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LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.

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Rex's 2nd Time Around Volume 2   Sobriety/Recovery Journals

Started 8/31/12 by Rex (rcclark99); 31270 views.
Susan (swl755)

From: Susan (swl755)


Huge congratulations on three years, Rex!  And what a great summary of it--really quite an inspirational story of getting through life's ups and downs without the crutch/chain of alcohol.

It has been so good to have you as a friend on this journey.


From: NCorbett3


Wow, that's some journey and 3 years sober is major.  Good going Rex and all the very best for year 4.
love, nancy xxx
In reply toRe: msg 84
Rex (rcclark99)

From: Rex (rcclark99)


Thank you all for your best wishes. This is now my strongest link to the sober world and I cherish it.

A couple of years ago at the suggestion of my wife, I started taking the anti-depressant cymbalta. She had taken it and felt like it really helped her and I was having problems getting through our long, cold and very dark winters.

I went to my GP who prescribed 30mg capsules. I took them for a year or so when K suggested I take 60mg capsules, the same as she did. I guess I thought if a little works, more must be better and my wife is a mental health professional.

So I started taking 60 mg capsules and it seemed to go ok too. I really didn't notice a big difference as far as my depression went but I felt ok.

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to try and cut down on some meds, so thought I would like to try going back to 30 mg cymbalta again. I saw my doc who bowed to my wishes and wrote me a new prescription for the lower doseage.

After two weeks on the lower doseage, I think I feel much differently. I had some issues the first few days but I can now go to work, concentrate and stay on point all day instead of of sleep-walking through the day. I feel alive and more energetic.

It has made a huge difference in the quality and quantity of my work just in this past week. I don't know what else to attribute it too. I think I was just going through life kind of numb and oblivious to a lot of what was going on around me. Just getting through each day. I feel more emotion now and while all of them aren't good, at least I feel them.

I am spending the weekend with Judy who during this past week has said I was different, suggesting a moodiness or testiness more than normal. I think we need to discuss this seriously and find out exactly what the differences are as she perceives them. While I don't want to be difficult to be around, I also don't want to live my life as a zombie.

I think I may now know why I had no way to keep my mind on the task at hand while I worked. My work and my company has suffered dramatically.

Do I dare to think that my marriage problems (no libido on her part and not much on mine, fatigue and lethargy and just a general don't give a damn attitude on both of our parts) could have been caused because we were both overdosed with the same anti-depressant?

I don't know but think it merits more thought.


  • Edited 11/16/2012 5:54 pm by Rex (rcclark99)

From: MaryLouise2


Rex I haven't  used medications at all, but I remember Rob posting about trying to taper off anti-depressants and  I know various friends who  struggle to adjust dosage to optimal amounts. It is such an unknown area even for health professionals and generalisations don't work.

I am now in my early 50s, sober for five-plus years and I  honestly don't know if I  would benefit from  any kind of medication. My moods  can be low at times, I can be irascible, I  battle with anxiety but all in response to circumstances, to a difficult social situation but often to  very ordinary small things -- not sleeping well the night before, having to revise something I have written and hoped would be accepted as is, financial worries, worries about my housemate's health, loneliness of the writing life, boredom in a small country  village. Yet  all these frustrations and fears come and go, pass,  and  on the whole I  feel inwardly stable and grounded in a way I never felt while drinking. I wouldn't say that I am the easiest person to live with but  on the whole I  am  steady and level, more easy-going than I used to be.

One of the  most valuable things about sobriety is that  clarity and awareness unfogged by alcohol, along with  natural energy and  it seems to me that to lose this is a great pity. I have several friends who describe  living on medication as being  numb and  automatic, that sleepwalking or  feeling life is on the other side of the glass. And all of them have commented on the loss of libido and  vitality. But some of them say they couldn't cope with the unmedicated mood swings or panic attacks and  so medication  is their choice.

Living medicated  does impact on the quality of relationship, how could it not? Two heavily medicated people would be living past one another,  all those  tiny nuances and  'noticing' absent. And I can't imagine losing my powers of concentration when it comes to work. It sounds like some experimenting might be the way to go.

And just to ask -- do you meditate at all? I have found that if I want to  know what is  happening in me  beyond surface reactivity, a bout of sitting with my own mind and feelings will  help me notice what is going on -- how preoccupied I am and with what,  various pains and aches,  distractions,  anger,  sadness, feelings that arise out of nowhere and  blow away.

Take care Rex -- you have been through so much turmoil in recent years, some calm and ordinariness would be good.
Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)



The other option would be to talk to your doctor and maybe consider different antidepressants - there are lots and they work in different ways.  What I've heard, and clearly no expert here, is that the drowsiness goes away after time as does the sexual dysfunction.  Course, you may just not need antidepressants, then there is no point in taking them.


From: mkh106



you say it started with problems getting through the long dark winter...well, we have that here, too. plus almost-never-ending rain. all grey and dark for months.

there is good researched evidence that lack of light depresses people, part of the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and a few of the things people try and use often with very good success are: extra vitamin D (the body needs sunlight to make this, if i understand correctly), or/and %-HTP (available at healthfood stores, it is a precursor to serotonin, the "feel-good hormone"), or the special light, UV i think, which i've heard lots of good stuff about.


these are all useful for the "winter blues", if that is indeed what basically goes on with you.

lots for you to look into, in retrospect and for the present/future. yikes.



Rex (rcclark99)

From: Rex (rcclark99)


Thanks for the invitation Brian; this is a very real possibility. Judy and I are looking at the maps now and have located Petersburg. From looking at the map, I'm guessing your area is wonderful to ride in.

We are thinking about sometime during the last two weeks of August and the first two weeks of Septemeebr. Would a couple of days sometime in this time period work for you?

Also, where is the New River Bridge from you? Thanks again.


  • Edited 11/18/2012 9:56 pm by Rex (rcclark99)
Rex (rcclark99)

From: Rex (rcclark99)


Thank you so much margit. I will look into the vitamin D thing immediately.
Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)


Hi Rex, I do not feel like I'm the greatest authority on anything right now, but I do know that it takes a little while to adjust to a lower (or higher ) dose of most antidepressants.  What kind of anti-depressant are you on?  I don't know the name.  I personally have found SSRIs better than the other antidepressants, less foggy, and I myself find that citalopram does not affect me very much (including libido) except taking the edge of my I continue to take 20mg of that daily, although when I have tried to increase the dose it has been absolutely awful, like a bad come down, to the extent that I have immediately gone back to the lower dose. Point being, the dose is important.

About 8 years ago, before my drinking had completely passed over into alcoholic territory, I came off a drug called Lustral (prescribed because it is supposed to be safe during breast feeding), and it took ages,  chopping the pills up into miniscule bits, it made me feel like a complete junkie! But coming off SSRIs causes these strange head jolts, and it needs to be gradual. I used meditation to help me through.  I definitely get the winter blues as well, and I have used a light box....and vitamins are always good. I always think we all know what will help, but life is busy and I guess it is wise to choose your moment carefully to manage these changes.

Anyway, thank you for your support, Rex, have a good week yourself.

Louise xx

Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)



The New River Gorge is about 200 miles south west of us.  You could make the trip driving almost entirely through the Monogahela National Forest.  That's road miles, its not actually that far, but in WV you can't go in straight lines.  If you go down there, there are some other places you might want to see too - I can send you some links.

Late August or early September sounds good now - there is some chance we may be on a trip then, but we haven't made any plans yet - I think we might go later in September.  But we could work that out later.