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Getting Better

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Ralph

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Just wanted to say hi to everyone who reads this. I haven't been around in a while because I've been doing pretty well. After recovering from a deep depression back in November, I am still dealing with some depression, but managing it. I'm also doing modules on ADHD with my therapist that are really difficult for me, but it seems to be helping with a lot of my tendencies toward not getting stuff done and not being organized. I'm also taking steps to make my long distance relationship a short distance one. This is causing stress, but it's also giving me something to look forward to. It's scary and exciting at the same time.

The best thing I've done for myself is to go sober. Alcohol was driving so much of my depression and anxiety that it's like a whole new world has opened up for me when I don't self-medicate. It hasn't resolved all of my issues, but it's the difference between swimming with and without ankle weights. I still have to work to keep my head above water, but at least I don't have something extra trying to drag me down.

Not that I've been perfectly sober, and actually I had one really bad binge recently that I'm trying to use as an extra reminder of why I should leave that stuff alone. I used to not be that bad, but now it's like once I start I won't stop until I run out or get massively sick. So the solution is just not to start in the first place. It would be so nice to be able to unwind & relax with a beer like I did before a problem developed, but now that leads to anxiety and more cravings. Plus it's a bunch of extra calories I don't need.

The other thing I've been working on is setting and accomplishing goals. Getting just one step closer to a goal gives me a good feeling that keeps me motivated. Nothing big like "lose 20 lbs," or "organize the apartment," but small stuff like "eat healthy one day a week," and "check the mail regularly." Hopefully the small stuff will lead to bigger stuff as I get better. That's the intent, at least.

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Thanks IrmaJean.

Sed, It's good that you don't like it. It definitely doesn't like us. I've taken a while to get this through my skull, but piling substances on top of a mood problem is only adding fuel to the fire. I do better when I leave the medication decisions up to the doctors.

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I had one binge a 3 weeks ago (a bottle of Paddys) but that was only one since Thanksgiving. I say that just to let you know I can relate. I got my tax refund & went crazy. Hope you stay on course. I know it ain't easy but good luck.

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VB what I have found works for me is having a plan. I know that I have a problem with unstructured time, so I plan my time out ahead of time to make sure I always have something to do that is in line with my goals and values. This will crowd drinking out of the day. Also, having backup activities, like if I don't feel like doing anything and just want to relax, then I will surf the internet, or read, or play my bass, just anything but self destruct. It's easy to replace one self destructive activity such as alcohol with another, such as binge eating or gambling. I know I'm prone to go down that path, so I try to keep myself moving upward to avoid spiraling downward. It's difficult, but it's worth it.

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