Thursday, 30 April 2009

Milk and Alcohol

I'm writing this in retrospect as I have been a bit down for a few weeks and have let things slip.

I saw the shrink near the end of April. My wife was with me.

The shrink focused on my drinking which is errrr.... heavy I think. About 100 units per week now with one or two all nighters per week now and then. I never get out of my head but more and more I feel the need... well to be honest, crave the need... to drink during the day. By 5pm it's uncontrollable I need to have a glass of wine before tea.

I guess it might be obvious to you distanced readers but to me being a lovely, well rounded, perfect and subjective human being... ha ha ... it was a bit of a shocker for her to tell me that I needed to seek professional help from an addictions service! I mean I know the facts... 21 units per week for a man etc... but in the real world.. ffs... moi???? NEVER!!!

So did I agree? Me, an alcohol problem? Being a mature intelligent person did I ask for help? Naaaahhh. I did the obvious thing. I rationalized it out and denied it all. Me.... I'm nearly 50.... I don't go out... I have a severe, chronic mental illness. Booze is all I have in my otherwise miserable life. Medication does not help me. I know the long term risks with my liver, pancreas, etc. I know it maybe affecting my mood negatively (lying here.. I doubt it), but I'm still gonna drink. I said I would think about asking for a counsellor.... I lied.

After the booze, the main thrust of the meeting was about me isolating myself and staying at home. Why wasn't I trying to do things, exercise, lose weight, write songs, play music. I made a futile attempt at explaining that inspiration cannot be summoned up, it happens spontaneously. A song pops into your head. You can't make it happen. It's like asking someone to make a new invention. "Hey Newton, do another apple thing!". It either happens or it doesn't. It's not like washing the dishes or digging the garden. "What can you do to change your low mood and behaviour?". I explained that it was my belief that my mood went up or down regardless of my behaviour. Nothing I did influenced it. Like the Grand Old Duke of York... when I was up I was up, and when I was down I was down, and when I was only half way up... Depakote was doing it's job.

The shrink again went through the CBT diagram thang with me explaining that my behaviour influenced my thoughts which in turn influenced my mood which influenced my emotions. She asked me to explain this to my wife....go on... be a good patient...  I said "that by staying in and avoiding people I became more negative in my thoughts, this made me feel down and so I took to my bed and stayed in and became negative and felt more paranoid and so I became more down" etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum. This is the insight the psychiatrist wanted me to achieve and she beamed with glee and said "that's exactly it!". She gave me a lovely patronising smile.... good boy!

So I guess I won the "Best Lunatic of the Day Award" and went merrily on my way. Next appointment 4 weeks.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Rock Steady

Things have perked up a bit. After the last post I soon elevated to some kind of normality. Neither up nor down. Neither here nor there. Numb, flat but no longer feeling as miserable as I was.

I have become busier at home. Started writing and recording a new album. I have already managed to finish 4 tracks.

My drinking is getting a bit out of hand again. As well as drinking during the day, I have had a few binges when I've been up all night drinking red wine until 6am. I keep telling myself I won't do it again then a few days later I find myself saying "what the hell, what have I got to lose?".

I'm still not going out, not even visiting my sister. I dread meeting anyone.

As for my mood, I have no idea. I don't know what I feel but I don't think I'm depressed and I'm certainly not high.