Posted on 28 January 2017 by Michael Dahl

Have I reached a new mental health “normal?” And a new chapter for Prone to Hope.

Early next week I visit with my mental health med doctor to check in on how I am doing a couple of months since we last talked.

I will note that my mental health is basically in a good, but nuanced place. I am not fully relieved of my Anxiety (although I am of my Depression). But I am so, so much better than I had been before.

Truth is, a little of the Anxiety I used to experience in the morning has returned. Not much. Just about 45 minutes to an hour of nervousness and self-doubt has crept back. It usually passes naturally, making the rest of my day just fine.

Would I like not to experience anxiousness almost daily? Would I prefer to not beat myself up on many mornings? Sure.

But it’s all part of a cost-benefit analysis. My current meds make me better most of the time. And so, I get to ask myself and my doctor if we should try to tweak things so I am better all the time. However, I fear doing so would come at an unacceptable expense.

You see, my current meds make me tired almost all the time. And I fall asleep very early almost every night. I fear that amping up my drugs just a little bit would skew me towards an even earlier bedtime and saddle my days with even more tiredness.

Just to be clear, I fall asleep at around 8:15 pm each night. And, I wake at 4 am nearly every morning. That’s annoying. It’s also annoying to be tired as much as I am.

But I can do my job. I can spend a little time with my wife and pup every night. And, despite the tiredness, I can still get myself to the gym (or exercise at home) a number of times each week to keep myself in good physical health.

So is this the new normal? I am prepared (and basically happy) for this to be the case.

We’ll see what my doctor says. She’s certainly surprised me before with even more options than I thought possible. But I think she’ll say we have struck a fairly good balance, and I should use techniques taught to me by my therapist to make the mornings more bearable.