Day Eight of sobriety! I had my last drink on New Year's Eve.
Physically, I've felt okay. Not had any withdrawal symptoms. Not even thought about it too much. I'm eating well (though I always have), taking exercise, sleeping better. My energy levels are good. It's nice not to wake up some mornings feeling nauseous and dehydrated.
My drinking really only started to take off in the immediate run-up to and during my last relationship - so, around 2013 onwards. It was heavy during that relationship - 18 months. It tailed off a little afterwards, then got a little heavier again during my time caring for mum during her final illness. Don't get me wrong there: I took my caring responsibilities very seriously, and never allowed my drinking to interfere with them. But I needed something just to take the edge off of the emotional turbulence I was going through at the time. It was a crutch that helped me through - and also in the aftermath. Since then, and since starting the job I've been doing, my drinking has moderated again. Up until last August, that is, when my bullying problem started at work. Once more, I started using alcohol (stupidly and ultimately counter-productively, I know) to again take the edge off of my feelings, and to quell my anxiety. In the run up to Christmas, I let things go a bit. Over a ten-day period, I saw off 4 bottles of scotch, a couple of bottles of wine and several beers. Probably my highest level of consumption to date. An average of maybe 15 units a day. Over the whole of that 5-year period (which included extended periods of not drinking), my average consumption was probably around 50-60 units per week.
I know it's early days. But the other side of it, during this last week, is that I've been feeling more lost than usual. I don't like going out too much - apart from long, lone walks or cycle rides for exercise. I'm finding people - even if I don't have to talk to them - more irritating than usual. I walk around the streets and shops with a kind of tunnel vision - focusing on blank spaces ahead, trying not to look people in the face. I can't wait to get back home, shut the door, shut the world out.
I've done a bit of reading. I've watched a few movies. I've tried to do some writing, but it's like trying to get blood out of a stone. My imagination seems to have gone into the sidings for the time being.
I'm in a limbo period at the moment - between ending my last job and starting my new one. Getting back into the routine of work again will, I'm sure, help me. I'm feeling a little without purpose just now. Without alcohol to numb my senses and dampen down my emotions and thought processes, I'm much more alert to things. I can't exactly say I feel great, overall. If anything, I feel more confused by life. I'm more conscious of simply going through the motions of existence.
As I said, though... early days...
Thanks, folks. It's a very strange time. I'm not really forcing myself to do anything. Cycling certainly helps. I was a distance runner for over 30 years and only stopped about 3 years ago. I had a persistent back problem and achilles tendinitis, both of which cleared up when I stopped. I used to love running, but it takes its toll on the body. Since stopping, I've never felt truly fit - though I know I am. Fitter than many men my age. My BMI is spot on. Blood pressure is normal. I've never really lacked physical energy. Just now, though, it's psychic energy that's flagging. I may try some yoga.
Evan - the new job is working with students with PMLD at a local FE college, as a Learning Support Practitioner. It'll be working with them in class, plus personal care, feeding and some physio with students with dysphagia. It's a client group I'm used to working with and enjoy working with, but in a different environment: education rather than care. I'm looking forward to it. The money is slightly better than my current job, though it'll be longer hours and over 5 days instead of 4 - so basically back to full-time. But it's term-time only, so I'll have the long holidays - and I still get paid per month, pro rata. It'll certainly be nice to have a couple of months off in the summer. I'm still waiting to get the start date, but I already have a DBS, so it's just a question of references. Shouldn't be too long, I hope, as I'm now currently on zero pay (I'm still signed off from my current job, and have not given notice yet. They don't seem to be doing very much, anyway. The DWP said it would probably be alright to give notice without it affecting my Universal Credit claim, but I'm waiting for confirmation from them. Getting that behind me will be a step forwards. I look forward to the day - hopefully this week - when I can hand in my notice.)
BlueRay - I've never smoked, but I wouldn't mind getting hold of some dope for eating. It's got to be less harmful than alcohol. It'll just be nice to have something. I'm going to try some CBD oil.
I tried the cbd oil from Holland and Barret and it was good. I like smoking but not all the time, but I can’t stop once I start! So I’ve been having short periods where I smoke and then not smoke which is working out ok, but when I get the Ritalin I’m looking at maybe just having one smoke on an evening, more as a pleasure type thing rather than something that I use medicinally, but who knows, maybe I’ll stop altogether one day . I kind of feel like I’m growing out of it and the Ritalin I tried the other day was the best thing I’ve ever taken, which further made me think I might give up smoking for good.
Have you ever considered joining a cycling group? It’s something I’ve bern pondering for a long time, I just haven’t lived in one place for long enough to bother, but if I stay where I am for a while, I might join one.