It we were having coffee right now I would tell you that I am on the edge of exhaustion and know that I really need to snooze a bit in order to keep going on later. You might asked what I need to do later that I can’t do now and I would answer that I want to play video games with my American friends. I would explain to you that this escapism has become an almost daily need not because it takes me away from the real world, but also because it’s a group of people that care about me, miss me when I am not around and perhaps most of all, accept me as I am. I think I would tell you that this group is a constancy in my world at the moment when so much seems to be changing.

What is changing you ask? Well for a start I am not taking anti-depressants anymore and I am definitely noticing a difference. I am not sleeping so much during the day for instance although I do still feel the need sometimes (like now) but generally I feel sharper and stronger during the day, and feel more tired at night time. One side effect though is that when I stop playing my games, I don’t  seem to be able to go straight to bed now, there seems to be a need to switch off from the games. I need to find a better solution to this than just browsing on the computer though. Last night I sat down on the sofa and made a precise of the day by trying to identify the major events of each experience. I think this worked well but I did then fall asleep on the sofa and not make it to my bed.

What else is changing you ask? Well I have one friend dying, I have another friend going through chemotherapy,  I have another friend going through a difficult time getting diagnosed with a serious illness, and I have a dog that I realise I feel guilty whenever I leave him. I also have a family that needs my support in various ways, and I also need to look after myself. It is a difficult juggling act and I find it difficult not to feel guilty for spending time on myself by being creative.

What does being creative mean? Well for the most part is means writing my blog and exploring meaning from my interaction with my world. I am struggling to connect to my blog at the moment and I think this may be connected with the lack of anti-depressants. I wonder if I am being too critical about what to write about, I think the pills enabled me to be less extreme in my assessment of what was useful, the importance was to write and I want to get back to the that. It seems rather weird that removing the anti-depressants seems to increase the inertia though. I feel I have made progress creatively by moving into cartoons but again I am feeling inertia taking its toll over my progress there. I would like to use what I learn through comics to push boundaries in other ways too; my target would be song writing, but I wonder if poems may be a stepping stone there.

Yes I am supporting a lot of ill people, how is my own health you ask? Well I am trying to get back my swim fitness but that is a struggle to find time to get back to the pool though I did make it back once since the holiday which is definitely an achievement. My cycling continues as my most consistent form of exercise and I feel good about getting two issues sorted out promptly when things went wrong on my mountain bike. I managed to walk the dog a couple of times this week to with is also an improvement I would assign to the reduction in pill taking.

So physically I am in okay and mentally I think things are improving. I am beginning also to focus a bit more on my appearance. I trimmed my beard to day to make it neater, I am washing more often, popping my transplant pills more consistently, treatment my psoriasis more regularly and I replacing worn about clothes rather than making do. I think these are all good signs of an improving mental health.

There are two particular areas that I am working on though. My physical difficulty of swallowing food is being address through an operation to dilate my oesophagus. I had a pre-operation assessment for this yesterday and it became apparent that I have a real terror of the operation and whilst on the surface I am logical and calm, underneath my mind is anxious and tense. I know that I will battle through. The other thing I am doing is trying to get assessed for autism. I think this is an important step in understanding who I am, and how limited my options are for change rather than accepting somethings that cannot change and then trying to work around any limitations these might present. Before going on holiday, I did respond to a letter I got from the local mental health team to make an appointment to see a psychologist, I was told an appointment would be sent out but two weeks later I have heard nothing. I need to remember to do this though.

Yes the holiday was good, not as sunny as I would have preferred but a good break and ideal timing from coming off the anti-depressants point of view. I do seem to keep coming back to the pills don’t I? I think this is probably a fear of what happens next. The deadening effect of Prozac is lifted now and I am more aware of when I am content but also I know when the waves of depression sweep over me. The waves seem to be short-termed and transient for the moment but I worry about getting swept along with it and taken away to that grey land once more. I want to focus on the positive for now.

How was your holiday? Sounds fab, I am a little jealous you can get away with kids though.

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