For so long, we have been under the heavy blanket of pain, depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Some of us can’t remember what it feels like to be “normal.” Since our ketamine infusions, things have changed; the blanket has been lifted! Ketamine therapy is working, so now what? What’s our job? How can we focus this new-found energy, clarity, and motivation to get the most out of treatments and our lives?
The focus should be on changing daily habits and re-engaging in life. This re-engagement should be done gradually and in very specific, goal directed steps.
To begin, brainstorm some things you would like to start doing again. Include areas such as self-care, small responsibilities, hobbies, interacting with family or friends. Next, prioritize, picking just a few to focus on. Finally, write down how you will accomplish these activities and then check them off as you get them done.
For example, Sara might begin with focusing on self-care. Prior to treatments, she could only shower once a week. Now, she would like to try and shower every day. This feels overwhelming, so Sara adjusts her goal to just two times a week. She writes this goal down and checks it off as she accomplishes it. Sara also makes note of how difficult or easy this task was to accomplish, or if she was able surpass her goal. This written log or journal is very important because it gives her a visual representation of how she is doing as well as a reminder of what she wants to accomplish.
It’s important to remember to keep things simple and take baby steps. You may want to climb Mt. Everest but to get there you must first be able to walk around the block (or even down your driveway and back)! Also, be gentle with yourself. You have been fighting a mighty battle and getting back to “normal” takes time, commitment, and self-compassion. There will be bumps along the road, but taking things one step and one day at a time, you’ll be further along than you could ever imagine.
Terri Kutchera is a Patient Consultant for Ketamine Wellness Centers