Archive for the ‘depression’ Category

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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Yeah, I’m fine.

Just not much to say at the moment.

I’ll be back.

And, in the meantime, here’s an apposite tune:

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I went to the Thin City Hospital yesterday for further check ups on my lungs.

It didn’t go well. The doctor rather intimidated me (his staff too from the hushed and reverential tones in which the nurse referred to him) and I’m still stuck with the idea that everyone believes that I have TB and that’s what they’re going to treat. More worryingly, they’re not treating my current shortness of breath while they decide what’s wrong with me. I feel stuck.

In my new resolution to take actions rather than just worry, I have written to the doctor this letter:

Dear Dr Intimidating,

I attended your TB clinic yesterday and thought I would write as I am not sure I was able to fully explain my symptoms yesterday. I do apologise for this but my anxiety and depression mean that I do not always communicate verbally very effectively, particularly in stressful situations.

It may have appeared that I was rather resistant to the idea that there is anything wrong with me. This is not the case. I am short of breath and I’m aware of this getting worse. I also have occasional pain in my right lung on inhalation. I also feel more fatigued than I should be. (This is particularly worrying and frustrating as when I managed to give up alcohol previously I was absolutely suffused with extra energy). I’m also aware that I am now on a whole panoply of new drugs – accamprosate, naltrexone, antabuse – which may account for this, as well as already prescribed medication – mirtazapine and citalopram – which will have had a different effect whilst I was drinking.

I work freelance and because of my drinking came close to losing my only current assignment, I’m extremely keen to hang on to this and I’m terrified that the situation with my lungs will just get slowly worse until I end up in hospital again, which is likely to cost me this job.

I have drunk through all the antibiotic treatments I have had, which includes both the course I was given on leaving Gloucester Royal Hospital and the most recent course from my GP. I know that this will have reduced their effectiveness, although all of them have worked to some extent and given some improvement in my breathing.

I’m not sure if I should present to my GP if – as I expect – my shortness of breath continues to worsen and ask if he will prescribe something to help?

Again, I apologise for what is I’m sure not great patient/doctor etiquette; however, it’s just a measure of my concern and my desperate wish to get properly better.

Thank you very much for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Thin City Citizen


Let’s see where that gets me.

I’m off to see Desmond now. He’s going to set up a website for me.

Let’s see where that gets me.

Thanks for listening.

Leave a message.


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All my life I have had things easy. That needs to change. Yes, there have been tough times, the depression is real, the anxiety is real, but I need to start working on things and working hard.

Because this isn’t going to be easy. I can’t sit back any longer and wait for things to happen. When I drank I made my life easy and predictable – all I had to worry about each day was getting myself to the drink. Everything else I hid away from. Now I don’t drink and those things need facing. And, I’ve got to start addressing them and accept that life – for me – can no longer be easy. Things can no longer be put off. Excuses can no longer be made. Things must be done.

That’s the idea. Turning the idea into action is more of a problem. I still have my excuses and they’re ready to rock.

Currently they include the fact that I’m run down and ill with probably pneumonia that is wearing me out. OK, let’s look at that. It’s true. I am knackered from being short of breath and I’m sleeping too much. But that shouldn’t be stopping me from doing very much apart from the physical exercise I want to start on as soon as I can.

Other excuses are illusory and revolve around anxiety and depression and the excuses are part of the problem which they describe.

Why didn’t I meditate today? Too much bother. Would have meant changing my routine. It Won’t work any way. It’ll be too hard.

Why haven’t I found more work. Too much bother. No one will employ me. Too much effort.

Underpinning it all is the feeling of worthlessness that is at my core. I think I’m going to have to try and reverse things a little. In the past I’ve thought ‘I can’t do stuff because I’m depressed and anxious’ and I’m going to have to start saying ‘I’m depressed and anxious because I don’t do stuff’.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s a way of thinking that’s been inside me, the most important part of me indeed, for most of my life. How it got there – well, I have my ideas – doesn’t really matter any more. It has to go.

And, it’s not going to be easy.

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When one complains of oscillating moods, I think it’s only fair to report the upside. Which is the up side.

And today, my good blog browsing friends (are you a follower or just passing through? – I have a readership of over 10 I’ll have you know) I’m on the up diddley up up.

I’ve been to work. My one day a week at the magazine office in the FIA. It’s not stunningly rewarding work but it – as they say – gets me out of the house and, although I’m not exactly the office chatterbox, gets me talking to people.

So, today I feel positive. Today I feel glad to be sober. Today I am happy that I awoke with no hangover, that I didn’t have to fight the uneven and seemingly never-ending war of the drink related diarrhea. Today, even my skin seems better.

(I was going to regale you with a post, “Antabuse Vs the world’s skin care industries”, but I am no longer in that groove. Suffice it to say that almost every medicine I use for my eczema contains alcohol. The Doge, who knows about such things, being a scientist and all that jazz, tells me it’s because alcohol evaporates very quickly. I don’t care. I hate them for it. Cripes that very nearly was a post).

Yes, so, today my skin feels better.

And, I’m not drunk. Mag’s out so I can write now. And I do feel a new positivity as I’d hoped to on quitting the booze.

That’s the upsy downsy thing in a nutshell though. I can predict it. And being able to predict it ought to be able to fix it.

It goes just a little like this.

Wake up. I’m not hung over! Hurrah!

Eat breakfast. Wow! I never eat breakfast this is great! And, I haven’t dumped burning rubbish in the sink or let mould grow all over the kitchen. Get me sugar!

Log onto computer full of hope, happiness and home-made muesli.


Sit and think.

Have good idea.

Dismiss good idea because it will fail and I will look a fool at whom all the world will last.


Sit and start to get hungry.

