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Well, it has been almost a month since I saw my doctor and we changed my meds and added some supplements.  Has anything changed?

I think so, but it’s a small change that probably wouldn’t be noticed by anyone but me.  I have reached out for help, ideas, solutions, etc. to help me move forward.  Sure most of this “reaching out” has been in the direction of books, but they are really good books by really smart people! Any the bottom line is, as it has always been, that no one can do this for me.  There is no magic pill, spell, or exercise to “fix” my issues.  I have work to do.  What has changed is that I feel able, once again, to digest all of this new knowledge and use it to make my way forward.  That is progress in my book.

Being the person that I am, and this being the time of year when people vow to make changes, I made a quick mental list of my current obstacles.  I’m very critical of myself, so I have a huge list of things I want to change/do better/do less of, but the obstacles to my progress are few.  Right now my biggest obstacles are my anxiety and depression.  Well, I’m working on the depression with medication already.  In my case, I’m not “sad” so much as I am inert and lacking in motivation.  It’s faulty brain chemistry and hopefully the med will be/are already helping with that.  The anxiety – at this level – is newer and not medicated.  It is overwhelming, irrational fear manifesting physically for no apparent reason, in no set pattern.  No “apparent” reason means that I don’t consciously understand where it is coming from.  It’s not like I’m worried about losing my job or my house or something big like that.  I do worry though – a lot.  So I’ve decided to do a couple of things to maybe/hopefully refocus my thoughts and empower myself.  If all goes well, I hope that this will decrease my anxiety AND depression over time.

Here’s the plan:

1.  It may sound silly to some, but I think it’s a wonderful idea – saw it on facebook – HA!!  I’m calling it the “Joy Jar” (which may be what they called it on facebook, I can’t remember).  I have a spare cookie jar, but it could be a box, bowl or other container, in which I will place a note any time something wonderful happens in my life this year.  I may even use colored paper!  The idea is that this exercise will increase my focus on these good things in my life AND, at the end of the year (or whenever I feel like it), I will be able to look back at all the wonderful parts of my life and see how many there actually are.

2.  Today, as I’m not working, I’m going to make a list of things that worry me.  NOT the possibility of car accidents, comet impacts, etc. – things I can do something about.  For example, like many people, I worry about money and the lack there of.  So, I can (conveniently, as the year has just ended) review my spending over the past year (I use mint.com – check it out) and see where I can save or make changes.  Making lists makes me feel more in control.  I can see clearly what needs to be done, I won’t forget anything because I made a list, and I can make a plan to move forward.  Hopefully getting a better picture of things and taking control of it will make the anxiety recede.

New Year’s Resolutions?  I have only two – one of which will require another list: 1) Be on time for work every day, and 2) Take better care of myself this year.  I figure only one of these is the usual “pass/fail” variety of resolutions.  The other is part of the ongoing process of LIFE.

Time to make some lists!!