I don’t know what kept me from writing for circa 6 months. I used to love it and certainly still enjoy it. But somehow, I haven’t felt the need to drop everything and sit down to write something for a while. Maybe it is because I have been blathering my life to a therapist on a weekly basis. Maybe because I have been communicating (marginally) better with my wife. Maybe because I have been enjoying my new tropical life… I really can’t tell. But I can definitely say that I missed it. And I am enjoying the anticipation of letting you know what happened so far….
I am 284 days drug free. It wasn’t particularly hard to get there, but it wasn’t particularly easy neither. I had spells of depression and irritability that made me phantasise about pulling my self up, or treating myself, by using again. But it was relatively easy to stop the thought. Obviously, being cut from my old supply routes helped me to avoid succumbing to the craving. But any addict knows that getting to the supply is just a matter of putting enough effort into it. What really helped me, is being able to look back to my using era with disgust rather than guilt and shame. The latter made me rear to the memory, toss it aside, and succumb to darker thoughts that magnified my craving. Learning to let go of guilt and shame, allowed me to use my past failings as a valuable reminder of the reasons not to succumb again. The horrible visions from my past remind me of what was accomplished since, of what I already gained back in a relatively short time. It does replenish my serenity and sense of achievement. Ultimately, it does lift my mood and spirit and take me away from the dark moment that initiated the craving.
I wrote above that I am drugs free rather than use sober. Because I am not. I do have occasionally some alcoholic beverage. I take no pride nor have any shame in doing so. It does make me somehow nervous to write this while the audience for my blog is mainly a sobriety community. It makes me nervous to be judged about it. The more of a reason to get it off my chest and share it with anyone who reads my blog. I will not dwell in explaining the hows and whys. I will not try to convince you that it is a better path for me. I am just letting you know, as I am not making a secret of it.
I do also smoke (legal, disgusting, highly taxed, health hazard, cigarettes). It is a real issue for me. Especially, as my family has a history of cancer, and more specifically lung cancer. I intellectually want to quit. But I am, cowardly, using the advice of me rehab therapists not to try quitting for one full year. The theory is that I might jeopardise my recovery. It does certainly provide a convenient excuse to deflect any well meaning person who brings the cigarette subject.
I started going back to the gym. In addition to fighting the extra 5 kilos that I carry, I did so also to respond to an ultimatum of my therapist. He refuses to reduce my medication, unless I increase my physical activities. The drugs I take daily whack my brain and make go through spells of 15 hours of sleep a day. While recognising the debilitating effect of the medication, my therapist pointed the danger of going on without a security net to help catch me in case my anxiety and depressive moods do flare up. Physical activity is supposed to douse my brain with endomorphins and provide the necessary mood enhancement. I do confess that I already feel the benefits even though I just started my routines. Hopefully, I will be able to ditch the medication soon, with the added benefit of regaining my slim figure. Having gone through dieting and exercise in the past, I have to pay attention not to do it addictively as used to when I ended up working out 8 times a week (twice on Sundays).
I am still not working, having had a chance to make some nice monies in the last 20 years and not having completely splashed it in chemicals and moved to tunisia where life is 3 to 4 times cheaper than the UK. Even though I can afford to keep it going for a while, it is not a life I intend for myself (and my wife will be very soon fed up with my presence at home). I am in the process of investing some of my savings in a small retail company and get involved in managing it. It will not start as a full time job, but get me back gradually into the game. Hopefully, it will be both profitable and therapeutical.
I guess this is good enough a quick catch up since my hibernation. As spring reinstates itself in Tunisia, lifting my moods and reinforcing the positive effects of physical and intellectual activities, I hope I will be able to share my thoughts and stories more often on the board. I love writing and it appeases me. So keep on reading me and encouraging me.