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Routine


alexjuice
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Cheating has come easy to me. I never worked much at school work, I cheated. I didn't cheat by cheating, I cheated by finding ways to get through without showing up and working. The structure of typical life, I decided, was arbitrary and needn;t apply to me.

 

In college I had an assignment to analyze a work of fiction based on the characteristics of its genre. I choose to write a post-modern analysis of a post-modernist book, the title I forget now. I picked it because I could write my paper using a bunch of cheats and wouldn't need any factual knowledge. I never read the book. I wrote a bizarelly stylized "post modern" essay to confuse this fact and got a good grade. My whole life, I cheat like this.

 

For a time, I survived without structure. I coasted through. My parents and teachers, given minimal camoflauge, never asked questions which wouldve exposed my lack of work and failure to adhere to the rules. I learned people are easily fooled about me because they are preoccupied with themselves. I thought I knew better than them and that I'd do things my way. Maybe this is normlity for a teenager...

 

Then came drugs which threw life into disarray. Honestly, as often as I post here at 5am, 8am, noon, 6pm, midnight... my sleep routine on Drugs was just as erractic, more extreme even. I do not ever go a night with zero sleep today. When I was 20 years old every week I'd go at least one night with zero sleep. There were times i would not sleep for consecutive nights with no stimulant use other than coffee. (For home-scorers, that's waking on Monday 8am and next sleeping at, say, 2pm on Wednesday.)

 

Today, I realize how structure and routine provides framework for doing. I know exercises I can use during my flares of vocal cord stress, but they must be done over and again and in a specific way. I know exercises for anxiety but they only work when practiced with deliberation. My diet, the same, I must adhere to a particular structure fanatically or it will not succeed.

 

I see value in routine now. Of course, it is harder than ever to keep one. My sleep, my mood, physical discomfort, fears, intolerance to the inside, intolerance to the sunlight. It is hard to do what I need to do when I need to do it.

 

I plan to do my best to build a routine in spite of my difficulties and their unpredictability. For a long while, during my Drugged years, I would go days without brushing my teeth. I am 33 years old, am not an idiot, and just recently could say Ive brushed my teeth everyday over the last 100 days and know I was pretty dang right.

 

I am looking for ways to make a basic routine and stick to it so I may, someday, return to work or school or do something else requiring discipline. I want this structure so badly I've lamented my sickness would prevent me from enlisting in the military. (Nothing against service but I never imagined feeling disadvantaged that I can;t go through boot camp.)

 

If anyone has tips on getting things done, staying organzied, keeping a schedule... please share.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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You are wise to address this now, Alex. I lost my routine / structure a long time ago and have tried desperately to reestablish it. I find the hardest thing over the years is to first CREATE things to put on the "To Do" list. At this point, i have absolutely no daily or weekly must dos aside from taking drugs. I think my life would be enriched by a nursing home environment. Sadly, im not kidding. The residents are kept on a schedule, taken to the community room for socializing even if they are totally incoherent. People know how important this is, even for dementia patients in their 80s+.

 

Emptiness is a twist on life that few can comprehend in our busy, overscheduled world thought, as Gia has written about, i believe it's becoming more common as more people are disabled at young ages.

 

Im thankful that my curiosity allows me to be entertained by reading and learning. And ive been ok in my own company though im vacillating between boring myself and getting on my nerves recently. I think I tolerated myself far better when I was drugged (not that im Undrugged now). I still have this damn phone anxiety / block or I'd talk to people (including you!) more frequently.

 

Back on schedule.. what have you done to stay occupied, Alex? Kudos on the brushing of the teeth. That's really an accomplishment. Sadly, I'm not kidding and I suspect you understand that..

 

It's morning. This is a "morning message". Maybe I'll have better offerings in a few hours. In the meantime, I just want to reiterate how much I believe in you, Alex. One of the things on my To Do list is to get well enough to give you and many others a hug IN PERSON, arms n all. Maybe a cup o java or whatever is on the "safe food and drink" menu at that time.

 

B

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Yep, Routine is a good thing for me too.

 

I just shared this somewhere, that working while Withdrawing was a good thing for me because of the routine and busyness.

 

A year ago I made a decision to go into business for myself. Right now, I don't have a routine.

Because in the beginning of any business it has to build up. Florida is a seasonal State and for the last two weeks and maybe until October I may not be that busy.

 

I get crazy during times like this. I worry, obsess, cry, get down and have trouble sleeping because I am not where I would like to be.

 

If I did not have alimony I would not be able to continue with this venture. I am scared and it sux to worry about money coming in. However, in my heart-of-hearts I know this is what I want to do and the success I am seeking will come in time.

 

But when things get slow I get nutsy, but it is for reason. This is situational stuff,

not meds.

 

Frustrated in Jupiter

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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I think we're talking about very different levels of "schedule" and To Do items. My list contains bathing, brushing teeth, eating, etc. I'm currently not adhering to any list.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Routine is central to my wellbeing, but I have never been very self-disciplined. I'm good about brushing my teeth, etc. but not beyond that.

 

I have often been a workaholic because of this... it's an outside structure and it sucks me in and I can't say no. As a result I've neglected working on my own stuff for years.

 

Alex... one thing that helped me was from a book on how to transcend procrastination. It said you shouldn't just have to do lists, but also "done" lists. Also learned that in DBT group therapy. For years I kept an exact schedule of everything I did. Maybe that was going overboard, but it's important to write down your accomplishments.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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I've always needed that outside structure, also, and haven't had it in many years. I understand now why it's been so difficult to follow thru on ideas and plans - that is one of the key symptoms of the white matter/brain damage I have, decision making and executive function. The circuitry just isnt working to connect ideas (my wording). I'll post a comment on the lack of interest/action thread.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Nadia, what's the book on overcoming procrastination? This is a huge problem for me.

 

Sparrow

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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I can't seem to find the book... might have lost it in my multiple moves. I think there are several good ones out there, though!

 

There was another book that helped me with procrastination, a guide on how to study for college. It said not to give yourself goals of a certain amount of work to accomplish, but only a certain time, even if it was just 15 minutes. So, lets say you are procrastinating writing a paper. Schedule yourself to do it 15 min. a day, without expecting any results. Just doing that automatically every day will get you in a flow. Eventually, ideas will come. You have to lower your expectation bar, because often we procrastinate because we feel overwhelmed by what needs to be done, or we are such perfectionists that we expect ourselves to do it perfectly.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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I'll post a comment on the lack of interest/action thread.

 

I used to have a huge problem with procrastination... I think I got better about it, at least with some things. But I've definitely procrastinated with important stuff, self-fulfillment kinds of things. But my problem now is lack of interest and desire. I used to WANT to do a million things and just never got to them. Now it seems I lack all willpower and desire, and it's been replaced instead with envy and anger and bitterness.

 

I was really breaking out of that when I was on vacation. The only thing I can do now to get through my days is routine splashed with some pleasure. But the pleasure part has been hard for me the past month as well. I very infrequently desire anything or find enjoyment in anything. It seems food is the first one to come back and that one has been absent mostly as well. Nature/sunshine is another one... Other stuff is reading, movies, playing games... but have not had the desire to do those, or I do them and find no pleasure in them.

 

I know the way out is just routine. Just keep going. Keep knocking and eventually joy will answer... gotta read that Rumi poem again. What I need to get away from is beating myself up about not feeling desire, like it's a weakness.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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