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Archive for the ‘treatment’ Category

So I went to see the lung specialist yesterday and got mixed news.

On the plus side, I’m special. On the negative side I’m special in that I’ve got a rare lung disease called pulmonary alveolar proteinosis which could kill me within five years – this happens to a quarter of the people who have it.

I’ve decided it’s not going to.

It’s weird really. I’ve spoken before about being stuck emotionally in the state I was in when my addiction really started which was as a teenager. Teenagers famously think they’re immortal. I’ve thought a lot about my own death and even tried to precipitate it a few times with suicide attempts. But I’d just started to think about the future in a more adult way, to plan ahead. I have a test next Wednesday to confirm the diagnosis. I’ll have to stop taking the Naltrexone before then because I’ll be under some sort of sedation to have tubes stuck down my lungs. Boo!

Yesterday I was frightened and in shock. Today I feel a lot more positive.

I’ve started in on reading a self-help book by The Barefoot Doctor and it talks a lot about visualisation and thinking positively. I’ve already started turning the thought, “I refuse to be ill” into some sort of mantra and I’m going to seriously take this on now.

I’ve kept up pretty well with my exercise and meditation doing either one or the other or both every day.

I’m off to see Desmond in a while to talk about setting up a website to earn us some money. We shall see where that leads.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

TCC x

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The last three days have started brilliantly. I may have gone off track a little after that but the beginnings have been good.

Did you see what I did there? I attributed the good stuff to something abstract (the days), and the bad stuff to myself. Mmm. Vaguely interesting. I suspect if you’re an addict or suffering from depression you probably find yourself doing the same.

So. I have started the last three days brilliantly. The challenge now is to keep it up. I’m exercising. Woohoo! I know it’s good for my mood. I’ve done this before and not managed to stick at it but for the moment I feel exponentially better for my little morning workout. It’s nothing major: I jump on the exercise bike and cycle as long (not very long) and hard (not very hard) as I can. Then I do 10 press ups (this number will hopefully increase with time) and 30 crunchy things. After that it’s what I can remember of the Tai Chi warm up routine and running through the form as far as I’ve got (not very far) 10 times. Then I meditate for 15 minutes.

I’m off to the hospital tomorrow to find out what the scan of my lungs reveals. What my exercise reveals is that I get out of puff pretty damn quickly. I smoked too much over Christmas, I’m back at lower levels now, but I should quit. But smoking, like drinking, has an enormously powerful psychological role in my conception of myself as an adult – foolish I know, but these lessons learned (in adolescence in this case) take some time to unlearn.

It beats the hell out of lying in bed wishing I were dead and throwing up as a start to the day.

My experiment is actually around vitamin D. I did some writing for a company on the ‘winter blues’ and there’s some recent research that vitamin D may help alleviate depression. So, I’ve got 100 tablets of 1,000iu vitamin D3 (there’s a D2 as well, but what I’ve read suggests three is better), which cost me ¬£4.99 and I’m taking one a day to start with. I don’t get out enough at the best of times – being fair of skin and reddish of hair I’ve the sun has not always been my friend. And, while my diet is good I’ve read that it’s tough to eat enough liver, eggs and so on to get our daily jolt of vitamin D. Once you start looking into things the advice you find online can be so contradictory that it’s confusing as hell. Hence the 1,000ius a day (I’ve seen up to 5,000 recommended).

We shall see.

Onwards and upwards.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

TCC x

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Well, here we go again. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a tedious ride.

Come on TCC, sell it. Well, OK.

I had a good today. Today was a good day and, like Ice Cube, I didn’t have to use my AK. I don’t have an AK of course.

It started well, it’s gone a little off track since but that’s par for the twisty course.

I got up and exercised! Woohoo! Hooray for me etc. But really that’s a good thing, it makes me feel better, it starts me off on the right foot. I meditated too. And, by 11am I’d done more than I’d do in a whole day in the general run of things.

Since this morning’s fine start I’ve fallen behind a little. A quick trip to hospital for a CT scan. This should be worrying me but it’s not. I’d like to cut down and then stop smoking but it doesn’t seem something I have the time for.

