It's no secret to me - or anyone who's been following my blog - that I've been having a really tough time lately. My mother keeps telling me, don't despair. Chronic illness is certainly difficult enough to deal with all on its own, but add in the unemployment and sometimes (often) it is just too much to cope with.
My Depression and Anxiety issues have gone from lurking on the horizon to ominously looming over my daily life. I can squeeze out a few hours here and there throughout the week when I feel okay, or even happy, but sure enough the gloom comes back. Like dark, sticky cotton candy.
It seems like each week brings more difficulty to deal with. DF found out that the last day of his seasonal job is October 31; after that, he'll once again be unemployed with no new prospects. (At least this time, there was notice.) A few weeks ago, I quit one of my part-time jobs after it became very clear that the increased Anxiety was not worth the measly paycheck. And as I posted last week, there was the massive failure of my recent medication trial. Everything just keeps piling up.
In the midst of all this upheaval and getting used to a new work schedule, I've let some components of my treatment lapse. I haven't had a massage in several months; I had been going weekly. I've pretty much stopped keeping my headache diary. Last week I even skipped my Nia dance class because I still had the citalopram in my system. I've given myself permission to stop keeping my headache diary, as right now it's causing more stress in my life. I plan to start keeping it again either when I start another med or the beginning of the new year (whichever comes first). I have a follow-up appointment at the end of March with my headache doc, so even if I don't restart my diary until January, I'll have three months of records to show him.
Massage is a different story. I know it helps me to feel better by releasing the tension in my neck and shoulders, even if it doesn't directly help my Migraines. It's silly, really, that I haven't just called and scheduled an appointment, but in the murk of daily life it's easy to avoid making phone calls.
So, my goal for this week is to make that call and restart my weekly massages. I'm focusing on not being hard on myself for ignoring this part of my treatment plan. It's difficult to continually put so much energy into an intensive treatment regimen that seems to offer little return. But every little bit does help, and incrementally I hope I'll improve.
A big part of being able to cope with chronic illness is setting small, achievable goals and recognizing when I achieve them. I know this, but I'm writing it here to remind myself. This week's small goal is scheduling a massage appointment. Hopefully I'll start to overcome this inertia, this feeling of wallowing, by taking that first baby step. Then I can look at my other goals (adding a weekly tai chi class, for example) and start working toward those.
And maybe, just maybe, the regular massages will start to chip away at my stress.
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