Now & Zen

I’ve been working on reducing my need for Ashwagandha, not remove it, but to lighten my dose a little to see what happens and what other supplements I can use in concert with my Ashwa habit.  I’ve done some research and I settled on L-Theanin.  It’s found in green tea, but it isn’t green tea…no caffeine, no tannin no thermos full of machta to get my RDA.  It’s suppose to sedate the mind without making you tired.  At the moment,I want to be sedated.

Perhaps starting this new regime while still trying to acclimate to my new job might not have been the best decision.  I added it to my morning meds on Monday and until Wednesday everything was peachy, nothing had really changed.  I even had the same trainer I mentioned in Training Is Fun-Da-Mental who seemed to want to kick my legs out from under me every chance she got.  (My paranoia has informed me she has reported every foible back to the boss lady.  It has been a struggle to keep my paranoia and anxiety from comparing notes.)  But I survived, that was my point.  I had therapy on Wednesday night and woke up tired on Thursday and struggled to do the morning draws and processing but I felt every prickly ounce of stress and salty drop of anxiety the whole day.  I came home, ate a bowl of cereal and went to bed.  Today was a re-run, just add diarrhea .  I did do better with getting through but the Zen-like calm I normally feel with the double-double dose of Ashwa was barely holding me up.  I hate feeling stupid, and constantly correcting myself when I call myself stupid, idiot, etc. 

I have noticed though when I am able to push through the initial onslaught of anxiety due to a new situation, or a change in process, correction and so on, I can quickly take stock and realize what it is I need to do to get it done, fix it, or who to ask to help.  I am asking for help.  I consider that a win and a move in the right direction.  I’ve been assured I am doing well, and my coworker has heard nothing but good things about me from the people who have trained me but when I have days like today and yesterday I wonder.  I soothe myself with the statement “lf if this job doesn’t work out I will just get another one”  I honestly don’t want another one, the benefits of this one is AWESOME. 

Tomorrow I work at a busy site that’s open 7/365 and I don’t think anyone in the group will assign me to work in the processing lab or checking people in so it should just be a busy day of sticking people with needles.  I am going to double my L-Theanine dose and see if I feel any calmer.  I can’t afford to lose my Zen.  I like my Zen.  I want to take it home, put it in a box and buy it squeaky toys.   Plan B of my Zen-Quest is to take the L-Theanine at night and the Ashwa in the morning.  Plan 3 is to just go back to the double-double dose  and keep and eye on my Thyroid. 

Wish me Zen.

UPdate

i was wrong. When I showed up on -time with my co-worker from my site I couldn’t find a lab coat in the room that was in my size. No lab coat, no sticking people with needles. I spent the first few hours on the front desk after everyone else on the team trickled in fifteen to thirty minutes later, giving the people in the waiting queue about and hour to contemplate how easier and convenient having your blood drawn on Saturday isn’t. The lead eventually found me a labcoat that would fit, almost, and I’m pretty sure by the wrinkles in the thing she pulled it out of the dirty dab coat bin. It didn’t smell and it didn’t have any unsightly or unexplainable stains on it so who am I to complain. It got me off the desk.

As for the re-mix of the morning supplements, the double L-Theanine did the trick. I still felt a little harried, especially when the lead would go through her personal exercises of correcting everyone, not just me. I guess that was something, I’m not the only one she feels is totally inept and needs “training”.

I was exhausted though. My mind work up at the normal time, 4:30am, and wanted me to get up and work in my journal, write, or do something productive. My body refused to obey. It’s been a nice quiet restful day. I did get the nibs and converters in my fountain pens cleaned and ready for the new ink I just bought….One is called writers blood. If I like the way it flows I might buy a big bottle and make it my signature color. I don’t feel the heart of darkness black ink I used to use doesn’t represent me any more. We shall see.

