Tinkering with my meds and my mornings to become the Michael I want to be.

 

I have to reassess a small part of my earlier medication cocktail. As I’ve shared in my prior two posts (May 20 and May 21), I’ve been toying with a medication’s dosage with the approval of my mental health med doctor. I had been taking two pills per day — a full one in the morning to start the day off right (calm) and then half apiece each mid-morning and before I go to bed. The result had turned me into a person who was tired all the time and saddled with foggy-brain. I also noticed that along with making me calmer in tense situations, I was also smiling and laughing a lot less than I would have otherwise done.  (Not a good predisposition for someone who considers himself a cheerleader.)

And so, as I said with my doctor’s approval, I had and have tested different dosages. Cutting my “chill pill” out completely was a failure. It took a few days, but I soon turned into a mid-level anxious guy all the time. This was not worth the small increase in energy I felt each day nor the reduction of brain fog I was experiencing. And, the anxiousness crowded out many reasons to smile and laugh.

And so I changed things up to a pill and a half each day— one half early morning, one half mid-morning, and one half before I go to bed — one week ago. While I’m not overly-joyed with the place I have settled (living with a bit more energy and a noticeable change — although not a full erasure of — brain fog), being who and how I am right now may have to be acceptable while I incorporate more lifestyle changes into my arsenal.

I’ve started meditating in the morning. A couple of people have suggested I check out the mobile app “Headspace” to guide me through meditation. While I’m only three days in, I have yet to see if it’s helping or not; but know that it certainly can’t hurt. And, I can do at least a couple of things to increase meditation’s chances of positively impacting my brain each morning. The app allows you to pick a certain amount of time for each session; I can increase my daily sessions from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. There are also reflections shared with each session. I could do a better job of pondering, and perhaps journaling on the shared advice.

I can also exercise more each morning. I find that fatiguing your muscles makes it harder for them to contribute to Anxiety or full-blown panic attack.

And probably not lastly, I could keep a gratitude journal, a suggestion of my talk therapist as well as my friend Tom.

The purpose of these lifestyle changes is to make up for — if not surpass — the benefits I was experiencing because of the full chill pill each morning. As it is right now, the half pill each morning does cut my Anxiety down some, but certainly not at the level I would hope for. I spend each morning a bit agitated and slightly anxious. But this changes once I get to my mid-morning half pill. Then things seem to be close to alright.

But as a rapper once posited, “You know how it ends all depends on where you start.” And I am not quite at the morning starts I want to achieve.

Wish me luck on the lifestyle changes augmenting my chill pill’s benefits. I’d like to find a calm that starts out my day out right.

(P. S.: I just have to note that if these changes work, they certainly require getting up early in the morning and changing my current routine. “Boo hoo, Michael!” Or more truthfully, “Get over it and get this done!”)

 

4 Comments

  1. Cori Raines 27 May 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Good luck with your choices. I am constantly looking for a “new norm” That fits my needs, and my lifestyle.
    I do like getting up and going to work.
    I also have a med regimen to follow up with. I can tell the days when I get them late or get distracted and forget to take them.
    So… Cheers to you, may you have great luck with your new “norm”, and may you find that Michael you are looking for.

     
  2. Michael 27 May 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you, Cori. More people have to know what a journey it can be to find the normal(s) that those of us dealing with mental illnesses strive for.

     
  3. Tom S. 27 May 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Good luck with this Michael. I know you will succeed – my God is on your side. I also have a couple of friends who I’d like to enlist with your permission. They are mental health professionals, one retired, and one semi-retired, but as they say, too many cooks can spoil the brew or is it stew? I’ll email you about this in the next couple days. It may be that they can help without interfering with your current Doctors. That will be up to you to decide. Thanks for your updates! And please let me know when I’m overstepping my boundaries as a friend.

     
    • Michael Dahl 28 May 2018 at 9:33 am

      You’re not overstepping your bounds, but I wonder if your friends would be overstepping theirs. Check with them and let me know. I’ll then consider if it feels right doing so even though I have a psychiatrist already.

       

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