The Shelves of Destiny are still on hold. I tried though, but I can’t find anywhere that sells wood of the right size, I must do some googling straight after this post.

So, moving slowly forward but not fast enough.

Usual sort of stuff.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

TCC x

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Howdy doody. Happy New Year. I hope 2013 finds you as well as could be expected and ready for another 365 days of fighting crime/conquering new worlds/just getting by or turning down Nobel prizes because, ‘it’s not about the money and fame’.

Good fortune to you whatever you do. (This does not apply if you sell arms, drop bombs, pedal heroin or indulge in any of the other myriad behaviours I have deemed a Bad Thing. If this is the case I wish you speedy career/personality/behaviour reform and a lack of success in your current malfeasance.)

So, how am I? That’s the important question here after all. This is all about me, me, me and me. If me is not your thing you’re obviously at the wrong blog. This is mine.

Not bad is the boring old answer. Not terrible either but not bad.

I still don’t drink. That’s a good un. For a lot of addicts Christmas is a tough time but for me – because my drinking was a secret shame – spending time with family generally means I’m less tempted to drink. I’m still on the medications of many colours (tediously most of them are plain old white, although mirtazapine is – in a used of potentially damaging food colourings about which I can be quite a bore given half a chance – a not that fetching orangey red), so I can’t.

I’ve slipped back a little on my meditating. Missed quite a few days now. Not good, must do better. I will. I promise.

Because Mag’s at home I haven’t smoked dope either.

I’m still going to Tai Chi but I did miss a couple of sessions in December. Personality and chronology experts looking for a reason might spot the conjunction of the aforementioned Tai Chi sagging will consult the house calendar and note that Mag was away. Any old excuse. I’d also promised to start playing football again, but didn’t. The weather was a slightly better excuse in this case but marijuana was also taken.

Counselling starts up again on January 9. I need to do my homework.

Really, I feel I need to make a lot of changes and am still struggling to make them. To that end we approach THE SHELVES OF DESTINY.

The Shelves of Destiny are – at this writing – yet to manifest in the physical realm. They are important. They are important because putting up shelves in the spare room, my – ahem – office, will be a big thing for me. Already I’m dissipating and dispersing my energy – library books (now overdue of course) are piled up loaded with good intentions, hobbies, self-help. The Shelves of Destiny will help me clear up my, ahem, office, which will help me sort out my papers and so on and so on.

I’m frustrated you see. I want to leap out of bed full of life and I don’t. I want to work a good eight hours a day then indulge in rewarding interests, but I don’t. The Shelves of Destiny are symptomatic of good intentions gone to seed.

The plan is to do them tomorrow. I have to go to hospital for a chest scan (I’m still not really right, another frustration) and can drive past the wood shop on the way home. There’s a lot of other things I want to do too.

Part of the plan is to write this every day, but we’ve heard that before haven’t we? (Note to self, stop writing like that).

So, hopefully, see you tomorrow.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

Messages, threats, criticism and bouquets are all gratefully received in the comments.

 

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I’m trying to look on the bright side today. The weather is not on my side. Grey, cold and wet.

But, I’m sober. I’ve walked past The Spread, soaking wet and weighed down with shopping, and didn’t feel the pull.

My health is getting stronger.

I mediate every day and have been to tai chi twice. I practise tai chi to some extent every day and I’m already feeling the benefits: my posture is better, I’m starting to get some of that energy I’ve been missing. The posture thing is interesting and a real change. I noticed it the other day, I look up more and started seeing things I’ve never seen while walking familiar paths.

My counselling homework this fortnight is all about focus. I’ve been given a wheel of life to look at. You can see something similar here. The task is to look at where I’m putting my energy. This feels like a good, positive and practical thing.

I have lots of long-term aims. (Don’t laugh). I’d like to be a popular and successful writer. I’d like to write songs and have an outlet for them. I’d like to be fit and strong. I’d like to wake up early every day and get on with exciting things. I’d like to be financially independent and even comfortable.

