Did you notice I’d disappeared? Yeah, I tend to do that when I’m trying to sort something out in my head. I need time to work through it and put it into some kind of perspective. I do it with my journal writing, too. There are periods where there is nothing for months and then suddenly I am writing every day. It seems to be a good way to chart where I am at!
Just after I posted my little rant about my mother, I saw my psychologist and she pointed out what should have been obvious. I’ve been manic. How else can you explain my stupid, risky decisions (and no, I am not going into details, sorry) and lack of judgment in the last few months? They were things that were totally out of character for me and now that I am thinking clearly (lets call it ‘normal’), I am aghast at my behaviour. At first I went into denial – ‘No way! That is NOT true’ – but over the next couple of days the obvious seeped into the normal part of my brain and I had to admit that she was right.
I’ve spent more of this bipolar journey on the down that the times when I felt ‘good’ were to me the back to ‘normal’ days – motivated, happy, getting things done. I’d clean the house from top to bottom, I’d start extreme diets (Atkins, Paleo) or join gyms that would cost me a fortune and I would never use. I’d run on adrenalin and think I was coping fabulously. Its only now I can see them for what they were – the equal and opposite reaction to the devestating lows. And this time, with hindsight, I can piece it all together and see the clues.
I said to my brother that I can now recognise the thinking. Say someone said to me ‘Will, I think you need some more sleep. You are looking tired’. Normal response is ‘Yeah, you are probably right. I’ve been overdoing things’. Note measured response, ability to see multiple perspectives. Manic response is “What are you talking about? I’m fine!’ Note argumentative and indignant response. And depressed response is well, its more likely to be a case of ‘Ah Will? Think you might be getting out of bed today?’ Note non-responsiveness of Willow and lack of motivation.
Somehow I never saw the differences before. Just like my replase into depression last year, this was the first time I saw the rise and subsequent fall (which I did pick up on because that is much more common for me) from the perspective of being ‘normal’ and the returning along the bell curve to ‘normal’ again. The worst part? The thinking at the time that I was being rational and completely in control. That is scary in light of the stupid decisions I made and believed that I was ‘doing the right/fun’ thing.
In the last two weeks I’ve been getting back on track. I read my letter from the future Will that I wrote on Valentine’s Day to my psychologist and she said that she agreed with everything I wrote and that I need to listen to myself much more then I otherwise do. And so I took her advice and started listening to my advice. I’ve pulled my head in and am giving more of myself to my home life. I’m not winding myself into a ball of anxiety and worry. I’m learning to live in the now. And I’m getting back into my routines and truly seeing the benefits of them.
I am also pleased to report that after a rocky start I have learnt how to drive a manual car and drove today without my driving instructor (Dad) on the road and around town. I will admit that I stalled it once at the lights but I didn’t panic and just got myself going again. So, I am free again to do my own thing without having to wait for said driving instructor who often doesn’t want to just go have a coffee and chill out. I’ve missed my little timeouts and I’ve noticed how much I need them. All part of recognising what is good for me and helps me to keep ‘normal’.
So, again the apprenticeship is continuing. Just when you think you are cruising you hit another tidal wave and get dumped. But the good thing now is that I can pick myself back up, shake off the sand and weeds and start swimming again. The journey is going to continue and really there is no end point. Its the experience along the way that is the story that becomes your life.
Yeah, all part of becoming patient.