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.
That’s Ok Jim
Is that it for today?
I think so, thanks again.
Alter ego Jim x