At the moment simple tasks are difficult; making breakfast, shaving, picking an outfit, making small talk. Making simple decisions has become a complicated business. I've just returned from a walk to the supermarket. My hands trembled slightly as I scanned my three items at the self checkout, and I stood paralysed when the machine commanded me to key in the code for the cous cous. I was just about to take positive action when the supermarket attendant moved in to help me. I miss my old sharpness and, till it returns, perhaps I should give the self checkout lanes a miss. Everything is taking me longer. I used to be able to rely on my punctuality but now I am finding myself hopelessly late for things and the more worrying thing is it doesn't seem to bother me (though I did get stressed out when I got stuck in traffic and was late to school pickup yesterday).
I have felt anxiety bubbling every time I've had to go out in public. For me it's just a simmering feeling of unease and uncertainty. It feels like all my nerve endings have been woken up and are standing to attention ready to riot. My breathing gets very shallow. Going to preschool yesterday was difficult (I resigned as Service Provider on Friday as part of the de-stressing process). For some reason being there was a trigger.
People have been popping in to visit. My parents ring every day, and my sister called from the UK this morning. Contact is good. It's nice to be able to talk. Today a good friend dropped off a cake she had made on behalf of the Preschool Board. People care, and it feels good.
I received this email from an overseas friend:
Sorry to hear you have been through the grinder and I really hope you will find stability and harmony again - you deserve it. I'm so pleased that you didn't use the alcohol crutch when it might have been the natural "comfort" to ease the pain temporarily. That is a major achievement for you and a blessing for your family.
You have been very brave through all of this, even though you probably did not feel brave. I have great admiration for people who are beset by these "invisible" illnesses. It is much easier to get support and encouragement when you break an arm or a leg than it is when you are struggling and there is nothing visible to show of the struggle.
You are blessed with a beautiful family - imagine the titanic challenge for someone who is in a home where there is constant discord and tension. They have the deck doubly stacked against them in their chances of being restored.
Cheering for you from across the ocean - you will climb this mountain, in the same way as you have become Soberman365.
I actually am glad I am at the stage of my sobriety where alcohol holds no appeal. I never even thought of drinking to 'help' ease the depression, because I knew it wouldn't help. I want to recover as soon as I can not sabotage my efforts.
As the anti-depressant medication builds up I hope things settle down and I start to feel better. There are signs some emotions are returning. Yesterday I felt frustration for the first time since last Friday (damn non-indicating drivers!!!). There are flashes of sadness, and flashes of joy. I have also felt very stiff and sore in my legs after my last couple of runs. I never really get much muscle pain from my running so I'm guessing it's the medication. I joked to my wife that it felt like I had four groins and they were all strained.
I am worried at the moment that my wife is taking on too much to take the pressure off me. I am determined to rest well now but start to contribute more. My youngest child is heading north with her grandma to visit family tomorrow. This will take some stress away but the next 8 days will be by far the longest I've ever been apart from her. My daughters' arms around my neck is a great medicine. I'm going to miss her.
Tonight I'm going to see some friends for a monthly catchup. Tomorrow I will be doubling my medication. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.