June..

01/06/09
A quiet day really, monitoring price movements on Betfair all day. The gym is closed at the moment and not open until Thursday so my regular system has been put out for a couple of days, but hey, I’m not drinking even through boredom.

02/06/09
Another uneventful day really, I ordered a load of Thai ingredients that arrived this morning so I made a red curry paste and done a curry this evening, So much better than buying the crappy stuff you can get in a supermarket in jars, and I made enough to last and it keeps in the fridge.

I am getting so used to not drinking it’s becoming the norm really, I just don’t do it anymore, I don’t crave it, desire it, miss it or anything really, all those years of thinking I was doomed and was going to die an alcoholic, then along came baclofen and BAM, all over! Although I often wonder how much damage I did to my body through all those years of addiction to alcohol?

03/06/09
Many thanks for your advice anonymous Dr. I must mention my nausea has passed since I have stabilised on this dose and I feel much better and the somnolence is nowhere near as intense although still present. So to be honest I am a lot more confident and happier to stay on this dose as it has kept me totally abstinent.

I may discuss with my Dr. about taking more frequent doses as I can see the logic in this. I currently take 10 tablets three times a day. I can understand also about one of your patients feeling depressed! As I had the odd day feeling low but as you said all of a sudden your whole life changes and you need to adjust very quickly, a 16 year habit [as mine was] kicked in to check in 60 days is one thing people may have a problem dealing with.

04/06/09
I went to the gym today but the pool is still not open so I had a steam and a nice shower and hopefully it should all be back to normal by tomorrow. Also I weighed myself, I’ve lost half a stone and that’s not doing a diet and I haven’t been exercising so god only knows what’s going on with my metabolism? In fact I have eaten a load of rubbish including Kentucky’s, pot noodles, and lots of brown bread sandwiches.

No beer again obviously, but I felt a bit down in the dumps all day, occasionally I do feel like that, it just comes and goes. Normally if I felt moody a few beers sorted me out but I don’t have that vice any more so I need to find something else to lift my mood when I’m feeling blue! The question is what can I do?

This is going to sound ridiculous but it’s depressing knowing that I can’t have the jolly up when I’m feeling ****** off! But that is how it all starts isn’t it, depression and anxiety or you can’t sleep so you drink, start the vicious cycle and before you know it you’re an alcoholic.

I need some sort of excitement though! Something to get the old endorphins going and buzzing. Alcohol steals your identity but you don’t realise it until you have stopped! So when you abruptly stop drinking you have a void to fill, obviously don’t let that put you off, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me in years, but I am realising that I need to be doing something enjoyable in my void and I need to find something constructive to do now all the euphoria of not drinking has passed.

05/06/09
I still felt a bit low when I got up today, I had to go over and do some stuff at my old house and that never helps my mood. I did have a couple of bottles of beer this afternoon and I did actually feel a bit better, I wasn’t craving alcohol or anything like that, really just fancied a nice couple of cold beers.

I went swimming this evening and I do feel OK again this evening, as I said, the depression just comes and goes for no apparent reason but I did think that maybe I felt low because I hadn’t been going to the gym?

It’s strange now being in control of alcohol, I had a couple of beers this afternoon and that’s it, before I started taking baclofen there was no way I could do that, if I had beers at any time of day it meant a full blown session. Now I can have a beer like a normal drinker and to be honest I’m so pleased, it means I can go out and have a social life without worrying about a relapse. So that made me feel happier as I have been avoiding going out and that’s a bit stupid.

I may go out and not drink but if I had a couple and I enjoyed it is there any harm in doing so?

06/06/09
A strange day of enlightenment today, since I have been on the baclofen I realised I have been constantly trying to occupy myself! I am doing this system test using real money on making a tax free income, this includes sports bets and financial trading, the financial trading is using a dummy account [for fake money] the sports bets I am using real money, a small bank but I have noticed instead of having a day off and walking away when I’m in profit I tend to sit here all day when I don’t have to and shouldn’t really and I end up losing money!

This is because I don’t know what else to do with myself for the rest of the day. Now I know a lot of you may condemn what I’m doing but it is a test to see if I can make a tax free living a reality? I have got a few other things in the pipeline if all should fail but I am going through a huge transitional period in my life. I have given up drinking or at the very least being an alcoholic, I have started going to the gym again and exercising, my relationship has come to an end with my partner mainly due to the fact that I am sober and I can analyse things correctly, and I’m trying so hard at becoming financially secure again that it’s having the adverse effect and is making me lose money. I think it’s time to slow down and re-evaluate my situation; yes it’s excellent that baclofen has cured my addiction, but where do I go from here? I’m not sure right now but I’ll get there.

