Friday, 20 March 2015

A question of blogging. Drugs on and drugs off. Where to next.

I haven't written here for a while. I'm not sure why. I suppose I just got knocked out of the routine that included posting here as part of an hour I spent online before I went to bed. 

I think I'd like to get back to it. So here I am. 

The truth in large part is that I was fighting so hard on the No Fap (to give the anti-pornography, anti-masturbation movement its horrible proper name) front, that I was putting all my writing energy into a journal there. 

That's OK. I've got some great support there and I'm actually doing well with my porn addiction after a bad time. I've today gone through a week of abstinence and that's a really excellent thing. 

Some other big stuff has happened since I was last here. 

I saw a doctor about my anxiety. It went pretty well. I was, in fact, pretty much asked what treatment I fancied. As a result I am now taking propranolol, a beta blocker; and not taking sertraline an ssri anti-depressant. 

I did say "pretty much asked what treatment I fancied". I don't fancy taking anti-depressants again. The side effects scare me for starters. And, well over a year ago now I took a decision that I would stop taking anti-depressants and by so doing I would stop thinking of myself as depressed. 

Since then I have had some very good times in terms of my mood. I've had some lows too, but not enough to convince me that I am clinically depressed. 

I've been prescribed sertraline for anxiety, or rather to "stabilise my mood" as the doctor put it. I'm hoping that by breaking the physical symptoms of anxiety I will have lost the chief cause of any low mood I have been suffering lately. 

I didn't tell the doctor about the porn addiction thing. I should have, I know. Mood swings are bound to be a part of trying to stop a compulsive habit that ditches large amounts of dopamine into the brain. 

My plan is to see how I do. I had thought I'd give it a couple of weeks using just propranolol before I'd take the sertraline as prescribed. I now want to go further if I can. I certainly want to get through next week and the chance to try propranolol in the situation that causes me the most anxiety by far: my walk to work. 

While I'm here I must also report that I've given up smoking. I haven't smoked tobacco since around 9.30am on Wednesday morning (today is Friday). This time I haven't used any nicotine replacements - no e-cigs or anything. 

I think I'm through the worst of the physical withdrawal symptoms now and I'm doing pretty well.  From, say, tomorrow onwards it'll be a mental battle alone. For the first time in my life I can honestly say I don't have some lingering attachment to cigarettes. 

A certain amount of their allure has gone with the realisation that I no longer enjoy smoking cannabis. Giving up smoking sometimes seemed pointless when I knew I'd relapse and have a spliff at the first opportunity. In fact, pornography, tobacco and cannabis formed a nasty little trio of addictions that sat together very nicely - alcohol too, but I had no choice but to acknowledge the crippling physical damage (and emotional, and financial, and so on and so on damage) that did to me. 

So lots has happened and it's put this blog up in the air. That's OK. I will be back. I'm hoping this weekend to find a new routine that can fit a daily post in. Then I want to build more in the way of posting useful stuff - the recovery resources - that I've collected but haven't had time to put up. 

If you spent it thank you for your time.