A Spontaneous Post

It’s 6 in the morning and this is not the post I’d intended as my next post. I’m not sure what this is but I just need to write it down.  The fact is I’m tired and my body aches.  I’m irrationally annoyed with this as a big reason for going alcohol free was to improve my health and sleep. Here I am after 18 days feeling like a knackered, washed -up, decrepit ageing man.  I ask myself,”What’s going on?”

Let me get my head around the sleep thing.  My sleep has never been good. I remember at university annoying my flatmates because I always woke up early full of energy and noise and I’d hear their affectionate cries of,”Shut the fuck up Jim, you piece of shit!” Ah happy days. I always wake early. It’s who I am. Even when I do a night duty with the volunteer charity I do work for, I get to bed around 4 am and I’m up by 8 at the latest.  My mind just starts buzzing and thinking. It’s not stress its just a brain that starts up early and then can’t switch off.  Having read Mathew Walker’s wonderful book, ‘why we sleep’ I know alcohol is not good for sleep but it did sometimes just shut my slightly manic mind down ocassionally. Now, without alcohol, it’s like my brain is in overdrive.  Eventually I’m hoping this will calm down and having a lively, unsedated brain will help me be more productive and creative.  At the moment though it would be so tempting to sedate it with a large scotch. I remind myself now that I’m also being over dramatic and that although I was up at 5 this morning I did go to bed around 10pm and I did have good quality sleep which I probably didn’t get when drinking. Ok I’m good with the sleep thing.  Moving on…..

My back, ankles and knees all really ache.  I hate being ill or injured. I can’t abide it. A little bit before I stopped drinking I noticed a few aches and pains.  Ok I thought, I’m getting older, I play a bit of walking football and table tennis, it comes with the territory.  I can live with that except it seems to be getting worse.  The back’s painful, ankle feels so weak I’m hoppling down the stairs like an 80 year old, and the pain could have been partly why I woke early.  I was supposed to feel better not worse after stopping drinking (wow doesn’t that sound like a stroppy child) and part of me wonders whether unconsciously or not the drinking prevented me feeling some of these aches and pains.  The booze was my pain relief?  Could be, or it could be that I am getting some horrendous condition. If I do have something that gets progressively worse I’d be very tempted to go back to the booze but then again, that’s not going to make things any better.

Oh I am feeling sorry for myself. I wish one of you fellow bloggers could reach out and give me a slap round the face and say, “Get a grip Jim.”  Ok I’ll have to do it, “Get a grip Jim, you moron!” Oh, that’s better I needed that. In CBT mode I shall challenge my thinking, I’m catastrophising.

Let’s counter those irrational thoughts.

Sleep: the quality is getting better, your brain is still adjusting to being alcohol free and that will take time.  In the meantime grab snoozes and rest when you can and remember all the other benefits you are experiencing being alcohol free.

Aches and pains: You are a bit of a hypochondraic. You probably did disguise some pains through alcohol so now you can feel the aches and pains do something about it. Stretching and light exercise, if it gets worse get it checked out with a doctor. And stop moaning.

Thanks Jim

That’s Ok Jim

Is that it for today?

I think so, thanks again.

Jim x

Alter ego Jim x

34 thoughts on “A Spontaneous Post

  1. meenawalia

    That’s why u r a real hero.I am.scared of the side effects and hence scared to even try to quit smoking and here u r battling it on your own and staying strong.keep it up Jim and no need of the slap coz u already r in control.jim.proud of u dear

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      I think smoking is easier to give up, the side effects don’t last too long it’s the pyschological craving that’s worse. Thing with smoking is it’s a lot worse for you than drinking IMO and with less pleasurable feelings. I don’t like giving advice but because you are so young and with so much to look forward to with your little ones I’m going to give it anyway- GIVE UP THE Cigarettes. You can count on lots of support from fellow bloggers!

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. meenawalia

        Hey Jim,thanks for the advice.really appreciate it.i need to work on my will power first.I myself am a bit fed up of my inability to give it up actually.

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  2. ceponatia

    Insomnia is a common problem among people who quit drinking. I’d say that pretty close to 100% of us deal with it. It goes away after about a month when your brain realizes it’s not going to be blacking out anymore.

