A 6-week plan: Please yourself.

 

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Like a badge of honor.

Six weeks in and I’ve never felt better in a long, long time.

I just had my final signs of bleeding two days ago, and never felt happier in a really long time. Compared to those in the previous months, how much I bled could’ve lasted a hungry dracula for a year.

In the last couple of years, everytime I wake up stained, I feel like the happiest girl in the world. I admit, I worry too much and probably should get a psychiatrist to help me fix my anxiety disorder (even my mother suggested it), but the fact that PCOS has grown in me becomes another issue of its own to worry about.

All my teenage years I see blood in the morning and I groan.

Now it’s like an omen that says, “Congratulations! You’re still a fertile babe!!”

 

The final update

Looking back, my sleep quality has improved significantly in the last six weeks. Anxiety levels are improving as well, though not as balanced as I wish it could’ve been. I can’t find a more specific way to measure whether it’s the Bak Foong Pills that helped regulate my mood or not, or whether it was just how I’m changing the way I lead my life these days. Nevertheless, I’ve been consistently taking each Bak Foong Pills bottle every Thursday night.

 

  • Thursday, 13 June, 2013: Didn’t have enough sleep the other night probably because I ate too much sugared ginger and drank sugary instant drinks, namely hot chocolate and teh tarik, and a whole lot of chocolate bars and Medjooli dates. Even when I eat so much for the past few weeks, sleep less than I usually do, and workout so much less often than I used to, my weight is still declining at a rapid rate, of reasons I don’t know of. My head hurts like hell. I don’t feel productive.
  • Thursday, 20 June, 2013: Didn’t get sufficient sleep the other night but have been feeling a little better than last Thursday. Weight is back to normal and head hurts much, much less. Feel a bit more productive. More temperate mood climate throughout the day, though still a lot of worrying, frowning, and unconsciously contracting my brows while scrutinizing facts.
  • Thursday, 27 June, 2013: Had sufficient sleep. Weight remains normal. Head’s still ringing in the mornings. Feel more productive then last week. Too much frowning, too much skepticism, too much worrying about the world than caring for myself.
  • Thursday, 4 July, 2013: Had a restful sleep. Am finally at a healthy weight. No more real headaches, just the occasional self-consciousness and overthinking. Feel more relaxed about life. Feel efficient without giving too much shit. Still worries a lot about things that doesn’t even have anything to do with me, and accepts that I will always be worrisome. Worrying is optimal conditioning for my productivity by preventing procrastination, prejudice, and overconfidence.
  • Thursday, 11 July, 2013: Physically and physiologically, I’m fine. I feel my testosterone levels  are falling much below than usual. Somehow my goal-setting habits, the “can do” attitude, and the healthy level of determination to achieve have fallen way below than usual. Too relaxed that it feels quite unusual, somehow uncomfortable. Self-esteem is low, as usual, but there are so many things I can’t do anything about even when I’ve done my best. A big part of me is thankful for what I have, another half of my head feels guilty for not making the most of what I have. There are so many people to satisfy. It got me thinking about my real priorities in life, because I really have not the energy reserve to please everybody in my life.
  • Thursday, 18 July, 2013: Physically fitter than last week. Physiologically healthier than last week. I feel that the testosterone levels are probably a tad bit higher, while self-image is borderline, as usual. Starting to accept that I cannot please every-single-friggin’-body in my life. The power to choose who to give value is in my hands, and to give value I must for-give myself for my past and the ongoing guilt-slash-dissatisfaction, because done is always better than perfect.

 

A potent ingredient

All in all, I’m still the unstable me – when I’m high, I’m super high. When I’m down, I just want to disappear from the surface of the earth. I guess that’s why my 10 is the most even-tempered guy I’ve ever met.

This is how high I can get: Leaving the info of the remaining thirteen ingredients to the last update of this series (1. Radix Ginseng, 2. Radix Paeoniae Alba, 3. Radix Polygalae, 4. Semen Sesame Nigrum, 5. Fructus Amomi, 6. Faeces Trogopterori, 7. Cornu Cervi Pantatrichum, 8. Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong, 9. Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae, 10. Poria, 11. Rhizomi Cyperi, 12. Herba Leonuri, and 13. Mel), which is one long list. After some time studying them all, I learned that there’s really only one important herb that deserves the spotlight.

a sachet of American ginseng tea, which I agreed to buy after years of listening to my mother asking me to do so. I never did drink the packet. Gave it to my her instead, and now I finally tried it. Highly recommended to be consumed early during the day.

