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Your morning routine?

Old 08-14-2018, 12:52 AM
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Your morning routine?

Hi friends, I'm still here, hanging in. I've been checking in daily but lying low out of overwhelming shame and general low-ness.

I am testing out reaching out though because I am having a very hard time, specifically in the mornings. Things generally get better throughout the day as I get up and active but I am experiencing incredible anxiety and waves of depression every morning.

I usually spend some time in bed doing some deep breathing and praying/meditating. I'm not sure what to call it, I pray to God, but in a sort of repetitive way, thanking him over and over and over for what I have, asking for help with things in my life, etc.

I get up and have my coffee, shower, d what I need to do, but I can't lie, I get waves of just wanting to die to get this all over with.

And then it passes, mostly. If it returns in the day I try to lie down and repeat the breathing and praying.

Is there anything you recommend to deal with this. It is becoming crippling.

I am definitely all for medication, and take mine regularly, but I am hesitant to add anything else at this point. My last experience of being overloaded was so bad.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:06 AM
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I' m sorry you're feeling that way Mera, and on such a regular basis.

Obviously you know thats not healthy or ideal - can you speak with your Dr or therapist but explain your reluctance to add more meds?.

They may be able to help suggest non medicinal approaches or , or may be convince you that a slighter different meed regime could help?

D
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:10 AM
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I'm probably at my lowest in the mornings, and it takes me about two hours to plod through my routine before I leave for work. By then I'm fine.

I have to care for six dogs. A lot of mornings they can be aggravating, following me around, waiting to be let out, then fed, then let out again. But their joy is infectious and being nuzzled by them is therapeutic.

Sorry your mornings starts so grimly for you. Hope you find relief.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:18 AM
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That is obviously the right thing to do Dee, I am just in such a paranoid state right now. I recently got a certificate from my psychiatrist stating I am in good mental health and totally capable of parenting my children which has opened the door for a more normal schedule with them. I am overjoyed at returning to the routine we once had.

I feel so judged by everyone around me- everyone. Since the DUI 2 months ago I have felt overwhelming pressure to prove to everyone I am going to be fine. I feel absolutely everything I still have left- and am gaining back- depends on my ability to mentally hold it together.

I have mostly succeeded in this effort. I have taken care of every appointment, every everything by riding km and kms on my bike in 35 degree heat. I am SUPER with my kids. I am eating healthy, back in karate, praying, meditating, AAing, talk to my sponsor nearly daily, Italian psychologist, American psychologist, psychiatrist, I bought a cargo bike (way cool by the way) to get my kids around, it should be delivered next week, I am taking my meds, I am looking for work while working my summer gig. I am doing it all, I have to do it all. I am absolutely TERRIFIED that if I let one piece of the puzze go it is all going to come crashing down. Everyone around me is in control right now, I have zero control. My ex, the court, my doctors.

The only thing that allows me to go on like this is sheer momentum. I just go go go without thinking and push through. This is why the mornings scare me so much, I cannot get pulled into a negative cycle for a I fear I will never make it out.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:56 AM
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I would recommend a more formalized approach to meditation, specifically Vipassana meditation. Also sitting up while doing it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:23 AM
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The first 3 months for me were terrible, I didnt want to do anything and I was super depressed.
Now, my morning routine is to wake up at 4:45, drink my pre work out, work out, shower, do dishes or make my lunch, wake up the little to get ready for the day and get him ready and then out the door we go, 40 min drive to work so I listen to christian music, pray and try to be calm before the work day starts.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:25 AM
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I am going to write this recognizing that what you’re describing is not something I struggle with. I agree with Dee.

That being said, if you are physically able, perhaps a morning exercise routine may help? For me, what that looked like was getting out of bed immediately upon waking, drinking coffee quickly, (because I don’t do anything before coffee, but that’s me), putting the leash and harness on my dog, and going for a vigorous walk, which eventually tuned into a walk/jog. For me, I need to get out of my head and traditional meditation practices tend to put me further into it. That being said, even on a bad day, I would just be more in my head and sometimes miserable but not feeling the way you describe.

Be well.

