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Archive for the ‘the writing cure’ 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.

TCC x

 

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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.

Leave a message.

TCC.

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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.

TCC x

 

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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.

TCC.

 

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Another Sunday, another binge. I’m not sure how much exactly that I drank and I’m going to have to work that out for my drink diary.

It was enough to make me throw up when I got home though. (Although, GBDUSD’s famed cannabis tincture might have had some play in that.) It’s unusual for me to throw up while drunk, it’s usually morning after stuff for me. I’m glad in a way. I had a lot of booze in me and then I had a lot less. Worryingly though there was blood in there – a big snotty looking, clotty looking red warning sign. I don’t know if that was stomach related or lung related, but it came from a place where blood does not come from in healthy people.

So, I don’t feel as bad today as I deserve to in many ways.

I’m up and writing, I’ve eaten, I’ve washed up. Mag is due back this afternoon, but I’ve already been texting Jiffkriff to see about meeting up this afternoon – I’m still terrified of not having a good excuse to go to the Spread.

Time to get busy I think.

Take it easy.

Thin City Citizen.

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I’m hung over again. Not good news.

The pull of the pub proved too strong for me and at 6pm I was in there. I had a lovely chat with the Doge about music, about life. We laughed, we shared, we enjoyed.

And, I came back and had a couple more drinks, with Mag. We laughed, we ended up dancing round the kitchen and singing. (I’m honestly not sure what totals to be writing in my drink diary, but it almost certainly equates to the equivalent of about six pints).I felt so alive, so free, so wonderful.

Still, the fact that I’m here and writing about it is good. Writing is good for me. It’s my natural way of communicating. Without alcohol I’m painfully – and, yes it is painful – shy, but at a keyboard it all seems to come so naturally, so honestly.

Today is the start of the fabled weekend that E and I both know I will struggle with.

When I drink there’s a lot of just sitting around and brooding. I notice the change is small emblematic things that signal my lack of life and energy. I’m more likely to have a bath than a shower. I get up later. I listen to news channels on the radio rather than music. I resent doing anything constructive or useful. I stare at job ads in a fug of useless self-loathing and fear.

So, there it is, the bad and the good.

At some point there are posts to come entitled “All my friends are alcoholics” (which is true up to a point) and “All my heroes are alcoholics” (which is also true up to a point). I do seem to have a particular connection with dark art and literature; pessimistic, dystopian and noir are my entertainments.

This is one of my favourite songs about drinking and one I completely identify with.

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Consulting my drink diary for last night I note I’m down to 5.7 units.

I bought four cans of Carslberg last night. Normally I drink much higher strength stuff. Guinness is relatively OK at 4.1%. I haven’t touched spirits for seven days today.

The good stuff keeps coming. I eat breakfast. I clean up after myself. I’ve started to listen to music again. I’m starting to read again. I’m cleaner and smarter. I’ve cut down on smoking (just tobacco, I haven’t touched dope for a week). I’m less nervous. I’m taking at least a bit of exercise every day, usually just a walk, but it’s a start. I’m writing more (as you will have noticed if you read this here thing). My concentration is better. My night sweats are decreasing.

If I have to look for negatives, I can find them. Last night I was tetchy and irritable with Mag (that’s understandable in a way, not that she’s annoying, but her work takes her away for long periods of time and she’s just back after spending around five months away – it takes time to adjust to each other again). I’m extraordinarily tired in the mornings – don’t get me wrong it’s better than the hung over or still drunk states I’ve been used to waking up in, but it puzzles me as much as anything.

Now, I’m not sure I even ‘needed’ to drink last night. Yes, I had some withdrawals – headaches, irritability, anxiety – but they weren’t severe. That makes me wonder if I can go without tonight. That would be quite a big deal. Sunday is my traditional binge day. It’s a big day of music over at the Spread and all the gang’s there. I found yesterday afternoon tough, until I ate, and will probably find the same today. However, the sun is shining on Thin City and maybe me and Mag can get out into the countryside somewhere.

Over at Brighteye, they have a forum thread on challenges, the first seven days could be the one for me. I’m going to give it a go I think.

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