JOURNAL ENTRY: Saturday 30 December 2017

I have to acknowledge that I am a co-dependent and that I was previously writing from an audience and not for myself.

A lot has happened over the last 4 months. I’ve completed my Step 4 and 5 with a fellow recovery buddy. I don’t think either of us would have done it if we hadn’t have joined forces and supported each other. It was a pretty tough process to go through and I think I’m probably still processing it. We worked it the AA way, with a bit of an ACA slant to it, although I would like to go back an add to my Step 4 with some more ACA related info.

I’ve also finished my Step 2 and 3 in CoDA and have begun working Step 4. We’re working Step 4 using the DA method which has 154 questions to be answered. We’ve completed the first 20 questions and we’re meeting again on Friday to complete the next 20, but I haven’t even started yet, so I need to pull my finger out this week and get that completed.

I’ve also been to see a psychiatrist at the Woking Priory twice now. The first time was to increase my dose of Olanzapine, which helped with the anxiety but made me really sleepy. So the second time I saw him, which was only about a month ago, he changed my anti-psychotic to Aripiprazole. So far so good, although he did put me on a comparatively lower dose of 5mg. I woke up almost instantly and by that I mean my sleep returned to a more ‘normal’ pattern. I’ve been waking naturally at around 6-7am each morning and whilst there was a short period of insomnia, I’m now getting off to sleep much easier too.
For the last 4 days I’ve been taken double the dose, which is the equivalent to the dose of Olanzapine that I was taking and to be honest, I didn’t feel great. It was only a 4 day experiment and today I returned to 5mg and felt better.

I’ve not been eating particularly badly over Christmas, but I have been eating a few mince pies and Christmas puddings. I don’t think I have reacted very well to the sugar. I feel great when I first eat them or when I have some honey in my tea, but if I have too much sugar I feel awful shortly after and that feeling seemed to last for the rest of the day. I liken sugar to cigarettes. On the days when I didn’t used to smoke I would generally feel much better than the days that I did. The problem was was that I was addicted to cigarettes and so the withdrawal was difficult. I’m hoping that if I stop eating sugar now that Christmas is over, I shouldn’t get hooked on it. That said I did have to tell myself no when I thought about getting a sugary latte when I was in town earlier.

I don’t think the Olanzapine has helped my weight. I’m about 10kg over my preferred weight of 80-85kg. Since switching to Aripiprazole my craving for carbs has significantly reduced, so overall the switch has been very positive. My sleep is much better, my mood is stable, I’m able to be productive and I’m eating less, particularly at night. I have been snacking before I go to sleep and I think it was these excess calories at bed time that have contributed to my weight gain.

There are a few basics that I would like to stick to in 2018. These are:

  • Waking up at a sensible time – say 7am
  • Meditating before I start my day
  • Eating porridge for breakfast
  • Doing some daily exercise in the form of road running, static rowing or weight lifting
  • Making daily outreach calls
  • Keeping this journal up to date
  • Going to bed at a sensible time – say 10pm

These aren’t particularly challenging things, they are just basics, but it’s really easy for me to be either lazy or complacent and not do them. It does seem to be that if I don’t get the basics right then I generally don’t do as well during the day.

I meditated for the first time in about 3 weeks today. I think the reason was that the change in medication made me feel ‘better’ and so I convinced myself that I didn’t need to meditate. Over the last week or so I’ve grown increasingly restless. Now this could have been to do with the increase in the medication, but I did feel like I needed to meditate, yet couldn’t be bothered to do so. I feel much better today for making the effort, but I’m also mindful that I’ve gone back to a lower dose of Aripiprazole.

I think I’ll call this a day for today, but hopefully tomorrow I can explore my resentment and anger issues further. I had a rather uncomfortable situation a couple of weeks ago when I was at the cinema watching the first showing of Star Wars – The Last Jedi.

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