And, I undercut all these things and make no steps towards achieving them because I put up barriers. The chief barrier is – how can I do this when I’m a 41-year-old loser without proper employment who scrounges off his family and partner to survive. (You’ll remember I tend towards the negative when it comes to judging myself).

And, that stops me. The massive and inchoate ‘problem’ defeats me.

So, I need to start prioritising.

That’s the plan. Let’s see how we do.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

TCC x

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At the relapse prevention course last week this idea came up. We stop growing emotionally when we become addicts. That makes me a teenager (it makes own of my fellow course attendees eight, but theirs isn’t my story to tell).

I can see some truth in that. I was scared of growing up and drinking helped to keep me a child. All I had to worry about was when I would next be able to get drunk, free myself from the anxiety and the fear. There was no need to engage with the problems of despised ‘real life’ with all its responsibilities and obligations. Now they are here.

And, in watching a YouTube video the other day (you can see it here, it’s rather long but quite interesting) I recognised myself. The speaker – a psychologist – remarked on how a loud noise might affect someone who suffered with anxiety, someone who sees the world as full of danger. It’s a noise that a settled, calm soul might not even register. I would register it. I’m constantly scanning for threats. In some senses I see this as a strength. A writer is supposed to observe, and my antennae are twitching 24/7.

Narcissism? The Wikipedia page for ‘addictive personality’ used to redirect to ‘narcissistic personality disorder’. So could I, who spends so much time loathing myself be a narcissist? Well, this is all about me. Even the loathing is all about me.

But the good news.

When I wrote my thoughts on counselling I didn’t give it much thought. It was honest and considered but fairly automatic writing. To Counsellor Mike though things jumped out that I had given little thought to. Describing myself as ‘evil’ was one – I have a cape and a lair and everything – which to me means little but to him seemed important.

We talked about it a little. Like talking about killing myself it’s something that comes to me very naturally and which doesn’t concern me greatly. But having it questioned made me look a little more closely. I have a deep core belief that not thinking of others first is selfish and that selfishness is a Bad Thing. My lack of connection with my emotions means I often think I’m cold and calculating, that my natural reaction is to do what enables me to drink.

Mike doesn’t believe I’m a psychopath. This is a Good Thing.

More later.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

Leave a message.

TCC x

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I love this song. I’m slightly – make that hugely – obsessed by The Beatles.

Anyway. Tiredness is the chief problem in my life at the moment. I’ve got no spark, no get up and go (yes, it’s got up and gone).

This is frustrating.

I’m also a little stuck. I’m not quite taking the steps I need to take to become a bright, shiny new self-sufficient person. This is frustrating too.

But, it’s relatively early days. My meditation is helping me to become more focused, which is wonderful. I’m actually learning to do one thing at a time.

And today I’ve made a list to help further that progress. It goes a little like this.

  1. Tea (actually, two cigarettes)
  2. Meditate and Qi exercise (yep, I did that. The Qi exercise is a short simple deep breathing thing.)
  3. Breakfast and shower (this is where the tea appeared, along with a load of washing up, and another ciggie. I didn’t have a shower.)
  4. Take recycling bag up to the office. Check emails for work and then blog (which is where I am now)

I have a problem with lists. I tend to make them and consider the making of them to be the do-all-and-end-all: I’ve written it down and that’s enough. This is what I’m trying to change. And, although my focus is improving I’m still too easily distracted. Logging on to the computer can mean firing up a whole host of browser tabs that just have to be checked and before I know it I’m following a 400 post comment threat on Israel and Gaza.

So, I’m hoping to pack in the rest of my list today. Here’s how it goes from here on in.

  1. Work on paperwork filing (my life is a chaos of piles of unsorted but allegedly important sheets of paper.)
  2. Bank statements (chief amongst the often amorphous fears I face is my tax return. I need to get my hands on lots of missing (binned) bank statements to sort that out.)
  3. Lunch. Fifteen minutes Tai Chi practice
  4. Work.
  5. Antabuse and counselling.
  6. Make dinner for Mag.

Let’s see how we go then. I’m at the office in FIA all day tomorrow so can’t blog but I hope to be back on Friday.

If you’d like to leave a message it’s always appreciated.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

TCC x

 

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