Friday, July 15, 2016

Update...

I did see the doctor yesterday. After 10 minutes of background & some questions about therapy, support systems, habits...I left with a prescription for an SSRI. I don't expect to feel anything for 2-3 weeks (at the earliest). On the way home, I got a call from the psychiatrist office with the therapy group. They indeed hired someone new and they have lots of open slots to fill so I'm in to see her (him? can't tell from the name) in 2 weeks. I know that is too early to make any changes, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to get onto the schedule of a real live psychiatrist who TAKES MY INSURANCE so I'm going to go establish care.

In response to Deborah's comment on my last post---I don't think its unusual in the least for people to need to try many times to establish habits, even for things they truly believe will be beneficial to them. I've seen countless people make & break goals for things like flossing, exercise, "eating better"---just because its hard, and it doesn't stick after the first (or fourth!) time, doesn't mean its not worth doing. You do have to approach it differently until you find the way that works for you.

After reading a couple of different books, and talking to now TWO different therapists that strongly recommend it, I am pretty convinced that there is something to this meditation thing. It seems to be regarded by the psych community as a good tool for coping with anxiety. And I LIKE doing it! Its really hard not to think about things, and just focus on my breathing for 5-10 minutes, but when I can achieve it, even for a minute or two (which is realistically the most I have been able to achieve given my inconsistent practice), I feel really calm and almost happy for a short while afterwards. Also, when I am regularly doing my formal meditation, I find myself more likely to take the moments of downtime to breathe, look around, not think or distract or pull out my phone. Like going to the park with my kids and just looking at the sky instead of scrolling (again) through facebook.

This time I'm approaching it not as something that "probably would be good for me" but as a legitimate part of my treatment for my anxiety, along with the little orange pill I'll be taking every morning and the therapy sessions.Also, writing all THIS just makes me feel even MORE determined to stick to it and show everyone that I CAN do it...so there's that...

All the other habits I listed, I actually HAVE done successfully, for long stretches of time, so I know I can do them again. I did the shopping ban for a full year. I deliberately stopped it because I needed a few things, but shopping for even one thing means I'll end up needing/wanting many other things...once I give myself permission to look & buy, it opens some sort of floodgate! So instead of one pair of jeans and a couple of work pants and a dress and three shirts, I bought probably double that amount, and now I have way more than enough. I think doing long periods of shopping bans, followed by short periods of shopping when I do need something or want to refresh my clothes, is probably the best overall strategy for me in terms of saving money and keeping a reasonably sized wardrobe.

The benefits of drinking less are obvious, of course, and the majority of the time I am easily able to stick to a reasonable volume---but occasionally it creeps up, and I need to reset. This time, G is also on boards (finally!) which makes it beyond easy. The topic of "do you want a glass of wine?" just doesn't come up and the truth is, I'm totally fine drinking regular or seltzer water or having my new obsession, Yasso yogurt bars for when I feel like an evening treat.

Gotta run. Have a nice weekend. Its crazy hot here and our AC conked out last night...lots of time at the pool?

12 comments:

  1. I recommend no-caffeine tea as your evening indulgence. I like peppermint and chamomile in the evening, also these tension tamer mixes that taste awesome (I think it's lemon grass that gives it a bit of zest); I am not a tea snob and am happy to use premade bags which make prep easy. Also, Brooklyn 99 -- favorite comedy!

    I am looking at my 16-year-old and he's the same weight I used to be around the time I had him and into my early 30's. But additional kids and this goddamn stressful job have made me put on some weight, which is really hard to get rid of. :( Changing habits is really hard, even when they are really good. :(

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    1. It was comes back to tea.

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  2. Again with the gd tea?! (kidding...sort of). Lemon grass in tea is great, but I hate mint and chamomile tea. Also, seriously, its REALLY HOT. Tea is WRONG (and I'm not excited enough about it to go through the trouble of making iced tea). I drink decaf tea in the winter to stay warm & hydrated. In the summer I much prefer ice cold seltzer. But its FRIDAY so I'll be chilling my chardonnay as soon as I get home!

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    1. I had a roommate who used chamomile tea as some sort of face treatment. Problem: she left strips of linen in moldy tea all over the room (because if you leave it long enough, it starts growing things). I can't stand the smell of chamomile now.

      Apparently my go-to cold beverage Le Croix is hip now. I read an article saying how it's no longer the solace of middle-aged midwestern women and wondered what it meant that I've been enjoying it since I was a kid...

      Good luck with everything!

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    2. I loooove la croix. Grew up on liter bottles of no name seltzer. La croix feels indulgent in contrast!!

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  3. I'm majorly allergic to both mold and chamomile (ragweed). Ughhhh.

    Glad you got in to see the doc. Hope the meds help.

    I'm wondering about anti-anxiety stuff for myself...

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  4. Sorry! I forgot you hated tea. I actually don't like tea very much at all. But making it and drinking it is something to do in the evening that does not involve caffeine, alcohol, or fats/sweets.

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  5. So glad to hear your appointment worked out, that you got the prescription, and that you're taking it!

    Sounds like you're in a good mindset for getting back to formal meditation - and I like that you mentioned above the benefits for the rest of your day. Thinking of Deborah's comment that was the one thing I was going to say: even if some days the 5 minutes of 'formal' meditation don't work out... bringing that approach to any other part of your day (while eating, sitting at the park, a few deep breaths before walking into a patient room etc) seems like it might help you get some of the benefits without the pressure of 'failing' at doing your meditation.

    Also this maybe completely unrealistic - but I've done little 3 minute ones even at work, and on my lunch break (if you have an office door you can close).

    I really like these ones, the woman's voice is so soothing!
    http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

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    1. I'm thinking about trying this again---5 minutes right after I eat lunch. I usually surf the internet at that time anyways.

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  6. When do you meditate? It is on my list of goals but finding a quiet time is really difficult with young kids. I would love to start my morning with a short meditation but it is rare that I can get that time in the morning to myself. The kids especially my youngest 3 year old has a radar that kicks in as soon as I try to have some morning alone time.
    Shelly

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    1. Same here. When I figure out a consistent time, I'll let you know. I plan to do it in the mornings. It happens about 2-3 days out of the week. The kids get up, or the dog comes down, or my husband gets up or I start drinking coffee and just fall into an internet rabbit hole & never get out... I wake up early most days but yet the meditation time eludes me.

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  7. Sorry I didn't comment earlier! I do remember you sticking to the shopping ban for a long time, and obviously that one's hard to do indefinitely. I am glad that you feel like you are making progress on these goals, long-term. I have goals like this, too, where they seem to come and go from my radar but overall, I feel like (maybe) I am getting somewhere. Good luck!

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