    You’re right about the aches and pains, get more physically active and they’ll go away. You could also have long term health issues from drinking that the alcohol was masking. I had gout for a few years which I have never experienced pain worse than. It went away after I was alcohol free for 6 months. Another part of it is honestly just getting older, lol. I go to the gym 6 days a week most weeks and I still have random aches in my joints, albeit less so than when I was lazy.

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  3. sobrietytree

    Hey Jim. Sounds like you’ve got your own face-slapping covered. :)) Take it easy. :))

    Have you read Clare Pooley’s The Sober Diaries? I just finished it, and she found out she had breast cancer around halfway through the first year of sobriety. BUT: she said that if she had not been sober, she would not have gone through with the steps needed to find out she had it. So, sobriety saved her life.

    Also, have you read This Naked Mind? That has helped many with the mindset shift necessary, without involving religion.

    Hugs,
    xo Nadine

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Hi Nadine, my face feels suitably slapped, actually very gently slapped by Anne. After I wrote my post this mornning the back got worse but I’ve since taken some ibuprofen and been for a walk so feeling much better. Something like this won’t deflect me at all, I just hate feeling decrepit and I have an important table tennis league match tonight and I NEED TO WIN!(I think I mentioned my competetive nature earlier). I’ve read This naked Mind. It’s good but I have a problem with the overall tone and missionary zeal but that’s me being overly critical. I think I’ve got the mindset sorted (That should be my next post) but sometimes just sometimes…. well, you know how it is.😉

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      1. sobrietytree

        Ah right! It’s coming back to me now, about This Naked Mind. You know what? I do recommend the sober diaries, I know it’s about a mum and all, so maybe not directly man-oriented? But she’s very funny. You might enjoy it.

        Meanwhile, I shall enjoy the thought of you kicking ass at table tennis tonight. 😎👌😆

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      2. Jim Simmonds Post author

        I’ve just been told not to play table tennis tonight because of my back- but my team need me! Dilemma!😩 Forget Brexit- these are the truly big decisions we must make in life. What should I do???????

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Jim Simmonds Post author

        Nadine, I have to go. No reserves available. Sometimes in life you have to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. Armed only with my table tennis bat and two small balls (no sniggering now) I will go into battle. If I don’t return, think fondly of me.
        Jim x

        Liked by 1 person

      4. sobrietytree

        omg. two small balls… I wish I could send you the thing I just posted on instagram. suffice it to say, I found a little “rude” drawing (quite artistic really) by one of the boys on the back of a drawing pad today while cleaning up the kitchen. Gave me a chuckle. Bon courage Jim, knock ’em dead. Sober. 😄😇

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      5. sobrietytree

        Yay, congrats!!!! A bit of light movement is usually more helpful than harmful isn’t it… And a bit of rapid-fire (albeit solicited) advice can often be the opposite. 😉Sorry Jim 😆
        happy it all worked out so well! 🎉😊 xo n

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  4. nomorebeer2019

    Hi there Jim 🙂 It’s good you wrote all of this down and got it off your chest. I HATE people who give advice, but for the manic brain that won’t shut off, I do have a miracle pill for you: meditation meditation meditation. Daily (or nightly). A life changer. But that’s everyone’s own personal choice to make, I won’t preach. Preaching even has the opposite effect on some people 🙂 BUT DO IT!

    Re. physical pain: for years, my mother claimed that her drinking was due to the horrendous arthritis in her hip joints, which appeared when she was 40-ish. By the age of 50, she was severely overweight and could barely stand or walk without being in atrocious pain. For about 5 years she was unemployed and just sat, all day long, drinking, suffering. It was awful, for everyone. Then at about age 55 she decided to get hip replacement surgery, a “life changing opportunity”, she called it. We all hoped she would quit drinking after that and lose weight and be happy. This was about 10 years ago. She did none of that. She still drinks, more than ever, and now has back pain. Because of the weight.

    Jim, your body (and brain) will very soon adapt to your new lifestyle.

    Sleepless nights will pass. What you don’t want to pass on is your opportunity to change your life, to learn how to NOT RUN away from reality. Don’t become like my mother and hide away from all those horrible and painful aspects of life. Including aging, and death.

