A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Resolutions For Health In 2017

I quit smoking again just as it turned into the new year of 2017.  Four and a half days later I went to my doctor's appointment to hear the results of my recent blood test.  My blood sugar level was quite high and he said I would have to start taking a medication twice daily at meals for the next 3 months till I saw him again.  One reason why I readily agreed is that I've been having toe pain for the last 2-3 weeks.  Problems with feet and eyes are common especially in untreated diabetes and can lead to dire consequences such as amputations and blindness.  The doctor said the pain in my toes would probably clear up within 2 weeks.  I have been faithfully taking the medication twice a day for the last four days.  I still have pain in my toes and some tension in my fingers and a restlessness at night when I try to sleep.

My condition is a wake up call to take better care of myself.  I would like to follow more closely Dr. Joel Fuhrman's books on fighting or even eliminating diabetes.  He suggests a mostly vegan diet and I have been moving towards that.  I have been relying in part on a line of frozen foods called AMY'S but it is still processed and I think I'm going to stop buying it.  I have been including more salads and more green smoothies, but I need to branch out into cooking, particularly hearty soups.  All this requires shopping at least once a week for fresh fruits and vegetables.  It also requires food preparation and a clean kitchen.  I have a very dirty kitchen and I have to change that.

Despite the stress of finding out my blood sugar is too high, (which has led me to thoughts of affliction and mortality) I do not have the desire to smoke cigarettes.  That in itself is a miracle that makes me grateful.  I turn instead to my vape mods and to drinking water and to talking into my audio recorder or listening to audio programs.  I am consciously trying to turn to vaping when I feel the least touch of a desire to smoke.  I'm trying to transfer my tendency to be compulsive from the toxic cigarettes to the mostly non toxic (no nicotine) vaping.  It's working for me.  It is obviously breath oriented, even more so than cigarettes, and it soothes me.

It's been very cold here this past week and I have stayed indoors.  There is peace and quiet and safety in my home, the ever present company of my cats and moments of meditation and appreciation for my life.  I do shift into anxiety and depression, but I've been sitting with them knowing that they too will shift into something better.  I'm also learning that once I become aware of whatever negative thought pattern I'm in, I can go to work to re-direct myself towards basic bottom line acceptance of where I am at in the present moment.

I have struggled with voices that say that I should be doing more, helping people, implying that my small life is a selfish one.  Not harming others has been very important to me and I don't.  In some instances I help.  What I'm really trying to learn is how not to hurt myself.  Having quit smoking cigarettes is a huge step forward in this.  And now, so is diet and exercise.  What I've learned over the years of living with psychosis is that individuals placing top priority on taking care of themselves body, mind and spirit is the key to living in peace and the key to finding deep happiness.