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Blog Ralph

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Entries in this blog

 

Cymbalta note

today took Cymbalta in AM instead of PM. Either it's a placebo effect or this is definitely helping, except it works off and on. It's like I'll be going about my day, noticing that I'm not depressed and wow isn't that neat, until... Boom. The world is a deep, dark, black, sucking wound of hopelessness, filled with the sooty charred remains from a million broken dreams, wrapped in a blanket of death and choked by the twisted cord of unbearable despair. This will pass after a while though and I'll

Ralph

Ralph

 

Still sober, I think

New personal all time record of 31 days sober. It came at a cost though. This weekend has been weird. More family drama. I'm alternating between feeling perfectly calm and moderate anxiety. Behaviorally I've been off kilter. Haven't got much of anything done this whole weekend and not prepared for tomorrow. Didn't cook ahead or do the ironing like I planned. Slept normally on Friday night but Saturday night I could tell it wasn't happening and took Ambien. Wanted to find a meetup or some socia

Ralph

Ralph

 

Day 30

Finally made it, provided I don't drink tonight. Original goal achieved. Much harder than I thought it would be. Ambivalent about staying sober. Kind of want to take a break, but unsure where that would lead. Also want to see how long I can stretch this out. Can I make it 35 days? 40? 60? It feels good to accomplish a feat of self discipline. OTOH it is hard to have a social life and avoid those environments where others are drinking and where I used to drink. During the day it's better, but at

Ralph

Ralph

 

getting better again

Last night I got to sleep without any sedatives:). First time in almost a year so that's very satisfying to me. I sort of figured out a way to relax and push myself deeper into relaxation until I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and did the same thing to get back to bed after a snack. Both times I noticed 3 stages between fully awake and fully asleep. I say "sort of" because I'm going to try it some more and see if this is repeatable. Also I was physically exhausted and I thin

Ralph

Ralph

 

Oscillating amidst the vastness of unknowing

Take that, required title! If I have to write something, it might as well sound like lyrics from an emo band. I am oscillating though. Sometimes everything's fine then next minute it feels like it would be so much easier to finally.. give.. up. I realized if I quit taking my meds I'd probably be back in that place of feeling suicidal again. This is not without its charms. Oblivion. It's what I wanted out of alcohol, after all. So attractive to me but I know it would hurt others. Instead

Ralph

Ralph

 

learning to manage

realizing that I've just made some mistakes along the way and learning from them. Not taking enough time to take care of myself. Sounds selfish but I can cause problems for others when I don't have my own head on straight. So it's almost a duty to get my act together. If only I knew what my act was supposed to be :confused: I have to keep experimenting. It took hundreds of tries to make a light bulb. Need to have that kind of attitude to solve this.

Ralph

Ralph

 

A new machine

Hurting, waiting for it to pass. Struggling with suicidal thoughts again. Nothing like any drama in my life, just plain depression. I want to kill myself like I want a drink. I know I shouldn't. I know that it will only hurt the people I care for the most, and that's why I resist the urge. The urge is there, though, nonetheless. Do you ever get tired of the waiting?

Ralph

Ralph

 

Our lady of perpetual confusion

Some things are clicking for me. Setting goals finally. Scary because I don't know what getting old will be like after having been on all these various meds. I guess it doesn't help to worry about it though; what happens happens. This is big progress because I couldn't even think about this before. Now it's like pieces fall into place in my brain where as before they were spinning too fast for me to put any two thoughts together, like an engine at high RPMs but stuck in neutral - you don't want

Ralph

Ralph

 

Weird

Very strange thoughts tonight. Paranoia. Taking everything personally. Making connections that don't really connect. Scared to death of cops for no reason. Full of guilt although there are people who have done much worse than me sleeping soundly. Guilt is more around what I didn't do or maybe it's something I did do that was the lesser of two evils at the time. I didn't know any better, but that is no excuse as I know better now and make the same mistakes again. Looking forward to Halloween. It

Ralph

Ralph

 

Time distortion

I went to see pdoc today. Feel guilty about it. What do I deserve when I've hardly done any good. I've tried like hell to not do any bad, and all I ended up was inert. I guess that's what I'm really mad at myself over.

Ralph

Ralph

 

Oxymoron

I realized today that I have yet to discover how to have fun without intoxication. Fun being defined as the times when you take a break from inhibitions and formalities. Doing stuff you probably shouldn't do but it makes for great stories precisely because it was a dumb idea. I can relax in terms of deep breathing or using exercise to beat stress, but I can't seem to turn off my internal self conscious awkwardness to blow off any steam. Maybe that's the next goal. "Sober fun" sounds like an ox

Ralph

Ralph

 

It's alright

Results of a few experiments: Going back on meds - felt better. (Shocker, right?) Facing some stuff I'd been procrastinating - not good. Depression came back. Normal though. Feels good to be making progress, still waiting to see if feeling good for being responsible outweighs the initial discomfort of getting started. Probably will, since competence is a personal value of mine. Have to keep reminding myself it won't happen overnight. I'm still making progress but I want to be perfect tomorro

Ralph

Ralph

 

Ouch.

