JOURNAL ENTRY: Thursday 20 October 2016

Wow! It’s been over two months since I last posted a journal entry, which just goes to show that I really don’t want to face the world when I’m living with and dealing with crippling anxiety and suicidal depression.

I’m now on 40mg of Fluoxetine a day and things are slowly starting to make sense again.

I’ve re-engaged with the 12 Step program and even that’s making a lot more sense today.

As far as I can tell, my root cause illness is anxiety, which has manifested as OCD perfectionism coupled with co-dependency that intensifies my anxiety and subsequently leads to prolonged periods of depression, leading to serve depression and breakdown.

I’ve used coping mechanisms such as alcohol and various addictions to cope with my fear of failure and self loathing, but have reached an ultimate rock bottom that says ‘these things don’t work any more’, so I either have to end it all or have the courage to deal with it all.

I’m (still) choosing the later. Coming to terms with the fact that I am, and continue to be, powerless over my anxiety and depression allows me to begin to heal from it. Admitting and accepting that I am powerless over my thought, feelings and actions means that I can now begin to foresee the consequences of my powerlessness and thus decide to implement new self management techniques to prevent my life from becoming unmanageable.

I still don’t have the answer, but what I do have is the hope that I can get better. If I stop trying to do it my way and make myself vulnerable enough to admit to myself and others that I need help, I can receive help and get better.

Step 1 – Admitted that I am powerless over my thoughts, feels and actions – that my life has become unmanageable.

I admit that I can’t cope on my own and that I don’t need to fix everyone else, only me.

I don’t have the skills or experience to get myself out of the black hole I have created inside my own mind.

I have become lost and thus I frequently visit suicidal thoughts as a way of giving myself hope that this suffering can end.

I know that my suicidal thoughts are not ones that I will ultimately act on, but it’s another destructive mental fantasy that allows me to believe things can get better. This is ultimately messed up thinking, as suicide is not a plan for healthy and balanced living, but in the darker moments, it does give me some sort of comfort.

My old and worn out coping strategy is to go into myself and isolate myself from the world. This does not work. It never worked and will never work because my mind is the problem. The issue is my thinking. I cannot think my way out of this problem, that is the problem. I must feel my way out by learning to feel, understand and empathise with my emotional body. I must live from the heart, rather than just the head. Strangely the medication helps with this process. Rather than dull my emotions, they actually activate my emotions and my awareness of them.

Step 2 – Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.

I believe that when I pick up my phone and/or attend a 12 Step meeting I connect with people and I am reminded that I am not alone and that there is hope. I draw strength from their experience and I find common ground and a shared understanding of fear and anxiety from identification with other peoples stories.

I believe that medication can help stabilise my condition enough to allow me to try new ways of dealing with my illness.

Step 3 – Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of my Higher Power.

If I don’t know what I’m doing and I freely admit that in Step 1, then maybe something else wants me to get better. Maybe I can get better if I just stop trying and do as I’m told. I take my medication. I attend meetings. I pick up my phone and make phone calls.

I STOP doing all the stupid things that don’t work like; eating refined sugar, drinking alcohol, accepting sex when I want love, smoking, isolating myself.

I accept that I don’t know what I want, so I decide to commit to what I don’t want.

I DO NOT WANT SUFFERING.

So when asked, do I want a beer? Yes.
I remind myself: does drinking alcohol lead to suffering? Yes.

Wanting a beer is in contradiction to not wanting suffering. I no longer want a beer.

I find this reverse logic works, because I am so powerless over my thoughts, feelings and actions, that I cannot trust myself with what I want, so I use hard line logic as my way of setting my first recovery boundary, which is that I DO NOT WANT SUFFERING.

Most of what I do causes me suffering, so I am now willing to try something new and that means I need people to help guide my recovery, as I’m still pretty clueless.

I’ll leave it there. Thanks, it’s good to be hear 🙂

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