B
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:25 AM
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I think what Dee said makes sense. I also read your second post and you really seem to be doing everything you can and maybe even too much to the point you are expecting so much from yourself, it’s too much, like you are expecting perfection. My concern is that it cannot be sustained because at some point life will get in the way and the perfect routine won’t happen, then what? But it looks like you are already working with a psychologist and have a whole team, which is great. Maybe spend some time focusing on this theme with your psychologist as well as not allowing yourself to be judged by other people. I know it’s so hard. But you are doing the best you can. You made some mistakes and you are learning from them now ��. Mornings are usually a good time for me so my experience is a bit different from yours. I do have a routine that helps. I am up early. I start with an espresso even before I get out of bed, meditate with deep breathing, check in here, then I either do my treadmill or run outside, shower and get the day ready for my family. It’s not the same every day because my work schedule varies so I try to be flexible with myself. A simple 5 min meditation and checking in here is a must for me lately though. Be kind to yourself!
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:41 AM
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Mera, Sorry you are going through this.

I want to commend you for keeping it all together and coming up with solutions to your challenges. For example, the cargo bike is a great idea!

That being said, one trick might be to plan your day on the previous day. Try to write out a detailed 'todo' list of things to accomplish for the next day. When I do this, I just get up and try to go on autopilot, so to speak, and begin doing the things on my todo list. The accomplishments help settle me a bit.

Also, I try 'grounding techniques'. I read about them in my PTSD book.
Best to you,
Stella
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:01 AM
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Vigorous exercise is my medicine. Relieves anxiety and all those endorphins lifts the mood. Caffeine is a killer for anxiety. Try removing that until you feel better.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:35 AM
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Mera,

I took up yoga about a year ago and really enjoy it. Anywhere from 20-45 minutes in the morning (vinyasa or power yoga stuff, free on youtube) really helps how I feel throughout the day. Iíve never been good at meditation, but I find that yoga forces me to be more centered.

Now, if I donít do it due to early morning work obligations, I really miss it. I credit it in part with the bouts of contentment Iíve been enjoying.

Best wishes,
-bora
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:36 AM
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Hi Mera, I'm sorry you are troubled. Based on what you wrote I remember back in the late 90's I went through a period of something very similar. This probably isn't what you want to hear, but I was experiencing classical depression. I was able to pull myself out of it after about 3-5 months, but it was very strange. Not sure if that helps you at all, but wishing you the best.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:39 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that Mara. I know that you've been through a lot lately and to be honest sounds like you're really working on making things right. I think that my early mornings have been very important in this last run its sobriety for me. I don't have anything other than lifting heavy weights to recommend to you. But it sounds like you have something good going on the bike already. I feel like sometimes life just requires getting through. Perhaps that's the stage that you are at, just for the moment. And sometimes just for the moment lasts longer than we wanted to. But still, I'm impressed with all of the choices you're making to better yourself and to stay straight and sober. Although you may feel like it's a house of cards, it's not. I can relate to that feeling. I think as a drunk we live so long in fear and hiding, always ready to be found out, that the whole feeling that life is but a house of cards becomes part of our psyche. I know for me in my down moments, and sometimes even in my OK ones, that house of cards feeling persists. The best I can do when it does, is just get through. Congrats again on all the things that you're putting in your life to take care of yourself so you can take care of your children. Stay strong.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:45 PM
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The most important thing in my morning routine is reading here, every single day. I post in my class thread every day. Sometimes it's meaningful, sometimes it's banal, sometimes in between, but always sets my day with the right intentions (about to hit 8 months of sobriety). If I'm not in the mood to post for some reason, I read as much as I can before kids, work, pets, etc. I think it's the single most important part of my recovery.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:42 PM
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Start your mornings with a play list of up music? Music helps me find my groove. Have you a vitamin regime? Vitamin D3 is crucial to most of us (the sunshine vitamin) I take 4000 iu as prescribed by my doctor as I have hyperparathyroid. I also take 3000 vitamin C. Both those vitamins can jumpstart my mornings. I stay away from caffeine. Drink lots of water. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, some self care is needed as you can fit in! Good luck to you!
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:46 PM
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Mera, have you ever tried Mindfulness? I deal with depression and get waves of negative thoughts at times, and mindfulness really helps a lot. It's so simple, though not always easy. Bring yourself back to feeling your five senses - what do you hear, what do you smell, do you feel the sun or the rain on your face, what do you see around you? If you focus on those things, I think you will find yourself feeling better.