    Don’t let your thoughts -whether insomniac or hypochondriac- take over. If your body needs medical attention, then the last thing it needs it to be numbed with alcohol and ignored. It needs care, or a doctor.

    We have such little time on this planet, we can’t spend it all running away from life.

    How’s that for a slap in the face?

    Lots of love and hugs because I am not a slapper and now I feel guilty xoxoxoxo

    Anne

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Hi Anne
      Wow- my cheeks are still smarting from that face slapping.☺️I think it’s blooming marvellous that you take the time to give such great and personal comment. I really appreciate it. You’re so right about meditation. It’s something I used to try and do but stilling that mind, that’s tough. I have used guided mindfulness and having trained in hypnotherapy I do have some guided relaxation stuff but meditation is better. Years ago I used to go along to meditation sessions run by a Buddhist centre near me and that was really good so I might revisit them.
      Such a shame about your mum. Part of my motivation is I want my sons to see that you can enjoy life without drink. They are at an age where they can drink fairly heavily at social events and get away with it but it catches up with you. They will be gobsmacked when they see me NOT drinking and something may rub off on them. My other son who passed away 11 years ago said something to me about my drinking and that’s a whole different story and not for now or I’ll struggle to hold it together.

      Anne – you are truly wonderful and lovely but a little word of advice- if you come to England on a visit don’t refer to yourself as a “slapper” please – It means something completely different here. 😂

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      1. Jim Simmonds Post author

        No I’m going in an hours time. Doing some gentle stretching in between comments, couple of painkillers and then off I go. I do hope their team doesn’t have kids. I hate getting beaten by kids 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jim Simmonds Post author

        Hi Anne, I did win actually. all my singles and the doubles. More importantly the team won against a team that just came down from a higher division. And they weren’t kids. The youngest in their team of two women and a man was 74. They were great and played with an energy, enthusiasm, skill and competitiveness that make you question any stereotypes about growing old. The back was pain free and I’m still puzzled by that given how bad it was yesterday morning. It’s 6.30 in the morning here and just woke up and the back’s still fine. I even dealt well with a slight alcoholic craving last night. I always, but always came home from a match and had a celebratory or commiseration drink. Looking back what was that about. Get physically in great shape and celebrate by poisoning yourself. Mad. Oh sorry, long answer. Better get a cup of tea.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. nomorebeer2019

        Jim, don’t apologize for the length (or lack thereof) of your answers 🙂 I love long posts and long comments ! Also, I used to love an alcoholic reward after physical exercise. I think because deep down I was exercising to “earn” my drink …. now I’m trying to exercise because I feel better (physically and mentally) when I do. And I don’t force myself to if I really don’t feel like it. But I’m trying to conceive of it as an end in itself, not a means to “earn” some other reward. Dunno if that makes sense, but congrats on beating BOTH the kids and the higher division oldies !!!! I love table tennis and miss it – haven’t played in years !

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  5. Untipsyteacher

    Jim,
    I sure understand.
    I’m older than you, but I have learned to live with general aches and pains. I do use over the counter meds which help some. The key is to keep moving. Once I start moving, I feel much better! A hot shower also helps!

    I suffered from horrible sleep problems, but I finally went to a sleep psychologist. SO worth it! I followed his advice to the letter, and within 4 Months was sleeping much better! It was hard at first, but I was dying to sleep so it was worth the temporary pain.

    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      I can’t believe your’e older than me Wendy. You look so much younger than that, or Ive aged badly! I did try some anti-inflams today and do now feel better. Sleep Psychologist sounds good. I get to sleep OK I just wake up very early with my mind buzzing!

      Liked by 2 people

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  6. clairei47

    Brilliant post and discussion. Love Anne’s slap in the face (but I agree … please no using the term ‘slapper’ over here in the uk 🤦‍♀️)

    Well done on winning the table tennis 🏓… I am starting to think this little sober community have similar personality traits! Enthusiastic, competitive, excessive but most of all immensely kind, understanding and thoughtful.
    Good job Jim 💪👏
    Claire x

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    Reply
  7. Dana Pescrillo

    I am glad you won, and you feel better. I love all the discussions you bought on the subject. Lastly, my mom, who is 78 says while aches and pains are part of aging, moving, stretching and walking are key to keeping them at bay.

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