Postive Changes, Independence Day, and Diet Changes

After two weeks of a medication change, I’m beginning to notice differences already.  Normally with psych medication, it’ll take a month at least to see any real effects.  I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping less, I’m listening to more audiobooks, I’m less quick to anger and anxiety, I’m less depressed, I’m a little more active, and I think I’m eating less.  For months I would eat two really large protein rich meals a day.  I’m now eating three smaller meals per day.  I’m also taking probiotics and multivitamins.  I’m noticing fewer unexplainable aches and pains.  I still sleep in my recliner because I’m just used to it now.  My father slept in his recliner for years because of back problems.

I don’t have any plans for Independence Day at the moment.  But I’ll probably stay near my apartment and watch the night fireworks from my apartment window.  I’m probably going to keep my windows closed and my fans running during the days to block out the sounds of firecrackers.  I no longer like the booming fireworks or the ones that sound like gunfire.  There are a few Vietnam war veterans living in my complex who do the same things to try to block out the fireworks that sound too much like gunfire.  My father is a Vietnam veteran himself and he tries to avoid loud fireworks too.  I feel bad for these guys being spooked by fireworks that remind them too much of war.  I imagine there are many people of my generation and younger now coming back from the Middle East who are starting to feel the same way too.  It’s sad that in celebration of my nation’s beginnings that we often stress the ones who were in the military in the process.

I’m thinking about grilling some steaks on my electric grill that day too.  I’ve gotten to where I dine out only once a week.  I’m a decent cook and have come to the point where I prefer my own cooking over fast food.  But it’s not like I can afford to eat in restaurants every day anyway.  But I am eating my own cooking more and I think I feel better because of it.  At least my diet now is a little more balanced.  I still eat a lot of grilled meats, but I’ve also added some more vegetables and far more water.

I feel quite decent overall.  I hope that by changing my medication routine that I am able to avoid the summer problems I have had in the past.  August is usually the roughest time of year for me.  But after twenty years of mental illness, I have figured out what to avoid and what to look for.  I hope this summer goes better than previous summers.  So far it is.

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Physical Pain and Aging with Mental Illness

Knee pains have finally passed.  Felt good enough to go out and buy groceries this morning.  So I’m set for another couple weeks.  I was getting tired of having to eat out and do drive thru because of my bad knee.  I can tell that when I eat fast food regularly my physical and mental health suffer some.  Also started taking some multi vitamin pills a few days ago.  That seems to help with some lingering pain.  Makes me feel a little more energetic.

I’m back to where I’m not sleeping as much as I did over the winter and spring.  Maybe it’s the longer daylight hours.  Maybe losing a few pounds has helped with my sleep patterns.  I still can’t walk as far as I could even two years ago.  But I think if I keep doing the two high protein meals a day, avoid sugar as much as possible, and keep drinking lots of water I can get back into better health.

Since I’m not experiencing knee pains anymore, my mood has improved.  I’m not as depressed as I once was.  I’m getting out of my apartment more.  I’m breaking up some of my in home routines.  I’m trying out some new computer games I bought a few months ago I only dabbled in.  I guess I finally got burned out on Civilization, Sim City, and Skyrim.  I still read a lot, granted mostly online articles, blogs, and science journals.  I trying to get back into more contact with old friends.  And I want to bring some old friends back into the fold I lost contact with over the last few years.

Next week is my birthday.  I’ll be 37 years old.  Mentally I’m more sharp than ever and the mental illness doesn’t have the ups and downs it used to.  Physically I don’t have the endurance I did even a few years ago.  I get unexplainable aches and pains more often.  I wake up more in the middle of the night.  I’m even more cold sensitive then I used to be.  Being a fat man, I could easily go through much of a fall or even winter with just a light jacket unless it was blizzard conditions.  Finding that I can’t do that as well anymore.  I have found that I am sometimes more set in my ways than I would like.  I tend to shop in the same stores, eat in the same four or five restaurants, eat the same things all the time, watch similar types of shows on youtube and netflix, etc.  At least I haven’t yet gotten to where I’m complaining about the kids all the time.  I remember what it was like being ragged on by my elders all the time when I was growing up.  I hated it then and I still hate it when people in my age bracket rag on their kids.  I just hope that as I age and my physical health starts to decline even more that I don’t become one of these bitter and angry old men I see too much of.  I hope I can be an encouragement to people to all ages. I just want my little corner of the world to be a better place because I was alive.

Middle of the Night Ramblings

In addition to a change in the seasons, my routines have been changing too.  I now stay up well into the night but I am sleeping less.  I normally buy groceries in the early morning hours to avoid crowds but I have switched to shopping in the overnight hours.  I have also found good deals on perfectly good but day old deli items this way.  I think people would be sick if we truly knew how much food we in the developed world let go to waste.

Since I’m staying awake later I’m now reading more online articles and getting my youtube fix in the overnight hours too.  I don’t mind the solitude of the overnight hours.  Sometimes, thanks to Facebook, I can strike up short conversations with people from other parts of the world due to groups I’m involved with.  While we in the U.S. are asleep, much of the world is wide awake.  When my cousin lived in Japan, there was a fourteen hour difference between us.  I’d chat with her at 10pm my time and she’d be at noon over in Japan.

I don’t mind the overnight hours.  It gives me more time to read and write.  I sometimes get interrupted during the day hours by phone calls and people knocking on my door.  I normally don’t welcome interruptions, at least not initially.  If it turns out the interruption is a good one, like a phone call from my parents or college friends, I’ll be glad it happened.  I had one such interruption yesterday.  I was taking a nap over the noon hour and my dad called.  Had a good conversation with him.  I welcome such interruptions.  But if it’s someone trying to sell me something, I’ll usually either not answer or just hang up.  I feel bad about just hanging up on people but it’s more polite than yelling at them.

I’m still getting used to being up much of the night and sleeping during the morning hours.  But as backwards as keeping night hours is, it is better than when I was sleeping twelve hours a day during the winter months.  Overall, I have felt quite stable the last several months.  I still have my moments of anxiety and paranoia induced anger, but fortunately I haven’t acted on such impulses for a long time.  I did have a flare up in early February and one last October.  As intense as those were, they lasted only a couple hours.  I just hope I never have problems like those in public.  Most people still don’t understand mental illness or have empathy for it.  Seems to me that mentally ill people are among the last groups of people in society it’s socially acceptable to discriminate against.  But if other groups of people can break down barriers and be more socially accepted, then so can the mentally ill.