Climbing the Mountain

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I know that I reiterated that I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions last time I wrote. But I do have a goal.

As many of you know, I’m currently on disability for several concurrent mental illnesses. Today, just remembering to brush my teeth can be a struggle on a bad day. I have a long way to go. The end goal is to get me back out into the workforce full-time and off disability. With a physical injury, that can be an easily workable goal. It’s not so easy for those with mental illnesses to bounce back. What we have doesn’t go away, and it never truly goes into what most might call remission – we just are better aware of the coping mechanisms that we have at our disposal most days, and rough days are more manageable and easier to get through.

Social Security allows for certain situations where a recipient of benefits can work on a limited basis in order to test their readiness to return to the workforce full-time. I can earn up to a certain amount every month for up to nine months in order to gauge my preparation to go back to work. My goal is to be actively looking for a place to test the waters by the end of the year.

That’s a tall order, but I have a long time to work on it. If I make it, that’s great, but if I don’t, I’m not going to be kicking myself that I didn’t meet a deadline. This isn’t a hard and fast thing for me, I just would like to be at that point in my recovery to be considering a partial return to the workforce.

We’ll see what happens as the months progress. As for today, however, my anxiety is a little higher than usual, and so I’m going to work on getting that under control.

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Progress is Progressing

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I saw my therapist today.

We had a good session. I mentioned that I completed last session’s homework and that it worked well, and we agreed that the next step is for the tool in question to be self-implemented, and done so earlier than my wife implemented it over the previous week.

We discussed my back problems, my relationship with Mom, my relationship with my daughter (okay, so, it was more like ten solid minutes of me openly and unashamedly bragging about her, but still, she was a topic of discussion), and my relationship with my new fitness log, the one my therapist turned me onto two sessions ago.

With the change in schedule, I’m finding that it’s becoming easier and easier to justify a fourth meal late at night, and that’s been blowing my caloric intake every day since the change. I’ve gained a couple pounds back, and so this week’s homework is to find a way to get that caloric intake back on track. I’m noticing that while I can easily skip items on my checklist and not have it affect me greatly, missing that calorie target really gets me down, and subsequent days I miss the mark exacerbate that situation.

We also set our first goal for therapy, which is related. My goal is to lose 15 pounds by Labor Day weekend. That’s a little over a pound a week, which I think is doable.

I also shared this blog with my therapist, so everyone behave and look busy. I have appearances to keep up now. (So kidding. I’m not going to start editing things now, though I won’t be going into a lot of detail about my therapy sessions as a general rule, only when the details are important for me to remember as time goes on. You might notice the new category for therapy posts as well. The Beatles theme continues.)