The Great Experiment

In the past, before being on the correct meds, my Mondays were usually pure hell. We’re very active in our church so Sunday’s were always busy with committees and just sipping coffee and chatting with friends. Conversations were excruciating. When in a manic state people were talking excruciatingly slow, and I couldn’t concentrate on what was being said. When I was in a depressive state and was capable of getting myself out the door, going to church was just as painful. I didn’t want to talk with anyone; I didn’t want to be around anyone; I just wanted to be home curled up under the covers.

During this time I allowed myself to have Crash Mondays. This was the one day of the week that I was allowed to keep the shades closed, not have to step outside, and not have to deal with anything at all. I can’t say I looked forward to Crash Mondays. I just really needed them. The rest of the week I had a list of things that I must do each day. The requirements were simple: brush teeth, shower, wear clean clothes and to get outside, even if it was just to check the mailbox. These days Crash Mondays aren’t necessary very often. The past two days, however, have been an exception.

Jenks Lake, Angeles National Forest

Jenks Lake, Angeles National Forest

This past week we went spent a long weekend at our church camp located up in the mountains in the Angeles National Forest. The weather was warm, sunny and the views were breathtaking. There’s a lot of activities and socialization that occurs during these trips. It’s a weekend that I’ve always looked forward to even when I was in the midst of despair. Getting out of Los Angeles for a few days is good for the soul. Coming back home was not good for the soul. I was wiped out both Monday and Tuesday. Monday I got up and stayed awake most of the day, but was very lethargic. Tuesday was worse. I was in bed almost the entire day and the times I did get out of bed I went straight to the kitchen and gorged myself on something. That something could be anything. An apple, or an orange, or potato chips or hot dogs. Simply, the few moments I was out of bed I was eating like crazy and then immediately crawled back into bed.

I was surprised. I expected some kind of crash down, but nothing like this. It’s probably been a couple of years since it’s been this bad and so it caught me off guard. Suddenly, this morning, I realized what was going on. For my disorder I take five different pills every night and one pill every morning. Because I tend to forget my morning pill from time to time I asked my pdoc if I could start taking the morning pill at night with the others. He gave it some thought and told me that it was best to take it in the morning because he believed it is what was helping to keep me up and carry me through the day. He then told me, however, if I’d like to try it out then go ahead and experiment and see what happens. I said I would and I did.

Oh, I’m sure I’ll have some adjustments to my meds in the future. Some may just completely stop working which is not at all uncommon. I have learned (I hope) to stay more in tune with my body. When it’s telling me something then I need to listen, especially if I’m doing a little experimentation. I’m just grateful today that I found the likely cause as to what happened. I’d be devastated if it meant that my Crash Mondays were back again for good.

So, it took me this long to realize what was going on. My Crash Monday/Tuesday came back because I was not taking the proper meds, or at least not the right meds at the right time. I changed my plan and took my med this morning and this day has been much better. I’m not sure I can attribute my better life today from taking just one pill this morning. Hell, maybe it was a placebo effect. All I know is that my today was a helluva lot better than my yesterday and I’m going to approach experimentation more cautiously in the future. I know me well enough that I will attempt something now and again, but will do so with more trepidation. It’s good to have me back again.

  7 comments for “The Great Experiment

  1. June 17, 2013 at 01:32

    You know, when I started off as a pastor, I would take Mondays off and crash. After having children, though, I wanted my day off to be family time. So, I started forcing myself to spend Mondays devoted to sermon preparation. I set up an office in my basement and my very competent administrative assistant handled the business of ministry so I could be refreshed by the Word and find light in the darkness.

    Then, I would do my “people work” Tuesdays-Thursdays (as well as Saturday and Sunday) and Friday became our family day. We home schooled our children, so we were free to take day trips or just lounge around enjoying each others’ company. It was the best of times.

    Thanks for sparking this memory.

  2. bpshielsy
    June 14, 2013 at 21:12

    The only time I’ve tried experimenting with my meds is when I’ve come close to running out and have had to take less to balance the shortfall approaching. If I did it consciously, the mrs would come at me in a way I’d rather not describe here…

    • Bradley
      June 14, 2013 at 21:27

      I totally get that.

  3. Rose
    June 14, 2013 at 14:24

    Oh, I hate it when I decide to “experiment,” or rather I hate the after-effects. Awhile ago, I decided that I didn’t need three doses of Ritalin to get me through the day. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Shortly after taking up with it again, I began to feel better. I, too, am now more cautious when I start to think about changing things up. I am glad you figured out what the issue was and are working on getting back to normal. Isn’t it scary when all of those symptoms come back up in your face, just because of one seemingly small thing? Best, Smrtie

    • Bradley
      June 14, 2013 at 16:51

      I’m just happy that I figured out the problem so soon. It’s too easy to forget and then end up spiraling out of control worse than I did.

  4. derb523622013
    June 13, 2013 at 18:09

    Welcome back. Funny how a little thing like timing can make so much difference in medication management, but for some, it really does. At least you are mindful enough now to figure it out fairly quickly! Namaste.

    • Bradley
      June 13, 2013 at 19:34

      I think I’ve been around long enough to be mindful of what my body and my mind are telling me. Or, at least I like to think I do.

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