I'm finding things very hard at the moment and I would say I'm as close to despair as I've been for a long while. I'm exhausted, dispirited and depressed.
I'm too tired to do anything and too nervous to leave the house. Eating seems pointless and I've no appetite anyway, everything seems pointless in fact.
My girlfriend collapsed a little under the strain of it all last week and had to take Thursday and Friday off work. She said she was spending so much time and energy worrying about me that she had neglected herself and now she too was exhausted and depressed.
I drank my usual yesterday, which is currently three pints and four cans of Stella Artois. I wake up and wish I hadn't and start the dry retching that begins every day. My stomach is in a mess, I feel permanent mild nausea and have diarrhoea. My skin is revolting. It started when I was prescribed an antidepressant called Mirtazapine, my hands swelled up with a ferocious angry red rash that spread quickly across my body. It's a shame because the pills had been great: I did notice, if not a lifting of my mood, then a slight lessening of the lows. Along with skin eruptions, one of the side affects listed was drowsiness, that was a marvellous under statement, they knocked me out and while taking them I managed to go five days without a drink. Mitazapine was ditched, the skin problems remained. I now take Trazadone.
Frank Sinatra said: "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Sadly, I know when I will feel better today, it will be on my second pint, and it won't exactly be feeling good, it will be feeling vaguely human. At least that's better than I feel now.
I keep telling my counsellor that one of the reasons I drink is boredom and loneliness - I'm unemployed at the moment and I've only lived in Cardiff for a year, I don't really know anyone.
I generally use two pubs: The C and The O. I have a small group of friends at The C, but I've decided to stop going there. My pals are all like me - if not alcoholics, certainly heavy and habitual drinkers. The C is also a pretty depressing place on occasions. Very much a drinkers' pub, most of the clientele are alcoholics, unemployed or elderly.
There's also a good smattering of people from local sheltered housing for drug addicts and people with mental health problems. One of these poor people, a young woman, attempted suicide in the pub toilets not so long ago after a minor altercation with another customer.
The O is cheerier, although I don't say much more than hello to anyone in there. It just doesn't have the same aura of impending doom as The C and I can come close to contentment sitting in there reading the paper or a book.