Amber Alert

26 Apr

I’m having a rough patch. I can look at in two ways. The first way is that I’m a mess who is never going to get her shit together and woe is me it’s so hard. The second, more constructive way, is to acknowledge that as much as I’m struggling right now, I haven’t fallen to pieces and as long as I get and keep my sleep cycle under control, I am not going to find myself giving in to the Swamps of Sadness–which for anyone who’s never seen the 1984 fantasy classic The Neverending Story, is this:

I used to cry my eyes out during that scene.

Anyhoo: I’m not doing great, but I’m still on a somewhat even keel, except I’m having the worst insomnia I’ve had in a very, very long time. Once I get that under control, I’ll be almost somewhat okay.

Unfortunately, my appetite has dwindled. Food isn’t appetizing and my stomach’s in knots. This morning, I stared at my breakfast and actually felt repulsed. I’ve never had an eating disorder but I think I may have achieved some empathy today.

I also keep clenching my jaw. Not exactly grinding my teeth, but certainly applying pressure.

But I’m up. I’m showered. I’m cleaning and cooking and doing things. I’m not having any flashbacks or thoughts about hurting myself.

I think of mood management as a ship at sea. Sometimes the waters are clear and calm. Sometimes they’re choppy. Just try to keep the damn ship upright.

So: how do we do that in this particularly stormy time?

1. SLEEP CYCLE. That needs to be addressed posthaste. To whit: limit consumption of coffee to one cup in the morning. Begin winding down for bed two hours before intended bedtime. Benedryl and sleepy time tea. I hate sleeping pills, so I work with what I’ve got. This isn’t going to be easy, but if I keep at it for a couple of days, I’m confident I can get it under control.

2. Once the insomnia is in check and I no longer wake up embarrassingly late in the day feeling like I was hit by a bus, back to exercising. Walks in Forest Park are excellent for both fitness and general peace of mind.

3. Take a hiatus from reading about and engaging in the culture wars online, and limit my news consumption to local and international current events. I’ll skim the headlines on the national stuff, but nothing more in depth than that.

4. Go back to my support group–I missed it last week because I’m embarrassed to be around people when I’m like this, but that’s the entire goddamn point of the support group, so I need to put my big girl panties on and engage.

5. Answer my phone when it rings and answer texts when they come. I let my phone die and ignored it for two days. No more of that.

6. Lots of reminders to pause, take a diaphragmatic breath, and be mindful about whatever loopiness my mind is currently producing.

7. Stop watching dark messed up shit like Hemlock Grove. If a television show, film, or piece of writing gets even slightly rape-y, immediately put it aside and cleanse the palate with lighter fare. Watch and read enjoyable things; my sweet spot is standup comedy.

8. Make myself eat light things that can get me through the day, such as bananas and yogurt. Carbs and meat are too heavy and sit in my stomach.

9. Do the dishes and laundry. Once I break through the inertia and start, it’s actually quite soothing.

We’ll start there and build on it in a few days when things are more manageable. I’m stoked.

2 Responses to “Amber Alert”

  1. heartandsoulmatter April 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Good on you for knowing what to do and DOING IT 🙂 It’s so easy to become consumed, it can seem much harder to follow a plan but pushing through, one step in front of the other is the only way through the shit times faster.

    • evewc18 April 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

      thanks for the encouraging words. Here’s hoping

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