When Will Being Happy Be Easier?

I feel dreadful today. I don’t know if I’m still bouncing back from all that blood that got drawn 48 hours ago. I’m anemic, so any amount of blood loss is usually detectable in my energy levels and feeling of stability and vitality. I’ve been dizzy, sleepy, wan, and fighting off a pervasive mild headache since the lab work without respite. I bet the stress of the situation doesn’t help my energy levels either.

This morning, I have a CAT scan followed by an MRI. They are both far away from home and will really throw a wrench in my normal routine. This entire week has been filled with appointments and alterations to my typical schedule and because structured routine is how I get through daily life and unexpected stressors (because having a predictable schedule lends stability and comfort to my anxious mind), it’s been tiring for my and taxing on my coping strategies. I’ll be really glad when I am back to my usual schedule, though next week is also odd, so it’ll be a couple weeks until that time.

Although it’s difficult for me to be flexible and I feel off-kilter when my routine is totally disrupted numerous days in a row, I imagine that it’s healthy for me to have to bend and tolerate planned and spontaneous changes. Being so routinized isn’t inherently a character flaw, but I think the more habitual and ingrained daily patterns are day in and day out, the less seamlessly and comfortably it is to deviate from them. I don’t want to be the type of person that feels in the verge of a meltdown when changes occur, and sometimes I am that person. I also don’t want to be so dead-set on maintaining my routine that my rigidity causes me to miss out on what would have been great opportunities for fun, love, growth, and “life.” I don’t just want to be alive and “getting through” life, I want to feel like I’m enjoying the life I’m living. An honest evaluation of the highs, lows, and typical days I’m living now teeters on the low end of that “enjoying” camp. Some days are better than others, largely dependent on how I feel. It would be great to be sitting a little more definitively in the enjoyment camp, rather than feel that some days, I’m just getting by. Hopefully, as I more rigorously pursue the causes behind my health issues and find more effective treatments, the burden of having to ignore feeling so awfully (so that it doesn’t pollute my mood) will be lifted. That’s a chronic drain on the ease of being naturally content, let alone for attaining happiness.

All of this talk about happiness makes me think of the near opposite side of the coin, depression. I’m still awaiting an appointment with the psychiatrist at the medication clinic where I was attending psychotherapy. After the infuriating conversation with my therapist about my demotion off the wait list for strikes against me that I had not been forewarned of and getting ranked as the least urgent category of cases, my therapist listened to my grievances that I did my best to share calmly, concisely, and passionately using logos, ethos, and pathos, and advocated for my reinstatement at a higher position on the wait list. She didn’t have to stick her neck out for me, but she did, and I was told I’d get a call about an appointment. I finally got one last week, and scheduled a consult with the psychiatrist to discuss pharmacological options to potentially add as an adjunct to my treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and ADHD. Since I’ve had severe adverse reactions to antidepressants in the past, I’m rightfully wary of trying them again. However, it’s been a decade, so I’m open to discussing options. There are likely new and improved medications on the market and my own neurophysiology might be in a better place to tolerate pharmacological agents now. It’s common for children and adolescents to respond unfavorably to these types of medicines, but now that I’m an adult, my outcome may be better.

I better save my energy for my diagnostic imaging scans this morning and the inevitable car sickness, waiting, and sensory overload of the facilities. I’m in for a long day.

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