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Day five

November 5, 2016

Holy moly, my hair looks wonderful! Thank you, kind friends.

Holy moly, I have set myself a daunting challenge. (No, not writing something every morning for 42 days. Apparently I can sit down and string words together, which has been a wonderful discovery. So far anyway. Touch wood. And I did.) Yesterday, thanks to a particularly kind friend, I paid for a year’s membership at the gym. A year? Bloody hell. That is a lot longer than six weeks. On the other hand, if my doctor is to be believed, after six weeks of going regularly to the gym, it will become second nature. Gulp.

My hamstrings are protesting mildly this morning from my half hour on the treadmill  yesterday. More mildly than I thought they would. While I was on the treadmill, they (and other parts of my legs) seemed to be going into shock at this unfamiliar activity. Bloody hell. When was the last time I went for a walk? (Actually I do remember. When my friend was visiting from Toronto in September, we went for three walks – one quite ambitious. That said, they were more strolls than walks. Well, not exercising walks.)

As part of the gym orientation process you are asked to stand barefoot on a rather alarming scale which somehow analyses from your feet, how much of your body mass is fat and water. I am apparently 38% fat, which I was told really wasn’t at all bad. (Tell that to my jelly belly, which I would like to see the back of, and my wobbly backside.) I got into this because exercise is supposed to be good for depression. Losing some weight would be an added and very welcome bonus.

The clinic on the island recently added a fulltime mental health nurse to its payroll. I don’t know if everyone being treated for depression is sent to see her or only the ones who, like me, mention the potential for self-harm when they make their initial appointment. Be that as it may, I’ve now seen her twice and suspect fortnightly appointments will continue for a while. Like my doctor, she told me early on how important it is, when tackling depression, to try to establish a routine.

I came home after my first session with her and had a go at creating a daily schedule.

9am Get up
9:30 Have breakfast
10am Go to gym
1pm Have lunch
4pm Tea and news break
7pm Have dinner
11pm Go to bed
Midnight Go to sleep

The next morning I did get up at 9am and I did have breakfast at 9:30. First lesson learnt that day was, if you eat breakfast at 9:30, you get really hungry before 1pm. I did not make it to bed by 11pm that night, although I did manage 11:30. I did not turn the light off and try to go to sleep at midnight.

The following day I accepted one truth: I am never going to get in the habit of going to sleep at midnight. For as long as I can remember, including when I was working full time in a job that required some sort of commute, I read until 1am. That’s what I do. I am not going to change that and, really, do I actually need to do this? No.

So the schedule needed to be revised. I looked at it again and smacked myself on the head. Where the hell was the time set aside in the day for writing? Had I subconsciously given up on ever writing anything again? Or was it simply so long since I’d written regularly that I forgot to include it? Hopefully the latter and bollocks to the former. Schedule duly revised: 10am – write something; 11am – go to gym.

So far, so good on the writing. (This is, after all, as I have now reminded myself, how Rum Do was written. I got up every morning a couple of hours before Mike usually awoke, made myself a cappuccino and went downstairs to write every day. It can be done.)

As for the 11am gym slot… Hmm. Apparently it is the worst time of the day to go to the gym. Everyone seems to think as I was thinking: get it over with in the morning, then get on with your day. It makes sense: I’m on a roll. I’ve spent my hour (wow, the minimum fifteen minute target seems to have disappeared) writing, now it’s time for my hour at the gym. On the other hand, I do remember from the last time I tried to start going to the gym how bloody annoying it is having to put your name on the wait list for the equipment you want to use.

When I went for my orientation at 1pm yesterday, the gym was practically empty. I was told 1-3pm were the best time to avoid waits for the treadmills and stationary bikes. Hmm. That would take a bit more effort (which I’m all for avoiding) and would mess with my schedule. What about lunch at 1pm? You should not, I was told yesterday, go to the gym hungry, but nor should you have just eaten a big meal.  Well, I don’t eat a particularly big lunch – a sandwich or a roll-up or a bowl of soup and piece of toast. Perhaps I could stick to the 1pm lunch and aim for the gym at 2pm. Can I force myself out of the house every afternoon? Well, I can give it a go. No point in starting out with a defeatist attitude. (Yes, that’s right, nasty little depressed, defeatist voice. You can just shut the fuck up.) It is – or so I keep mentioning – just a matter of getting myself into a routine.

Oh, crap, crap, crap. The end of the radio news broadcast just now reminds me that the clocks change tonight. Tomorrow will be my least favourite day of the year. I have never understood people who say, “Oh, goodie. An extra hour’s sleep.” As if an extra hour in bed is a good swap for it being dark at five o’clock every night for months. And, thanks to the Canadian government deciding some years ago to give the country an extra week before darkness descends, the clocks no longer change the last weekend in October, but the first weekend in November. Just in time for my birthday. Thanks, guys.

Anyway, anyway… Things to do, people to see. That’s it for today.

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From → Black dog diary

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