Waiting for today...: A Time Before Fifteen: Where I Am, Part 1

Friday, February 6

A Time Before Fifteen: Where I Am, Part 1

… my mood
For the last couple of months my mood has been normal to moderately-high. I haven’t had any high-high’s since being on Lamictal.  The downside?  Things aren’t getting done as quickly as I’d like. In any case, I’m content with life. I’m learning the importance of slowing down, doing what I can and delighting in it as opposed to becoming disgruntled by what I am not able to do.
Before January 15th, I consistently kept my bathroom and kitchen clean. Thank God for a dishwasher! Although, I admit that I am slow to empty it.  Then dishes pile up in the sink all over again. Thank God for disposable flatware, tableware and glassware!  I also began to recycle again which has always made me feel less anxious about my carbon footprint.
I even took my home care a step further more recently by clearing the clothes off my bed. An accomplishment seeing as though I hadn’t slept in my bed since the summer because of the clutter.  Keeping with clutter, I also came up with a system for all the paperwork and mail that has accumulated over the last year: I started making good use of my shredder again putting it near the inside entrance to my front door.  I started checking my mail once per week, separating the junk mail and shredding right away.  I’ve purchased a jumbo expanding file folder to organize paperwork by month and at the end of each year, I’ll get rid of what I don’t need.   
Seems simple enough!  I’m slowly taking steps to conquer the c.h.a.o.s.
… my treatment
I continue to see my therapist and my psychiatrist on a routine basis. The frequency still depends on my mood.  If I’m acutely depressed, I see my therapist once per week. Once my mood has stabilized, I see her less and less: once every two weeks to once every three to once per month.  Due to an unexpected cancellation recently, I hadn’t seen her in two months.  My psychiatrist, on the other hand, I see every three months unless there is a medication adjustment.  If this is the case, I will see her or the PA once a month and as needed.
… my personal breakthroughs and relationships
Until now, I haven’t thought to mention why I have connected these two together: personal breakthroughs, relationships. The simplest answer is that my relationships have had such an unusually profound effect on me well into adulthood resulting in significant developmental setbacks. Those setbacks being emotional and spiritual.  With that being said, I don’t have anything else to say about my relationships except that I have been making a greater effort to strengthen bonds with the members of the assembly.  I haven’t decided yet whether my lack of words here is good or bad…
The greatest breakthrough that I’ve had in the last four months has been the realization that self-care must become an habitual part of everyday life.  At first was the “ah-ha” moment. Then, I became frustrated because I felt my chances to enjoy a new life would have to fade into the background, become nonexistent even!  Finally, I was accepting and came to see the obvious: if I didn’t learn how to take care of myself, I would have no chance to enjoy life at all.  At this point, I just need a little time and a lot of practice.  

To get myself moving along, I added more to my mood survival list.  I’ve also completed a few activity charts to help me to incorporate them into my daily routine depending on which way my mood swings. To be honest I haven’t been all that successful as of late.  But I greatly esteem having taken so many steps forward since the close of 2013: identifying and planning is a promising start.
In continuing to build my mood survival list, I gave into the evidence of how crucial diet and exercise is to mood stability.  These days the process of meal planning and working out is extremely overwhelming.  If eating well means having to plan, shop, prep, cook and clean-up, I’d rather eat out.  And if being physically fit means having to get ready to go to the gym, eat just enough to get through the routine but not too much to make me want to puke, getting there, wiping down machines, warming up, cooling down, stretching, properly hydrating during and after the routine, getting the right nutrients after the routine, blah, blah, blah… please shoot me.   
My solution to help get me off the diet and exercise not-so-merry-go-round was to join Jenny Craig.  Not only will they feed me but they will also coach me toward long-term healthy eating.  And the most significant thing that I’ve learned since joining that will stick with me for-ever pertains to exercise: “moving more” counts as “exercise”!  Whether it’s taking a leisure 10 to 15 minute walk around the neighborhood a few times a week, taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, parking at the far end of the parking lot during shopping trips or popping in Just Dance on the Wii… it’s still moving!  And it counts!