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Mental Health Track 043

It’s very different writing these entries at the end of the day rather than the morning. I imagine there’s value in both, in seeing either the hope/anticipation/dread of the day to come versus its actual success. I definitely can’t be arsed to do both. This morning was a busy whirl of having a managed lie-in so I don’t just annihilate all hopes of wearing myself out naturally with time, sped up when I realised we were supposed to be recording a podcast today instead of tomorrow. That turned out to be a massive confusion for all of us, since there is no Sunday 27 May. So we were all wrong! It continued to become wronger as my laptop, or rather the goddamn antivirus designated a really useful program as a virus and then crashed the laptop. Super helpful, thanks. It saved some of the podcast but means we’re recording properly on Monday (not even one of the possible days!). That leaves tomorrow entirely free which is kinda cool.

It has been a little while since Matt, Wez and I have managed to catch up for podcasting. Busy lives and all that. I keep forgetting how enormously relaxing I find their company and that we’ve created a space specifically to talk about how we feel. Even if, as noted previously, I’m better at articulating this stuff on the page than, um, in the air, I guess… Much like other reserved spaces, with the expectations already set out it’s possible to embrace them and feel more free. Sometimes rules and boundaries are good things!

It’s been a very nice day actually. We enjoyed watching our neighbours “gardening” with machetes, which is always a delight. We lent them a rake just so they had at least one actual tool and looked less like murderers. Then we hopped, skipped and jumped a whole two roads away to rehearse Star Warsing in a very sunny garden. That was both hilarious and exhausting. Maybe it’s just being out in the sun talking nonsense, or standing up for a few hours, but I came home very sleepy indeed. It’s a nice sleepy, one not born of exhaustion or stressing about sleep though. Is all very pleasant.

I remain undecided about where I am with these sleeping tablets. I feel (again) like it’s balancing out OK and I’m in a decent place. Obviously I felt like this right until I had a crap night’s sleep and then became quickly untethered. I do now have the experience of bouncing back from that though, and gathering up this little portfolio of experience is part of the exercise. My dataset on I feel expands daily. If I had maintained my love of spreadsheets I could definitely be charting this. That had occurred to me actually, as I kinda liked the scoring systems I used when I first started cognitive behavioural therapy. I don’t remember them specifically, but they’re bound to be in a notebook somewhere. Then I could chart various 0-10s of feeling groovy or suicidal. I’m not sure I’d have much use for it, but it might be reassuring to see all those highs and lows evening out to the mean. That’s the best reflection I’ve got on this so far: in general I’m turning out to be pretty OK, mostly upbeat on most days (even those where I’ve had horrific sleep), albeit with a lot of conscious choosing to be as alright with it as I can muster.

I thought amitriptyline stayed in the system for ages, but apparently it’s more like two to six days, so I’m actually more than a week totally “clean” now (although it’ll be in my hair for maybe three months!) Skipping any consideration of what general ebb and flow I might experience emotionally over weeks and months, I have not fallen off a cliff with stopping taking these things. There’s certainly going to be some inconvenience when I can’t sleep and I’ll be immediately blaming myself since I have the pills to undo that, but I like the idea that this is more under my control. I undoubtedly have better habits and structure than I could ever manage when I was younger. Post-counselling and the years in between I’ve also grown more confident, calm and my life has become more stable and predictable. That latter is in good ways, even if it sounds very dull indeed. I like to plan surprises… That’s not true, but I like consistency. Uncertainty becomes doubt which swiftly melts into anxiety.

I’ve certainly learned a lot from the last few weeks, and I’m (right now) quite positive about moving forward. Let’s see if I can manage to not break me.

Mental Health Track

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

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