About 16 days ago I decided I had enough of feeling shitty every freaking day and set out on a mission to figure it out and turn things around. i decided the first step was to do a substance cleanse and get my body free of chemicals that alter my mood, help me sleep or calm my anxiety. I was all-in and knew it was what needed to happen.
I vowed that I would cut that shit out for 15 days and then re-evaluate to see how I was feeling and add other mods into my routine. Give myself an uptick in good behaviors like hydration and eating more fruits and veg. But I found out pretty quickly that i couldn’t just make a declaration and it would magically come to pass.
Day 2 I felt like garbage and by day 3 I was throwing my hands up in the air in despair. I honestly didn’t know I was suffering withdrawal until I saw a physician and heard his assessment. That day was one of the worst I’ve ever had. And the relief I felt when I gave in and took a Xanax and went back to bed was all the proof I needed that he was right.
So instead of cold turkey, I’m taking it slow and reducing my dose in small increments. The prescribed plan is like 12 weeks but I’ve been working the numbers and charting my dose and symptoms and think I can do it it 8. That’s still a lot longer than the 2 weeks I was originally hoping for.
I’ve also not been able to cut out caffeine. But I’ve been charting my headaches too and have minimized my daily intake quite a bit. Like I said, it’s been about 16 days since I stomped my foot and declared these changes, and I have successfully reduced the caffeine to about 1 cup of coffee a day. It feels like a win to me.
Of course the third part of my substance trifecta was alcohol. I haven’t had a sip since June 13. It’s been the easiest part of my plan by far. I think the first time I really missed it was when I returned from Colorado and Jim suggested we have a few drinks while I fill him in on the details of my trip. I declined (but still spent a fair bit of talking about everything Z and I saw and did).
Despite the change-up In the master plan and slowing some things down considerably, I can still feel an improvement in my health. I feel better waking up in the morning and am not dreading the day like I was. I’m starting to be excited again about the things going on in my life instead of feeling so burdened by responsibility.
And I am actually sleeping better even though I’m not taking as much of the Lorazepam as I was. That’s freaking incredible. I’m just now rolling into week 3 of my 8 week plan but already looking forward to the day when I’m done-done with that shit!
All of this validates that change is sometimes neither fast or easy. But it’s always good to have goals and measures so you can keep track of how it’s going.
Also not to be dismissed is the need for a llama in the story. Something interesting, something to look forward to, something that’s providing internal satisfaction.. feeding the soul.
The llama in my “Take Back the City Tour” was the road trip I took with my daughter. It was very restorative to disconnect from work and get a change in scenery for a few days. The mental health variable in the grand equation of overall health is so important. Everything is connected!
Today is the first day of the second half of 2020. We are half a year into what will probably go down in history as one of the most trying years of the century. No human can escape the impact of the pandemic. No person in America is isolated from events that are changing the climate of our country.. politically, socially, economically.
There too, change is painful and a struggle. It’s a large scale example of what neither fast nor easy looks like. But as I have hope that I can find peace and health for myself, so too do I have hope that we as a society can take steps toward positive change.
I don’t have any answers but I know that “cold turkey” is not the Way.
I digress. I’m officially calling today the end of my “Tour” and will return now, somewhat, to my regularly scheduled programming. I’ll still be on the lookout for the next Llama or Ostrich. Everyone should make time for that!
Peace and Love,