Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

I seem to be doing better at life. I may well have a writing job that will prove regular and pay a decent amount.

Now, I have to start getting busy. All my life I’ve coasted and got by on a certain amount of natural ability and even charm. Now I need to start to take this thing seriously, not accept my usual excuses and make the most of this opportunity. I also need to leave a lot of things behind; the blame, the bitterness, the jealousy are all worth nothing if they hold me back. Wasting time looking at the freelancing profiles of my competitors and thinking, ‘I could do better’ or ‘how did you get all this confidence when you can’t even write a coherent sentence’ is doing me no good.

So, bye-bye bitterness, bye-bye blame, on with cleaning up this office and starting to make something of myself.

I mentioned that I had a lot of long-term goals that merely impede my progress by their impossibility. Well, it’s time to start taking the small steps.

To be a succesful writer – essentially a small business (jeez, all this seems so alien to my usual mindset) – I need to get organised. So I’m going to log off and start cleaning up.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.




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I’m due back at counselling today. I haven’t been for a while, what with the chest problems and all and I’m looking forward to it.

I managed my second meditation yesterday. An ‘action’ meditation of juggling. This one isn’t quite from the guide books but as I understand it the idea is very similar to that of all meditations – to do one thing and one thing only and to concentrate on one thing and one thing only. I started juggling when I was a kid. I’m not very good, can’t do any tricks or anything, but I always found it a very relaxing thing to do. (The other option was playing guitar scales). So, I went for 15 minutes of ball tossing.

I meditated again this morning. The breath count. And, again… extraordinarily hard. I’ve noticed how shot my concentration can be when reading (ironically, when reading the book on meditation) and how I have to really struggle to properly take things in.

And, that’s the subject of my counselling today. I was sent away with a task and that task was to recognise an occasion when my thoughts started going in an unhealthy (and anxiety causing) direction and that I stopped it, or was at least aware of it. It’s not difficult to spot because it happens all the time. Not least when meditating!

So, I have to write that down. And here it is. As I say it’s an example from actually during a meditation.

My thoughts are supposed to be directed towards just counting my breath but this is how they can spiral away from me. I start to think about the breathing. Then I notice that my chest is bad – there’s some slight pain when I breathe in – and I start to think about the treatment I am having. This will not work, I think, they’re treating me for the wrong thing so this shortness of breath will continue to worsen until I am forced to go to hospital with it. Then I will lose my job. (I find it interesting that at no point do I think of this in terms of being possibly seriously ill, it just registers as an obstacle). When I think about work I always start to think about my lack of financial independence. I think, if anything happens to my parents, I am screwed, I won’t be able to support myself. Then I find myself thinking that I won’t be able to cope with my dad’s funeral, I will fall apart and cry in front of everyone uncontrollably and be revealed as a small, weak, baby. Then I start to think about how I will avoid it, how once my parents are gone I will be able to commit suicide without anyone worrying about it.


It’s not a pleasant path down which to tread. It’s not particularly distressing to me either. I’m so used to having suicidal fantasies and thoughts that it’s just part of the noise now.

That might seem an unpleasantly negative way to finish this post, so I should accentuate the positive a little too. I’m blogging regularly, keeping to a routine. I’m keeping all my appointments and taking all my medication. I’m reaping some of the benefits of sobriety. I’m meditating twice a day. I have a website set up for a writing project. I have some work to do today and just got an email about some more. I’m not drunk.

These things are good.

Tonight Mag goes away for a few days and that will be a test. I have some dope hidden away waiting for just such a moment. I’m trying to smoke as little as possible (three fags yesterday) and I want to stay on track. I’ll be a fool if I start to throw stuff away for a spliff now.

Wish me luck and thanks for your time.

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I’m fresh from my first attempt at meditation.

Cripes it’s hard! I went for what my guide-book calls ‘a structured meditation of the outer way’ as it seemed the simplest. It’s basically a breath counting meditation. I also intend to try an ‘action meditation’ based around juggling.

I know now that any worthwhile progress is going to be hard work and this was very hard indeed. The mental chatter was deafening. But I must persist with this, I’m convinced of the benefits I can accrue.

In my defence, next door have builders in who are very noisily doing something to the roof. And, I do have a lot on my mind – chief antagonist was yesterday’s appointment at the TB clinic (of which more later). And, choosing a breath-related meditation when it can be painful to breath is a double-edged sword.

Chief amongst my distractions though turned out to be this blog – how to describe what I’m doing and why. It’s funny, but I find my mind running along those lines almost constantly, and, in a positive way. I almost see myself as a narrative device and when I get into¬† thinking ruts, it’s often around that subject – how shall I describe this. That’s why – I think – writing can be such a positive thing for me.

According to the book I was supposed to complete 15 minutes of meditation this morning and try it out for a couple of weeks to see if it’s the path for me. Because of a bit of confusion over timing I did more like 25 minutes. I’ll do a 15 minute juggling action meditation this evening.

Do I feel better for it? Yes, I do. Nothing spectacular but I do feel rather more focused and ready to go this morning.

You should try it.

Thanks for your time. 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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While I’m struggling with my physical health a little, I’m convinced now that my recovery from addiction is going to involve three key things:

  1. Meditation
  2. Exercise
  3. Creativity

I’ve been reading (reading not doing you’ll note, here we go again) about meditation and I’m convinced that it’s going to be something I need to do to get better. I’m enjoying my particular guide, which is open and encouraging and emphasises that this is something that can be done alone and without a teacher.

Exercise is good. I’m trying to walk every day but with my bad lungs even that is a bit of a stretch at the moment.

To combine the two would be perfect, which is why I’m committed to going to Tai Chi classes, when I’m better.

And creativity. I count this blog as creativity. When I came to and stopped drinking I took a bit of a look at my life and it’s a mess. Career wise, I’m screwed to be honest. Too old and with too damaged a history to attract any decent work. So, I’m going to have to make my own way. Creativity will help me get better and creativity also seems the most likely way to make something of what is left of my life.

Thanks for listening.



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I’m tired. Tired and a little bit scared.

My lungs are not good. I’m petrified of going into hospital again. I may have been a little bit negative about my one job – my day’s freelance writing for a magazine company in the FIA – but I am desperate to hold onto it.

When I fell ill in the spring I nearly lost that job. If I go into hospital again I almost certainly will. And, I can feel my lungs getting worse. The shortness of breath increases each day. I’m starting to get pain in the right hand side of my chest when I breath in. So I’m desperate that Monday’s appointment with the chest specialist should go well and result in a resolution of this. I’m convinced that just another round of antibiotics – the first I would have taken sober – would have sorted this out.

But worrying isn’t going to help. Not that that’s ever stopped me.

I do believe in the power of the mind to influence physical health and, with that in mind, I tell you now:


There we go. That’s sorted then.

I am getting something positive done every day, even in this drowsy state. Yesterday I did some work related stuff. Updated one of my online profiles. Applied for a content writing job. Took some photographs for a blog project.

Today, I will register that blog. Start some online pages for my writing work. Take the rest of my photographs.

Then I suspect I’ll go to bed too early and wake too late.

Thanks for stopping by, leave a message.


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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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