The doctor reviewed the results of my blood tests and chest x-ray with me today. Apart from lacking vitamin D because I spend too little time in the sun, I'm in perfect health. The persistent symptoms I've been experiencing – nausea, headaches, rashes – have nothing to do with my body. They're to do with my mind. The news was disturbing and difficult to accept, at first – like I had tricked myself (which, I guess, I had). But it's a happy result. The dosage for the mood stabiliser I take every morning is being increased and I'll have to become much more disciplined about regular exercise, good nutrition and a more coherent structure to my working life. This afternoon, I swam laps in the tidal pool at my local beach. I wanted to establish a new routine right away. I could see my home from the pool; camouflaged by scrub atop an imposing headland nearby, it looked small and precarious on the edge of the sheer, sandstone cliff. It felt good to be in the sun and cold, salty water alone.
I used to think that changes take a long time, that new beginnings are hard. But they're not. All that's needed is a commitment to immediate action – and a little courage.