NaBloPoMo: Energy Redux

I’ve never consumed an energy drink. I tasted Red Bull once. It was awful. That was in 2004 at PrideFest. It was free. I sipped and promptly tossed the entire thing.

I’ve also never used medication to get energy. I take an antidepressant seasonally, but that’s not the same thing as a “very special episode” of using OTC meds to pass an algebra test. redbull

Coffee is more of a combination pleasure/keep me balanced. Too little, I feel “meh.” Too much, I feel  revved. So its a balancing act. I’ve never had a shot of espresso added to my coffee. I would prefer to simply drink two cups of coffee. Or three. No more than three.

I don’t really see the need for artificial stimulants. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I don’t feel a need to use them in my life – experiencing hypomania is enough for me to manage, thank you. Anxiety just adds to the fun. I’m past the point of feeling “good” when I hit those phases because I’m creative and genius-like because I know what’s coming. And, yes, its enticing to delude myself into thinking I can maintain the edge but experience dictates otherwise.

When you are recovering from a long-term illness, or perhaps finding a way to live with a long-term illness, energy breaks down into core categories.

  • Food – consume an adequate amount of nutritious food on a regular schedule. Cheating is okay in the sense of a big piece of cake, not in the sense of a big piece of cake for dinner.
  • Exercise- go outside and move. Going outside to go inside and move is okay, too.
  • Fluid – buy a stainless steel water bottle and carry it around. Fill at any opportunity. Don’t be ashamed to fill at a restaurant. It is water.
  • Sleep – I devoted an entire post to this.
  • Embrace the boring moments. Boring is relative. What I really mean are peaceful moments, serene moments, content moments.

If you do these things each day, you have less time to be self-destructive. You’ll want to. But seriously – fill up on leafy green veggies and whole grain breads, sure you can indulge in a piece of cake/pie/cookie but you simply can’t each as much. It works. Yes, pop and beer taste good (I don’t drink much of either) so when you finish off that 40 ounce bottle of water, order a 16 ounce pop. For $2.10. And yep it can be hard to reign in your thoughts to spend time with your loved one. My loved one likes thrillers and mysteries so I reprogram my brain to solve the mystery before the final 10 minutes and enjoy the feeling of calm from having a purpose.

One decision this exercise has reinforced for me is our decision not to have or raise children. I don’t have the energy to do that well and I have a deep fear of doing it poorly. I am content that we invest our energy more effectively into our role as villagers – using our talent, time and love wisely. There are times when I feel sad – I feel a little ache – but I also know it was the right decision. I can’t imagine finding the energy to raise a child and I don’t mean that in a selfish “you poor dear” way.

I suppose that’s the only time I could see resorting to artificial means to stay energized and possibly the worst reason.

 

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