I am a 44-year-old man who still takes money from his family to stay solvent.
I am a 44-year-old man who sometimes cannot leave the house without spending an hour running back and forth to the toilet.
I haven't had a job for nearly 10 years.
I work freelance but earn very little. I often spend whole days starring at a screen paralysed by fear and doing very little but clicking on social forums desperate for some connection.
I have unrealistic dreams of making money blogging like this because I feel it might be all I'm able to cope with doing.
I can take days to complete the simplest of tasks. For example, since Monday I have needed to make a doctor's appointment. I haven't felt able to do it for all that time.
I often don't wash properly or change my clothes enough. I can drift into nothingness, self-hatred and trembling fear. I sometimes need reminding to wash my hands after going to the toilet and to clean my teeth every day.
I can go for days without seeing anyone when Mag is away. I'm deeply, deeply lonely and use the Internet as a replacement for real social interaction.
I sometimes plan suicide. There are days when the "plan for my future" is outliving my parents in order not to put them through the pain of their child killing himself. Then I'll drink as long as the money lasts and end it all when it runs out.
Sometimes I have no real idea who I am. I'm not sure what I like to do. I try to think of things to usefully or productively do, of something that will make me happy and I have no idea where to turn.
I often think that the smallest conflict or upset will destroy me. I'm desperate for praise and love and will so almost anything to find it. I don't know what I think or what I believe - tell me what you'd like me to think and believe and I'll almost certainly do it for you.
Some days I regret waking up. My chief aim for the day is for the hours to pass so that I can return to the sanctuary of my bed.
I often wish I could cry but I'm scared of emotion and expressing it.
This week I can't recall having laughed genuinely.
These things are all true. To a greater or lesser extent they are. You'll notice many of these assumptions begin with "sometimes" or "often" and that's true. Things aren't like this all the time. Rather more than I would like, yes, but certainly not all the time.
It's felt good to write that. It's honest and honesty is good. It's also completely subjective and - as someone with my problems is wont to do - it puts almost the worst possible slant on this.
I could do much worse. I've been addicted to alcohol, drugs and bad behaviours for a long long time, I have plenty of horror stories of disgusting behaviour, desperate lows and so on. I don't think sharing those will do anything useful, they are in the past - though some of them are probably quite entertaining.
The fact is that I can also write a list of positive things and things that I am going to use to change all those things.
Briefly. Mag, my partner, loves me so much and is such a support to me. I am to her too. My love and support for her has made some of the amazing things she's done professionally recently possible.
I'm not "evil" or a "psychopath" as I've previously told partners. Inside all this mess is a person who has struggles but who wants to be useful and helpful. I have compassion and empathy and kindness and sensitivity.
People like me. I am polite and good company and can be very funny. At the moment I'm not exactly at the centre of a thriving social circle but there's nothing fundamental to stop that happening.
I do have skills. I can write. I am a very good listener. I do have a mind packed with - sometimes deeply trivial and irrelevant - knowledge that I can share entertainingly. I am a good listener and a good communicator.
I did feel pleasure this week. I sat and played the guitar and sang for a couple of hours, just for the joy of it.
Despite dealing with addiction and anxiety and depression I do find work and when I do I usually get more of it.
I live when I do. The internet has already put me in touch with amazing support to help me overcome my addictions. It also gives me many more opportunities to work and earn online. I am learning all the time.
I AM SOBER AND HAVE BEEN SOBER FOR NEARLY 11 MONTHS.
I AM CANNABIS FREE AND HAVE BEEN FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.
I HAVE NOT USED PORN FOR 16 DAYS.
Those last three are the big ones. The ones that are and will giving me the chance, the hope to make changes. I also need to remember that not using these things - my big three medications and coping mechanisms for anxiety and unhappiness that I have used together and individually for decades - is a massive massive achievement. Like really massive. No, honestly, huge.
I've cried today. That's felt good. I've had a few days, post Sertraline, of feeling very little. I hope there will be more emotion to come and I know that a lot of it will be difficult. I've stomped on difficult emotions for years, the fact that they're rising up is part of the healing process.
I've also decided to ask for help. I'm going to phone the doctor and make an appointment. It seems the only treatment option left to me is counselling, so I'm going to take that option if it's still available.
I'm also aware that I haven't connected with a number of self-help groups in Thin City - AA and Smart Recovery for starters, a local addiction charity runs groups too. I can make steps to look at those.
I have opportunity. The fact that I have very few life skills gives me a fantastic opportunity to learn some. I feel low because I'm a scruffy, messy bastard - think how amazing it'll feel to start to take control of my life properly, to become an adult.
I am still trying and I am proud of that and that is what I shall continue to do.
This has been a big post for me. It's not been easy and I'm a little upset again.
In a good way.
If you spent it, thank you for your time.