a journal of one person with manic-depressive illness

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Follicle's Foe

This summer was a productive one. I started writing music again-good music. I've even been recording with, and meeting great musicians. My mood has been a happy manic one, filled with ambition and creative drive. Amidst the excitement, the heat and humid green of middle-Tennessee had me yearning for a more adventurous season: crisp air and hot chocolate. After all, what could be more adventurous than putting on more layers! But looking for 'greener' grass in the red, orange and yellow fall sky is bound to disappoint the chemically-challenged.

The yearning is satisfied as 'that time of year' arrives with changing leaves...and moods. I am more anxious and less capable of dealing with everyday challenges. While everyone is suiting up for tailgating, I am wondering why football would want to make anyone sit around for hours eating barbecue. I become increasingly more introverted and annoyed with people and my surroundings.

Last year, when my moods sank like an unscrupulous anchor, I determined that medication was the cure. My nurse-practitioner prescribed an anti-depressant immediately, and it worked. It worked quite well, but with any medication there are side-effects. Some of these side-effects are tolerable, others are difficult to countenance. It may take months for these undesirable effects to attach themselves as unwanted companions. And when they do, the co-dependent relationship I had developed with my medication complicated the solution. I lost hair, lots of it. I divorced my anti-depressants; what woman can part with a prized feminine attribute?

The wintertime is a formidable opponent that cannot be taken for granted. I intend on pursuing all natural options available to me (until this season becomes too fierce a foe and other measures must be considered). Here is my plan thus far:

  1. Keep my moderate exercise regiment: cardio 3 times a week; weight training 2 times week; and occasional yoga classes (does wonders for the nervous system)
  2. Assemble a home-made light box

The most challenging of the two will be the assembly of the light box. I'm not much of a handy-woman, and my husband is neither handy or womanly-but history has conquered more onerous setbacks for much more honorable purposes than preserving hair follicles.

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