One step forward, one step backward is still movement

It's still movement because I'll take a step forward again. Maybe even two steps. Over the long term, it's progress, and eventually it might pick up speed in the right direction.

Step Forward: I've been walking more places. Chicago is incredibly walkable, and I live smack dab in the middle of neighborhood walkability with five grocery stores, a gazillion Walgreens, all my doctors and psychiatrists and dentists and optometrists, and a ton of clothing stores, all within a mile of home, with even more within two miles. So, why the hell am I taking buses and trains in good weather to go one or two miles? For one thing, I need to build up my walking endurance in order to have a fighting chance to complete the marathon in October. For another, it incrementally burns off calories, almost sneakily. You don't notice. And because it's not that strenuous, you don't feel the urge to eat those calories back.

Step Forward: I went to the psychiatrist finally on Wednesday. Beginning to get my meds right.

Step Backward: I'd been so anxious, depressed, and/or busy all week that I hadn't run since last Friday or Saturday. Even on the days when I don't walk much. So, training is a bit slower than I'd like.

Step Forward: I walked about 5 or 6 miles today to do errands, including a nice walk in the Garfield Park Conservatory. It kept the restlessness (stemming from my body getting used to the higher Lexapro dose) at bay.

Step Backward: It tired me out so much I could only walk for 20 minutes and run for 5 minutes on the treadmill for my "official" training time.

Step Backward: After I wore myself out, I still felt extremely restless this evening. What could I do? I can't walk any more today. Restless...and a bit anxious. I could go to bed. But not at 7pm! Then I would wake up really early and be anxious in the dark and quiet of the morning. No, that wouldn't work.

Step Forward: I recognized when I started to have some anxiety (now that I know I have it), and took measures to deal with it so it didn't escalate. By measures, I mean, withdrawing and feeling moody for a half an hour or so, before managing to move on. But damn, that's a lot of moments of anxiety during the day. Some of it I think stems from PTSD, and I'm continuing to work on that, as well, thanks to skills I learned previously from counseling.

Step Backward: After having that glass of wine last week, and then a few on Valentine's Day, my brain has realized that wine calms the anxiety. Just for a couple of hours. So, earlier in the evening I kept craving the effect wine has on me. I'm not craving the wine itself, but I really wanted something to calm me down since self-reflection thoughts alone couldn't do it. I really wanted the relaxation...but I refuse to use alcohol as a means to that end. So, I made popcorn balls. Or rather, a popcorn bowl. And I ate two-thirds of it in one sitting, thus negating my walking progress. Perhaps eating instead of going out to the liquor store is actually a step forward. Or a neutral step. I absolutely refuse to let alcohol be my crutch.

Step Forward: Jeff then pointed out that my anxious feelings are chemically responsive--so actual prescription medicine will probably work. So that's the good news. I just have to wait until the end of March to know whether I still need it or not when I go in for my followup.

So, let me add all that up.
Forward: 5
Backward: 4

I guess I am actually making progress. So that's good news. And now it's past 9pm, so I can finally go to bed.

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