I woke at 9am, which is good for me. Then, pleasantly surprisingly, I had a shower - I was going to the doctors you see and wanted to do something to improve my self-esteem.
I needed to get my prescriptions redone - the steroid cream for the rash started by the antidepressants, the antidepressants, the moisturising cream for the eczema precipitated by the rash started by the antidepressants.
One plus was the weather. "There's Simpsons clouds," my girlfriend said as she encouraged me out of my pit. And, indeed there were, it was bright and breezy and cold and bracing.
The surgery waiting room was mercifully empty. I can't stand crowds and need a fair amount of personal space, panic is never far away in a group scene, (one of the reasons I drink, and drink even more if I'm forced unwillingly, and it is almost always unwillingly into a social situation) I'm absolutely dreading Christmas shopping and I've put it off for that reason, meaning the crowds will get worse no doubt by the time I get around to it.
The surgery I attend is a big one and I've never seen the same doctor twice. Does this matter? I guess not, I'm sure that in an ideal world and when being treated for mental illness and addiction you would - I've read coverage of advice for mental health treatment and I seem to recall the words Treatment Plan looming fairly large. Now, I'm not complaining, I do fairly well from my GPs and the only real downside is having to repeat the whole sorry story each time to a new face, but for Treatment Plan, it seems you should really read Prescription For Happy Pills.
And that's what I got again today, but with added bonus pills too! I'm going to rattle. The doctor was as sympathetic as they come, as keen to help and listened patiently.
I told him where I was, and my fear that I wouldn't be able to make it through to the 8pm finish time in the job I'm supposed to start on Monday without serious physical symptoms of withdrawal - and by this I'm sure I'm not exaggerating - last night's chest pains, panic and difficulty breathing were a real shock to me.
He's prescribed me Diazepam to help me put back the starting time of my drinking and I am so, so, grateful for this. He also prescribed my a higher doze of Trazodone - despite not yet receiving the letter from the Community Addictions Unit recommending this. To add to my rattle I have thiamine and a multivitamin - common practice for alcoholics, who often don't eat properly and are taking a drug that destroys vitamins and nutrients.
With a relatively stress free appointment and the sun still shining I felt able to stay out in the outdoors for a little longer. I feel relatively safe at home, but, not completely. The neighbours can be noisy - and it's aggressive sounding shouting a lot of the time - and it makes me jumpy.
I strolled off towards leafy prosperous Penylan.
The people I spoke to in the Brighteyes forum* recommended feeding myself well - treats even, a bit of self-indulgence in one area to combat the loss of my ultimate and self-harming indulgence. So, I trolled along to the supermarket and got a big bottle of a fruit smoothie, one of those posh looking cartons of soup for lunch and some broccoli and stewing steak for a comfort food dinner.
The good folk in the Brighteyes forum - mostly recovering or on the road to recovery alcoholics - also set great store by having a good hot bath. I didn't manage that last night but will try again this evening - it's not recommended for the skin problems I'm having, but it is comforting indeed.
The prescriptions from the chemists were, "Too big for a pharmacy bag, so I've had to use a carrier," the pharmacist apologised. Crikey. I must be ill.
I made it back home by about 11.15 feeling pretty bright, and almost confident that I'll be able to make a further step in reduction and delay in my drinking this evening. The GP told me to take one Diazepam at lunch time and maybe one later: "But we don't want to get you off alcohol and then find you're hooked on tranquilizers," he said.
One of my acquaintances from the C takes Diazepam, he says his doctor is a 'mate', and to be honest I think he abuses the tranqs, but that's no skin off my nose and I would guess it's fairly common. I've only taken them, well the similar Librium, during detox, and yes, they feel lovely. But, I've got a tendency towards addiction and I need to be careful.
I stopped off at a bakers on the way home and got some cake too.
It all went a little awry when I got home. My girlfriend had put some washing on and rather than leave it to fester as I so often do I actually got off my arse and hung it up outside - I know it sounds stupid, but apart from walking to the pub or shop, I've really been struggling to go out, even into our own back yard. Of course it's raining now, and I'm stuck here - stasis - I'll have to get off my arse soon. The awry started with making a huge pot of very strong black coffee. Caffeine's not recommended, in fact it's positively discouraged, in detox, and, as with every substance I've ever encountered with even the slightest effect on my brain I've had a tendency to abuse and overuse it. As it goes, it's probably the least harmful of my addictions, but it still make me jittery and nervous.
The Diazepam is starting to kick in now and I feel drowsy and comfy, I can even feel a nap coming on, but I think it's best to try and stay awake till this evening. I still feel confident I can make my starting time later tonight - 8pm or 8.30pm is the aim, but with the tranquilizer and the higher dose of antidepressants I reckon I might even not need anything.
We shall see, and I shall no doubt report it here in long and tedious detail.
Thanks for your time if you spent it. Drop a line or a comment, (even if it's only an insult) if you're suffering too or have any advice or whatever.
*I submitted my blog to a network of mental health bloggers yesterday. They have accepted it, but did express some concerns about my linking to the Brighteyes site because they charge for their services. I have no link with Brighteyes at all (if they wanna advertise on here and give me money for it, hey, great). They charge for counselling and I haven't paid a penny to them, I use the free forums for alcohol help, and, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend those if you're looking for some interaction (and all I've seen has been loving, supporting and encouraging) with other people with alcohol problems. There may well be other free counselling services and forums online and I'll add whatever I find if I think it's helpful.