By the way, you should be very proud of yourself for all the hard work you're doing.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:47 PM
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Hey there.

Iím just coming through the immediate aftermath of a DUI conviction- my third in a span of 22 years.

I can relate to so much you are describing. I worked myself very hard to control and get in order every little detail that I could influence.

There were days and periods of days that I felt the exact same anxiety- in the mornings just like you described. On two or three occasions I had to clear my work calendar and just took a personal day. On most occasions once I got out of the house it got significantly better.

There are aspects of cleaning up the wreckage - DUIs, finances, relationships, pick your flavor- that are just out of our control and I found the acute anxiety was always related to those things- waiting to get a buyer for my house, waiting on my court date, etc..

I found it helpful to do/ recognize a couple things...

Acknowledge that some of the anxiety is natural given the circumstances. Accepting it helps. These are hard things you are doing and you have to acknowledge that to yourself. Self-compassion is important.

Resting and occasionally escaping via binge watching or something i found helpful too. Though like you I stayed wary of falling into that habit too much. Still, I think it ok occasionally. We have to rest when weíre working so hard and make sure we are taking care of ourselves.

Simple walking helped a ton. The pace of it is not so frantic and demanding as a hard work out. Some deep breathing while doing so is a bonus.

Keeping a journal was and is huge for me. Often I find when I write that at first my thoughts are a jumbled mess. But as I write and let my thoughts just flow I usually start gaining perspective on things that have proved very calming and reinforce/ validate myself and the goals/ plan Iím working.

My therapist is helping too.

The tone I inferred from your descriptions was one of a lot of hard work and responsibility. Even the exercise you are doing made me feel like it was rather intense... which Iím sure is good but maybe add in some yoga or walking or even just resting and maybe occasional indulgences in things you really enjoy.

Best to you. You have a warrior spirit about this that I admire. Treat yourself, you deserve it and are worth it. Donít forget that piece.

B
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:56 PM
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I can appreciate keeping busy but do you think you might be doing too much/seeing too many ppl?
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:41 AM
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Thank you for the feedback, all good things to consider.

Keto, yes, I probably am seeing too many people but I feel so stuck and like I need all the help I can get. The psychiatrist I only see occasionally for med management and everything is going fine with that so it is usually just a quick check in, sometimes only by phone.
The psychologist here in Italy is who I was seeing prior to the DUI. When I got the DUI I became suicidal (as I often do when I drink, even without a DUI) and in a moment of lucidity I reached out to a therapist in the US (in order to speak English) who specialises in trauma- to deal not only with the trauma of the DUI and my drinking but also past traumas. It is excessive, she gives me homework, writing exercises and worksheets. I find it exhausting. Yet I feel terrified to NOT do these things. I also feel pressured to prove to others (mainly my ex and eventually the court) how much I care about being sober and how much I am willing to do and how much I am doing.

You may be on to something though. Each time I have relapsed (infrequently now) I follow the generally given advice to add something to my plan. And add I do..... I am so loaded up with help and advice, perhaps I am not adding the right things and maybe taking it more easy would work. I just never want to drink again. But I suppose all the help and advice and programs and medications and exercise and whatever in the world is of little help when in the end I chose to pick up the first drink...

As for the advice to exercise, you are all so right, it is one of the things that helps me the most. But I've got that covered too. In addition to spending hours on my bike daily, I often bike to the gym and do an hour of heavy weight lifting. I go to karate twice a week. One of my villas is a 15 minute walk up a 30% incline, the other is an hour walk up a continuous 30% incline. I would say I spend about 65% of my day vigorously exercising. I am nearly constantly on the move. I like the idea of something slower like yoga though.

I think meditation would be a good fit for me too, though I have never tried the real thing.
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Meraviglioso View Post
I am so loaded up with help and advice, perhaps I am not adding the right things and maybe taking it more easy would work. I just never want to drink again. But I suppose all the help and advice and programs and medications and exercise and whatever in the world is of little help when in the end I chose to pick up the first drink...
Insightful.
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