Bipolar Mixing Ahead

I’m feeling manic and depressed and distressed and full of anxiety. I hate these feelings. I’m coasting along, knowing these are the better days and I should not waste them. The plan… I have a plan. I have part of a plan.

And my cat is kneading the edge of my blanket that’s sticking out from under my head. OMG! He purrs SO LOUD! – I digress…

I haven’t looked at Facebook for weeks. I want to connect with old friends, but I’m afraid. (This bit is what triggered me) A while back I finally found a friend I’d lost long ago. This friend is doing well. In fact, when I ask how things are going I’m always told that things are perfect. Couldn’t be better. Married the love of their life. I guess I’m happy that things are so perfect for this friend. But I’m not, and it has nothing to do with this stinking sudden mixed episode I’m currently enjoying.

I watched the whole speech given by the student about all the loss and pain that murder by gun has brought us recently. Emma González speech

Then I read about a friend’s dad that went scary nuts at the hospital, and about another friend (about 25 years old) whose grandfather just molested her. You know how family members are often in denial? Grandma denied it and she ended up in jail. I don’t have the details and I don’t care about them because details are not what I’m so freaked out about.

Another friend is excited to not have needed pain meds today and is looking forward to doing chores and growing her eyebrows back in. Then I saw an honestly beautiful painting a dear friend just finished of three burrows… I think it was the burrows that got me.

My mixed state is just like our worlds today. I say “worlds” because we each live in our own little spheres, our worlds. None of them are like another.

There is nothing I can do to influence any of these people’s lives right now. But I’ve been working on influencing mine. I’ve been expressing to you what I’m thinking and feeling right now.

I feel my emotions smoothing out, the peaks aren’t so drastic.

Have you ever tried to listen to music or waterfalls or rain and soft music at night to help you get sleepy? I have. I’ve tried dozens of sounds. I’ve found something that I didn’t even know existed while chasing rabbits on YouTube. It’s a train going down tracks, at a constant speed, with no whistles, no horns, just the steady and almost hypnotic sound of a traveling train.

Wow, thanks for walking with me through that. If the circumstances had been different, well, I’d rather not go there.

I’d like to get my perfect friend to more than tell me we all have our own journeys
we must live. That’s crap. If you have a friend you know is in pain, and you have training in that field and you don’t reach out…. shame….

Shame on me.

Things to do ASAP: call Karen, email Marcella, email School the email, get pic of Bailey, myself and my daughter Jessica with the Easter bunny, clean hardwood floors, throw ball for Bailey on obstacle course, use elliptical, write, do class time in online classes on mindfulness and short story writing… today. If I can get my butt out of bed when the alarm goes off and don’t watch TV I have a good chance of getting it all done. If not, some will roll over into Monday.

And yes, I do sometimes do exactly what I say not to do. I set my bar too bloody high. Yep. I do that… sometimes.

(Written last night at midnight)

New Year’s Eve, Goals?

Part 2 – Deep into the night

Reset, No, not yet….

It isn’t quite midnight here, not just yet. Almost.

That’s what this last year, 2017 has been a lot of for me, a lot of almost… but not yet. I say this will all honesty and not even a little bit of melodrama – I’ve done a ton of doing “almost” all year long and tonight is more of the same. I’m so consistent.

I’m not posting what I intended on posting tonight but I still have something to say, I always have something to say. But is it worth reading? For much of 2017 I have worked so hard to get ready for life after graduation in June. I have all kinds of anxiety, information, plans, excuses, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam… ad infinitum*.

I’ve been super sick today. I’ve been sick since Christmas day, but today has turned into one of the worst days. I even called the after-hours clinic. No help there. I’ve found that being sick for almost all of my Christmas break is giving me the opportunity to be grouchy. Like the Cookie Monster, only more so. Way more so. I had plans. I had a goal of what I wanted to write in this post. Goals. Yes, the New Year and setting goals! Yes!

No. Reset. Some days I have to accept and then adjust to the fact that things happen the way they happen.

My body pretty drastically made sure that I wouldn’t have the time or energy to write about what I really wanted to write about. Or did I? Think Robin, think.

It is almost midnight here at my home, December 31, 2017, what do I wish to say to you, now that I have no time left this year to say it?

2017 was better than I am remembering it right now, at this point in the day my judgment is exhausted. I can remember years where I was so sick I that took almost no part in the lives of my kids. I remember points in many years where all is horrible. They say I should focus on the positive things. I have usually said that this is something that is harder to do than most people would imagine.

