My Take

Organizing my Mental Health

Hi everyone. I’m sitting in a car dealership right now waiting for my oil change and inspection. I’ve been waiting quite a while so I expect it to be done soon. I had enough time to finish my essay outline and reflective handout with Mia by my side.

I’ve been adapting decently well to being out of the hospital by sticking with a vague routine. I say vague because I have certain ‘tasks’ planned for each day but not many of them are allotted specific times; that will need to change pretty soon I think.

I have mixed news which I suppose is perfectly natural. The overall picture however is quite positive and I think you’ll agree!

Good News!

The good news is that I was called early because of a cancellation to do my registration appointment for the chemistry class I need for nursing. They were very understanding of my needs and present difficulties. I’ll be attending class 3 days per week which I think is reasonable. The periods are a little over 2 hours for a total of 10 hours per week. I have to keep it low for 2 reasons: My sanity and unemployment insurance criteria.

What’s also good is that I was called to schedule my first appointment with the psychologist I’ll be seeing. I lost my therapist so this is great news; I’m not alone anymore.

As for my courses online, I’m making decent progress. I submitted one assignment for each class which only leaves me with one more for each and then my exams. I should be done pretty soon. I got two grades back… an 82% and a 90%. I was so nervous to check! It should be higher but it could’ve been a lot worse. Considering that I just started again, I’ll take it gratefully.

On the Flip Side

Unfortunately I’ve been feeling a lot of anxiety since getting out of the hospital. I have real responsibilities and I’m scared of messing up. My biggest worry is no longer ‘not colouring outside of the lines on my mandalas’, if you get my meaning! I’ll do my best though and that’s what counts.

I think I also need to fire my mood stabilizer. It’s asleep at the switch… literally! I doesn’t seem to be diminishing the intensity of my mood changes enough. It’s better than before but I have a feeling it needs to work with another stabilizer to be more effective. I’ve read that this is often required. Still, I’m managing well.

Time has elapsed since being in the car dealership and I received some bad news. I have a wheel alignment to do as well as a brake job. My wallet is crying!

Now for the most interesting news!

I’ve been feeling something kind of different…it’s weird and I don’t know how to describe it. I was very concerned at first but then something dawned on me. This foreign feeling might be due to me actually fighting and gaining some ground. I don’t mean fighting force with force but I’m controlling things better and I feel more stable. I’m not totally at the whim of my rapidly cycling emotions, even if those still exist. This is tremendous progress and might be the right ‘out of my comfort zone’. What I felt before wasn’t comfortable anyway so if this discomfort is representative of a positive transition, I’m grateful. I’ll do what I have to do to handle it!

I’ve been trying to clean up my life, emotionally and physically. While I’ve been keeping up my meditation (which is really helping!), I’ve also been doing a tangible cleanup. I started with my car because…well …I enjoy taking care of my car and it was great to get it back! Next up were my clothes which have been in mountains with barely any semblance of order. Then there were my art projects and materials which have also been extremely disorganized.

The main reason I didn’t address these issues earlier is simply because I was daunted. I knew it would take a long time and involve many steps so I procrastinated. Then I was away so I couldn’t do it. What I really want – no, what I really need – is mental clarity. I’m going to attack every angle and that includes my physical surroundings. So now my art stuff is contained to one area and well organized despite how much I’ve accumulated. My clothes are all washed and in drawers, which I actually labelled. It sounds funny but I think it’ll help me. Often I don’t put things away because I forget where they go. Now there’s no excuse.

The Main Point

I need to keep up with life this time. I need to face up to the challenges and find a way around them in a way that works for me. I have to adapt and work WITH the way my brain seems to work. I guess I’m running a different mental software but I’ll figure it out.

When I feel anxious and overwhelmed, instead of dwelling on that I immediately throw myself into a priority task. It doesn’t take long before to some degree or other, I feel better. I apply myself to a productive focus and when I’m done there’s less to be anxious about.

A big thing has changed for me, which I managed to identify yesterday in a huge AHA moment (as my old therapist used to call it). I’m going to write more about this, but for now I just want to briefly explain it. For a long time I felt incapable of changing or influencing the bad things that I go though. I felt powerless. I thought the only way out was some dramatic occurrence that would flip a switch and I’d be ok. I don’t know why I thought this, it seems silly looking back.

Only yesterday did I comprehend and ACCEPT, for the first time, that the degree to which I feel the pain of my afflictions IS in my power. My brain works differently. Fine. I’ll stop expecting it to work ‘normally’. I’ll find my way around the mental obstacles! I’ll overcome them not with force but with clever strategy. I’ll make friends with my issues and become so intimate with them that I will know everything about them. Then, they will lose their power. I will be able to pick things from my head as if from a menu instead of feeling everything.

Voila! I look forward to writing more on this subject.

What's YOUR take?