Monday, 3 November 2014
Week 4 update
How do you subdue an over excited puppy with a broken leg, knowing if you let it do what it wants eg go bounding about in a field, chasing bunnies like a crazy thing, it'll do itself more harm than good and you'll have to pay for the consequences.
That is pretty much how my brain and body are working these days.
Week 4. I'm twitchy, restless, insomniac, tired with doses of fatigue and getting struck by the odd anxiety attack which my body registers but my head does not, meaning I walk around feeling uncomfortable as hell and just can't work out why til it clicks.
But I'm also happy and laughing more genuinely than I have in a long time.
It also occurred to me the other day that my wolfhound has transformed and become a panther: a big sleek cat, curled up in the corner of my brain, emitting a loud, contented purr. However, it's got a new companion in the shape of a hyperactive Labrador puppy, which is constantly jumping around the cat, nipping at its ears and yipping to entice it into play. That'd be just fine, if the panther didn't just want to stay curled up in that warm spot over by the window and sleep all the time.
This morning, I actually had an urge to look up part-time jobs to get me out there, earning some money, and I had to pull on the leash and remind myself that for the time being, that's not a good idea.
'But....but....play!!' my brain responds. So I throw it a small bone by cleaning bits of the house, or watching a film or studying. Months ago, I wanted to join an OU course to keep my brain ticking over, but fear of spending money then not actually doing the work or missing deadlines due to fatigue or bad mental state held me back. Then, the other day I watched a film based on one aspect of Carl Jung's life and found it absolutely fascinating. So, I set myself the task of studying him and his work.
At one point, I plan on travelling out to the British Library to do some more research to 1) get me out the house 2) sit in one of my favourite buildings in London. Surrounded by books.
Since I've been on the medication and house bound, I've craved culture, an urge to increase my knowledge and generally not be so stagnant.
And hopefully playfully muzzle this new crazed puppy friend of mine.
The one major draw back I've been encountering is I haven't slept properly for a long....long....time. And when you suffer fatigue....that's just evil. I wake up ridiculously early, then get restless, then the only course of action I can take is curling up on the sofa, watching TV and lulling myself back to sleep. This then results in my being pretty much knackered for the rest of the day. And I'm reluctant to take naps because, having previously embraced them, they now completely knock me out and it takes me a good hour or so to try regain enough energy to just sit up, let alone get up.
So whilst I've been sofa bound, foreign and independent films have been my intellectual stimulus.
And yet.....this weekend, I discovered a potential way to resolve this: bed time baths with ambient lighting (the lighting is important to help calm the brain).
The other day, Tom and I went to visit some friends and spend some time in their hot tub. I managed to calm my mind enough that I stayed in for just under an hour.
This resulted in two major benefits:
1) my circulation seemed to wake up and keep me naturally warm for the rest of the evening
2) I went back home....and slept......all night....til 7.30am the next day. I haven't done that in...I can't remember.
To see if it was just a fluke, last night, before bed, I prepared an ambient bath using a scented candle and a colour changing light at either end of the bath. I then put my ipod shuffle on, lay back and did some meditative breathing. I didn't notice the time pass until I heard Tom go to bed. And I usually find baths really boring and want to get out after 15 minutes.
After the bath, I sat downstairs for half an hour to settle my head, then went to bed.
Then there's exercise. This produces toxins my body can't process. I hit a disheartening ache for days after, so I now walk for half an hour every day. That can have the disadvantage that my head starts mulling over the situation I'm faced with, my struggle and so on including the odd melancholy thought. So, I still go out for walks, but today I added basic beginners yoga to my regime and it felt amazing.
I've had yoga suggested to me by pretty much everyone. But when you feel as awful, mentally and physically, and drained as I did....you don't want to consider new ideas.
The drug having finally settled in my system and now having slept well twice this weekend has reopened me up to new ideas again.
And it feels good. I'm almost running on all cylinders now...