Counselling again yesterday and a mixed bag. At the very least it means I get up earlyish.
But, I seem a little resistant to counselling at the moment. When I was really storming forward and making progress I couldn't wait for it but at the moment it's hard work to get anything out of me and I feel for my counsellor (who I am now going to start referring to as L) who's pulling teeth at the moment.
I've come to the end of one batch of counselling and we had to have a review to check on progress and how I'm doing. I filled in a CORE form. Anyone who's ever been treated for depression in a serious way will have seen one of these. Over 30 questions on your mood - in the last week... I have felt terribly alone... not at all, sometimes, often, most or all of the time.
We compared it to the form I filled in when I first came in for counselling. L was a little shocked I think, as my score had rocketed from around 30 to 89, and the stuff about ending my own life, hurting myself, being bothered by unwanted thoughts and memories was all in the highest category.
I thought long and hard while filling in the form, and have to acknowledge that the timing was bad, coinciding as it did with a change in medication.
We talked about it - my thoughts about death - and happily agreed it's quite normal for me. I wrote about this the other day but it seems worth repeating so I shall. I think about suicide regularly and quite dispassionately, it's my escape card and it's always somewhere in my mind - well, if things get worse I can always take an overdose. I'm quite relaxed about it but people I tell are less so.
That was the main discussion really. I'm struggling to remember the session even now - it seems terribly important while I'm there, but it goes so quickly, I used to have a magnificent memory (although it's been a curse too, not letting me forget pain I'd be best read of) but it's certainly slipping. Daily dope probably isn't helping.
I was so brave back then - I'm going to change my life completely, live completely differently - and perhaps I'm coming to terms with the fact that I just don't have the courage for that and will continue largely as I have: saying yes when I mean no, keeping my thoughts to myself, anything for a quiet life.
Is that so bad? I'm sober and healthy, I don't have debts, I have a secure home and my thinking has become notably less apocalyptic and focused on burning down my current life in order to build a new one. I told my L how bad I am at noticing or acknowledging change, I can't think of it as something incremental - I don't think, 'Oh, it's good I got up at 9am, not 1pm.' I think, 'It's a fucking disaster I didn't get up at 8am, I am a loser and a failure and always will be, I might as well have a spliff and ruin the day'.
With Mrs CD at home, I'm smoking less and not at all during the day, and when I do, that's when I have my bad moods.
New year is the time for change isn't it, and there are things I want to do - I want to start to earn a living; I've been dependent on others my whole life and I want some independence and that's the big and scary thing I really want to face. I want to have a self, and a self with some self esteem.
I've nearly finished my Charles Bukowski book. I've read it before, many times, so I can't really say that it pressages a great improvement in my concentration, but it's something. I've also started watching a box set of series two (season is for Americans) of The Wire, and am loving it - in so far as I love anything while trying to pick it apart and analyse it as I go.
If you spent it, thank you for your time.
If you're reading this because of your own problems with drink and depression I really am thinking of you and hoping that things are going OK - Christmas is a hard time, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE HAVING FUN, it's all about family and pressure and EVERYONE IS DRUNK, so remember to look after yourself. I can't offer any failsafe tactics but having somewhere you can be on your own, quite calmly is I think a good thing.