Awash in Ashwagandha

I promised myself when I finally hit the absolute minimum medication level I would start ashwagandha based on what I had heard about it. To be honest, I like the word too. When I wrote Uncomfortably Numb I essentially hit my absolute minimum and started taking Ashwagandha. Stupidly, or it would be if it wasn’t living up to the health store hype, I didn’t do any research before hand. Costco sells it, afterall, and they do what is the absolute most popular at all times.  I do know enough about herbs to know it’s not good to put something in your body without knowing what it is, does and can do.  Plus with the other drugs, for both psychological and physical ailments, not researching interactions for each and on the whole is again, stupid.  Well, stupid if it blows up your face.  Absolutely brilliant if you can jump stressful buildings in a single bound and not even scrape your tushie on the pointy bits at the top.  Consider…..The move.  Quitting my job.  Working up until the move.   Having people touch my stuff.  Keeping my emotions in check.  Colonoscopy and biopsy results. I’m sure I can name a few other things, but those are the ones coming to mind at the moment. Though I felt the strain and my sleep was severely disrupted each night, I never not felt I couldn’t handle it. I would give that credit to God and Ashwagandha. Both got me through.

I found an article on Forbes Health: Seven Science-Backed Health Benefits of Ashwagandha. Not all of them apply to me, and I kind of wonder what increased testosterone will do for my current health, I really don’t need more robust chin hair.

  1. Relieves stress and Anxiety. YES IT DOES!!! The adaptogenic qualities of this herb live up to it’s billing. When I first took the pills I got from Costco (Youtheory) I wanted to slow down my heart rate and maybe eliminate the paplaptations. I noticed a drastic difference when I started taking it, however it didn’t make it go away. When I was focusing on other things, like what I was supposed to be doing, I didn’t notice it. My sleep was deeper, though still fitful and once I woke up around 2:30am I tended to stay awake. But I felt stronger for the sleep and rest I did get. I guess you can say the rope got longer and the knot at the bottom bigger and sturdier with Ashwagandha.
  2. Lowers Blood Sugar and Fat. I wasn’t aware of this. When I had my fasting blood sugar before my colonoscopy it was in the 140’s which isn’t bad, but is high for a fasting blood sugar. I think I was still just taking the single dose in the evening when that happened. If it does lower fat and sugar, good since when I’m stressed sugar and fat become the two most important food groups for me, however, if the ameliorating of the anxiety and stress of the first benefit is in effect, I won’t need sugar and fat and it lowers my blood sugar and fat. So, this is just a happy side benefit.
  3. Increases Muscle Strength. This is awesome. You’d say that too if you had to hike 30+ boxes up 20+ steps over five days. That is not counting the things which didn’t fit in boxes or needed to be hauled up from shopping, etc. My thigh muscles should be so angry with me and refuse to get out of bed, my arms unwilling to support my hands to type but I haven’t had to stop. I pulled something in my back, but that was just imprudence in the way I was carrying things instead of doing too much. And even still, it’s not debilitating.
  4. Doesn’t apply.
  5. Doesn’t apply.
  6. Sharpens focus and Memory. I wasn’t aware of this benefit either. However, I have been constantly impressed with my memory of late and my ability to write during a stressful time when I normally spend more time hiding from it than embracing it. In times of trouble and stress I either become scattered like a dandelion in the wind or stymied and unable to move or function. I normally have to use psychic prybars to get my proverbial butt in gear. The stress of the move, of joblessness and so on, has been something I’ve been able to pick up, deal with and then move onto the next task. The ability to not just focus but to remember what I was focusing on is a boon of no little proportions. Of course I say this looking back through the filter of a grateful memory of living through it, at the time I wasn’t as composed and focused as I would like you to believe. However, being in less stressful situations without herbal help and being more scattered and less focused to compare to, I can honestly say it has helped tremendously.

So, during the move I was doubling the dose because if a little is good a lot is better. And it was better. But the article mentions “Larger doses may even trigger unwanted side effects, such as vomiting and diarrhea.” Now that I’m moved out of the apartment, or psychic hell hole as I prefer to call it, and almost completely moved into my room I have cut the dosage back to the 2 pills I’m supposed to take per the directions on the label. My sleep is starting to level off, according to my Oura ring, my heart rate is returning to a normal pace when I’m sleeping (85 bpm down to 69 bpm). The goal now is to get back to doing what is needful: prayer, scripture study, exercise, meditation and see if I can’t get some semblance of a schedule and normal life before I start work again. Sigh. Normally, the idea of this never ending habitrail hamster wheel I feel like we all endure fills me with anxiety but it’s just a sigh and a nod to the reality of what is and that I can do it.