Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Some From Column A, Some From Column B. ("Life, Medicated." Part 09)

When last I blogged about this, in early December, things were okay. And they still are, for the most part. But there's change on the horizon and I'm going to share it because that's what I do.

If there's one thing I've learned from my still relatively new journey through the land of psychotropics (those are mind medications, folks), it's that there is no such thing as "fixed."

  • Conditions are managed. 
  • Medications are balanced. 
  • I'm coping.
  • Things are handled. 
But we never say, "ok, this is fixed." It's always more of a "good enough for now, let's try this and see what tomorrow brings."

Which brings us to where we are now. It's time to make some changes. I'm currently on two different medications, the Abilify and the Restoril. The dosage for the Restoril seems right, in that it is allowing me to get several hours of uninterrupted sleep each evening. That is really, really helping.

The dosage for the Abilify has been extremely low, and we are now going to bump it up just a bit. It's been helping me soften the edges a bit, so to speak, but there are still some extreme highs and lows that we think would be better off rounded off.

It's a little scary, I'll be honest. Things are working right now and increasing the dosage could adversely impact that. But, this isn't an exact science, and while I feel okay, I think things could be a little better. So I'm willing to follow my doctor's recommendation and see how this change affects me.

Why blog about something as inconsequential as a dosage change? Two reasons. One, because I made a commitment to share all the details of this process to help others understand what it all feels like. And two, a dosage change might seem small but the ripple effects can be significant. It's important that I track all of this as completely as possible.

Thanks for riding along on this journey with me, friends. I don't always know where it's going, but I'm always happy for the company on the way.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Daily Dose Of Good, or, "When Giving Up Isn't Giving Up"

I haven't written anything recently. Or more specifically, I haven't written anything and posted it here at this blog. I've been writing, but I'm concerned with the dark tone of all of my words.

I don't know what's happening with me, exactly. I seem to be caught somewhere between disappointed and disgusted, and I presume that's all a response to what is happening in this country right now.

People aren't talking. We're yelling. We're assuming. We're insulting and ridiculing and attacking. But we aren't talking.

Perhaps this is when writers are needed most, to help bridge the gap between warring factions. Or maybe that's just me being presumptuous and arrogant, acting as if should someone be able to calm the seas that have been raging for generations.

At any rate, I am not feeling comfortable sharing most of what I have been writing recently. Its tone is too dark and, frankly, too pessimistic. And since that isn't how I like to think of myself, I've been working on a counterbalance to that.

Introducing Daily Dose Of Good. It's my way of forcing myself to start the day with a positive thought and a better outlook.

Each day, I share something like these:

It may not seem like much, but at least for a moment, I am thinking of something positive and upbeat. And that may be just enough to keep the darkness at bay.

I'm not sharing my writing, and that can be seen as giving up and giving in to the bad. But I'm sharing these daily posts, so I'm going to look at these as my way not not actually giving up on this world or myself.

I hope you enjoy them and that they bring you a bit of light, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Message for the Resolutionists

Hey, Resolutionists!

We see you. You're the ones who decided to make 2017 the year you finally fill-in-the-blank (lose the weight, start working out, become a runner, finish a 5K, etc). You've spend the first few days of 2017 eating veggies, turning down junk food, and finally bringing your lunch to work instead of going out.

We see you. We see all of you. And truth be told, you're the reason we can't find parking when we go to our gym. You're the reason there's a line of people waiting to use each of the equipment inside. You're the reason folks are standing around hoping to find an unused treadmill. And you're the reason our usually half-empty fitness classes are now overbooked.

Let me be honest here. Statistically, the majority of you will only hang in for a few weeks. A month, tops. You'll backslide on your diet, just a little at first but then a little more each day. Soon enough, you'll be back to your junk food and too-large portions. And another resolution will fall by the wayside.

Or maybe you'll be okay with the nutrition, but you'll be embarrassed at the gym. You'll feel like everyone is staring at you, mocking you in your shiny new workout clothes as you struggle to figure out how to use the machines. Soon enough, you'll just give up because you just feel so damn uncomfortable there.

Well, here's some things you should probably know:

  • We were ALL beginners at one point. We all had to find our way, and we made plenty of mistakes of our own.
  • Ignore the naysayers. I don't care if this is your first attempt at a healthier lifestyle or your fiftieth, don't listen to people who say you can't do it.
  • Those of us who have been here at the gym for a long time are so proud of you for having the courage to begin. We know it isn't easy, and you inspire us.
  • Progress is slow, but it will happen. You'll notice little things first, like how your clothes fit a little looser or you feel less winded when you climb a flight of stairs.
  • Don't give up. You have to believe that you are worth every bit of effort. Because you are.

Look, I get it. Some people are just critics. They'll complain that too many of you are in their way at the gym and they are tired of the crowds. Too bad for them. Other people in your life will tease and belittle you. They'll be jealous of you and feel the need to knock you back down.

Don't let any of those people come between you and what you really want in this life. If your goals are to be healthier, stronger, and more fit, don't give up.

We're all cheering for you, because we've all been you. We know how it feels to be at the start of a very long road. But here's the good news. You're already on your way. Just keep going!