With a change in medication regimen, my mood has been stabilized on the positive side of neutral for almost three weeks. This has been the longest stretch since the London trip in June 2011. Dr. G. tried this regimen previously, but wondered if it would work sans work stress. Voila! I feel good. I know there’s no cure for depression, but I hope this regimen has a long viability.
So why haven’t I been blogging? Interesting question. I mulled over this for some time with Dr. G. Why haven’t I been motivated to blog since I feel so good? The answer: because I feel so good. Good feelings are a positive motivation, but my entire life has been controlled by reflex reactions to dire external consequences. Negative motivation is an entrenched behavior, and such a thing is very, very difficult to change. Musing that I want to do X, so it gets done is an unusual and unfamiliar concept. Distraction and desperation motivated the previous long stretch of blogging. Now, what’s stressful about happy feelings? Dr. G., who has been pushing blogging big time, suggested working up to writing my novel (did I mention that?) as a motivation. But realization of a real book won’t happen for years; it doesn’t have the punch of immediacy. No pressure? Oh dear. No matter my real or imagined excuses, I’ve decided to allot time every morning after rising to blog, write – type something. Let’s see how this goes.
So what have I been doing for almost three weeks? Making busy work and plans. Firstly, there will be no more snap decisions – retirement was enough. I need to move forward with careful consideration. The condo sale is on hold because 1) I love the place and am not ready for any emotional fallout from suddenly wrenching myself away, and 2) I don’t know where to land and certainly don’t want to move someplace I don’t want to be, and 3) I can feasibly stay for another year while I sort things (repairs, painting, clean-out, etc.). I’ll have more than enough time to research living in other parts of the city or the suburbs while becoming mentally and physically fit.
Also, I’ve been PC video gaming, namely playing RIFT. Now don’t laugh; this has been therapeutic. I played game therapy for psych rehab in the wilds of Ohio with my friend a few weeks ago. The first half of the week, she beat me easily, every single game. Ridiculously simple-minded and silly mistakes characterized my play. I used to be a damn good player and this secretly chapped my ass. However, because of focus and concentration issues, my ability to persist in either has eroded badly. It’s been like an atrophying muscle. So I hunkered down and exercised it over the week. By the end of the trip, I finally won several games. So when RIFT went “free to play,” I decided to check it out again. Gaming requires extended periods of concentration. The characters embark on missions called quests, work on trade skills, duel, etc. etc. etc. It’s a massive time sink. After an initial stretch of play, my interest quickly waned but then I discovered a game aspect called Dimensions. A dimension is the player’s own world crafted with special items. If it’s not sold in-game, it has to be made or recreated (morphed). For example, there is no item called a turkey dinner platter, so it must be recreated. I must break the image down into parts and conceptualize what obtainable items can be rotated, flipped, sized, pushed, and pulled to look like a real turkey dinner platter (3 burlap bags, 6 decorative sweetberries, and a patterned urn). The morphing requires a lot of focus and thought. So, I’ve been crafting in my own dimension (my inner decorator is happy) while gaming, and exercising focus and concentration. Bizarre, eh? But it’s working. Eventually, this interest will wane (after I finish six more tiers), but that focus muscle will be a little stronger.
So, I suppose the odd gaming has created a POSITIVE motivation in psych rehab. Who knew?