It’s Alive!

I feel a little like Peter Boyle’s monster at the end there.  “Who the hell is the idiot screaming?”  But, the idiot would also be me (less some of Gene Wilder’s hair), bellowing the news to the world.  I admit to ambivalence in making such a bold announcement after being sick for three months. It makes me want to touch wood, spit over my shoulder, or at least wear a hat when I go outside.

Also, I seem to be suffering from a weird kind of amnesia, like not being able to remember what I was talking about after someone interrupts me.  The thought was insightful, choice, but damn if it isn’t gone.  So I just stand and gawp, waiting for the brilliance to return. What was I doing three months ago?  No clue.

Maybe it’s not even relevant anymore.  That’s what I tell myself instead of panicking. Let’s just start by unlocking these steel straps, I tell my mad scientist, and we’ll see what happens next.

So, this week I went back to my water aerobics class, because I remember I used to like the water, and I blew the dust off my journal, and I started to plan.  Because, you know, I gotta have a plan.

Which reminds me that I got a Squatty Potty sometime during the haze of pneumonia.  But that’s a different post.  And, no, that’s not me demonstrating the healthful benefits.  I don’t wear white (But click on the link to the Squatty Potty commercial.  You won’t be sorry).HappySquatter-SquattyEccoStool

Anyway… what was I saying?

A Plan.  Right.

All I’ve been able to do so far is babble in my journal.  What’s important to me now?   What needs my attention?  What’s happening?  Where am I?

Getting my strength back and building my immune system came up a lot.  So did paying attention to how winter seems to be sapping Vyvanse’s effectiveness. And maybe I should see if I have any money in the bank.  So much more to consider now than whether I can sit at my table and sort beads for a half hour.

And speaking of those beads… I sure had fun making zodiac cards for the friend who sent me the Bead Box—so much so that I made some for myself.

Capricorn Odor

So, maybe Fun should be part of The Plan, too.  I’ll put it in the hopper (no Squatty Potty humor intended).

The Plan

All Figured Out

To be discharged from partial hospitalization, I had to create an After-Care Plan.  I like plans.  My journals are full of them.  The structure is comforting—the act of numbering and creating a tidy list, all that lovely white space around simple steps.  It brings the chaos to heel.  Here’s my Plan as approved by the professionals.

Assessed Needs

  1. Improve Tolerance to Distress
  2. Monitor for Lapse Symptoms and Put Emergency Plan into Action
  3. Improve Confidence and Self-Talk

Strengths

  1. Insight, Experience, Commitment to Wellness, Creativity, Intelligence, Willingness
  2. Supportive Therapist, Supportive Friends and Family, Basic Needs are Met

Obstacles

  1. Fear of Failure, Negative/Distorted Thinking, Ongoing Rapid Cycling
  2. Support System needs Repair, Limited Resources

Goals for the First 30 Days

  1. Continue to Function at a 9-10 (on a 1-10 scale)
  2. Maintain New Behaviors
  3. Spend More Time with Friends in Play
  4. Work on My Bucket List
  5. Lose 8 Pounds
  6. Finish First Draft of Technical Consultant

Keeping my Plan in the front of my brain will help me stay on track, so I’ll spend some time here posting about my goals—the Action Steps for each one and how I’m succeeding at them.  Five days out of treatment and I can feel how much work this will be.  How much work it already is.  But, it’s a good kind of work, like a big sweat from hard manual labor.  The body finds a rhythm.  The muscles and bones do what they were created to do.  The mind steps back.

And the harder I work, the sooner these new behaviors will become habit.  But, until then it’s a grunt and takes constant reminding about why I’m doing all this.  Living better, feeling better, remembering who I am.  That’s The Plan.

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