07/06/09
My partner came over this afternoon and we had a nice kiss and cuddle and it made us both feel a lot better, I think maybe that was why I was low as I hate us arguing and sulking. We went for a curry after and I had a couple of pints of cobra. We have also decided that we need a few days away so we are going to book a cruise I believe… Love is a funny thing.

I’ll be talking to my Dr. this week regarding my dosage and where I go from here with the baclofen. I have got used to this dosage of 300 mg now and it has kept me abstinent, I’ve had a couple of beers here and there and that’s it.

I forgot to mention I had a few San Miguel’s last night and a drop of wine and really enjoyed them; it is nice to know I can have a few beers without it becoming a problem and spiralling out of control. And I didn’t get any cravings today to drink, it just happened that we went out to eat and I had a couple of beers with my meal.

08/06/09
I had purchased a trading program today that helps you make money [apparently] on the exchanges like Betfair, so messing around with that most of the day. Went swimming in the evening, come back and played some poker. Spoke to my Dr. Today and I’m going to stay on 300 mg for another 4 to 6 weeks and then start to reduce it to around half. As usual no beers today, still felt moody first thing but that past throughout the day.

I went to the garage when I came out the gym and the guy at the counter said no alcohol? And I explained I rarely drink now and said it’s OK now and again, this guy then said he drinks a couple of nights a week but his big purple nose told a different story. Drinking affects so many people it’s unreal! And so many people have a problem with it but don’t admit it to themselves, I know because I was one of them and I was always trying to convince everyone else that I didn’t have a problem with alcohol! I genuinely feel sorry for alcoholics as I know how hard I struggled with alcoholism for so many years! I wonder if they’ll ever do an experiment and start adding baclofen to alcohol?

09/06/09
My partner and I booked our cruise today, so we go for a week in July. Quite a hectic day once we had booked, I had to film a video clip for YouTube, and then go and meet a Thai acquaintance of mine to discuss some business ventures.

I had a pint of bitter in the pub while exploring various options we had and once again nothing else after that 1 pint. And then back to the desk to practice using this trading program I bought yesterday, went swimming in the evening. Early night I think.

10/06/09
I woke up early today, checked my email and went to the post office. I then went swimming, practiced using this trading program [I’m no good at it at the moment though] and went swimming again in the evening.

I was going to have a beer this evening and watch the football highlights but I just didn’t fancy it. I ended up watching a film called “leaving Las Vegas” ironically it’s about an alcoholic that falls in love with a prostitute. It really did bring back some memories of the states I use to get in. And it still amazes me all those years struggling with alcohol addiction and a chance article that my partner noticed has changed my life for good it seems and forever I hope.

11/06/09
Very moody again today, from the minute I wake up I feel down in the dumps! I really can’t explain it but it’s just there! I’ve got a shit load to deal with at the moment but that’s never been a problem before! I’m a born fighter and I can normally shrug things off, but its not easy to do that feeling this depressed! fucking weird. I am so happy have come to the end of my alcoholism but now I’m faced with this! I hope it’s not forever? I don’t know what’s worse being drunk or being depressed???

12/06/09
I felt a bit better today, I had a couple of beers and a few glasses of wine last night, I can’t really say it done much for me but I did generally feel better this morning. My diet has been pretty crap lately so that maybe another cause of my moods? Also I’m definitely going to start spacing my dosage out as I’m taking 300 mg a day over a 16/18 hour period and I think flattened me also. I may take 60 mg five times a day and see how I go from there. I went to the gym in the evening although I didn’t really fancy it, I didn’t do too much though. Going to cook a nice curry for Sunday, a Vindaloo I think using my late nans recipe.

13/06/09
A bit better again today and I started to take 60 mg five times a day although as doing this blog entry I have only had 240 mg so far and I feel fine, so do I need to take the other 60 mg or do I leave it at 240 mgs? I had a couple of beers today one when I was in nandos having lunch and another when I come out the supermarket, nothing else though. It is such a relief to know I am not going to go into some sort of full scale relapse by having a beer.

The baclofen does keep everything regarding alcohol in check and my anxiety is much more stable, although I realise it can’t fix everything it i.e. the odd bout of the blues but it has done exactly what I wanted it to do and then some. Cooked the curry this evening in the slow cooker, and tested it as you do… it’s lovely.

14/06/09
A much better day today, my partner was working so I decided to do the same and practice using my trading application that I bought the other day. I am starting to get the hang of it so that made me happy, been scoffing curry alongside all day… Had a good session swimming in the gym and I think that taking 60 mg approximately 5 times a day has definitely helped as I do not feel low and lifeless, although yesterday I did not take the last 60 mg and I didn’t experience any alcohol cravings today and I had a lot more energy in general.

