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Mental Health Track 025

I have survived a nice family weekend in York! We’re good and damp on a train heading for home where we can locate the beasties and fall asleep. I can’t claim it’s been a great success for sleep and daily maintenance, but I’ve got a couple of days of routine action once more before heading off to Brighton for three days. We’re heading home with a nice collection of books, badges, new rings, assorted tat and several days of happy memories. Very little king nonsense, thankfully, possibly as a result of being on a train through most of it.

Very good to just hang out, amble around the many fine bookshops and charity shops, chat and eat things. Yesterday felt progressively weirder through the afternoon as the double-dose amitriptyline hangover kicked in, leaving me feeling as if I were constantly falling and dizzy. Not ideal. But useful to know what it’s going to do if/when I decide to re-dose while tapering off, in order to get a full night’s sleep. It was probably worth it, but I think I’d have been better off simply staying up last night rather than it taking hours to get sleepy and then waking up continuously through the night. It feels strange to feel so much worse for trying to get some sleep than not getting any sleep at all. It’s partly having the drugs sloshing through my system without having had the chance to do their stuff, and even brutally strong coffee doesn’t dispel it. More food and a nice cocktail did more to fix it than I’d hoped.

I’m sure The Shawshank Redemption is also somewhat to blame for being far too engaging as late-night TV (even if it does look terrible in HD). Certainly more impressive than the coronation concert’s dismal display. It’s also been good to introduce my nieces (and brother, properly) to the excellent game of Carcassonne. I have very much enjoyed simply ambling around York and the Jorvik centre (which matches none of the fantastical memories I have of the place, and is actually much better than I’d remembered from when we last visited – which must have been when I was under the age of ten). I think it’s been a fun and pretty chilled way to celebrate my mum’s 70th.

Having tried and I think largely failed to manage sleep in a disrupted routine by using sleeping tablets, I’m more convinced than before that I’ll be better off without them, even if it does mean only sleeping on alternate nights. I tried melatonin years ago, which did precisely nothing other than expend some cash (I’d hoped that at least would trigger a bit of placebo action), and I’ve been unimpressed by the various herbal non-medicine options available. I’m actually immensely looking forward to my kettle bell workout and am wondering if I should extend it, all the better to batter myself into unconsciousness. Swimming tomorrow too, which I’m excited about. Having removed the relative confidence that I’m going to get a decent night’s sleep and be approximately ready to face the world feels both bold and stupid, especially knowing I have a two day week to get things done. I do think I’m regaining something of myself though, even if it’s just a state of natural tiredness. I was going to say it’s probably just psychological, but obviously it’s all psychological, and feeling as if I’m returning to myself, or rebalancing – being shaken into a me-shaped mould – probably is the same as that actually happening. How would I know the difference? I am enjoying not being dragged under by sleeping tablets from about 8.30pm onwards, slowed in thought and action until the darkening whirlpool swallows me up. Remaining alert and capable is a positive sensation, even if I’ve yet to figure out what to do with that. I’m remembering again why they won’t usually let people take delicious hypnotics like zopiclone or ambien – I can already feel the craving for simply passing out into sleep; I’ll have to resist it and just enjoy it when it comes.

Mental Health Track

A purposeful daily attempt to track how I feel and what I’m doing.

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