By my own standards I've been doing pretty darn good! Every time I try to focus on that the little gremlins in the back of my mind (figuratively speaking) tell me about my shortcomings and how far I have to go... but I'm trying really hard to not even listen. Here's some of what I've been up to lately:
Baking four big batches of very healthy muffins over two days AND cleaning the muffin pan myself between batches!
Making main meals ahead for a half month in two days
Hiking 30 minutes up a steep mountain trail (and 15 down)
Going for a 5 mile walk along backstreets in town
Doing 25 reps of two exercises and 10 reps of another exercise a couple times a week on our Total Fitness Gym
Training my dog in short sessions several times a day
Going to a friend's house every Friday for a few hours
Seeing the Dentist
Playing Online games with friends several nights per week
Organizing the house a little
Watching TV by myself, sometimes even staying up alone for several hours by doing so
These are HUGE victories for me!
Doing even a few dishes is usually totally out of the question for me, so cleaning that muffin pan feels like a ray of sunshine. I had to focus really hard on thinking about what I was going to put in the next batch of muffins, really focus my eyes on watching for missed spots (hard to do.. I'm usually in a kind of daze or in flashbacks and do an awful job), and think about what I want to work on to get my life in order. It's a small start, but I'm going to try to do one dish a few times a week. I'd been avoiding even trying for a very long time.
Hiking up that steep mountain trail was really really hard! I'm very out of shape, even though I keep trying to get in shape. I've hit a lot of setbacks on my way to health. My everything hurt after just a few minutes, and by the 30 minute mark or so my legs screamed out in protest and refused to work properly anymore LOL. So we turned around and went back down. The trail is considered of moderate difficulty. I WILL go back and complete the trail eventually, but Hubby and I were both very proud of ourselves and each other that we managed to get out and give it our all, even though our all was less than we hoped it would be.
The five mile walk was yesterday. I felt SO good afterward. So good in fact that I managed to call my parents and speak with both of them briefly, get off the phone when I felt like it instead of feeling stuck, and I actually enjoyed the conversations! I was feeling euphoric for hours afterward! I'm going to try REALLY hard to walk every day, push for the kind of walk from yesterday but be happy with myself if I just get out the door for 5 minutes.
I'm really starting to feel a lot more like myself. Not as good as before this disorder invaded me and my life, but better than I have in a long time. I fiddle with my own medication doses, and sometimes I feel guilty over that, but honestly, I think it's the right thing. I think I've found a good dose for everything I'm on. I of course update my doctor. He seems a little exasperated sometimes but I think he's accepting that it's just the way I am. I like to be the one driving the chariot of my health.
I haven't seen my Counselor in ages. I have an appointment to see her this coming Wednesday. I really do believe that therapy is good for me, but I also think that I was delving too deep and staying in the mire too much. I think less frequent appointments (than the once per week I used to have) might be the way to go for me. I intend to talk it all out with her Wednesday.
I still have some times when I just go and hide in bed. But lately I've noticed that if I force myself up and take my pills, about half an hour later I feel ok. So hubby and I have decided that 11am is morning pill time, even if we crawl back in bed. We think it might help us not stay in the bed AS long at least.
Many of my troubles (such a phone phobia) are as bad as ever, but with some successes under my belt they don't feel so much like failures. I'm having a lot more compassion for myself and I'm happier overall than I've been in ages.
My nightmares are as bad as ever or worse. I have determined that 50mg of seroquel does reduce the number of night terrors at least. And we're training our service dog to wake me up whenever I seem distressed. I just have to be patient. She'll get it in time and then things will be better. The big thing is I need to get up as soon as I think I can. The more nightmares, the harder it is to face anything... and the more time I sleep, the more nightmares I get, plain and simple. So I'm trying to get up about 7 hours after I go to bed and 10 hours after is my cut off. I don't get that in solid sleep because of all the disturbances, but I find my days are happier and more productive if I can drag my butt out of bed earlier.
Today hubby and I are going to try to go to the Faire! It's Beltaine, one of my favorite holidays and so it's a great way to celebrate. I don't know how long we'll stay for, but I'm going to enjoy each minute as if it were the last one there and I'm sure I'll have a blast!
I hope this blog post will be inspirational to some as well as being an update to my PS friends. Things can get better! Compassion with one's self is I think the biggest key. For me, I also am finding that just learning to break out of negative cyclical thoughts not by replacing them with affirmations (wasn't working for me though it's often recommended to anxiety sufferers), but with looking in a completely different direction with clear intention (eg. focusing on recipe alterations, planning for the future rather than dwelling on the past, etc.) is helping me a lot. I don't manage to do it all the time, but even to have some respite is very welcome.
I don't come here as often as I used to, and that's working for me. I think I was dwelling too much. When you're in that place though it seems like it can't be helped. Maybe I couldn't have helped the dwelling on my own... I think the meds have definitely helped with that. But I do still care about all my fellow anxiety sufferers and especially my long term PS friends. I will never leave this community if it maintains the standard I've come to expect from it. Just knowing you all are here for me to turn to when things DO get too bad feels supportive to me every day. Thank you all.
Wishing you all the very best on your journey from sufferer to survivor,