Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A run at recovery. Taking stock again. Recovery isn't something that happens to you, it's something you do.

I need to take another run at this recovery thing. 

I'm struggling at the moment, so I'm taking another look at where I am. 

I'm sober and have been for however many days it says on my counter - 310 I think. 

I'm cannabis free and have been for nine days. I had a small relapse on the same day as I relapsed on porn and tobacco. The amount of cannabis left in the house was tiny. I can honestly say it barely affected me. However, it was cannabis use so I should report it. Before that I hadn't smoked cannabis since January 13th. A couple of years ago it was daily use.

Since February 5th I've racked up 51 days in porn abstinence, at least. This is the first time in my life I've considered this addiction as a problem to be addressed. This is certainly the first time I've shared anything about it. It's been extremely tough. I'm still very determined to beat it.

I've managed eight days without a cigarette. 

My alcohol use is stable and safe. I'm not going to drink. I can't say forever, it's still a day at a time and I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it to a year. I'm actually signed up to a forum that says I'm not going to drink in 2015. 

My cannabis use is stable and safe. I'm not going to smoke dope. I don't want to. I don't enjoy it. I have no intention of buying any more. Cannabis use for me is particularly worrying as its main function is to make me want porn and alcohol - by itself I don't even like the effects any more. 

My porn use is improving massively. This is looking for the positives. I seem to be stuck in a cycle of managing between seven and 12 days and then relapsing, then shorter abstinent periods before embarking on another decent run. I fully recognise the damage that this stuff does to me - mentally, physically, in terms of my personal integrity and honesty, in terms of my relationship, in contributing to my anxiety and depression. I really do want to stop and I'm finding it terribly difficult. 

I'm also struggling to stay off tobacco. The porn and tobacco relapses tend to come together and I think they are related. One leads to the other. I've just thrown my tobacco away. 

I've successfully reduced my social media use by a large amount but I'm not yet where I'd like to be and it's started to creep up lately. 

I am now taking propranolol to help with my anxiety. I have been prescribed an antidepressant called Sertraline too but I haven't started taking it. I'm due back at the doctor's on April 14th.

The bigger picture is still very mixed. I have introduced meditation and regular exercise to my routines, but they are fragile habits, not yet fully part of my life and they tend to go by the way too easily. 

I'm not doing enough work. I'm not yet the person I want to be, the person I can be.

I'm very much a prisoner of routines and anxiety and my moods can be very low indeed - I've had some suicidal thoughts in the past couple of days. I struggle to get out of bed and long to go to sleep for most of each day. 

This is hard. Really hard. I'm doing this alone in many ways. I have my alcohol support forum at Brighteye and that's a help. I'm a very active member of the over-40s forum at No Fap and enjoy that too. Mag knows I'm trying to change and improve my life and she is amazingly supportive of that. She doesn't know the specifics of it though, and specifically that means the porn.

I've been waiting too long and not doing enough. Recovery isn't something that happens to you, it's something that you do. I was pleased with that little phrase when I came up with it and I still am. It's true and I've not being doing enough of the things that support my recovery in the past few days. 

I've not meditated enough. I've not exercised enough. I've not worked hard enough at building my new life by engaging in my passion for music or writing creatively. I've not been going out of the house enough to test my anxiety. I've not engaged with people enough or tried to make new sober friends.  

I've stopped testing myself and I've started to settle into a bad routine.

I've also stopped blogging her regularly and I've stopped engaging fully in recovery work. 

So let's try something new. *sigh. 

Not new of course. It's the same old battle. It's just a case of running at it again and running at it a bit harder. To commit to this stuff and stay committed and give it more of a chance to work. 

What does that mean? 

Sigh* It means what I've always known it to mean. No doubt I've said it here before too. I need to actually do this shit! 

What can I commit to that will be meaningful and useful? 

At the moment. Right at this moment. I really don't know. 

Right after a relapse is perhaps not the best time to be thinking about this. I feel weak and rather hopeless. 

One commitment I can make is to write this blog every day again. I'm starting to have my doubts as to whether it's a healthy thing to do to be honest - I wanted it to be part of my recovery, but is it part of keeping me trapped in my problems? 

Sod knows, but I'll go for that for now and see where it takes me.