Look, my cousin and his family were in a horrific car accident this morning. They were all injured badly. The five of them were spread to two hospitals. Pam’s condition is grave (my cousin’s wife). If you combine that with how sick I am you’d think I’d be all ready to pontificate forever on setting goals that are positive and motivated and … and… No.

All I want to tell you is that I’m not going to throw down any goals or resolutions that are emotionally charged and not based upon how well I know myself and what I want my future to look like. I’m out of time for that. Also, it has never worked for me. No.

Instead, tonight I am resolved (and resigned) to wave goodbye at 2017, then turn around and wave hello to 2018. That’s it.

No resolutions. No goals.

Tonight I am willing to acknowledge that there are things that I have learned from my past, and there are things that I would like to do/be/learn in the future. I’m going to commit, yes commit, to thinking about them both and do it with an open mind. And then, I will think of what to do next. I’ve always meant to think before I act. This seems like as a good time to start as any.

What do you think? Sound like a plan you could get behind?

I hope you’ll come back again soon. I’m interested in finding out where this goes next. I have an inkling of a plan. But then, yes, I had a plan for today and that didn’t work out so well. Tomorrow? I’m “planning” on thinking about what I should do before I start setting goals or making resolutions. Let’s just leave it at that and see which way the wind blows. Bonus: the longer I think about it, the better it should come out, right? ;0)

Be safe everyone.

(*Ad nauseam is a Latin term for argument or other discussion that has continued – to the point of nausea…. ad infinitum – to infinity.)

Winding Things Up

How to set and actually reach
your goals… for once.

Part 1

sunrise 463785425“Strength and growth come only through
continuous effort and struggle.”

Napoleon Hill

Congratulations, You’re sitting here right now and maybe you’re considering the new year and are thinking of setting some goals… maybe. Or, maybe you’ve got some stuff you’d like to accomplish and think if you would just set some goals to achieve that somehow the magic New Year fairies would make them happen. Maybe.

Or, maybe you wish achieving your goals was as simple as setting them, so, every year you set them, hope they’ll magically come true, then promptly forget about them. Well, accept for all those times that you remember them and then remember how far you are from achieving them. You’ve been thinking about one or two things you’d like to accomplish this new year and you’d really like it if they came true for once. Now what? Failure? Again?

Maybe…

Part 2 will be here shortly. Please come back and learn about setting goals and seeing them come true as an honest to goodness bipolar person… Or for any person with a mental struggle (ah, mental illness) actually… Or for any person at all interested in reaching goals.

Bipolar – Pleasing Personality

As I look back over the last week I see several days where I had less than a pleasing personality. I wasn’t fun to be around. I guess getting ready to move and all the packing and coordinating is weighing heavily on me and I’m letting it change how I interact with people. I’m allowing it to change me in negative ways. I wasn’t keeping an eye on myself. I should have known that I needed to be careful.

I’ve worked so hard over the years to become someone I like. I like myself a whole lot more now than I did even a year ago, but it’s easy to slide back into the familiar crappy personality I the whole time my bipolar symptoms had free reign with me I wasn’t someone people wanted to know.

I should get a tattoo that says, “Daily, proceed with caution.” That way I’ll remember not to take myself for granted and let a mood swing, even a small one, affect my personality and turn me into a person no one wants to be around.

Twice I took the bipolar bait and let potential negative situations explode into fights with family members. I was surprised with how easily I started becoming the person I was for most of my life. I don’t want to lose the better “me”.

Let me give you an example. I didn’t just argue with my Mom, I fought with her. Neither of us was listening to the other and both were convinced the other was wrong.

My Mom and I fought over money. She supports me financially because I can’t work. I get some money from SSI because I’m officially disabled, but it doesn’t even cover my rent so I really shouldn’t fight with her. Morally, I should show her respect. Etiquette dictates that I be respectful to my mother.

I need to work especially hard to have my mood swings well away from my Mom. We lost my Dad just over a year ago and she’s still grieving. She doesn’t need me coming in and making her feel the way she does when we fight. I know it hurts her. She doesn’t explain things well so when she says something and I react to it as though that’s what she really meant to communicate to me we almost always fight.

I should really be asking her what she means. As I told my kids growing up, “ask good questions.” I will start asking her good questions to make sure I really understand what she means. I’ve been saving money since last September because I figured I’d be moving sometime in the near future. Now it’s July the next year and I’m moving. I’ve got enough money saved to buy a piece of furniture, new towels, flatware, a book case and things like that. Oh and I got a new toaster. She freaked out because although I reassure her I have enough money to buy these things she worries and expects that she’ll end up paying for them because that’s the way things have always been in the past.

