The Winding Path

Counselling Services provided by Barb Zacharias

October 2015: Change

Posted on Oct 15, 2015

October 2015: Change

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
~ Socrates

I’ve been fighting the old for quite some time now. Change is always scary. This time I am looking into changing my medication for dysthymia (a mental illness characterized by varying degrees of depression).

What does it take to make me face change? Serious weight gain. And I ain’t no toothpick to begin with.

It has become exceedingly frustrating opening my closet, trying something on that fit just weeks ago, and now is too tight. It wears on my psyche and my bank account. I simply cannot financially support this weight gain with clothes to cover it up. Something has to be done. And diet and exercise aren’t cutting it. I eat well. I get regular exercise. That isn’t the issue. But it sure is wreaking havoc on my body image.

Of course, my physicians have blood work testing lined up. I just need to get my Chronic Fatigue butt to the hospital lab—in the morning. If only they weren’t testing my glucose (the one that requires fasting), I could go anytime. Mornings so overwhelm me, the thought of breaking routine—change—can immobilize me; and I procrastinate.

Once the blood work has been reviewed, I can look into changing my medication—which is generally believed to be the culprit. The blood work is just making sure there isn’t something else going on in my body. Crossing all the ‘t’s and dotting all the ‘i’s.

I was doing so well in the summer, I actually entertained the idea of quitting my anti-depressant medications. But then September reminded me I have an illness that won’t magically or miraculously disappear on its own—in essence, no cure for dysthymia, just daily management.

So, of course, the alternate is also scary—quitting my medication and having a serious relapse: a bout of plummeting major depression. I don’t think I’m ready to take that risk. The risk I am facing is not finding the ‘best fit’ medication right away but having to go through trial and error until we find one that has few or at least tolerable side effects and the desired effect—no depression.

This takes time. I could be in for a rocky ride. Or the next drug we try could be ‘the one’ and all is well. Maybe I’ll even shrink back to fit into my clothes again. That would be nice.

Change. Never easy. Generally scary. Sometimes exciting. Worth the effort? I’d say yes—even if the desired outcome doesn’t come readily, the learning and growing process is worth the effort. I also have ‘no choice’ if I take my health seriously. And I do.

Is change knocking at your door? Are you reluctant to answer? Be courageous! Take the plunge! You never know what the outcome will be—unless you don’t embrace change. Then you remain stuck.

Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret.

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