Thought I was cool and didn't need to take my Anti-Anxiety meds until I was in a panic attack. Then the darkness came back. That's the best way I can describe it. It's the nameless fear that lingers just after waking up in the middle of a nightmare. You don't remember what it was, but your body tells you something utterly terrifying may still be stalking you. It's not panic but a distorted frame of mind nonetheless. The prescription says to take as needed. I guess I'm learning the boundaries b

Ralph

Ralph

 

Crutch?

I have been doing some soul searching on whether I am merely replacing alcohol with Xanax, or if it could be (dare I hope?) medication that truly helps me. I think the answer is in what I'm getting done. I used to sit on the couch and stare at the TV all night. Without turning the TV on. Now I am cleaning up the house, cooking healthier food instead of takeout 2x/day - nothing phenomenal but for the first time in approx two years I have no urge to commit suicide. The intrusive thoughts are just.

Ralph

Ralph

 

gradual improvement

Right now it feels like main cause of past problems was anxiety created by procrastination created by perfectionism. Relaxing perfectionist tendencies has made me less anxious, which in turn reduces the craving to drink. Working on clearing the procrastination backlog. Anxiety usually goes up right before I get started but there is a bit of relief once it's off the list. Focusing on mindfulness during a task to make sure I start and finish it. This is very hard. Most of the time I will start a

Ralph

Ralph

 

Mental health strategy

Short version: The problem is that I don't know how to take care of myself. Drinking is one manifestation of this problem, but if I treat it as only a sobriety issue, further damage will be done because I will still not be learning how to meet the needs I am currently numbing out with alcohol. Therefore: 1. Find pdoc who will look at problem as opposed to only symptoms. 2. Cultivate better habits 3. Accept imperfection. Improvement is enough. Harm reduction is better than giving up. 4. Ach

Ralph

Ralph

 

I feel normal today

Today I experienced an appetite for the first time in a while. Thirst too. I didn't realize I had lost them until they came back. I regret that I lost no weight with my appetite being gone since I was still eating because I knew I needed nutrition (plus you can take in a lot of calories through alcohol), but the difference is that I wanted to eat vs. thinking I should eat. Same with thirst, wanting to drink water is a different experience than being able to tell you're dehydrated and better do s

Ralph

Ralph

 

more on panic

Not much of an update today. Had some problems with anxiety that started to develop into a panic attack, but I stepped back and found out what the trigger was. I addressed the trigger, it went better than expected, and I calmed down. Until later when I started to freak out again. That's when I resorted to taking more Xanax. I feel ashamed of doing that when I should be using meditation or yoga or exercise or some other hippie type activity. At least I didn't drink. 7 days no drinking but does

Ralph

Ralph

 

Yoga > Xanax

Yep. That's what I learned today. Relaxing yoga does more than drugs, which is the holy grail for me - something that does the trick without being a drug. I'm ridiculously tight though. Instructor came over to help me with one of the hamstring stretches and was surprised that I couldn't even get a normal range of motion. Guess I really need a lot of yoga then. It's kind of embarrassing to see myself in the mirror and how ungraceful I am, but can only start where I am. I keep starting and flaki

Ralph

Ralph

 

OK today

I can feel some bad times coming on. This could be a signal that I'm going to relapse again but for the moment I can see that certain things I'm doing are designed to put me back in that space. Last time I tried to white knuckle my way through it, didn't work. This time I am going to try making sure I take care of my physical well being and see if the rest doesn't flow from there. The need to focus is that there is so much to do and I will get overwhelmed if I try to keep track of it all. Yet

Ralph

Ralph

 

change the script

I am starting to see more of my own cognitive distortions. For a while I've been resisting getting better, but I think I'm finally growing up. I don't want to be 50 years old and still pulling this needy, "I'm broken" act. As an adult it's my job to get my act together and there are no excuses because there is no authority. There is cause and effect. If I sit around feeling sorry for myself I can get the result of that, or I can look for solutions. Hopefully this time I can hold on to this insig

Ralph

Ralph

 

managing

I made it through a panic attack today without alcohol or my prescribed meds. It looks like there are two conditions that tend to precede a panic attack. One that builds up over time, like not eating right for a couple days, and then a sharply uncomfortable circumstance that sets it off. What fixes it is to get out of my own head and engage with someone else. Long term get better at nutrition. I know the what but terrible at the how. I didn't drink today. My motivation right now is physical

Ralph

Ralph

 

Ambien

Wow. Sleep like real sleep is a new experience. I know Ambien is a drug but I felt refreshed when I woke up, as opposed to hung over from seroquel and dragging myself through the day. But damn I slept so, so, good and was able to just get up and go. I'm guessing sleep is about the second most boring topic possible (after accounting), but this is so rare. It's the kind of sleep I used to have as a kid after running around and riding bikes all day, before I had any idea what the word anxiety even

Ralph

Ralph

 

better

I didn't get much done today but I have felt a lot better. I think what happened is trying to quit drinking made me more sensitive to anxiety. Panic attacks are a double edged sword. The upside is you really get to see what is important in life. You know how people have these revelations after a near death experience? Well with a panic attack you really think you're going to die - and I see the stuff that I regret and would like to do better. So it's kind of like getting a NDE over and over an

Ralph

Ralph

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