Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mental Landscape

I have been meaning to write for a couple of months about the amazing mental clarity I've been noticing since about November.  It was around that time that I started solving problems that had been on the back burner for years in some cases.  It seems like my insight and ability to make connections has really taken off.  I think I am thinking as well as I did when I was a teenager, before various substances entered my brain.

I have been thinking of ways to quantify that, with mixed results.  In January I did a couple of those free online IQ tests to compare with a test I did when I was really depressed several years ago.  My score was almost exactly the same.  I do remember that I was surprised that I did as well as I did when I was depressed, because they say depression can lower your score, but I don't think it did for me.

I am noticing a difference in my level of attention from before I got sick still.  When I was young I could spend all day reading a book, and I still today cannot read the same thing for more than an hour.  Things just don't hold my interest any longer.  A few years ago I did another online test to look for ADD.  I scored really high on that one, but I have since read that Bipolar and ADD have a lot of similarities.  I asked a Bipolar friend of mine to take the test too, and she scored quite high also, even though neither of us had any trouble with attention at school or work.

The key for me is really interest.  Maybe it is just a factor of getting older and not being willing to waste my time on things that don't interest me.  I have always been better at starting projects than ending them, and a hater of routine tasks, and I think that tendency is becoming more pronounced.

But, thinking about it today, I realized that I am never bored any more.  Before Empowerplus the boredom in my life was stultifying.  Now I have plenty of interesting things to think about and to do, in short increments.  I am much more engaged with life, which I guess is a sign that the depression has lifted.

My meditation practice is also going very well.  My mind settles quickly and I am finding it very refreshing. 

So, I am interested to see where things go from here.  Long time Empowerplus users report gains even one and two years into the program.  I am around 9 months now, so I am looking forward to what may be possible down the road!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Two Steps Forward...

... one step back.  I was just writing about how my IBS was totally cured, but now it is back.  I had an appointment downtown that I was not nervous about at all, but my gut went totally bananas and I was sick for a week.  I was SO frustrated!  What I said in that previous post is true, there is no doubt that it is entirely psychological.  But, I think I have figured it out, and it is mostly better now.  I am looking forward to testing it on my next appointment.

The good news is that on all other fronts there is a noticeable trend of improvement.  I now have long stretches of my day where my head doesn't hurt at all, which really is miraculous considering the addiction to OTC painkillers and rebound headaches that I probably have.  All the other symptoms - nausea, dizziness, neck and shoulder pain - are pretty much gone.  They may flare up for a day, but then they are gone again.  My energy level and motivation are improved also.  Each night I make a short "to do" list, and there is about a 75% chance that it will get done the next day now, which for me is amazing progress.

I am still sorting and cleaning out old stuff that has been untouched since I moved back here almost 7 years ago.  It is like I have been absent from my life all that time, unbelieveable that I have done so little, while during the 7 years in California I did so much!  Oh well, I know intellectually that no time is wasted and it is all grist for the mill, but there is a feeling of regret there also.  Truehope says that's one of the stages of healing.  The solution is to be forward-looking, I know, and appreciate the opportunities I have now.

Every couple of weeks I have a new exciting idea for a new business, but then I lose steam and the bloom fades off the rose.  It is still too soon, I think, for any big efforts.  Hopefully the right idea will come at the right time.