Today, I'm not wrapped up in a duvet for the first time in a while - fingers crossed that's the end of the stupidly cold weather for now! It's been a little easier to get up the last few days as a result, despite the fact I'm still not sleeping very well, but it's helping me to try and return my sleeping pattern to something approaching normal. It's all too easy to start to despair when you are constantly tired, but still can't relax enough to nod off. I've spent more hours than I care to count lying there in bed, trying not to disturb my husband while I toss and turn. I always used to try and make the missed hours up by lying in the next morning, but I've now realised that only further compounds the problem. Besides, I never really seem to sleep properly in the morning anyway, I just end up lying there with the same self-destructive cycle of thoughts, tormenting myself for being too useless to even get out of bed. So, I'm now trying to establish a new routine while I concentrate on getting better, and to make sure I don't slip into bad old habits.
My morning routine a few months ago was waking up at about half past seven, then straight into the bathroom to have a quick wash, etc. Once my stomach started playing up, this would be interrupted by dry retching until I'd vomit. There have been mornings where I've brushed my teeth about five times because I'd immediately be sick after brushing. I'd then try and perk myself up a bit with a cup of coffee. I have turned into a bit of a caffeine junkie over the last few years, particularly when I was doing the London commute (once or twice leading to a panic attack on the tube - trying to lug my laptop trolley up from the Waterloo & City line out of Bank station was a struggle at the best of times), but a few people had warned me when I went on to the Fluoxetine that caffeine does not go well with it, so I completely cut out the coffee and energy drinks for the last couple of months. I did find that a real struggle, so this week I've compromised and now have a cup of decaff in the morning - I think it's the taste as much as anything else that perks me up, and boy, did I miss the taste! Denying myself that small pleasure every day seemed counter-productive. I now see it as my reward for getting up at a reasonable time.
I find a full shower helps to kick-start me in the morning, perking up my circulation. A bit of music helps as well - a tuneless wail along to some cheesy 80's pop tends to do the trick. Actually, one of my favourite happy songs inspired the name of this blog - "Doing The Unstuck" by The Cure (yes, The Cure - they're not all moody goth-rock!). I can't help but smile at this perky tune when I hear it, and with lyrics such as "Kick out the gloom, kick out the blues, tear out the pages with all the bad news", it's seriously infectious.
I've been trying to reward myself for little achievements this week. I went and did the food shopping by myself on Friday, and had a nice hot chocolate and a brownie in town afterwards (thanks to @arryaardvark for that suggestion!). After doing my blog last week, I painted my nails for the first time in ages. Looking at them now, I might be doing the same when I've finished this one, they have all chipped rather badly!
This has all been quite important as I had a couple of small setbacks this week. My iffy kidney is playing up, so I've had a very painful urinary infection for the past few days (it's something that used to happen all the time when I was a kid, one of my kidneys has what is known as a "partial duplex", which means it doesn't filter things as well as it should). I'm on antibiotics for it now, so fingers crossed that'll clear it up. My dad's also back in hospital with a chest infection that he's been fighting for weeks. He's been very weak since his last round of chemotherapy last year, and he was in hospital for a bit last year for another chest infection. It wasn't so much of a shock this time, as I'd seen him a couple of days beforehand and he was not in a good way then. I feel a bit guilty as I haven't visited him yet this time, but my mum knows I find hospital visits quite difficult and she said not to worry, as I don't think she wants me to stress out too much over it. I plan to try and 'man up' and visit him at the weekend if he's still in.
So, next week's target is to try and continue to get up in the morning, be grateful for the little wins and try to build upon them. My husband's band has a gig on Friday night, which I'm really looking forward to. As always, I'm a bit nervous about the number of people who could be there, so I'll try and report back next week on how it goes!