On Mental Health

In Search Of A Routine.

I finally talked to my psychiatrist a couple weeks ago and I had forgotten how good he is at talking to me about things other than medicine. I still feel weird taking up his time, like I feel like he’s like my family doctor and has patients waiting in other rooms too and so I try to keep everything brief but I really don’t think it works that way. Especially not with telemedicine because who else would be waiting? So I’ve been talking a *little* bit more to him about stuff and he’s actually better at talking me through stuff than some therapists I’ve had and that’s all they do is talk therapy.

But something he’s cautioning me about is to keep from looking to something in the future to be “better” – like taking a vacation after the pandemic or getting a new President. He points out that obviously things can change and improve but the problem with anxiety and depression is it’s always a factor of what is happening. People like me can be anxious and depressed even if everything on paper improved tomorrow. “Things are always going to suck. If politics and pandemics improve, your brain will find the attitude from you kids depressing or the state of your yard will cause you anxiety.”

And you know what? He’s right. There’s always going to be something making me anxious and depressed and while it’s good to look for improvements or change as just that, it’s not good to look at them as some sort of moment where AHA! My anxiety and depression will be gone now! Because that’s not how brains work.

And dude…it’s like, as he was saying it I was thinking, Well, duh. That makes perfect sense. So while it’s good to look to the end of the pandemic and the election as possible changes that will improve things for me and for the world, it’s not good to look at treating my anxiety and depression as something “until then” because if I don’t treat it, it won’t just miraculously go away with those changes.

SO! I’m supposed to be trying some sort of quiet meditation for 2 minutes twice a day. TWO MINUTES. That is all he asked me to do! Until I felt comfortable moving up to 3 minutes. I was like, DUDE. THAT IS NO PROBLEM.

And then, of course, I haven’t done it once.

I think it’s the weird “scheduling” problem. Donnie isn’t working right now and the kids are not in school so there’s no real “beginning” to most of our days. And while I do get up at the same time most mornings because I try to walk my Mom’s dog between 7 and 730, I’m having trouble coming up with a routine that allows for meditation. BUT I AM GOING TO TRY AGAIN THIS WEEK!

Right after I click “publish” on this post. But in order to do that I can’t go back and re-read/edit so MY APOLOGIES if this one seems worse than usual!

2 thoughts on “In Search Of A Routine.”

  1. I hear you.

    I am no meditation expert, but I have dabbled and had regular practices over the years, so here’s my assadvice. What helps me most with my anxiety is nature. When I had a meditation teacher in Sri Lanka, I found the morning routine I’d had in London when I was a busy director, of gazing at a flower or leaf for a few minutes whilst I had my morning coffee, was actually a meditation (decaf coffee might have been a better choice :D) . I know we have an idea that meditation should be serious, concentrated with no interruptions, but my interpretation is your thoughts can come and clutter your brain but the practised is to let them go and focus again. I used to listen to guidance meditations on my route to work on top of a double decker bus. Maybe I’m a cheat but a friend of mine who is a bonafide, meditates for 20 minutes first thing is the morning type of guy, got excited by the idea. If you can meditate on a London bus or tube sometimes (pre Covid) I was in the the rush hour crush, many meters below ground, giving love out to fellow commuters), you can do it anywhere. Sorry am I bringing you out in anxiety at the thought? What I’m trying to say is you can freestyle, do it your way.

  2. Seems like you are alone in the car several times a day. Could you take a couple of minutes when you get in the car or when you arrive at your destination to meditate?

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