Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Trying Times - Day 57

Being alcohol free, taking your meds at the right times and in the right doses, staying off all forms of self-medication is really hard work.
I have two injuries at the moment that I am carrying and two weeks ago I had to take a stronger painkiller as I was nearly not walking, I was in so much pain.  No, I am an all or nothing type of person, so after the first dose I completely failed at taking the medication as it is meant to be taking and
landed up taking higher doses.  It was an over the counter medication with codeine in it.  I felt awful the next day, not only did my head feel cloudy, but I had failed and done what I said I wasn’t going to do.
Now I hadn’t posted for awhile till this last weekend, and this is the reason why.  I wasn’t sure what to say or if I was going to blog about it at all.  But if I can’t be honest with myself then who can I be honest with.  I must stand up to my mistakes, face them, forgive them, and put them behind me and move forward.  So, I have finally made some form of peace with the mistake I made
I am proud that I have stayed alcohol and cigarette free.  I slipped up, but sometimes you must go backwards in order to move forward, and this was my few steps back – now to make a leap forward again. 
My anxiety is high again, today was one of those days when by lunch time you are craving wine o’clock or gin o’clock to come quicker, wishing the day away.  I must learn to stop doing that.  There are a few stresses in my life at the moment, and one of them can trigger my PTSD so that’s why my anxiety is high again.  I am trying to learn to breathe through it, it can be so hard and debilitating though.

My son isn’t well at the moment either so that just adds another layer to the anxiety.  Hopefully I won’t have to take him into the hospital.  He has asthma, and he is very wheezy at the moment.
I still can’t believe that I have managed 57 days without drinking, I never thought I would be able to stop drinking for this long, and I have to say I am loving the fact that I wake up hangover free.  I am tired though, really tired a lot of the time, and I haven’t lost any weight, in fact I think I might have put on even more weight, and it’s not like I needed to do that at all.
So, now that the alcohol-free thing is ticking over, I have decided to join the gym to try and get my life back on track, loose a lot of weight and take another step to being healthier.  One of the things that I do struggle with is eating, when my anxiety is high, I often can’t eat, so land up taking small snacks, but never healthy ones to tide me over, and this is normally followed by me over indulging when it passes.  This does not help my weight problem at all.  I have bulimia, who would have thought that bulimia is not only for people who are anorexic!  It’s not all the time, but when I am under duress or anxiety is high this is one of the things that I turn to. 
It’s frustrating in a way that I can’t just wake up and be better, it is a slow step by step journey that I am on, changing one thing at a time, it would be too overwhelming trying to change everything in one go.  I have also learnt to be a lot more compassionate towards my self.  I still carry a deep sense of shame because of what I have done to myself over the years, and I think it is going to take a lot more time to get over that feeling of intense shame, but I am on the journey.  I might take a few steps back every now and then, but I have to learn to forgive myself and get back up, never quit – slowly keep moving towards my goals.  Slow and steady right.  This is a new concept for me,

Sunday, 3 March 2019

First Test - Day 55

So last night was my first test, having people over and them drinking while I was not!  I think having the non-alcoholic gin in the house helped me, it is a nice treat to have a nice drink in the evening, and it is even better that it is not alcohol!!!  Bonus, no sore head this morning, no feeling wrecked or dragging my heals. 
So, I managed ok, there were a few moments in the evening where I nearly lost myself.  Little things like my husband drinks Whiskey, and occasionally I would normally take a sip and I found myself going for the glass on one occasion as I walked past his drink, and then I realised what I was doing!  The other was my friends left a beer and a bit of wine behind, I had to toss them down the sink, I couldn’t have that bit of an open bottle of wine in the house, it would play on my mind too much. 
All in all it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be, and our friends don’t drink that much either so it was a very relaxed evening and I really enjoyed it even without drinking – who knew staying sober could be fun too!
I am on day 55 now of being sober, I can’t believe in a way that I have made it this far.  Will I drink again, I honestly don’t know?  I started this journey saying I would give up for a hundred days, I am 55 days in, more than half way.  Has it been easy?  No, not all the time.  The first few weeks were hard because I was so used to coming home in the evening and craving that all important glass of wine, or gin and tonic.  I think I lived for that drink in the evening that would take the edge off, even though taking the edge off meant paying for it later.  I never realised how anxious drinking made me the next day until I got a few weeks into being alcohol free.  The alcohol was great at distracting and numbing the pain in the short term, but you always pay for it the next morning with either a hangover or intense anxious feelings. 
Did I find last night easy, yes, I did, I never thought I would be so at peace at a dinner without having alcohol, but it was fine.  To be fair it wasn’t a roaring party, but it was my first try at being in the company of people who are drinking, and I survived, I have to give myself that and I am proud of myself. 
I started CBT therapy last week.  I have never been to a CBT therapist before and I found it interesting.  She confirmed my psychiatrist’s diagnosis of PTSD.  I don’t find it as jarring to hear someone else tell me I have PTSD anymore.  I think I am slowly coming to accept that I have it, and now I have to learn to live with it, and I need to understand it.  I am looking forward to this journey into CBT, it is so different to art psychotherapy which I am studying, but it is good. 
As for everything else in my life, I am trying so hard to be with everything, it is hard, and I am still not 100% good on taking my medication properly.  What is it about mental illness that we don’t want to take the medication?  If I have a headache, I have no problem taking a tablet, or when I tore my ligaments, I had no problem seeking help and doing the therapy and the operations and taking medication when I had to.  But my depression, it is a silent killer, because it is the unseen that is so dangerous.  In front of people we put up a brave front, but a lot of the time it takes everything we have to put the brave front up, and it is exhausting.  I know that I am so much better than I was, but I still collapsed in a heap when our guests left last night because I was tired.  There are a lot of factors to this feeling, a lot of them are not my issues, but I know there is an element of exhaustion which comes from the effort of being with other people.  It is not always exhausting, but it often is.
Now I am heading into day fifty six, I am tired from the weekend – I have a friend going through a really hard time, and I am trying really hard to be there for her.  She recently started therapy because she has been struggling with anxiety, she has been through a lot recently, and is currently going through a lot.  She revealed some of her past to me last week, and it triggered me – and being with her is triggering because of what she is going through, but I am trying to use the tools my course has given me to listen and recognise that I am not always feeling things that are mine.
I apologise if this entry is a bit confusing or all over the place, I have had to sit down to it three times.  I hope you get it though.