Saturday, 17 March 2018

My Poor Brain: Spring Edition

March 2018 marks three of being drug free. Back in 2015, I stopped taking the anti-psychotic medication that had been prescribed in the wake of an overdose twelve years previously. It was a big step and one that was far out of my comfort zone.

The past three years have disappeared in a blur of putting my life back together and learning how to live. Emotions that I never knew existed have surfaced and I've faced complications that I never thought that I'd ever see. But they're all battles that are meant to be fought and won. Giving up isn't an option and, even on the darkest of days, I've tried to keep a positive attitude.

It isn't always easy, though, and there are two periods of the year when it becomes even harder to maintain that balance that I've become so used to. As autumn slides in to winter and winter slides in to spring, I've discovered that my brain becomes a little more unbalanced. One is from the days becoming shorter and the weather becoming colder and the other is as we emerge from a long, cold winter.

As winter becomes spring I find that I'm achy and tired. My body feels as though it's run out of fuel and, no matter how much goodness I give it, the exhaustion doesn't lift. There's aches and pains where I've never known aches and pains and articulating myself suddenly becomes a mountain that I can't climb. Anxiety burns through me and sleep is a memory. It's as though everything has been asleep over winter and is slowly waking up.

Which may be what's happening. This is a situation that I've found myself in a few times over the previous three years. As the seasons slide from one to the next so the human body follows. It lives by nature's clock, sleeping and awakening and sleeping again. The dark days of winter make us want to sleep while the beginnings of spring makes us feel lethargic and like we're emerging from a long hibernation.

Another theory that I've heard is that, by the end of winter, the body is running low on essential vitamins and minerals. Like squirrels, we'll have spent the months before winter stocking up on the things that will see us through the dark winter days. And, while we may take supplements to get us through the cold months, they're not always enough so, come March and April, we feel run down, tired, and grumpy. Over the winter, I take a range of vitamins including C, D, and iron, as well as using a daylight lamp in the mornings and evenings. Hopefully, this year, I may be able to also get some tests done just to see exactly what needs topping up throughout the year.

Or it may just be the way that my fabulously defective brain is wired!

So it's that time of the year again. I'm a little bit grumpy, fairly achy, and generally tired. Everything is taking longer than normal. But it's getting there, and that's all that matters. Mountains can be climbed. It just takes one step at a time.