Tag Archives: Lack of Motivation

MEDS 2


1mednation1

Written previously, but freshly revised.

MEDS 1

So maybe I don’t need fixing?  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except for a few bipolar episodes a month.  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except that relationships are hard to manage under the waves of my high and low bipolar episodes.  Unfortunately these episodes can last throughout the days, weeks, months and years.  These episodes are rapid, can appear without sudden warning and sometimes when I’m outside looking in, I wonder about the duality of everything, the possibility of borderline personality disorder and about the strife everywhere in life.

As a result six months later after ongoing therapy I told the psychiatrist I would finally be ready to give medication a try and to my surprise she wasn’t super elated about it.  I wonder if that meant anything aside from her not caring about making a difference in her position.  The first medication she prescribed was called Lamictal.  The interesting or unnerving thing about this medication is it’s actually considered an anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) drug, if you can believe it.

This nutty psychiatrist prescribed Lamictal to me based on my bipolar disorder (to delay the episodes) and because she believed I could use additional assistance for weight loss.  In any case, I was determined to give this a shot, so I took it with dedication for 3 months.  Naturally, during the course, I went through many side effects and even if they lasted a mere day I wrote them all down.  It was 2 decades almost exactly since I’ve taken any medication.  Here’s how my brain and body reacted:

General sensation of always being sick
General weakness
Fatigue (Extreme)
Sluggishness
Flu like symptoms
Unbalanced (Clumsiness, loss of balance control)
Forgetfulness (like experiencing memory loss)
Emotional Lability
Body Aches
Tender Breasts
Back pain
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Headaches
Stomach pain (Cramps)
Extra menstrual pain
Indigestion/Heartburn
Taste alteration (Either food taste better or disgusting)
Sweat increase
Sneezing
Nosebleeds
Ringing of ears
Itchiness
Insomnia
Body sacs (like Folliculitis)
Frequent urination
Diarrhea
Constipation/Bloody Stool
Can’t remember dreams

At first all the side effects above were consistent for the first 2 weeks.  Then after the 2 weeks were up many of the side effects began to taper off as my body started to adjust without flu-like symptoms.  However, these are the side effects that remained on a regular basis:  An overwhelming desire to eat more Carbs than usual, extra Perspiration (even if I sat/stood still) and Headaches, Headaches, Headaches.  But WAIT!  There’s more.

In the beginning the one side effect that bothered me the most was the drowsiness; the feeling of perpetual sleepiness and overall weakness.  Every day I was completely exhausted.  During this sensible time, I was fighting with myself and wondering once again where my workout motivation disappeared to?  Lamictal exhausted my entire system where for an entire month I couldn’t even get a single workout in.

The most prominent side effect (for me) that I can’t even explain, (but I’m sure somewhere there’s a terminology for it) tampered with who I am as a person.  I’m not stupid enough to NOT believe changing or altering your brain/body’s chemistry wouldn’t affect your personality because it most certainly does.  To me, this is one of the scariest things about taking a psychiatric pill, aside from consciously knowing you’re putting something extremely foreign in your body.

Lamictal affected one of the most personal parts of who I am – I could no longer write.  I had zero desire for it.  I felt like an entirely different person because of this.   All my life I’ve written for school, tried my hand at screenplays, poetry, short stories and as you know blogging.  So I’m like how could this be?  No desire to write.

This was changing me in ways I wasn’t even ready for and I was doing my best to be objective about it.  I would try sitting down at the table, hand caressing pen to paper, so I can come up with a single sentence and nothing would come out.  It’s like the thought process couldn’t process a single thought.  It’s like words meant nothing to me anymore and neither did the desire to express myself.

I felt severely inept and like I didn’t have any emotional response when it came to writing which blew my fucking mind!  What kind of sorcery was this?  This was when I decided I didn’t want to be on Lamictal anymore.  It was a shock to my system that my brain and body reacted rather extreme.

So when I expressed to the nutty psychiatrist that Lamictal has changed me to the point where I don’t feel like myself anymore and I can’t even write anymore which is something I love doing, she says nonchalantly, “I never heard of this.  This doesn’t seem possible.  Let’s try something else.”

To be continued.

-Pennington

Accommodating Self


purp (2)

I have a new vision of how I want my body to look.

Ever since my life changed dramatically I no longer want to associate with the past as if it were a great friend.  I have this fresh sense of self-worth and self-love.  I have a profound sense of fresh freedom.  I have a new perspective on respect.  I have a thirst for renewal on every level in my life.  I have redefine friends, attitudes, perspectives, logic, love and even training.

I’m not sure what lays in front of me in the life of training, but I know I’ve been a weightlifter for over a decade.  I need something new or different because I’m new and I’m different now.   It’s nothing for me to lift and pyramid heavy weight upon heavier weight until I’m completely exhausted.  I know what it’s like to live for the iron therapy and the iron discipline, iron mind, iron heart and iron blood.

