Dark Mood

dark mood

What if I had succeeded in my first attempt to stay sober ?

Today would be day 1,001. Instead I only have 136 days. This is because I am useless. I will fail again. see what I should have achieved? Others could have done that. Its just you, 

This is me today. That narky voice in my ear that moves from contemplation of the potential 1000 day celebration, to the critical, to the blaming and personally nasty … I’m in that kind of mood today. Self critical, nothing quite good enough. Irritable.

In this mood I am a FAILURE. As a person, as a mother, a partner, as a daughter, sister, friend, doctor, colleague, employer, blogger and student. Just NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

I’ve kind of got used to these mood swings. If I am honest they are less frequent than they were. These days of intense self loathing come along less often, but the depth of personal chastisement and feeling of displacement is not any less intense.  And  I remain at a loss to deal with them effectively, terminate them, or harness my feelings in any useful way at all. Its almost like a thunderstorm – you just have to wait for it to pass. I have also failed to notice the developing signs, anticipate it, or mitigate it in any way at all.

What I most hate about these black moods is the accompanying feeling of agitation and inability to settle to anything . For the rest of today I will be padding back and forth, fretting about things that need doing, fretting about money, finding fault with everything internally, (I probably wont say anything except perhaps to hapless son No2 who is the only one home at the moment). Nothing will distract me enough to calm me, ‘nice things; like sketching / painting will be dismissed because “there’s no point, I can’t do it”; planning and making lists – which normally soothes me – will seem too much like hard work. Anything useful like cleaning the floor / doing the washing will be angrily rejected.

No, probably what I will do when I get home is sit in a corner of a sofa , fret and seethe until I drag myself off to bed and seek some oblivion in sleep. Mr Lily might ask me what’s wrong and I will glare at him and say ” NOTHING”, even though its perfectly obvious something IS.. But I am quite unable to articulate the depth of despair that is gnawing at the bottom of my soul and the chasm of anxiety/agitation/irritation that opens up on days like that.

Sometimes I think THIS is why I drank. To get rid of THIS. But its not. I know that drinking WOULD get rid of THIS (at least for today) but It wouldn’t solve any other issues,and THIS would return tomorrow.

Today, actually NOW as I am writing this post, I am wondering if THIS mood is actually the clarity I spend a long time trying to avoid. If it actually comes along when I can no longer ignore the internal debate.

Naturally I’m an optimist, and reasonably good tempered, I also ignore things I don’t want to face. Demands I don’t want to make. Ultimatums I don’t want to issue or confront, or even think about. Things I want so desperately, from other people, but feel I, little worthless me, has no right to ask for or expect. Then a little defiant voice inside says ” why NOT you?” Why DON’T you deserve these things ? Why should you settle for things that make you unhappy ? (I’ve coloured my little inside voice orange, for no reason other than that I like it) Things I don’t have explanations for despite asking for them. Perhaps this mood comes from the recognition that I’m tired of having MY FEELINGS and needs treated as less important that everyone else’s, and fed up of just giving way to it for an easy life….

Maybe this black horrible mood comes from recognizing that I stuff down my anger and resentment and frustration for an easy life.

Maybe if I look at it that way, at least some of THIS mood is both understandable and predicable. Still no idea how to deal with it. These are the habits of a life time



  1. You haven’t failed at anything. The past 1001 days has been your journey so far. During that time you made great steps toward your sobriety. You succeeded at your goals and when you failed, you realized it and tried again. You’re still here and you’re still working hard. It’s something you should be proud of. Plus, 136 days in a row is pretty fucking great. Before you know it you’ll be at half a year. — as for the things you want from other people — ask for it. You do deserve it. And if you can’t put a voice to it for whatever reason, write it down, email it, text it. Just ask. You’d be amazed at how others respond when you just tell / ask them what you want / need. =)

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  2. 136 days is good. We alcoholics suffer from heightened anxiety at moon phases 30 days, 60, 90 120 etc I’m told. I suffer with this stuff sometimes and I hate when I become irritable and blow up on my partner for something small, absolutely detest when I become this irritable, sulky moaning person. It sucks. I am getting better at spotting when I start to get like this and now it’s like “ah I recognise you” Sometimes what we think isn’t real, it’s just that self critical voice. I find 20 minutes meditation in the morning sets me up well for the day…and while it doesn’t always mean I’ll stay calm and collected and energised for the day, it does definitely help me. Enjoyed the read. All the best. Be kind to yourself.


  3. I hate that voice that comes along and tells me I am a failure. According to him I would have been a success if only….blah blah blah. We do the best we can.

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  4. I thought that by now all this would be a thing of the past (59 days) but I am in the same place, right now today. It doesn’t make it any better but I suppose it helps to understand. Oh dear, I can’t imagine it going on for months. The thing is I feel so lonely.

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    • Are you lonely in “real life” or are there people around you but you are struggling to communicate? It’s hard to feel alone either way – I know the sober ‘on line’ community is not the same, but we are all here for you Max, and we DO understand the loneliness of a drink problem. Hugs Lily 🌷x


  5. I also get the cranky, everything feels pointless phases but they always pass. It sucks while it’s happening but I suppose it’s inevitable we’ll struggle with these feelings if we’ve been drowning them for so long. Take care, hugs x

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    • I really hate it, but oddly, posting about it helped lift my mood, and last night was not a bad as I feared.
      For me it’s partly the wave of ’emotion’ I find hard I think, as I so often bury what I FEEL… Thanks for your support. Lily 🌷x

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  6. This may sound weird but to me this is a positive post. Vocalising and starting to recognise what made you drink, or that there is something – and you’re ready to tackle that without booze.

    No failure. It’s about the present and where you’re going… Just baby steps!

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