Current Mental Health – September 2019

Photo by VisualHunt

This post is a week late. Oops.

My mental health has actually been good this past month! I’ve been really active, doing more stuff like volunteering once a week, and physical therapy (for my right shoulder) twice a week.

Sometimes I didn’t follow through on my weekend plans, usually dinner and/or a movie. Part of that is because it’s been gray and rainy. But also because a part of me just wants to stay indoors and not leave my house. I don’t think I’m depressed, and I resolve to keep all of my plans this month.

In fact, we went to a nearby apple festival this past Saturday. I’d been looking forward to it because a candy shop I frequent was selling their caramel apples there, which they only make this time of year. I don’t know what I was expecting, but the reality was bad. It was so crowded, with people shuffling in different directions all at once. I was afraid we’d get separated (we also brought our dog), or that Rudy would get into a scrap with another dog (he didn’t). We stayed maybe 15 minutes, just enough time to find the candy booth and buy some caramel apples. Thankfully, the candy booth was near an entrance so we were able to leave the crowd quickly. We may have left early, but at least we showed up — and survived — so that’s pretty good.

My sleep has improved, I’m now only waking up once a night, like around 4ish. I then move to the sofa and I’m out again til about 7 or 8am.

The shakes haven’t been resolved, but I emailed my psychiatrist today. He said he will put me on a very low dose of Klonopin to — if not make them stop, then at least continue to minimize them. I’ll still be taking propranolol for that, too. I’ll let you know if it works next month.


Do you avoid crowded events/areas? Let me know in the comments!

Working on Us, Week 6

Hands Over Face
Photo from Pixabay

On her blog, Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess has introduced a set of prompts that touches on mental illness. Each week she offers up 2 prompts for bloggers to use in a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry piece. You can respond to either prompt, or both. For more information, click here. The rules are below. This week, I am responding to Prompt 1.

 

Rules:

  • Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.  Write in any format you see fit.  (Answer’s, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, poem, short prose…anything).
  • You can do one or all prompts.
  • You have from July 10th. through to July 17th to submit your entries.
  • Please reblog the original post in order to spread more awareness.
  • If you the blogger have a suggestion/question you want to ask in the future weeks, please submit them in the comment section of this post.
  • Let’s see if we can get some men involved in this weeks prompts, your feelings a validated here too!
  • Plus, as an added bonus, whoever responds to the following prompts will automatically be reblogged to promote your blog site!

~ 💚 ~

Week #6 Prompts: 

Prompt #1 Questions:

1. There are so many varieties of depression out there, such as Bipolar Depression, and (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder.  What type of depression do you suffer from, or have? I’ve suffered from bipolar depression for half of my adult life, as well as from seasonal changes (SAD).

2. What do you do to fight your depression? (Meaning, therapy, medications, meditation, ECT). Medication and therapy, inpatient hospitalizations, partial hospitalizations, and finally ECT, which I no longer undergo. And to be honest, I don’t know if I would choose that treatment option in the future.

3. Does anything help you, and if so… What? ECT has helped in the past, but it isn’t a permanent solution. More recently, my psychiatrist switched my mood stabilizer from Tegretol to lithium, which has lessened my depressive symptoms. It’s working.

Self-Care: Chiropractic Care

Spine
Photo credit: wu_135 on VisualHunt / CC BY

My lower (and sometimes upper) back is killing me. It has been since sometime last year or maybe last autumn. I can’t remember.

At first I attributed this to sleeping on the couch which I did almost every night because of my insomnia. Then I thought it was because of the bed.

For weeks now (that I remember), I’ve been waking up in bed in a huge amount of pain. Sometimes the pain even wakes me up. I finally decided to take care of myself and saw a chiropractor. I’d seen one in the past, but then she moved away and I never looked for another chiropractor.

So last Saturday, after my new chiropractor checked out my spine by having me do range-of-motion-type (I think that’s what it’s called) stuff like squatting and walking, it seems that my back is seriously fucked up. He went through all the different stuff that isn’t as it should be (he was very informative; unfortunately, my poor cognition doesn’t allow me to remember much). I have mild scoliosis (a curve in the spine) and my core needs work. *groan* When he said that, all I could think of was having to do a bunch of lower abs exercise. Yuck!

After having gone to physical therapy where they give you different (stretching) exercises as “homework,” how could I have thought that I wouldn’t get homework from the chiropractor? Especially one who is also a physical therapist! Luckily, it’s only one exercise and it’s not v-sits. (Yet.) I’m to lie on my back with my legs in the air like a baby, and practice breathing from my diaphragm. Not as easy as it sounds, but doable.


Have you ever been treated by a chiropractor? What are your thoughts?

2 Ways of Living

Sand FootprintsHow to live seems to be a huge thing now, like “living intentionally” and “living your best life.” I first heard of the former sometime last year, and I just don’t understand what it means. My therapist explained it to me, but I still don’t get the concept.

People say things like, “set an intention (for the day/week/month/year).” What does that mean? According to Wikipedia, it’s living a life “based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs.” Does that mean intending to do something specific that day, that aligns with your beliefs? How do you choose what the intention will be? Do you have to be accountable to somebody, or just yourself? Do you need a bullet journal? I don’t know. (By the way, that is not a dig on bullet journals.)

Then there’s “living your best life.” The first time I heard this was during my first hospitalization last year. There was a goals group in the morning, and one patient set a goal every day to “live his best life.” Basically, I think it means to live up to your potential. Personally, I thought he said this every day to make sure he had a goal to share during group. After all, the more you participate willingly, the sooner you’ll be discharged.

I guess I learned how to live my best life while writing this post by reading up on it a bit, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing it. As for my intentional life? That still needs work.


Do you live intentionally and/or your best life?

No More Electronics

SONY DSC
Photo credit: Mr.[ A7b il7oB }™.. on Visual Hunt / CC BY
Recently, my husband and I stopped using electronics and watching TV while we’re eating. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the habits are so ingrained in us that it just happens automatically: my phone dings, I check it. If I happen to take a picture (of like, my food) while we’re eating, I immediately post it to Instagram. And then continue eating. Often while we’re having a conversation, something comes up that has to be Googled, and my husband just picks up his phone to Google it.

We have been doing well, thankfully. Sure, one of us slips up now and then, but for the most part, we’re rocking no electronics!

We began doing this because it was presented as a challenge in my weight-loss app. Who doesn’t like a challenge? Also, not using electronics during meals was part of a chapter on eating mindfully, to sort of prepare us for doing just that. Not using electronics while we eat lets us better concentrate on our food, which helps us remain in the present. It’s what mindful eating is about to me, anyway.

We’re encouraged to take a bite, chew slowly, and note the flavors, the textures, how the food feels against our mouths, what it’s like to swallow. It sounds kind of weird, but your relationship with food will change. You’ll appreciate it more. You might even eat less because you’ll feel full from eating slowly. By the way, did you know that putting your fork down after each bite helps you eat slowly?

Finally, a major point in our eating without electronics is that it allows my husband and me to have a conversation instead of vegging in front of the TV. We still eat in the living room, though, but hopefully we will eat at the table again.


Have you heard of mindful eating, or practice eating mindfully? What are your thoughts?