week Friday. Mother is needing more of Mother’s Little Helper.

This is not feeling healthy at all to me. It’s a backwards step in my recovery.

I’ve heard before that once you are an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. I had a chat with someone in AA a couple of weeks ago about binge drinking AA style. This – he explained to me – is binge drinking without consideration for the consequences…..chaotic drinking…..unhealthy and risky behaviours….bar hopping perhaps…..bingeing

I can say that yes……I have been a binge drinker AA style. Before.

I did a full purging confessional to Lady Gandalf once of all my drinking sins.

Ignoring my single days before Tweenie – when I was into heavy drinking and any drugs available, I was an AA style binge drinker from around 2002 – 2007 (I’m looking at my notes I  made for the Lady Gandalf session as we speak).

I really only cleaned up my act when I went into adult child recovery in 2007 and a couple of months later met Porra.

I am too embarrassed to purge my binge drinking sins here in internet land. Let that stay in Lady Gandalf’s ears. It was awful to recount it at the time and I realised how much damage I had caused to Tweenie. I have no idea why I thought it was acceptable at the time to behave it such a selfish way with regards to Tweenie. I was hugely in denial and no-one in my life ever stood up and said “hey man, this is not right”. I’m not saying it’s anyone else’s job to reprimand me. It’s just when I was in that lifestyle, I surrounded myself with similar beings so I was nothing out-of-the-ordinary driving home snot-fok-drunk or taking a pass out snooze in the back of my car in a really rough neighbourhood.

Even at the height of my coke addiction when going to work was not a priority, no-one ever said  anything. I wonder why.

Anythehoo. My point is I am not back there. I feel in my life there has been varying degrees of alcohol and drug abuse…..and I’m not in that space right now.

If coming off meds is making me resort back to unhealthy coping behaviours then probably not  being on meds is not the brightest idea of the year.

So why don’t I just stop drinking ? It’s been a pretty much constant crutch since I was 16.

Mother is scared of a life without Mother’s Little Helper.

My eyes are abit swollen and tired today. I cried myself to sleep. Wet snotty tissue in my paw. Luckily Porra gets me and didn’t think I was crying over my long lost love Tweenie’s Dad. He understood. Understood that I feel alone in the world again without mummy and daddy figures.

I’ve been a part of Tweenie’s Dad’s family since 1996. That’s……<get’s out fingers and toes and a calculator>…..16 years. I’ve always coped in my head that …yes …. I don’t have contact with my real mother and father….and Tweenie’s Dad’s parents where kind of my backup plan.

I’ve kind of piggybacked Tweenie’s family and now I am feeling an incredible loss. I feel such hurt….<I did follow my own advice and checked my hormonal cycle and yes I also have PMS!>

The one year Porra and I even drove down to them and spent christmas with them as their own children were off doing their own thing.

It all boils down to mummy and daddy issues as usual.

I’m losing a family (again). Hard to swallow, but the tears are starting to dry up.

Yes, we’ve been broken up for over 11 years.

Tweenie’s Dad.

Why my eyes are moist I have no idea.

I was already having a crappy day. Some arsehole left a screwdriver in the road and it ended up in my tyre. Porra to the rescue  ! (he was there is lightning speed. He should really invest in a cape!)

My anxiety was at 120% already.

I feel sad Tweenie’s Dad is getting married. Moist eyes while eating speckled eggs. Not sure why I have feelings about this. Part of me is angry that he just carries on with his life no matter what crisis Tweenie is in.

Just gone to the shops and got a big box of Biral (herbal tranquilizer) and a big bag of speckled eggs.