I'm trying to figure out how to put my thoughts into words. I mean, how do you explain that you need to put yourself first in order to take care of anyone else as well? I think our society is one in which if you put your own needs ahead of the needs of others you are looked at as being selfish. I don't agree with that. I think that it is necessary to put what YOU need to be healthy and fully functioning ahead of the needs of others. If you don't put your needs first how will you have anything left over to take care of those needs? Be clear in what YOU need to be a fully functioning member of society AND THEN you will be able to help others take care of themselves as well.
Currently I am undergoing Electro-Convulsive Therapy three times a week. I need to make sure that I do everything I possibly can to take care of myself as I undergo this rather harsh treatment. If I don't put my own needs first I will not have anything left over to give to others in my life. I need to make sure I'm eating healthy, well-balanced meals. I need to make sure I am getting enough sleep every night. I need to make sure I am consuming enough water to keep my body fully hydrated. These are the basic steps I can take to make sure I am putting my health first and foremost.
As my memory slip slides away I need to take steps to remind myself of the events that I need to remember. Whether it is jotting it down in my planner (click here for $10.00 off your first Erin Condren order) or leaving Post It Notes around my apartment, I need to make sure that I have memory joggers in crucial locations since my brain is not working like i t used to work. Eventually my brain will revert to normal functioning, but only after there is a good size chunk of time in between the ECT and the present time.
I need to not be afraid to ask for clarification when something is not clear to me. I can not be afraid to admit when I don't remember something, regardless of what it is. ECT effects the memory and that is okay. Life is not always pretty and life is not always smooth. Own the messiness of life and things will flow much more naturally. I am trying to own my messiness right now.
So about a year ago I underwent ECT for a good month and a half. I thought that was the end and I was cured. I mean, not cured, but had gotten my symptoms under control with medication and therapy. Oh no!!!! I was wrong! In November I mentioned to my doctors that I thought the ECT was no longer working. They both came back with, "no, no, that is not what is happening. It is too soon." Oh how wrong they were. Finally my doctor said I should have maintenance ECT (meaning every other week for a month and then once monthly). Well the doctor that administers the ECT made the most valid point that you can't start maintenance when you are so low. Uh, duh!!!! Of course you can't. I'm so annoyed at myself that I didn't push harder back in the winter. So here I am, undergoing ECT three times a week. I'm not sure what this will mean for my job. My job is one that really needs to be in the office five days a week. I have specific tasks each day. There are only three of us in the office, and one of those three is only there three days a week. Nobody has the capacity to take on my duties. I totally get that. I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep the job or if I will need to give it up. It isn't the love of my life job, but I do REALLY love the people I work with and the hours are good and the environment is positive. So those are all three really important aspects of a job.
Friday was my first treatment and man was it a doozy. I woke up from the anesthesia super duper nauseous and HOT. I mean hot in like I was sweating and flushed. They had ice all over my face and neck to try and cool me off. I don't know what happened. But it wasn't fun!!!! Today was much easier. I mean I woke up with a massive headache, but I think that is to be expected. I wasn't hot and I was not really nauseous either. Both pluses in my mind. I came home and both Friday and today I took a four hour nap each day.
I guess this is all a learning game. I will have to learn how to work with my constraints. I will have to learn how to work with work, meaning either keeping my job or needing to give up the job. I hope I can stay, but totally understand if I can't. I will need to learn how to make sure I am taking care of myself, each and every day. Meaning, getting enough sleep, eating properly, getting enough exercise, drinking enough water. All little things that add up to something huge in the big picture of overall health.
What do you do to keep your health, both physical and mental, in tip top shape? What are some tricks of your trade that you rely on to keep you on the straight and narrow? Or if you prefer a more winding path, what do you do to keep your forward momentum? Please comment below, I'd love to hear from you.