I’ve always relied on her to bail me out financially. I didn’t go out and buy things I didn’t need, but she couldn’t see that. She just saw $$$ and doesn’t really trust me yet. I don’t blame her.

I’ve kept how much money I have saved private because I didn’t want her trying to make me spend it on paying for the movers or house cleaners. Maybe I should pay for them, but I’m not going to and I’ve explained why to her. I want my own things when I move into my own house. Everything I have is from her. She uses things, gets tired of them, and gives them to me. I don’t even have bath towels that I bought for myself. I’m 53 and I’m still getting hand-me-downs.

Yes, I’m thankful she’s taking care of my needs, but just this once I want to buy somethings for myself. She says she understands that, but I think she still thinks I’ll spend recklessly because that’s what I’ve always done in the past. I’m not going to do that. I’m paying for things as I go so I won’t overspend. I hope I’ll earn her trust as we go through this situation.

I’ve probably told you more than you want to know about the situation, but I have a good reason for that. As painful as it is to admit to anyone but myself that I let myself out of control and let my swinging moods overrun me, I’m admitting it now. I wasn’t careful and I let my mood change who I was.

I was acting like I used to act when we fought all the time. I really don’t want to blow all the hard work I’ve done or our relationship just because of some stress over moving. It was stupid really. I was just being stubborn and didn’t want to tell her how much money I have. To me it’s the only thing that’s really mine, I felt that she didn’t need to know how much money I’ve saved. I believed it wasn’t her business.

I finally reassured her things would be fine, but I did have to tell her how much money I’ve saved up. I told her I have enough to buy the things I’d showed her I was buying.

You know I did try to not fight about it. I sent her links to what I wanted to buy and asked her what she thought. I don’t know that she saw anything but the price. I think we’ve come to an understanding. I feel like my personality is intact again. There are so many things that affect our personalities. I think we all want people to like us. The way I was behaving wasn’t doing that.

Today I have been reflecting on losing my temper during the week. I think I’ve spotted what the triggers were. Now I’m more prepared for the next time my moods poke me and try to make me behave badly. I’m committed to having a pleasing personality. After all, I figure I’m more likely to be successful if people like me, and don’t try to avoid my bitchy ass.

My quest for reaching my goals and following my passions are back on track. Everything impacts these things. I’m not going to give up my dreams because my moods are swinging. I respect my moods and their swings, but I’m determined to live my life with positive passion.

Having a pleasing personality will move me towards my objectives. I’m committed to developing it.

Bipolar – Loosing Inspiration

Some days I don’t have a problem getting up… those days are rare. I’m so tired in the morning I feel like I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night and told I can’t go back to bed. I can’t sleep past 10 because my dog would explode. She likes to go out at 9. Sometimes I can’t even get her off the sofa to get her to go outside. I wonder if I affect her sometimes. She’s supposed to be my therapy dog. I’m not supposed to be her downer human.

I’ve done allot of things that have distracted me from my goals this last week or so (I’ve been watching a lot of TV). I feel like I need a nudge, a shot in the butt to get going. I wonder if my goals are really worth fighting for and if I can even reach them. I feel the hand of doubt around my heart.

It’s time to reset myself. I need to get my passion back.

What was it I was striving for? What was the mission of my life? What was the passion that urged me on every moment? I need to pause for a moment and consider things. Is my passion big enough to keep me in motion and motivated to work for it every day?

Today I’m working without enthusiasm. I’m going about my work with words supported by unshakable faith in their message, but without my heart slamming in my chest demanding that I drive forward with great energy.

I’m searching back in my mind. I’m realizing I should have made the Enthusiasm notebook I had thought about making. I think I’ll do that next time I’m really enthusiastic. I’ll make a notebook with my definite purpose (my passion and goal) and the things that really make me enthusiastic. That way the next time I’m feeling like this, I can reference it and not be stuck mired in the place I’m in today… in neutral with no forward inertia.

Remember.

Remember what I’ve been fighting for.

Having goals and ambitions and having an illness like Bipolar Disorder makes my days hard. The illness whispers to me to blink a few times and let my guard down, to let the illness have its way with me. But I don’t want to do that.

I won’t do that.

(Previously published in The Etiquette of Madness)