I know very well about this weightlifting life.  I also know that before things changed for me I had a hard time obtaining motivation and I struggled with finding love, rekindling the passion and pleasure in weightlifting back in 2013-2014.  I wonder if this was a sign of where I am to be now.

I know ever since the frightful ankle accident everything has changed, including my training and my body.  I found motivation very hard to come by and suffered for months in a state of blank.  I learned to accept that this accident was a traumatic experience for me.  I still have moments where I relive the accident or the feelings associated from the most difficult time of my life.

I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to during this difficult time because no one was going through the same thing as me.  There wasn’t anyone who could understand what I was going through – except the forum I found where people broke their ankles, spoke about their thoughts on surgery (before and after) and what could we possibly do to return to normal as we recovered.  So I did what I usually do – I turned inward – even though I felt drowned by life and all its multifaceted oceans.

It took me a long time to get used to the idea of being immobile.  The physical life as I knew it was washed away immediately.  I no longer had weightlifting therapy as a crutch.  I no longer showered like normal people.  I no longer cooked.  I gave all my independence to others because I didn’t have a choice to a lot of the times.  In the beginning I was drugged from pain medication.  I remembered taking less pain medication than what was prescribed because I didn’t want to get addicted in any way, so in order to keep the pain at bay I slept like a bear.  This accident was very hard on my mind, on my body and on my spirit.

Then I had to get used to being mobile.  During this time I didn’t recognize myself.  I was wearing sweat pants all fall and winter because it was the only thing that got pass my big cast.   Since I was depressed, and all the physical activities were taken away suddenly – I needed comfort along with something that brought me instant intense pleasure.  Consequently, I drowned myself in every food delight possible, even foods I used to turn my back on I added onto my daily menu.  It was no surprise that I gained 30lbs in a matter of 7 months.

Naturally I said, “Wow you really need to get yourself back into the gym and hit it super hard!”  I noticed since January of 2015 I had a pattern of working out at home:  Two weeks on and two weeks off.  I incorporated all kinds of low-impact workouts including boxing and Pilates – basically anything I could do at home that didn’t hurt my ankle further.  But now it was time for me to grow a bigger pair of tits and hit the gym once again.  I thought I was ready.

But when I entered the gym I felt extremely uncomfortable.  I saw tons of fit people and realized I wasn’t around their level anymore.  I wore oversized hoodies, shirts and sweat pants because I felt extremely fat (for my standards).  I wasn’t the same weightlifter or person I used to be at the gym.  I had this strange amount of pressure every single time I went back into the gym and kept comparing myself on who I used to be.  I kept asking myself, “How am I going to be back to who I was?”

The idea of starting many things from scratch just kept bringing my motivation down.  I didn’t feel inspired on any level.  I didn’t have the right kind of mindset.  I wasn’t flexible in my approach.  I’ve never gone through this before.  I was used to being the one everyone relied on to give them motivation.  I was the one who relied on nobody but me for inspiration.  So now that I was good at failing myself, my confidence shrank rapidly until it became nonexistent.  Rather than realize I should’ve started slow and build up a slow confidence within – I tried forcing myself to like the gym.

I tried to motivate myself in all the ways that used to work for me regarding the gym (fit life and weightlifting).  Did it work?  No.  Mostly because the motivation that used to work for me before wouldn’t work for me now.  I wasn’t getting it.  When I continued to lag, I just figured I needed to get into the gym as many times as possible and the rest will all just fix itself.  So I tried to force myself to do 2 workouts twice a day 5 times a week, and even included newbie training buddies to make things easier.  And I still wasn’t motivated.  If anything, it made things worse.  I gave it a month and a half.  Then I decided very carefully to break up with the gym (which I made an entry about already here).

The good news is I found something new and different to accommodate the new and different me.  To be continued.

P.S.

Part 2 of this post will also be on Training Life.

-Pennington

Lack of Drive Kind of Night


Pale Comparison
Today I woke up, among a lack of drive, aches in the center of traps, spinning wheels against the uneasiness of day.  I looked for inspiration in opened paperbacks, dipped into phony motivation within cups of roasted caffeine.  I regretted it once I finished the cup because my mouth tasted like darkness and death.  But, the mood was lightened through warm phone conversations.  I came across a twenty-four hour CVS store, entered awkwardly like an orphanage and lingered in the wellness aisles, until I purchased a 5-hour energy drink.

On the train platform I waited.  Destination to gym was approximately thirty minutes.  Similar to a concealed alcoholic, I glanced over my shoulder; full suspicion, threw my head back and drank junk energy.  Eleven-something-PM and the red line pulled in with swarming bodies.  I entered and a kind middle-aged man took his jacket off the seat, so I can sit and wouldn’t have to scramble for a comfortable standing spot.  I smiled.  I didn’t want to be rude and decline the offer and in return I thanked him.  I sat between him and another man who plainly made love to his dazzling tablet with his eyes.

