I’ve now been working through medication changes for over three weeks. I see my psych doctor again next week to see if there are any other adjustments that need to be made. With the newer setup I am noticing changes that are requiring adjustments to the life I had carved out for myself over the previous two to three years.
I now don’t need as much sleep. Most nights I can get by on six to seven hours and I’m more likely to sleep through an entire night. I used to wake up at least once in the middle of the night every night. Even before I became mentally ill I didn’t sleep all the way through a night. While I am a little slower to get going in the morning I have no other problems with my morning routine.
I read much more again. For over a year the books on my shelf were gathering dust simply because I wasn’t reading. For me not to read means something isn’t right. I haven’t ever needed encouragement to read. Instead I had to be encouraged to put down the book and socialize. But I ordered three books through amazon this month and read one of them already. I have read parts of several other books too in the last few weeks. For months before this current medication change I would do only audiobooks or educational programs on youtube. But I’m getting to where I want to read again. I even went to the library today for the first time in almost a year. Kind of odd being a writer and not spending time in a library, but that was my reality for most of the last year.
I’m even watching more tv but playing fewer computer games. Normally I wouldn’t celebrate watching tv. But for months I found most tv mind numbing and stupid. I found it so annoying I couldn’t stand to have it on even as background noise. I still find most tv shows dumb but I don’t find them irritating. I still haven’t brought myself to try to watch cable news. But the press only presents bad news because that is what we as humans are drawn toward. I think we pay more attention to bad news or threats because it is hard wired into our genes. I don’t watch the news, haven’t for years. If there is anything I really need to know I’m going to find out, cable news or not. Besides almost no one I know under age 40 gets their news from traditional sources.
I’m to where I actually want to socialize again. I am finding myself leaving my apartment more often during the day and for longer periods of time. I have found a writers’ group that meets twice a month at my local library. I’ll go check that out next week. I’m even toying with the thoughts of getting involved in my old writers’ group and mental illness support group again. I haven’t been involved in either one for two years so most of those contacts are rusty and dusty. But I don’t suppose it would take too much to get back in.
I’m also on the lookout for writers’ conventions in my home state. I used to belong to the Nebraska Writers’ Guild. But I let that membership lapse about two years ago. Looking back on things, it seems like most my socializing and extra activities fell apart around two to three years ago. I had my last round of medications changes in early 2014. The meds I went on then may have helped me lose weight but I lost a lot of social skills and mental stability.
I have not worked on a regular basis for a few years. I’ve done jobs for the family and temporary work but nothing I had to regularly go in for awhile. At this point in my life my confidence in my ability to do good work and navigate workplace politics is gone. If I could navigate the workplace I would be open to going back to work fifteen to twenty hours a week. It is definitely a blow to your pride and ego to know you did extremely well in school only to get mental illness that won’t allow you to hold even a minimum wage job. I wouldn’t mind going back to work if I thought I could handle it mentally. It does get boring at times not having a routine and not feeling connected to anything. That is why I have zero patience for any one who complains about their job. Not having a job is worse than having a bad one and not being able to support yourself is even worse.
I actually get bored not having anywhere to go and not having many friends nearby. I didn’t used to get this way for months. There would be days I was just content to not leave my apartment at all, especially in the winter. But I actually want to socialize and be out among people again. I might even have to go to the movies again just to be among large groups of people again. I have almost forgotten what that was like.
Being more easily bored, wanting to socialize, wanting to join a writers’ group, reading a lot more, and even toying with the thought of finding a part time job are some of the changes I am trying to manage after three weeks of a medications change. These are adjustments to my previous lifestyle and they are good adjustments to have to make.