Tag Archives: routine

So far so good…so far

2 Mar

I’m pleased to report that I’m on my third consecutive ‘successful’ day this work week. It hasn’t happened in a LONG time but that’s three successful days in a row which – for better or worse, after years of trying otherwise – in my mind is a direct function of my productivity. 

Theee lessons come to mind from this week’s track record:

1. Accept Who You Are: As I’ve said before, years of trying to change it, my beliefs remain as strong as ever; that a productive day = a successful day = a happy and satisfying day. There’s a Theory X vs. Theory Y Management story here for another day. 

2. Celebrate Small Victories: Three days in a row (in a 5 day workweek) may sound like a small victory, but celebrating those is just as important as larger ones, and far more valuable than stewing over my shortcomings or missed goals. 

3. Stick to What Works…Religiously: Each day this week I stuck to a formula that seems to be working:

  • Getting up as soon as my alarm goes off and showering right away
  • Spending little to no time watching the news over morning coffee
  • Taking my meds (Vyvanse in particular)
  • Just doing instead of thinking
  • Getting out of the house and into the office as soon as I can

What do you think? Apart from exercise, what’s missing from my morning routine? And am I the only one who finds this a morning victory and not just a routine?

Cover me I’m going in

27 Feb

Taking a page from last week’s playbook, I’m on my way into work after a successful start to the day. I was up and showered quickly, spending less than 10 minutes watching the news over a cup of coffee (leaving little time to get lost in my head with only my inner critic for company). 

What’s more, I did something different this weekend. I worked for a couple solid hours on both Saturday and Sunday. Not enough to be a burden on my day or interfere with my kids’ activities, but enough to keep up my ‘mental momentum’ so I’m not hitting Monday morning from a standing start. 

How will the rest of the day pan out? Wish me luck and I’ll let you know. 

The power of discipline…and amphetamines 

22 Feb

Wow…what a difference a day makes. Where yesterday morning – especially anxiety-inducing following a long weekend – I felt a sense of panic, dread and gloom heading into work, today I arrived feeling…good. More than good in fact; I felt energetic, ambitious and optimistic about the day ahead. My to-do list is just as daunting, but I feel worlds better about tackling it today. 

So what changed? Not just from today but from prior experiences I can boil it down to three key things:

1. Discipline – I got up when my alarm went off. I ate breakfast. I made the kids’ lunches and got them off to school early. Before 9:00 I already felt productive which, as I’ve written on previously, I tend to equate with happiness and success (a topic for another post I’m sure). 

2. Doing Instead of Thinking – By getting up and “just doing it” I avoided my typical morning pitfall of overthinking things and getting caught up in my own mind. Most days I find myself drinking coffee (no breakfast) in front of the news and starting the vicious cycle of ruminating over my previous day’s shortfalls, feeling shitty about myself, procrastinating my start on the new day, and back again to ruminating. It’s true what they 

3. Vyvanse – It’s not a magic bullet, and it only works if I balance it with other coping mechanisms like the ones above, but this is the one drug that’s had an immediately noticeable impact on my mood. The test of whether it works for you: if it speeds things up and makes you hyper, you don’t need it, but if it actually slows things down to a manageable pace, it could be a perfect fit for you. 

Food for thought. Tomorrow…an update on what I’ve been up to for the last two years.

Self Care: The canary in the coal mine of crazy

22 Feb

I didn’t brush my teeth last night.

It’s been two days since I showered (but new underwear/socks today).

I haven’t had breakfast or lunch since Wednesday.

Why am I sharing these (some would say too) personal details?  Because one of the first things they teach you in rehab and recovery programs is to start with the basics; start taking care of yourself, really taking care of yourself – daily showers, changing clothes, eating three semi-healthy meals – and the rest will follow.

In my experience, it works.

I’ve also found a corollary to this approach; that signs of self care neglect should be seen as an early warning system, a canary in the coal mine of your mind. I’ve had my own experiences, and heard many more at church, when a harsh slide in mood – or substance relapse – follows on the heels of letting even a few self care habits slide.

At least I’m in new clothes today.  And I’m seeing a baby tomorrow so I’ve got to shower before then.

Anxiety peaking as long weekend ends

17 Feb

My wife’s at the wheel as we make our final approach back into the city from the long weekend away. I’m in the passenger seat, teeth clenched in a mild panic attack as I think of the weekend behind us and the week that lays ahead.

It doesn’t help that we’ve spent 12 hours in the car over the last three days, or that I’ve been totally out of any routine.

I know, welcome to the real world, right? Nobody likes going back to work after a long weekend. But that’s life. Suck it up buttercup.

Well, it’s just not that easy when you’re crazy. For every day I’m away from my routine – during which my meds, meals and more can go untouched – it takes me at least as many to get back into it.

While tomorrow morning may bring a harsh return to reality for most, I fear with near certainty it will bring me a harsher, overwhelming return to anxiety. That I feel this way already almost makes it a forgone conclusion, another self-fulfilling prophecy.

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