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Plans and Setbacks

When problems overwhelm us and sadness smothers us, where do we find the will and the courage to continue? Well, the answer may come in the caring voice of a friend, a chance encounter with a book, or from a personal faith. For Janet, help came from her faith, but it also came from a squirrel. Shortly after her divorce, Janet lost her father. Then she lost her job. She has mounting money problems. But Janet not only survived she worked her way out of despondency and now she says life is good again. How could this happen? She told me that late one autumn day when she was at her lowest she watched a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter. One at a time he would take them to the nest. And she thought, “If that squirrel can take care of himself with the harsh winter coming along, so can I. Once I broke my problems into small pieces I was able to carry them, just like those acorns: one at a time.”

—White Stripes, “Little Acorns”

I went to the doctor for a check up on my depression and anxiety. I explained the pathetic attempt at suicide and how I haven’t taken my pills since then. The medication had been helping, but right around the holidays stopped working as effectively and we’re not sure if it’s a result of the meds not working or just the holidays being too overwhelming and meds not being able to fix everything. So I’m back on the pills with my depression meds at a higher dosage. She also recommended a vitamin D supplement since my blood work last year had showed I was at a 24 for vitamin D when you should be in the 50-75 range and it’s highly unlikely my D has gone up. We’re going to see if that helps with my depression and, if it doesn’t, possibly switch to a medication that helps with dopamine rather than serotonin.

Of course, my steadily increasing weight came up as it always does. My husband and I were already looking into gym memberships at the fitness center in town before this appointment. My doctor had a good point during the conversation that stuck with me. It went something like, “Many people are like ‘I’m gonna lose the weight’ or ‘I’m gonna eat healthier’ and then don’t come up with an actual plan to do so.” That’s my problem with things in general: I say I’m going to do something, but then don’t come up with a real plan for it. The few times I had started brainstorming a plan I end up getting overwhelmed by the whole thing and eventually give up.

For example, I’ve been saying I’m going to get my craft room organized, but then become overwhelmed once I get in there to clean because there’s so much to do. After my appointment, I came up with a plan to work on a small piece of the room at a time. I started with the just the small shelf I have for my TV and Wii U system and didn’t feel overwhelmed doing the one shelf. I was confident if I broke this down into small pieces to do over time instead of feeling like I had to do it all at once, I could accomplish cleaning my craft room. Then the baseboards for the heat started mysteriously turning on and it ruined my entire plans. Each room has a thermostat for the baseboards. We just kept the ones in the craft room off so I could place shelves in front of the baseboards and then used space heaters whenever I needed to work in there in the winter. Despite the thermostat being all the way down, the baseboards in the craft room have been turning on like they’ve been set to the highest setting. The breaker for the craft room baseboards are also connected to the bedroom baseboards and my husband, for whatever reason, was against the idea of turning off the breaker and using the space heater in the bedroom even though it heats the bedroom better than the 20+ year old baseboards. To avoid a fire hazard, I had to move my shelving out of the way, which put a big dent into my organization plans and now my craft room is a bigger mess than it was before.

My depression and anxiety had also forced my hobbies to fall to the wayside so I decided I was going to slowly get back into the things I liked. I was drafting patterns for a cosplay I wanted to do for a convention I go to every year….and I was an idiot that didn’t save them once they were finished and the computer closed out my program. I also did dye color tests and accidentally spilled boiling salt water over my pinky. The dyes I used weren’t the right colors I needed for the cosplay so I burnt my finger for nothing.

I wanted to eat healthier only to realize I either fucking hate a lot of the vegetables and fruits I had planned on adding to my diet or only know how to cook them in the most unhealthiest way possible (translation: smother it in butter like a lobster). I think I’m not a picky eater until I go to find healthy recipes and can’t find anything that looks good. We haven’t gotten around to getting that gym membership, which is almost $500 for the two of us for the year. I had planned on cleaning some space in the craft room so I could use the Wii U Fit until we got the membership. Well that isn’t happening at the moment because the craft room basically exploded after having to move things around on the account of the overheating baseboards.

The only plan that has gone without a hitch was getting back on my medication regimen and taking vitamin D. I found out the hard way that the increased dosage makes me super drowsy for a couple hours and not a good idea to take at work or when I need to do things, which is why I have been taking my meds before bed. And so far it seems to be helping.

I’ll get my shit together somehow. It’s just not happening at the pace I was hoping for and I wasn’t expecting so many setbacks.

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