A packet of American ginseng tea bag from Eu Yan Sang’s 24-sachet box, which I agreed to buy last year, after half a lifetime of listening to my mother asking me to do so. I never did drink any of it. Gave it to her in the end, and last week, I finally tried drinking it without her telling me to do so. Effective at making me worry less. Highly recommended to be consumed early during the day. Not so bitter after all.

Radix Ginseng (310.98 mg)
人蔘

Ginseng is the one herb I grew up loving to hate and hating to love, because it’s so bitter. Dubbed as the king of all herbs, ginseng affects all too many bodily systems that Eastern medicine practitioners have long consumed a portion of it like a daily multivitamin. Among the many benefits, ginseng has been shown to eliminate chronic fatigue, lower blood sugar, improve cognitive functions, increase appetite, prolong athletic endurance, and, for some, is effective as a caffeine alternative. Known to amp up and keep up energy levels, the therapeutic effects of ginseng is so extensive that it’s the most widely-researched herb in the Western world. The rich root also contains phytoestrogens, which might help restore hormonal balance.

 

Visually speaking …

In the end, though, I feel I still have a lot to learn on emotional self-regulation, and I know that most people have not mastered the art, even those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. A large portion of the world have chosen to start a cycle of substance abuse without them realizing it. Whether it’s using food, alcohol, or cigarettes, people who have suffered long bouts of depression and other anxiety disorders need an outlet to release all the tension inside, and many turned away from healthy alternatives. Some start committing crimes, while others have gone as far as taking their own lives, which I seriously considered for a while.

I’m grateful to have CADAS‘s prevention specialist John Kelle, also a recent philosophy and psychology graduate of Sewanee in Tennessee, sharing with me the following simple-to-digest information on stress:

 
The Cost of Job Stress
 

The full story

To conclude my journey in the last six weeks, the biggest lesson is, simply, that I’ve learned to trust my mother.

Now I’m not saying the Bak Foong Pills are super effective in managing mood swings and regulating my cycle, but taking them is just one of the zillion stuff my mother’s always encouraged me to do, to have, or to be. Deep down, I know she just wants the best of everything for me. Whenever I burst like a roaring lion, I never notice that she’s becoming seriously worried about me (hence the suggestion to see a psychiatrist).

When it comes to health, let me be honest: I never really listen to her. Like I said on my first post, I need to know whether all those pills she kept urging me to take are really as effective as she’s advertised to me or not, whether their claims have been based on clinical studies or not, whether they’ve been proven to have no side effects or they haven’t. Things like that.

Bottom line, after all the scientific journals I’ve mounted and read under the sheets after dark, there is one thing I know: The placebo effect exists.

Nobody – not one scientist nor researcher – has ever fully understood how the placebo came to be. All that matters is that the outcome of the intent is always effective … if you only have faith.

I want to focus on the benefit of the doubt and decide to keep taking the Bak Foong Pill for the long haul, as there are plenty more reasons to continue doing so than for me to keep second-guessing its effectiveness. I would be pleasing not just myself, but also my 10, 10’s mother, and my mother. Before I thought this carefully about incorporating herbal medicine into my routine, it never crossed my mind that taking excellent care of my health, gynecologically or otherwise, has a direct influence on the most important people in my life. Literally. It took six hectic weeks, six long and daunting blog posts, and one life to be fully alive, to make me realize that if I am gone, so do those who really care for me.

On a much lighter note (phew!), here’s a quick recap to why I even bothered to log my mood swings in the first place, and how I’ve gone through a roller coaster of emotions in life, at work, in love, and everything else in between:

Week 1: Why I started this. (June 13)
Week 2: It’s all a matter of hormones. (June 20)
Week 3: On Western thinking and Eastern healing, part 1 (June 27)
Week 4: On Western thinking and Eastern healing, part 2 (July 4)
Week 5: Oh, please. (July 11, 2013)
Week 6: Please yourself. (this post)
 

I hope my nerdiness-cum-anxiousness will keep you entertained for a while. Just be well and stay well, peeps. It’s the least you can do for yourself.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

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