I wrote out the post below the other day in my notepad. I'm on treatment now and I'm feeling very ill. I'm in survival mode, so it isn't easy right now to practice what I preach below : ) I just have to go with the flow for now. I'm on 450mg of Dalacin C (clindamycin) a day. Me no likey!
Anyway, I still want to discuss how well things are going. I'm glad I wrote it all down the other day;
A few days ago
At present I find myself in a curious place. I feel as though a subtle change in the wind has occurred, affecting my mind like a breath of fresh air. My spirit appears to have been lit. The reasons for which I can't be sure. Perhaps it's the tweak we made to my antidepressant dose a few weeks back? Perhaps it's the treatment?
I was on low dose amitriptyline 25mg to assist with sleep for the last year and a half. As some of you will know I have been struggling with moods and depression over the last 6 months. For this reason my doctor and I decided to up my dose of amitriptyline. It was only another 25mg for now. Now I'm on 50mg. Still very low... Could this small change have contributed to this subtle change... I have definitely seen some improvements with my symptoms this month. It's hard to say which has caused the change. I'm sure it's a combination of both.
All I know is that I generally don't feel so laden down by sickness. I generally feel more positive. If it is the antidepressants perhaps my dose should have been raised long before now. I am more inclined to think it is the result of everything I've been doing/taking-the holistic approach: Antibiotic treatment, antidepressant, therapy.
To explain myself better. A lot of you will be able to associate with the inner conflict one experiences when their body feels ill but your trying to will yourself to do things, with your body crying out to be resting up. Well, this seems to have somewhat gone. With this lightness of mind I have found myself questioning patterns of thought I have gotten into with this illness. I spent a long time trying to learn to pace myself. Then my body gave in and I was forced to my bed most of the time. I fought for answers through lots of research, desperate for more answers.
What patterns of thought or behaviour am I questioning. How has having to spend so much time researching my illness affected how I deal with my illness? Have I become somewhat conditioned? Can I focus my thoughts in a more positive direction? Let me say this has all been my 'own' thinking. I say this as I'm sure alarm bells are going off for some of you right now. You may be thinking this sounds like CBT. I wondered myself was I in the vicinity of CBT myself with these thoughts. However, I decided instead of resisting, turning towards a curious approach to CBT.
So I decided to ask my therapist her thoughts on CBT and if she did it, if we could discuss it. She says she does do it, but she felt my mind/way of thinking was to complex for CBT. (whatever that means... : ) )
I told her what goals I had in mind for this new change in the direction of my thoughts. As experience has told us what we are able for in relation to expenditure of our energy. This is where my main focus is for now. Instead of always saying I can’t do that or I’m not able for that, I want to try doing things and then when my body is telling me to stop, I will… Like going into the city centre for an hour on my own. Instead of thinking it will be more of an unpleasant experience than a pleasant one. I want to drive in and have a little walk around. Maybe pop into my favourite vintage shop. What's the worst that can happen. I might get a crash in energy. But then I will just have some food in the car and rest. It's about trying to build up my confidence in doing things like this on my own. Feeling independent can only have a very positive outcome. This is the theory anyway. I've yet to venture into the city centre on my own.
I want to try and start off the day doing positive things. Getting up feeling positive, not oh God I feel awful, that being my first feeling of the day. I told my therapist I would like to go for a small walk in the mornings or yoga or meditation. You have heard me talk about these things already. For my walk I will drive down the road and walk for 10 mins on the flat paths. Hopefully then my first though of the day will be one focused on positive things as I live by the sea.
My therapist did note that a lot of the things I wanted to achieve were outwardly goals which is good but that I needed to also focus on nourishing my inner life, my soul. I am generally a very spiritual person so I think it is important to focus on my inner world too. It's all about balance. Perhaps this is where I've been going wrong. Perhaps I've focused too much on achieving outwardly things. For example instead of approaching my walks as exercising I should be walking and soaking in my beautiful surroundings.
My therapist suggested for when I'm feeling ill when I wake up turning on some music that I really love, that lifts me... This can all be organized the night before. I have been doing this and I've found it very helpful. I've also been getting myself up and going for a short walk even when I feel like crap. It has definitely helped me feel more chirpy, going into the day in a more positive mood.
Here are some photos of the two benches I sit on when I do my small walks and the lovely uplifting views. This is right beside where I live. I'm very lucky!
So that's where I find myself at right now. I did a small bit of my writing course four days last week! I want to make sure this illness is stealing as little time as possible from me. That includes my mental energy/thoughts. I don't do any research anymore really as I just want to try and experience all the other things life has to offer, no matter how limited I am.
Perhaps this place I find myself is simply a matter of where I'm at on my journey of my illness. I've been sick a long time now. I want to have as good a quality of a life as I can and spend as little time as possible loosing to my illness.
Maybe I'm just ready for these changes...
That's all for now folks. I'm truley wrecked after that. It is definitely not as coherent as I would like it to be.