I don’t think baclofen is going to be a drug that suits everyone the same way ,in fact I’m sure of it. Everyone is obviously individual and therefore will react differently to the medication but even when I felt really low I didn’t doubt the positive effects that baclofen has given me. Maybe it was the baclofen that started making me feel low and lifeless? But maybe it wasn’t? Was it my diet? Was it a psychological reaction to the realisation that I no longer needed alcohol? Who knows? But I don’t that’s for sure! Now let’s see what I can put my energy into that can keep me occupied and Satisfied in what used to be my bingeing hours???

15/06/09
I stayed up late last night as there was a funny French film with subtitles on, surprisingly I had a craving also! I immediately took 3 more baclofen and it passed, but I was really surprised as it happened out of the blue. I felt really lethargic today and had a snooze in the afternoon, then I had to go up to a house I have rented out to move some stuff. Had a quick swim after came back and practiced my sports trading as I didn’t do any this afternoon. Quiet night tonight [as usual] no cravings.

16/06/09
Another day of practice regarding my sports trading, I did OK again. I went swimming in the early afternoon and then again in the evening. I have developed a really bad neck ache from all the breaststroke so I need to get that sorted as it is really giving me pain when I am at the desk.
Still spacing my dosage out and no beer again today or cravings although the somnolence has been present and ironically I couldn’t sleep last night. Apart from that no other side effects.

17/06/09
In the gym again today but I still haven’t lost any weight at all! I’m eating way less calories, I don’t drink anymore and that filled me with at least 1800 extra calories every day, and I exercise every day and I just cannot shift the excess! I can’t do any more than I’m really doing but I’m wondering whether a side effect of baclofen is weight gain and is it slowing down my metabolism? I am really trying hard to lose the weight but it’s just not happening. I don’t know what to do next or change in my diet or lifestyle that is going to make a difference? Another day of no beer and had no cravings.

18/06/09
I woke up a bit low again today, but I immediately had my mood food diet and I felt a lot better by the evening once I had come back from the gym. I was talking to my partner this evening and if I’m brutally honest there are quite a lot of side effects with baclofen. Although apart from the depression none of them are really that bad. I have had quite a few along my journey.

Sporadic Depression
Strange dreams
Somnolence
Occasional Headaches [higher dose]
Aching joints
Depleted libido [higher dose]
Breathlessness
Nausea [higher dose]
Numbness in arms
Weight gain.

But really once you get used to it it’s far from the end of the world and some of them are only evident at very high doses, so I imagine once I lower my dose again a lot of these will be rectified? But I am more than happy at the life changing gain baclofen has given me! I’m just pointing out some facts about baclofen, but remember stay with it and never give up even if some days you feel a bit rough, and you like me can be free from addiction to alcohol. Quitters never win and winners never quit. One of my favourite quotes and one I always try to use in my life in general.

19/06/09
I had a slight hint of being moody when I woke up this morning but I went to the gym and done some swimming and felt better. Good day sports trading today and increased my bank, swimming again in the evening. May do some trading on Saturday as my partner is working and Sunday we are going to a museum for the day. Absolutely no cravings and no beer, as it happens I cannot remember the last time I wanted to be drunk but it’s long long ago.

20/06/09
I actually finished early Saturday so we went to Bournemouth and got DVD out in the evening, had a couple of glasses of wine with my partner later.

21/06/09
As I have already said we went to the motor museum today, it’s OK considering we had complimentary tickets but there’s really not much there. Had a carvery after, no beer, and swimming in the evening. My partner said I didn’t even snore last night and that’s a huge bonus as during my alcoholism my snoring had become so ridiculous she had to sleep in the spare room. So it made a nice change.

I had not stayed there for around three months. As it happens the last time I stayed there was when I was recovering from a massive session on vodka that had put me in casualty as I had chest pains. How it’s all changed for me since! On that day that I went to the hospital we had to keep and in pulling over because I kept thinking I was going to have a panic attack, my poor partner! I had a beer in hand on my way there even though I was in immense pain I still had to have it there! My god! What a mess!

22/06/09
An uneventful day really, trading seemed difficult all day and only really made progress in the evening. I went swimming later on, my neck ache is giving me really bad headaches, I’m obviously not swimming properly and being in my chair all day only adds to the aggravation, so I need to sort my swimming stroke sharp as today I found it difficult to concentrate due to my neck aching.
Again no beer no cravings.

23/06/09
Had a quick swim in the morning and done some trading in the afternoon, then watched Wimbledon. I actually went in the gym this evening as my neck has been giving me pain so I went on the treadmill and done very fast paced walking.

I had really been putting it off as at one stage in my life I was super fit and done boxing, martial arts and running and to get on a treadmill and do walking was embarrassing to myself! I really want to do Muay Thai again but I am really conscious of being overweight so it puts me off.

