Weeks 20-21

I just wanted to post a brief update this week as I had missed last week. I’ve been going through some hard times internally these past few weeks, getting up and being productive has very difficult. I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied with smaller things, or things I feel are more manageable. We have been having the home redecorated to sell, so between my bedroom and the hallway being gutted I think that has kept me going, if it hasn’t in itself contributed to my low mood.

 

The weather has also improved in the last week. There is definitely a correlation between low mood and bad weather in my opinion. A bit of sun is always a welcome, but in this country temperatures dive between extremes. For example the day before the good weather set in it was 10°C, with the following day rising to 25°C. Absolutely zero time to acclimatise. I should probably be grateful for the good weather but the truth is I hate the heat. Always have done. I love the sun, I just hate the heat that comes with it.

 

Anyway, I said this would be brief, and I’m sticking to it. Hopefully in the next week I improve more significantly to write in more depth once again.

Week 19

Please forgive me for any spelling or grammatical errors that may be incurred in this post, and whilst I’m at it I’ll apologise for the tardiness again in posting in this blog. Unfortunately the house is being redecorated, and is currently resembling a bomb site. As such access to my PC is restricted, and finding time amid this chaos to write an update is extremely precarious. so this post is coming to you via a mobile application. Yes, an iPhone app.

Unfortunately my literary endeavours have suffered enormously this week, however I have begun the final big thing on my too do list this year which is to quit smoking. For the record, I love smoking. I love the taste, the way it feels, and I love how cool it makes me (because everyone knows that smoking makes you 100% cooler, right?). The rough and ready of it is I needed to quit. Smoking is an expensive habit to fund. Smoking is smelly. Smoking is uncool, and is bad for your health. Not just your physical health but your mental health too. Smoking for me was one of a few crutches I used with depression, with drinking being one of the others. The aim with quitting smoking is to cut down on my alcohol intake as well as I tend to smoke more if I drink. For me, like thousands (if not millions) of people, smoking is heavily linked to drinking. It just goes hand in hand. In fact it was one of the ways I became hooked. I started by having the odd one or two whilst out down the town. That gradually grew into buying a ten pack, then a twenty for a night out, until I finally started smoking without having a drink as a way to get a break. In some ways it was out of rebellion against my dad. He had smoked heavily since he was young until he finally quit a month before his 51st birthday. I think in someways he started for some of the same reasons I did. We both suffered from father issues in some form or another. Whilst my dad quit before I did, there wasn’t any pressure from him to quit myself. The virus I came down with a few weeks ago showed me what it was like to be cigarette free, with my sense of smell returning and remembering just how bad smoking smells. I’ve also wanted to quit to regain lung capacity. As you know I’ve recently begun going to the gym. So far I feel it is quite rewarding. I feel accomplished for doing something productive with my time, and I feel it’s something that’s beneficial overall for my health. What I do notice is how I seem to struggle for oxygen. So quitting seemed like the logical choice. The other deciding factor is the cost of it all. Having not worked full time in over a year the expense of it has stacked up. Nearly half the money I receive goes on tobacco. It’s difficult to save for anything, let alone pay outstanding debts. I feel as though it strongly affects my quality of life, and of my family who end up supporting me most of the time.

The advice I’ve been given in quitting is to avoid situations where I’d be inclined to smoke. Drinking is one of those situations. Drinking is a problem not only for me psychologically, but also in terms of my weight. The weight I’ve gained over the last year or so is mostly attributed to not only being so sedated at home, but also the increase in my. Beer intake. so the plan is essentially to work in partnership with the gym to help with fitness and weight loss whilst quitting smoking, giving me a new outlet for stress and taking away the dependence on cigarettes for a coping strategy. At least that is the plan. The nice folks at the smoking cessation clinic in town provided me with patches and lozenges. The lozenges are horrible. I’m now just chewing regular chewing gum in tandem with nicotine patches. At time of writing I haven’t smoked in 6 days. Besides not drinking I’ve generally continued my life as normal. I’ve gone out places, seen friends. All I’ve really done is avoid smoking areas and friends homes where they smoke in the house. I haven’t really craved a smoke, and with work going on in the house I’ve been more active around the home and at the gym than I’ve been in a while.

So there you go. If you have any tips on quitting, or any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Weeks 16 – 17 – 18

Firstly my apologies for letting this slip once again. This is mainly down to a virus I picked up from my family that left me broken for the better part of 2 weeks. It’s only really been the last week that things have returned to some normality. What was quite annoying was missing out on several events. My friend’s surprise party was my last physical act before passing out in my bed for several days. I also missed out on a college taster session as well as Mindfulness and other appointments. The other appointments were fine to rearrange, but missing out on the college thing as well as Mindfulness was incredibly frustrating. Oddly I found with the virus I didn’t get all that depressed. If anything I felt more upbeat and interested in some things. My sleep suffered with this bug, but to me it wasn’t about the lack of sleep, but more about the ability to get up at a good hour and have a full day. That mostly meant lying on the sofa downstairs, but nevertheless it felt brilliant to be up at 6am/7am, and getting to bed properly by 9pm/10pm. It felt normal.

And that’s generally how I’ve felt over the last 3 weeks. Normal. There have been moments where I’ve felt quite small. This is usually when I’m speaking with people about what I am up to these days. It always makes me feel really inadequate when I say I’ve been unemployed technically since September last year. It’s also quite difficult when I have to speak about my depression, or being put in a situation I feel uncomfortable with because of my low self esteem/self confidence. So, besides that it’s been all systems go. I spent my time ill rearranging appointments, which I’d usually find quite difficult. I generally made plans and, although I felt quite ill, I felt like I had accomplished something over that time. I think maybe it was the small victories in being active, but I also think it was a victory in recognising that when I’m ill I become isolated, and in becoming isolated I become depressed and feel worthless, until it flows round and round and I hit rock bottom. I think by getting myself out of my bedroom in the mornings and going downstairs it made me break that cycle before it begun. I’m hoping this is a sign that CBT has actually worked, and now I’m seeing the benefits.

I think that’s about all I have in the tank. This is the first time I’ve written at length in a few weeks. My concentration levels dipped significantly during the illness, so I hardly wrote or read anything. I still need to review the film I saw a few weeks ago, which I should probably give a crack tomorrow. The review is very late, and I think hardly anyone would be interested in it, but it gives me something to do, and perhaps I could go into more detail with it being so retrospective.

Anyways, I waffle. Until next time…