My husband and I went away for a day (almost a day, it was more like 20 hours). My brother-in-law stayed at our house with Achilles. The two of them had a great time together while we were gone.
We went to Flagstaff to go to part of the 2017 Flagstaff AA Roundup. The idea of going was much more exciting a few weeks ago. The closer it got to actually going to the event, the worse my anxiety got. We went Saturday night only for a couple of hours. I took Valium, and it didn’t even reduce my anxiety the slightest bit. I pushed myself and made myself stay for a couple of hours. I’m glad I did, but at the same time I know that I probably pushed myself too far because my anxiety is still hanging around.
Then on Sunday morning, we went to the Arizona Snowbowl, which is a scenic ski lift. It was beautiful. When we reached the top, it was 11,500 feet elevation. The view was amazingly beautiful. After that, we drove home. I was so happy to see Achilles when we got home. Our trip wasn’t much. It didn’t last long, but something is better than nothing. It’s important to get away every once in a while, even if it’s just for a day.
I’m struggling to lose weight. It’s such a pain in the ass. Oh well, it will happen at some point. I enjoy cooking for my husband, but it doesn’t help with weight loss. I’ve been trying some new recipes lately. Last night’s dinner definitely wasn’t healthy. Maybe I should look at some new, healthier recipes.
Right now, I should be focused on what’s currently happening and what’s coming up this weekend. My husband and I are going to Flagstaff for a couple of days. There’s a camping event that happens every year. I used to bring my dog with me and we would have a lot of fun. I’m getting nervous about being around that many people. It will be easier since I’ll be with my husband. Even though I know most of the people there, it still makes me nervous. I’m actually rethinking going to the event. Maybe we’ll still go away for a couple of days, but not go to the event. I’ll have to talk to my husband about it. I’ll let you know what we decide to do.
Another day of ECT. I know it helps, but I really dislike the memory loss side effect. However, I would rather have some memory loss than be completely miserable, irritable, depressed, and suicidal. I am grateful that ECT helps and I hope that it continues to improve my mental health status as time goes on.
I was talking to my husband the other day about how I’ve been going to AA meetings all by myself (of course, not without taking a Valium). We discussed that I have talked to some people, spoke in some of the meetings, and I even stood up to get my sobriety chip (I had 13 years sober on April 29th). It turns out that I really missed meetings.
I have been pushing myself to do a little more each week. My husband and I even take walks each night for about 30 minutes. It’s so beautiful out with the stars shining down on us. The neighborhood is almost completely silent. During the last couple of walks, only 2 cars passed by us each night. It reminds me of where I grew up. I think the reason that I’m able and willing to push myself further is because I know that I have a safe place to come home to. I feel secure and comfortable in our new home. When living at our last house, I always felt on edge. Just leaving the house and going to the garage was a difficult task. I no longer have to worry about things like that; my anxiety while at home is less. Let’s hope it stays that way.
The noon meeting I went to today went very well. There were only about 10 people there. I didn’t know any of them, so it was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was much better than a meeting with 50 or 75 people. It was an open meeting, with the subject of ‘One day at a time’. Near the end of the meeting, I spoke up by choice. When sharing, I decided to open up about how I’m nervous coming to meetings because I get nervous around people. Afterwards, one of the guys from the meeting came up to me and thanked me for sharing about my nervousness. He said that he feels that way too, but people don’t usually talk about it. He thanked me for my honesty and openness.
This is definitely a huge step forward for me. I can’t wait to tell my therapist and psychiatrist about what I did today. It’s a big sign that the Clozapine and the ECT are absolutely working. I’m going to try to keep going to at least a few meetings a week. Hopefully, I will find smaller meetings to go to so I feel more comfortable. Maybe I’ll even make friends with some of these people.
I’ve been thinking of going to another meeting today; however, the meetings I’ve been going to tend to get so crowded that I get uncomfortable. That’s why I thought I would change it up a bit and try going to the noon meeting. I’ve been to it before, so it’s not completely new for me, and there are generally less people at the noon meeting then there are at the 6pm meeting. It’s worth a shot, I should at least try it. If, for some reason, I’m uncomfortable, I can always leave. I’ll let you all know how the meeting goes.
I don’t think I’m going to try going to another meeting today. They are so much busier on the weekends, and I’m not ready for that yet, at least not alone. I’m not giving up; I’ll go on Monday. I’m glad that I started going back to meetings. I missed the community and friendships. However, for now, I have lots to do while I’m home. Cleaning and packing is a lot of work.