That’s another thing you have to deal with when you give up alcohol! When you’re an alcoholic you give up caring and I didn’t give a shit really about how I looked in the final years of my alcoholism, as long as I had my alcohol I just didn’t care about anything else! But now I do care and I’m conscious of what people think, but there’s no way I’m going to drink to get over it and mask it. I’m just going to start looking after myself again like I used to do [I am trying]. I used to wear lovely clothes, all the top designer names. I still do buy designer clothes but they just don’t hang off me like they used to because of my weight. But I just thought it an idea to mention that you have to deal with yourself when you give up alcoholism for good.

24/06/09
A Crappy day today! I had some beers very late evening as I just couldn’t unwind, I must stress I had absolutely no craving at all! I had drunk as I think a normal drinker drinks? And to be honest I am pleased with my progress and I do not consider it a relapse at all, controlled drinking to me is OK but only thanks to baclofen, if I was not on baclofen and I had been abstinent I think you can safely say that it’s a relapse! If I thought it to be a problem I will just take emergency doses! Some people might agree, others that are seriously ill cannot afford to do that. There are some great comments going on from the anonymous Dr. and Jim so please don’t forget to read.

28/06/09
My sincere apologies for not doing the Posts, I’ve had a couple of days of real down in the dumps and drunk on all of them like an idiot. There were absolutely no cravings, I just drunk because I was feeling low and I thought it might help, but it didn’t and that’s not acceptable and I must learn to deal with things without the alcohol!

I really do hate the stuff! I stayed away at my partners as she always helps me when I feel depressed but I couldn’t update the blog from there because I was unable to remember the password or my frequent flyer number so once again my apologies.

I feel I have let everyone down and obviously myself but that’s what this blog is about, being honest and telling you how it is. I didn’t need to drink and I was stupid to do it but lesson learnt. I forgot also to take my last dose of baclofen one evening and I think that could have added to the semi relapse? So just remember even if you feel low on baclofen don’t even think about having a drink, it’s not going to make you feel any better and can cause a relapse.

Good luck to everyone out there considering using baclofen and thank you for reading. The posts shall resume as normal once again from today.

29/06/09
I had no alcohol yesterday although the depression was still looming and it seemed tempting but I didn’t. That brings me onto the anonymous doctor’s recent post June 2009 04;49, anyone considering using baclofen or is on baclofen is committed and obviously very committed to giving up the alcohol that in my case had been a 16 year curse. It’s not just Jim or the doctor’s anonymous patient that are committed, we all are surely? that in my opinion was a bit of a harsh comment to make!

I’m sorry anonymous Dr. but a lot of people may think that they are not committed and doomed to fail if they had had a craving that beat them or in my case depression amongst other things! But I have learnt from that and I will try to not use alcohol to treat my depression again. I myself do not consider failing an option but not everyone is me! So if you are using baclofen or considering using ignore that comment and it does not mean you are not committed, you’re all very brave as it’s no walk in the park in the beginning!

But I have found baclofen life changing and I am very committed as it has helped me so much and changed my views immensely in regard to my addiction to alcohol as I now know it’s beatable! So if you struggle with the side effects and alcohol in the beginning, it’s OK! There is a lot to learn about baclofen yet as it is very personal and different to every user; this is why I started this blog to share my experiences and to help others; and yes I have read Dr. Ameisen book and I reread different chapters for reference regularly; in fact I made a reference to it in some of the very first updates in April. You have a enormous amount to offer this blog anonymous Dr. but I feel all users and people trying to get prescriptions or considering using are committed to the cause.

30/06/09
I actually got some sleep last night, not a lot but better than nothing. I slept really bad during the binge and slept worse after! No beer and no cravings! I have noticed that drinking on baclofen gives me a very very groggy feeling from my neck into my head, and it lasts even when you have stopped drinking. It’s like a tension that starts from my shoulder blades into my neck and then into my head and you know it’s there! and whenever I take a dose it seems to make me just incredibly lethargic and foggy! And having only happened since the binge.

In fact when you drink on baclofen you by no way get the same effect as you used to, there is no happy euphoria feeling, it’s just a complete sedation of all senses and feelings and to be honest it’s quite unpleasant.

But I seem to be in a constant daze and its worse when I take the next dose! I have never had that before. I spoke to my Dr. Today and I’m going to start bringing the dose down and to be honest I am really happy. The side effects at a higher dose have been too much for me, he has recommended reduce the dose 30 milligrams every couple of days until I am on 150 mgs so let’s see how it goes?

For me personally, depression, the flatness, loss of sex drive and my personality have been the real issues. A higher dose stopped working as good as it did on a lower dose, so I’m reducing it and going to use around 50 mg if I get the craving and basically go from there?

Reading my back posts I did drink at some of these doses but that was really to see when the baclofen was really going to work, I know it does work but you need to put some additional effort in on the lower doses, but I’m happy to do that rather than feel like this.