|>>|| No. 4680
I'm not sure I'm in a position to give advice; the process will be different for everyone and since this is only day 70 of my sobriety (albeit after years and years of addiction) I'm hardly an expert. I failed a few times in the past (and posted in this thread a few times prior to >>4370) but somehow this time is and feels different though the biggest disappointment in some ways is that I'm still not sure why. More on that later. If someone has specific questions, though, I'll be happy to answer to the best of my ability. I shouldn't have left it this late to reply as I'm a bit tired but I'll try and keep it structured: Mental, physical, and overall.
This has seen the biggest improvements but also has the biggest on going problems. On the positive side, my short term memory has improved quite a lot. I still get the odd moment where I have no idea what I was trying to do or what I was looking for one moment to the next, but it's becoming less and approaching a level that's probably normal. Long term memory is also getting better, as is concentration. For example, I can read a few dozen pages in one sitting now without completely forgetting where I started and without my head feeling like it's filled with mushy peas. The "mind on acid" problem hasn't gone away as such, but it's changed markedly and is now more of a general sense of wonder at the world. This is coupled with growing anger at myself, however, at how ignorant I am in many respects and how many years I've wasted focussing inwards — only on booze — instead of the world around me. All the years I could've spent learning more, experiencing more… but what's done is done (or so I tell myself) so I'd better focus my energy on making up for lost time instead of beating myself up about it.
Boredom, on the other hand, hasn't gone away and is proving trickier to deal with than anticipated as I developed something best described as a mild case of anhedonia. Anticipation in particular seems to be gone: often it feels like there's nothing I'd actually want to do even given the opportunity. I started going to comedy shows a once or twice a week (one of the perks of living in London… there's always something on) to get out of the house and to keep me entertained which helps, but I'll need more than that going forward.
The biggest problem at the moment, though, is something which it's difficult to talk about without coming across as a complete nutter. About once or twice a day I get episodes, seemingly without any particular trigger, where my mind detaches from reality and I sink into a violent fantasy of hurting someone. It's no one in particular and, in the fantasy, in response to a perceived wrong but it gets quite detailed and graphic. That wouldn't be so much of a problem as they only last about 20 seconds, but as mentioned I detach from reality while it goes on. Eyes close, teeth get clenched and I lose track of what's around me. A recent example would be walking down a "cross aisle" (do they have a name?) in a super market, an episode happened and when I surfaced again I'd walked the rest of the way down to the end of the shop with no recollection of doing so. Just to make it clear: I'm not a violent person and when dealing with people none of this comes through, but it's equal parts scary and inconvenient none the less.
I've lost nearly a stone in weight, mostly from my belly. A pair of jeans I couldn't comfortably fit into before now fits and I can close my belt an extra notch (nearly two) without trouble. If that levels off soon then that's good news, but much more and I need to really look into fixing my diet. Speaking of which, my diet's got worse again. I have a light breakfast (which good), lunch is much the same as ever but dinner has fallen apart, no small thanks to above mentioned anhedonia. Eating in the evening is becoming a chore as there's nothing I really want to eat despite being hungry. I can afford to eat pretty much whatever I'd want thanks to the money I'm saving on not buying booze but really can't be bothered. Generally, I either end up eating something dead easy (a tin of beans with a bit of pork chucked in eaten with a bit of bread is my current stand by), pre-made pizza or very occasionally some variation of pasta red. While I was drinking I'd usually just head to a near by take-away and grab something there which I'm purposely avoiding now, so it's not too much of a surprise that I'm struggling to get into a decent habit.
Despite that, I'm physically stronger. I commute by bicycle and shaved the run from 15-20 minutes to consistently 10-15 minutes without doing anything special and I no longer get as easily winded when climbing flights of stairs. It shows in a myriad other day to day tasks as well, from lugging laundry to the laundrette to carrying shopping home.
Sleep is a bit out of whack again, unfortunately. On the plus side I falling asleep isn't much of a problem and sleeping itself is restful and all that, but getting to bed at night is a bit of a problem as I don't feel tired. The solution there is probably to just work on a better rhythm and to put my foot down and stick to it.
Perhaps coincidentally, though, some skin issues have cropped up, namely crusty weeping skin behind my ears (I get enough vitamins for that not to be scurvy) and around my nose. The less said about that the better.
All in all I'm happy with the progress so far although there's still much to do. I had a few dreams about drinking (which is normal, apparently) but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frequently tempted. There's an odd dichotomy going in my brain when I read bits in a book about drinking or otherwise hear about it where it sounds and feels like a really good idea on one level while on another I know with absolute certainty how it would end how it would make me feel the next morning. It probably won't go away any time soon, but it's not getting any harder just yet so there's some good news.
I spent enough weekends sober now to put a chink into the old habits so they no longer feel like a scary, nigh-insurmountable challenge. It's still the toughest time of the week, though, in particular Saturday nights and Sunday when there's little else to do.
One thing that's really starting to gnaw on me now, though, is that I'm uncertain why this time is different. It was easy to feel excited and heroic when I started, but that happened many times before; I really can't pin point what made me stick to it this time which annoys me. I use the excuse of a new years resolution when people ask, but that's really not it and true, that new years was a particularly low point but other instances prior to that were equally bad without that effect. I may have to just accept that it was "time", as unsatisfying as that feels in many ways.