I really hope that you can help me. My last long term relationship ended 4 years ago. We were together for 7 years. The problem I have is finding someone that I’m attracted to who is also attracted to me and not sabotaging the relationship.For the past year or so I have been going out socially 3 or 4 nights each week and as of today I realized that my drinking is causing me to act very irresponsibly to the point of totally ruining any hopes of a loving relationship. Last night, after a wonderful date, I ended up kissing a mutual friend right in front of my date.I never thought I would hit such a low in my morals but it happened. What was meant to be an innocent peck goodbye turned not so innocent. I drink soda usually once a week but when I drink alchohol my inhibitions hit the cellar.I am a very lonely woman and I feel so desperate at times. With this new found realization I’ve decided not to socialize so often. . . maybe even only once or twice a month because I just don’t trust myself anymore. I’ve dated several men at a time, which I hate doing, but I feel so alone.When one man can’t spend an evening with me, I call another. Some of them know each other also, and I feel it’s only a matter of time before they compare notes.I’m going to take some time off from dating also for awhile and see if I can regroup and feel good about myself again. Since my social life isn’t going to be as it’s been maybe you can suggest other ways for me to meet that special someone and maybe with not drinking I won’t sabotage a good thing.I also need to find something else to occupy my free time. I’m afraid that I will fall into a deep drepression because of the loneliness that I feel and with not going out as much I’m afraid that the loneliness is only going to get worse.Money is an issue too. . . usually when I go out, I shoot pool for free and men friends buy my drinks. I searched ‘sabotage’ in your archives and it came back with no result.Please help me, Dr. Love. I’m about ready to go out of my mind.
I am sorry to hear how desperate you’re feeling. You said that you’ve decided not to socialize so often. . . maybe even only once or twice a month because I just don’t trust myself anymore.Withdrawing from social contact because you can’t ‘trust’ yourself isn’t the answer. You need to understand and resolve the root cause of your excessive drinking (which leads to out of control actions). Removing yourself from situations in which you might drink, doesn’t address the root of the problem.From what I can gather, you are feeling terribly empty inside. You drink to dull the pain, you socialize with this or that guy to temporarily fill the void and you fear that if you stop all of these ‘band-aid’ operations that you will fall into the very pit of despair that you are desperately trying to avoid through the drinking and dating.So what if you actually stepped back and allowed yourself to enter the eye of the emotional storm. What if you allowed yourself to enter the pit of emptiness and despair? What do you fear would happen? You’d never get out? I highly doubt that.What I believe will happen is that you will go through a painful patch but you will come out healed. I think that it will be hard for you to allow yourself to enter this black hole alone.So, find a good therapist or join a group, then stop all the pacifying activities (drinking and excessive dating) and allow the feelings that you’ve been beating back to come forward. Your pain stems from childhood and you are going to need to face it and grieve and heal.A loving therapist, loving group members are the first step. You also need to learn how you, yourself can heal the inner child inside yourself. John Bradshaw’s books will show you how.Be brave. Face your worst fear and you will be transformed!