Start to log onto news sites and read reams of comments that make me want to scream. Indulge in horrible bitter revenge fantasies about commenters and start to Google their details.

Sit and get hungrier.

Go to kitchen. Decide cooking will inevitably lead to washing up (I’m good at causality an shit like that), so make rubbish sandwich.

Sit and look at computer.

Wait for 5 o’ clock so I can pretend I’ve done a days work.

Finish ‘work’.

Waste more time on Facebook and comment sites. Realise I have 18 windows open, none of which are doing any good to anyone (you may gather from reading this that I have something of a magpie mind and the internet is not healthy for my focus pulling skills. I’m working on it mind.)

Start to get hungry.

I think that’s enough now. Don’t you think. Dull, huh? You’re right (I know you’re right), a lot of this could be summed up in one word – LAZINESS.

And a lot of that LAZINESS is in fact a shield behind which lies FEAR.

Right, so we’re diagnosed now for the cure.

And the cure my wordpress wandering friends is…


Shall we try that? Yeah, lets try that.

Tomorrow, if not earlier.



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I’m neither particularly down now up at the moment.

In fact, since I stopped drinking my mood has been all over the shop, like a toddler allowed to drive the IKEA trolley.

This is helping. I’ve not written enough lately – neither for fun, nor for pleasure, nor for profit.

I have my excuses. I always have my excuses. Some are better than others. Once, in an even Thinner City faraway, a wise young alcohol worker told me: “Once you stop drinking the reasons why you drank will still be there.”

He was right then and – if he’s still saying it to his clients – he’s still right.

So, the life I want to lead – productive, healthy, honest, independent, hell maybe even succesful in some small way – is now one step closer. That step is the sober step. The others do not necessarily fall after it automatically.

I’m writing more today because Mag is away. I’ve had previous blogs and one of the reasons I stopped them was because Mag read it and got upset – not only about what I wrote about her (and, as I noted with my post on the Spread, I’m not overly keen on anonymously splattering other people’s lives around the web), but with what I revealed about myself.

But this is good for me.

One of the downers that has stopped me experiencing the euphoria I associate with stopping drinking is that I’m still quite ill. Since I suffered pneumonia back in the spring my chest hasn’t been right and last week when I went to the doctor to report I was still short of breath a hurried conflab led to me being sent for a TB test.

That has now been taken and I am almost certainly – as I almost certainly knew – not suffering from TB. But it’s an excuse I can use to not make the other changes – too numerous to list here and now – that I need to make in my life. I’m seeing a specialist at the Thin City TB Clinic next week and hopefully that will put an end to things in that department.

But it hasn’t made me any busier workwise. It hasn’t made me address the large pile of papers hiding under this very desk. It hasn’t made me take steps towards financial independence. It hasn’t made me attend the tai chi classes I’ve enquired about.

It hasn’t even helped with my depression or anxiety. In fact, I’ve suffered some really quite dispiriting lows in the last week or so. It could be mourning for my lost love. It could be the reality of my life.

Because of my illness I haven’t been to counselling for a while. And on my ever-growing to do list is my homework. I’m to look at a situation where I started to think in an anxious way and record either how I observed those thoughts or didn’t give in to them.

To be honest, all I’ve managed in the last week or so (and Mag was away last week) is to attend my appointments, do the work I’m already committed to and… and… that’s that.

Drop us a line if you feel like it.



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I thought I’d do a quick run through of my daily – and now entirely legal – drug intake.

So, here we go.

I now take:

One 20mg Citalopram, which is supposed to stop me being so anxious.

Three, vitamin B compound strong tablets. These are standard issue in alcohol treatment and it’s supposed to help you recover. I may start to take more – my similarly recovering friend, Desmond, is taking six.

One 100mg Thiamine (B1) tablet. This is similar in aim and effect to the vitamin B.

One 50mg Nalorex tablet which is supposed to help with cravings.

Six 333mg Campral tablets which ought to do the same thing as Nalorex.

One 200mg Antabuse tablet. I actually take these under supervision at the Addiction Unit, two on Monday and Wednesday and three on Friday. I’m breathalysed before I take it. This is the big one I suppose. The deterrent drug that reacts very, very badly with alcohol and makes you very, very ill if you drink whilest on the drug.

Finally, each evening I take one 30mg Mirtazapine tablet.

I won’t list all the side effects here. They’re all in those Wikipedia articles should you be interested and they’ll scare me.

Do they work?

I don’t know. Well, I do know that Antabuse works. It’s stopping me drinking and I’m not sure how far I trust myself if I stop taking it. (This is partly because of the intensity of the cravings I’m experiencing this time round and the fact that I’m yet to experience the huge positive surge of energy and vitality I associate with going sober.)

Now, Desmond has stopped drinking and also stopped taking Antabuse, Campral and Nalorex. There’s a difference in our experience though. Desmond really did reach rock bottom with drinking, he was hugely underweight and very ill indeed. I stubbornly believe that I never have. I must admit that it’s partly wishful thinking – I’ve got three suicide attempts under my belt which were all drink-related.

So, as I say I’m not sure how effective they are. How much worse might my cravings be without the Nalorex and Campral? The vitamins must be doing some good surely. If there’s one pill I rely on though it’s Mirtazapine and I rely on it too much. Whether it improves my mood is moot at the moment (I’m aware that it has in the past), that it is literally narcotic is not at issue. The side effects (which I said I wouldn’t mention) leaflet warns “May cause drowsiness” this, in my case, is a huge understatement. Mirtazapine knocks me out with a delicious drowsiness that I find incredibly attractive – the drugs to which I’ve been most attracted and of which I’m consequently most afraid are hynotic drugs.

And, that, for the moment is that.

Thanks for dropping in, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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