Posted on 16 October 2016 by Michael Dahl

rote pleasures

Picking produce, weeding the garden, clicking snapshots, and improving my blogs are just a handful of the rote pleasures I try to work into my days as often as possible. The aim is to flood my brain with serotonin (a calming chemical) as a way to crowd out Anxiety (and its fight or flight chemicals of adrenaline and cortisol) from my brain.

Today, I did just that by spending a couple hours walking through my neighborhood clicking snapshots of autumn in St. Anthony Park. I took 80+ pictures and, when I made it back home, winnowed them down to 10 of my favorites.

Not a bad way to start things off.

I don’t know what the rest of Sunday will bring — usually a pretty difficult day for me as it is — but I am glad I took the opportunity of a beautiful day to explore and capture beauty.

Do you have rote pleasures you use to put / keep your brain in a happy / calm place?

On another note, tomorrow I have an appointment with my mental health med doctor. I’m not certain if she’s going to ask me to start relying on my “use only as needed” chill pills less often, let me continue using the chill pills regularly for another month or two, or if she’ll consider some other tweak to my regular meds as a way of settling on “who Michael is going to be in now (his) normal state.”

Yes, I am a bundle of emotions — curious, hopeful, and scared — of what tomorrow might bring.

That said, I want to repeat what I put as an addendum to yesterday’s post:

You know how you know something, but suddenly that knowing hits you as a realization. Well, that just happened to me . Like most chronic illnesses, Anxiety rarely just disappears as an illness. It — like heart disease or diabetes — must be managed over the long haul. I am not certain what this means for me practically. But I know it’s something I have to come to terms with.

Also, as I noted yesterday:

I will keep on keeping on. And I mean that in many ways. I will keep going to my therapist. I will keep on trying to master the techniques that re-wire the brain so it can settle down the anxious feelings I frequently feel. And, I will keep blogging … at times trying to find new things to offer … at times just reporting how I am feeling (even if that sounds like something I’ve already said).

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.