Well, I started a new medication yesterday. It is meant to help me concentrate, which I have had trouble with for many years, and it is also supposed to help me “turn my brain off” at night so that I can sleep better. Sleep is an eternal fight for me. I have been running on fumes for the last few months because I have been getting an average of four hours of sleep per night. The minimum has been two hours, and the maximum (not often at all) has been six hours. The answer to the question of whether or not I function on three to four hours of sleep a night is, yes and no. I function because I have to. Barely, sometimes, but I do function. There are times when I doze off in the armchair at my mom’s house and sleep for an hour or two in the midst of these days when I am running on fumes, and that is okay. This medication, once we get it to the dosage it needs to be at and then potentially (that is “potentially”) eliminate, or at least lower, the stimulant I am currently on, may help with sleep. Maybe. We are hoping. If not, then great, we tried it, and we did what we could, back to square one.
I have been doing well in my graduate work in creative writing. I have an A so far in the course that I am taking, and we are exactly halfway through the term. As a matter of fact, I just paid my tuition for the next term and should be able to buy my materials for the next course soon. I have to get with my advisors and my mentor (three separate people) to see what to do next. I want to apply and be accepted to the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, and I have the people I need at my disposal to do it, in addition to the talent if we polish things up a bit. The main thing that I want is the education and training I need to be a professional writer, possibly an online teacher of creative writing classes for a university (we will see about that one later on). First and foremost, I want to write and climb.
On the climbing note, we are not having great luck controlling the spread of COVID-19 here in Montana right now. We are having a massive spike in cases, especially in the state’s epicenter, which happens to be the county that I live in. The numbers are not comparable to the more populated states, but they are striking for our neck of the woods. People are arguing over wearing masks and such, and the Governor just issued a mandatory mask order last week or so. I am both a scientist and a human being, so I know the science behind wearing the masks, and I also know how viruses spread and what masks do and do not do. I also know the psychological effects of wearing a mask, so if you throw all of that together, I have a very different perspective on the mask issue—one that I will not go into in this post because I do not wish to have this discussion right now. I just do what I am told for the moment, as not to draw attention to myself so that I can live life to the fullest extent possible right now. Climbing is on hold, as I have been changing medications and having trouble with a few of them. I have had to be very careful in what I do and what medications I take and when due to the heat as well. It has been hot here in Montana! I do not do well in the heat with some of the medications that I take, and I do not want to have a climbing accident because of any strange side effect I may have from anything new that I am trying to start right now. I miss climbing so much! I need climbing in my life to balance things out. I am writing, but I also need to climb.
I know that this is only my third post on this site in the month of July. For that, I apologize, but I have been having a rough time. I will just say it. I am not going to try to hide the fact that I am having a rough time. Between the pandemic, PTSD, heat, and medications, I am hanging on by taking this creative writing course through SNHU. The graduate work has been good for me. It gets my mind going in a solid direction and keeps me occupied while my climbing passion is on hold.