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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.

TCC x

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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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Do we? I hope not, wouldn’t that be terrible.

I did find myself getting a little annoyed at a friend today though – for no particularly good reason it must be said.

I mentioned Desmond in my drug run down post.

I owe a fair amount to Desmond and he – or so I think – owes a fair amount to me.

Desmond and I did collaborate on what was to be a business. Just a website, which he set up and which I helped out on. He did everything really, I just wrote a little. It never happened. Desmond was – to my eyes – very obviously an alcoholic. Desmond was – predictably enough – in denial about it (“I almost never get drunk.”) Desmond hit the proverbial rock bottom. Desmond detoxed himself, moved house, got a lot of other health problems looked at too and is in a much better place.

I went to see Desmond today. I hadn’t wanted to go while I was still drinking and put it off again while I waited for the all clear on TB. Now, I thought this meeting would be to discuss work. Desmond is a real computer genius (I don’t use the term lightly in this case) and has now started to reap the rewards of his fantastic social media presence to get jobs. I thought I was to be offered some writing work on the back of this. I was not.

And, I’m angry about this. Unreasonably so. Like many very technically gifted people Desmond doesn’t have the greatest social skills in the world (which, if my experience is anything to go by is almost certainly one of the root causes of his drinking) and telling someone that you’re earning hundreds of pounds an hour for what work you get (he doesn’t get very much yet) when you owe them at least a couple of hundred quid, is not great.

The upshot? I stalk off feeling pissed off that I’ve just been asked to help out on the old site for no cash.

But, I didn’t ask. I didn’t raise the debt. I didn’t say: “let me know if you need a hand with any writing.” Desmond can write very well any way, he doesn’t need a hand.

There is a part of me that is very nasty, jealous and even potentially vindictive about the success of others. It’s not at all attractive. I think it’s because I’ve been quite close to success myself in some ways and because I know I could have (maybe will) done/do so much more with my own life. It’s not good or productive and I want it to stop.

Gah.

That’s why I blog sometimes. I just have all this crap going round in my head that never comes out and hopefully crapping it here will help.

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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 filled in my drink diary as usual this morning. And, the Thin City Citizen is pleased and proud to announce (to a no-doubt fascinated readership of what WordPress stats inform me could be as many as 20 people) that a big fat zero went in column one and another in column two.

Yes, I drank nowt yesterday. At least nothing alcoholic. Much tea there was. Much water too. I even followed some online advice and bought some Diaoralyte – the re-hydration sachets that you’re supposed to take when you have diaorhea – and forced (sorry, they taste vile) one of those down too.

This morning I loaded up the pill tray again for the following week. I’m now taking – deep breath – this each day:

20mg Citalopram – in the morning, this is my anti-anxiety prescription.

30mg Mirtazapine – in the evening, this is my antidepressant.

Vitamin B compound strong – I take three a day from the huge stockpile that built up when I was last sober but not taking my medication properly.

100 mg thiamine – one a day.

500mg Vitamin C – I’m taking two. I’m still petrified that my pneumonia will come back and cost me my job, and this seems a decent way to combat it.

550mg cod liver oil – I’m taking this on the basis that it can’t do any harm and my nutrition of late has been appalling.

Calcium, magnesium and zinc – and not just any calcium, magnesium and zinc ladies and gentlemen, no this is calcium, magnesium and zinc that has been chelated – whatever the dickens chelated might mean. Again, I’m taking one of these every other day on the basis that it was in the house anyway and it can’t do any harm. Although I read online it could be a good treatment for anxiety.

And that’s that.

I’m also eating a lot more and a lot more healthily. And, you have no idea how much better I feel already (of course, you may, in which case apologies for failing to recognise your extraordinary empathy or own experience of alcoholism).

I’m sleeping less (this is good, I used to be in a 12 hour coma). I have energy. My anxiety is more manageable. My depression is less of a problem. I’m busier. I’m more productive. I’m reading again. I’m listening to music again.

To counter this exhausting and tedious list of Good Things, I am still concerned about my lungs. I’ve cut down on the fags and hope all those vitamins might be doing me some good, but I feel like the pneumonia is coming back. I have shortness of breath, I sweat with very minor exertion and feel of slightly ‘out of it’. I’m also a bit concerned that I wake up every morning with pins and needles.

But these are minor doodahs on the thingummy and otherwise I’m on top of the world ma.

Leave a message below if I’m out.

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Oh dear, this blog has become just the latest in a loooooong line of good intentions never acted upon. Such is life in pisshead world. However, the fact that I’m writing this now is a Good Sign, a Step in the Right Direction and many a recovery cliche too.

I shall eschew the long introductory screed I was going to spew out upon the web and simply record life as it is lived now in Thin City.

On the way to sobriety.That seems to be the way of things. I’ve snagged myself a coveted appointment with the local addictions team – lovely people one and all (that may sound somewhat platitudinous, but it has been my experience that almost all the people I’ve met in addiction treatment have been solid gold, supersonic loves. GPs, that’s a whole other kettle of kippers.)

My plan, if plan it be, is to ask to go back on to antabuse after cutting down to abstinence. I know the waiting lists for inpatient detox are long. We shall see. The appointment is on Saturday morning – because the service can no longer cope with demands upon it working just five days a week.

I’ve also written to the counselling service asking for new appointments with a new counsellor. That’s no reflection on Elle my previous counsellor, it’s far more a reflection on me, she’s been wonderful and incredibly patient over a long, long journey (we all have to have a journey these days).

And, that’s about all I can manage for the moment. Builders are removing the render at the back of the house and are doing so very nosily. Maybe I can write something rather more structured and focused in the near future. We shall see.

Thin City Citizen.

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