Anxiety is still with me. In fact today it was worse than it has been in a while. I came close to panic on a couple of occasions.
The fact that I survived, that I didn't panic, that I did cope must, I hope, build strength in that direction.
I'm going to see if I can work out the cause of this anxiety. The worst was before I left - three visits to the toilet - which is usual. The near panic came while I was actually at work though and that was unusual. It's not a welcome development.
I must always consider Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome among the causes for any mental disturbance. I am also withdrawing from porn. This is a very good, very liberating thing. It is the best thing I have done since stopping drinking. But does my brain know that yet? Addictions cause or exacerbate things like anxiety and depression, and then when you stop they make them worse for a while. OK. So we have two possible causes.
I also drank more caffeine today. I've been sticking very well to my three cups of green tea a day, with none in the afternoon. (And I should count the chocolate I eat at night too, though it's only two squares.) Today, mostly out of routine, I drank tea at every break so had five cups in total. That's another possible cause.
I think the biggest is simply empty time. Now I wake fairly early I have a longish time before I have to leave and I'm not filling it. There's no good reason for this, other than, well, it's the time before going to work so I'm just waiting. As a result, I think, and as a result of that I get anxious. I'm also focusing on the anxiety, I expect it and try to prepare for it. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So, I need to work out what to do about this.
It seems fairly obvious. I'm not going to start drinking and go back to my bad internet habits (he said euphemistically), so PAWS and other withdrawals must run their course.
I need to fill that time. That should be easy enough. I can do some work. I can do something about one of the many projects I say I have no time for. I need to break the current routine, that much is obvious. I can do some housework. I could - but I think it unlikely as yet - do a morning workout. Exercising makes me feel good fairly instantly.
At work I have herbal tea. There's no reason why I can't stick to my usual limit for caffeine.
I do fight this. I use the little bits of cognitive behavioural therapy I've received to challenge my thinking as I'm sliding down the slippery slope to I WON'T BE ABLE TO COPE.
I've just had a bit of a shock. Mag is going away again next Monday. For three weeks! Because she had work in several different places, I assumed that she would be returning to Thin City in between. No such thing.
This is a challenge. Which must be seen as an opportunity of course. Not just for me but for her. She doesn't like being away for a long time and can get low as a result. I need to be together so we can stay properly in touch and I can support her at a distance.
There is a further challenge/opportunity. My brother lives in Mom City, where she will be for several days. She'll be staying with people I know and who would welcome me there. I could go and see her for a weekend, seeing my brother while she is busy.
There are challenges in this too. I once lived in Mom City and was very unhappy. Even thinking about the place has memory triggers for the huge amount of drinking I did to escape the city's size and speed. Even if I'm there we will be apart for much of the time - basically I'll just be there to cuddle at night.
Unregulated time in a city I find frightening and which has been a hedonistic escape circus (good name for a band, that) will undoubtedly put pressure on my abstinence.
I do have my own commitments - just to work, this blog (don't laugh, it is a commitment to me) and my exercise class - to consider too. I must also think of my health.
Visiting my parents has been a good thing to do in times like this in the past. That's a possibility too.
That can't be thought about in detail yet. I'm loathe to offer her the chance of me visiting to then let her down and leave her disappointed. In fact I just won't do that.
I continue to do the right things and I continue to believe they will yield more results as I go along. That's all you can do.
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