Smashed in the middle, my arms laid over my book-bag, hands clasped obedient.  Heat rose to caress my face, but it was followed by rolled evil eyes.  I scanned mush-sardines everywhere.  And every now and again, I stared awfully long and awfully hard at the ceiling, prayed to God for bodies to exit the cart or die.  I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take my inner thighs contracting under excruciating tension.  There was wicked edge in my legs and they were about to cramp like Charlie horses in the core of night.  I prayed in excess.  I needed anything and everything to take my mind away from expanding fury.

When I noticed a group of male friends in front of me lined up like bowling pins and how each had the same brand on:  Levi’s.  My heart rate decreased from anger and eased once I searched for the outlines of buttocks:  Who owned the biggest, who was trying to show it off and who was trying to put their glutes out of sight?  Then the kind man who made space for me originally was getting off the train and my heart soared knowing I’d be able to breathe large again by swerving to the left and conquering the corner seat.  Thank god and the heavens!

Walking through the gym doors, I saw the regular night shift receptionist guy put his conversation on hold to greet me with a huge grin; he puts my mind at ease by saying, “Hello!  Have a good one!”  All smiles, passing a row of proud ellipticals; I jog the flight of stairs.  I quickly analyzed the weight-room with a criminal grill, turned the corner to find a caramel-Dominican running on the treadmill in mesh shorts with buttocks hopping in succession.  I slowed down to catch a few seconds of eye-candy and disappeared like magic into the locker room.

Feeling internally flirty, the hair went in a high ponytail, bangs are held back by a bobby pin and I creep to the weight-room floor.  I eye-fucked the first exercise to get me primed and ready to rock and roll:  Seated rows!  And with the lat-pulldown bar attachment, taking the hand placement as wide as the sky, set after set, fifteen full reps each, I burn and flame, burn and flame.  I start to love myself.  The blaze starts to give me repeated drive.

I moved on to dumbbell seated shoulder press and with the first set I reached a full fifteen reps with 30lbs.  But by the third set my triceps were fried (thanks to the bang of the buck of Seated Rows – surely you can figure it out) and my favorite technique, rest-pause took over.  It went from 5 to 4 to 3 reps.  My mental flare shook its head each time in a kind of displeased failure.  Angry, I powerwalked to the back of the gym and sighed at the sight of the pull-up assisted machine.

I know how every rep feels before I perform them:  Difficult, treading through deep water, muddy-like, an overload of massive bodyweight.  Sometimes I wish they were a walk through the park, but deep down inside I would never want this.  Roughly 8 set of tough chins and pulls than kept it moving.  The incline rear-delt flyes are tougher than they appear; the ego lowers itself along with the weight to be used, another exercise that stops the hardcore flare in my mind.  After deep breaths taken, full contraction and 2-3 second holds at the top of every rep, the first set wrapped, and I notice the group of men from the corner of my eyes nodding respect at my performance.

The most challenging thing of the rear-delt flyes is not dropping my face into the bench when I start to fatigue and create grimaces like a mad hulk, to fight any sort of momentum and not go beyond the range of motion to strike a meek nerve.  Then on to the front raise with a barbell, go high above my head, core braced and my entire body tight in one line.  The scorching starts from the top of my traps, slides into my deltoids and enters in the center of my back.  By the end of the sets, I pause on every fourth rep.  I shake my head in partial defeat, and I rise again in full power.

By this time, I imagine the snarl of my vagina rages with odors of unfathomable ammonia, growing more teeth as every bit of exhaustion tries to yank me in submission.   I stuck my hand out in front of my body and examined my fingers for the rush and temp of adrenaline.  I need the shaking reminder, the bearing of fruit.  Happy and high, bent-over rows became the name of the game, pyramided by 10lb increments, pushing through countless reps and the dead hang arm feeling only to row, row, row it back.

Face pulls, a classic, cable tension, good stretch, long step back.  I felt my teres minor flared from the front raises and as a result I stretched for twenty seconds in between sets.  Then the lat-pulldown machine, not cable, actual machine because my muscles respond at a greater frenzy.  Within this meantime, I couldn’t help but enjoy the puzzled look on the woman’s mug, a kind of blasé air, pursed lips on a nipple water bottle, eyes lowered, dragged in slow-motion to the corner to glare towards my action.

I finished with calves on an extension machine I grew to love; abusing it bilaterally until they scream further into mercy unilaterally followed by abdominal exercises.  My entire happy ending came to a halt once I got down on the perky blue mat of heaven and performed 50 reps of Superwoman’s and heard the middle of my back crack.  I found myself in the locker, hands washed, headphones bagged in its pouch, headed down the stairs where the guy receptionist said, “Have a good night.”

And I did.
I did. 

But I’m still struggling from the lack of motivation.

-Pennington