Yesterday’s ECT seemed harder than usual, but my husband says that I say that every time, I just don’t remember due to the memory loss from the treatments. Last night, we went to my husband’s best friend’s house. We just played some card games. It was difficult, but I pushed myself through it. I think it’s important to hang out with people and have fun. Maybe it’s not the best idea to do it on a day that I had ECT, but I know that I will always find a reason not to do things, so last night, I just figured why not.
I went to another meeting last night, but I didn’t like that one as much as I liked the one on Wednesday night. I will have to try out many different meetings until I find the one that’s right for me, I have hope. Even though I didn’t like the meeting, I stayed for the whole thing. The important part is that I keep trying. I won’t be able to go to a meeting today because I have another ECT treatment, but maybe I’ll try again on Saturday. I have to keep putting myself out there. I really want to have that community that I used to have when I was going to meetings all the time. I can’t give up.
Yesterday, I went to my friend’s/sponsor’s house so we could drive to the AA meeting together. Just the thought of going to a meeting was causing an anxiety attack. I ended up going to the meeting with her and her husband, who helped me first get sober. When we got to the meeting, my anxiety picked up again, but my friend helped me through it.
There were several people who know me. They all wanted hugs, which was difficult at first, but it got easier as the moments went on. It was really nice to see most of these people. Only a couple of people asked me where I’ve been. I did my best to answer them by saying, “Not here”, but for one person it didn’t work. I just said, “I’ve been busy but staying sober.”
We sat on a bench with our backs to the wall (my friend picked the seats and she knows me very well). My friend sat on one side of me and her husband sat on the other. I was very fidgety, had racing thoughts, and at one point I apparently stopped breathing, so my friend suggested we go outside for a moment. I was afraid that someone was going to call on me to speak, and there were lots of people who kept looking over at me. Everything ended up perfectly fine.
In fact, I’m thinking of going to another meeting today. I know what it is that I have been missing from the meetings, I’ve been missing the friendship and community. I’m thinking of going to an earlier meeting today, at 4pm, so it will be a bit smaller (hopefully). We’ll see how it goes. I’m just going to take it one moment at a time.
I’m feeling a little better today, which is good because I have lots to do. My lawyer is going to call me in a few hours to explain how things are going with my case. I’m very curious and can’t wait to hear how it’s going. Then, my father-in-law and his girlfriend are coming over. Our house is a disaster because I already started packing. Hopefully they will understand that. I normally don’t let anyone in the house unless it’s clean, but cleaning and packing don’t really go together. My husband and I are going to take them too our new house shortly after they get here. I can’t wait to see the house again.
I also have a meeting to go to tonight, which I’m very nervous about. I’m meeting someone there, so I won’t be alone, but I’m still nervous. I used to go to these exact meetings (6pm Monday through Friday) every day until 2009 when I went on disability due to my mental health. I’m a little worried that people are going to ask me where I’ve been or why I haven’t been coming. My mom helped me out. If people ask where I’ve been, I can simply say, “Not here, how are you?” I think I can do that. I at least have to try.
This is a saying I remember hearing over and over at my AA meetings. When I was getting sober, I was constantly told to pray for help to change. Change is not an easy thing, so I was told to pray for the courage to change. I am not a person that likes to pray, but when you’re desperate enough, you’ll try anything. I’ve now been sober for 12 years. At this time, I’m still having difficulties, just in a different area of my life. But I still need to work on changing, and I still need the courage to do so. I don’t feel like I have any courage. I feel weak and helpless, but my friends and family tell me that I’m a courageous person. Either I don’t see what they see, or they’re just wrong about me having courage. I suppose I’ll be positive about this and just assume that I’m not seeing what these other people are seeing.
One thing I know I’m good at doing and I keep trying. No matter how many times something fails or problems arise, I don’t give up. I guess others see this as courageous; I see this as desperate. I want to give up all the time; I’m not sure why I don’t. Maybe it’s because of my family. My entire family is so supportive and caring. They put a lot of energy into dealing with me. I feel like it’s the right thing to do to keep trying, if not for myself, then for my family.
I have learned that it’s okay to have fear, but don’t let that fear stop you from doing anything. I am in control of my life. I make the choices. I can choose to look fear in the face and keep moving forward. I have learned to never give up on myself. If I can’t do things for myself, then it’s okay to find another reason. For me, it’s my family. I wonder what other people use as their reason to keep moving forward. Does anyone want to share?