Self-care: needing to titrate off this med

Today has been interesting.  The biggest thing to note is that I was looking back over my blog the other night, and realized that I have been gaining weight from one of my meds for at least two years — actually, more likely, since I began using it.  This has been a steady gain of 1-1.5 lbs. every month to two months.  It doesn’t seem like much, but it isn’t something I want to continue if it is not a genetic or age-related issue.

I’m not entirely certain at the moment what my weight is, but I am fairly certain it isn’t optimal.  Recent events have clarified that 1) I can be healthy otherwise and still be gaining weight because of the medication, and 2) I don’t want to wait until I’m 190 lbs. or more before I get up the nerve to tell my doctor, “no,” to further treatment with this drug, and sidestep the argument that everything will be better if I “just exercise” (like the weight gain is because of me).  I have been exercising.  I’m still gaining weight.  This med does clear my mind, but I don’t entirely remember what my mind had to be clear for, in the first place.

Likely, though, it was related to certain life decisions (whether or not to go back to the LIS program, whether or not to physically transition to male), which are fairly obvious in my preferred answer, at this point.  That is, I should stay in Library School, even though I’m not 100% clear on exactly how I’ll use my degree; and also, I’m pretty certain I don’t want to transition to male.  Three years ago, I might have been — actually, likely was, considering it; but there’s a difference between admiration and mimicry.  I was also strongly considering dropping out of Library School because of social anxiety (even though it was online — one of my friends was seriously paranoid, and this was influencing me).

Right now, I’m pretty clear that ideally, I would be helping with the manufacture and hosting of websites.  I don’t know what that position (or vague interest) is called, at the moment, but I think that’s where I want to be.  Web Design is something that I am interested in; but I think this may be because I don’t know much more about employment in the information sector which goes beyond this.  In particular, I’m not too hot on the interaction with clients that I’ll have to undertake in Web Design, and I know that the job entails more than just “making things look pretty.”  It’s actually a service position.  (Speaking of which, I found a page which I remembered last night:  this is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stating that 80% of jobs in the U.S. were service jobs, in 2014.  Staggering, isn’t it?)

I don’t have a background in Computer Science; however, I do have a strong background and interest in Arts, Information Access, and the Humanities.  Ideally, though:  I lean towards employment that keeps me out of the public eye and shields me from contact that is so direct that I can be physically harmed.  I’ve had to deal with so much hostility over the years that I think I’ve just been conditioned not to want to deal with people.  Online, it’s different…I’m not entirely sure why, however.

Ah, right:  I remember the major reason I started this medication.  It was because my anti-anxiety/anti-depressant medication was sedating me to the point that it was difficult to avoid sleeping during the daytime.  The solution seems to be to lower the dosage of that drug…not to add a stimulating drug to counteract its effects (and add the effect of steadily putting on weight).

I have a couple of ways to avoid going to bed now:

  1. When I get tired during the daytime, I should go exercise, rather than go to sleep.  This wakes me up and makes it so that I don’t want to sleep, after working out.
  2. Caffeine, in the form of green or oolong tea, does seriously help.  Things like cola are something to avoid (they cause bizarre dreams when I do sleep), but green and oolong tea, I can handle.  Chocolate is also useful in Finals, or high-stress periods where it comes to schoolwork.  Because I’m on the sedating medication, as well, the caffeine does not prevent me from falling asleep.
  3. When I want to go to sleep just because I don’t want to do my homework, it is preferable to give myself permission to do something non-school-related (INCLUDING PRODUCE SHOPPING), as versus thinking that the only thing permissible to do besides work or schoolwork is sleeping, eating, hygiene, or chores.
  4. And, I almost forgot.  When my mind gets blank and I can’t think, it is okay to go and exercise (or eat and get some fluids if I reasonably need to), instead of doing homework.
  5. Given the above, I should note that I’m not immune to blood-sugar lows or crashes just because I’m at home; and this may be the reason I feel blank.  It’s OK to eat fruit when I feel this way, and apparently it is likely OK to eat as much fruit as I need to, as there is a lot of bulk to sate my hunger, and gentle sugars to feed my neural system.
  6. On top of that, I probably don’t want to put up any rules against drinking pure teas, as they don’t have calories, they do have stimulants and antioxidants, and it’s much better than drinking soda or juice (unless I really need the sugar).
  7. Also, I will probably want to go back on vitamins.  I have some mild B-Complex (I didn’t buy them), but I’ll probably want to get the megadose type…because what we have is for someone who doesn’t have mood issues.  I can use up most of a megadose, so getting a piddly “100% RDA” isn’t ****.

(yes, I did bleep myself again.)

I’ve got to go for now, but I wanted to note this decision.  I’ve got to take care of it this week.


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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