I’ve been struggling with a tummy bug since Monday night and it’s still not gone. It’s annoying me and holding me up from doing things. And it’s a tricky one because it pretends it’s gone and I start feeling better – then BAM – at the most inopportune moment, it’s back! I’ve been given some great home remedy advice from friends and family about what to eat and what to do – which I have followed. Everything has helped for a time but then I get distracted by feeling a bit better and start to add in extra food or activity and before you know it … Hello Toilet! Remember Me?
My tummy bug has coincided with and almost certainly contributed to, a downward spiral in my general mood this week. Not the bottom falling out of my world! I haven’t felt like crawling into my bed and pulling the covers over my head – although in hindsight, this may have helped my tummy bug to go away! I have just slowly but surely ground to a halt.
I am in the middle of a really challenging growth stage in my return to full mental health. It is important that I don’t grind to a halt but rather keep moving forward. I don’t mind if things slow up a bit but I don’t want to stop because I’m sort of on a time schedule! You see, it is only 36 more days until my Psychologist goes on Maternity Leave and this means we only have 3 more sessions together, before I have to begin again with a new Therapist. I am keen to be as close as possible to being ready for employment by then so that maintenance and support will be the role of my new Psychologist.
It has been, almost 4 months since I went off my anxiety and depression meds and I am continuing to feel good. I still get anxious and down at times but have had no panic attacks, no crawl into bed days, no days when I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel! Amazing when I think about it. There is no doubt that for me, being off meds, with counselling support, is working. I am making progress – good progress – amazing progress! But the progress doesn’t just happen. It is carefully planned and carried out step by step. Small, achievable goals, made together with myself and my Psych. Each step being assessed for stress levels both before they are carried out and after. Then reviewed and limits pushed a little further. It’s both thrilling and terrifying at the same time.
So what happened this week, to cause a significant downward spiral, you may ask? Well, that brings me back to my tummy bug …. Remember, I said that as I began to feel better, I added in extra food and activity? And how that proved to be a setback for my full recovery? It seems that I have been doing exactly the same thing with my mental health. As I began to feel better, I started to add things – too many things – into my days. It wasn’t long before I had lost sight of the agreed upon tasks chosen by myself and my Psych, and had filled my days with other really important stuff!
A lot of the other important stuff was worthy stuff …. like taking up a De-cluttering Challenge; or going out and about 2 or 3 times a day; or losing those 30 kilos now! All worthwhile activities but not one could really be called a small, achievable goal that was moving me back into the workforce! All that happened, was that I lost sight of where I was going and how I was supposed to get there! I wasn’t giving anything my full attention and I certainly wasn’t giving myself enough recovery time after each attempt. And so it was back to …. Hello Toilet! Remember Me!! Figuratively speaking, of course!
The good news is that, just like my tummy bug, the slippery slope that is the downward spiral can be stopped. If I follow the rules, eventually, I will be able to add in all the food and activities I chose and I will have the freedom of knowing that my choices in day to day life will be wide and varied. That they will not hinder or hurt me!
Until then, it’s rice and soya sauce; ginger tea; attending appointments regularly; attending my 3 hour per week Ballet School job; preparing my clothes for my set activities the night before I go to bed; making those phone calls I need to make AND spending time on the bed recovering when little things take big effort!
In other news – Distraction 101 – haircut and brow wax …