Many thoughts floating around in my head this Monday morning. A little life list of what’s been happening and what I need to do in the week(s) ahead…
- It feels healthy that I am learning about bipolar disorder and realizing that this isn’t something I can solve on my own. Talk about a HUGE RELIEF instead of all this “work” I have done in the past trying to fix it myself while begrudgingly taking a little medication because I realized to some extent I need help. Suddenly I am ready to accept more help and I feel a sort of “blockage” in my brain becoming unblocked. That’s not to say my brain is “fixed,” instead it acknowledging that something is wrong with it. And that doctors can treat it more efficiently than I have allowed in the past, because I can provide them with more honest information about my medical history and my maternal and paternal medical histories. Once that fully happens, I am hopeful I can move forward without as much stress.
- All that said, I am less self-conscious than I have ever been in the past.
- Yesterday I got out and went to a college basketball game with the kids and friends. I felt calm and relaxed knowing that while I have more doctors appointments ahead and more questions that I need answered, I could sit and take a break from it all with a little more peace of mind than I have ever had. I guess that is because I am not ignoring the problem. In that past, I lived with a decent level of contentment, but there was always something inside that didn’t add up. It’s been confusing and painful and caused me agony when the highs/lows cycled through me.
- The more unnormally normal (ha) that I am, the more I am dropping balls in other aspects of my life. And the funny thing is — that feels like somewhat of a relief, too. No longer do I have to overcompensate for my illness in other aspects of my life. For example, last Tuesday I forgot my son was the “special helper” at school. Was he temporarily disappointment that he didn’t have a snack to share or a toy from home to show to his classmates? Yes, of course. But did he get over it? Yes, of course. Did I feel bad for causing him disappointment? Yes. I am they type of mother who never forgets that kind of thing. But do you know why I forgot? Because I was taking care of myself, a very good thing in a the bigger picture of his life and mine. Maybe I need to be the kind of mother who almost never forgets.
- On Saturday I received a call from my hair stylist. The message said, “Hi, you had an appointment today at 1 p.m., give me a call and let me know when you want to reschedule.” Another dropped ball. This one temporarily disappointed me because I like getting my hair done, but you know what? If my hair grows longer for another month or two while I get my head straightened out, so be it.
- Yesterday morning I took a good look around our house. It looked like a tornado had come through. Toys, piles of mail and crap that the kids bring home from school, dishes in the sink, smudges all over the kitchen appliances, dirty windows, and pee on the toilet stared me in the face. My normally high standard of cleanliness has gone downhill. Of course, the OCD in me cannot live like that for long — I scurried around for an hour and then ran the vacuum and did some laundry and threw away a stick candy cane that I found on the kitchen counter after I realized how much my household duties have slipped. Again, not a big deal, right? Lowering my standards is a good thing for the time being.
- I didn’t sleep good two nights ago, which is very disconcerting, but I felt ok yesterday. If anything a little melancholy, but in reality, I think I felt just like a normal person. I operate on such a manic level sometimes that I think my “depression” is that of a normal functioning person. Still hard to tell though. Patty Duke’s book, A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness, is so informative and ironing out so many questions in my mind, but it is also creating more because bipolar is such a complicated illness. I keep telling myself I am not going to have it all figured out in a day.
- This week I am eager to hear what my doctors have to say. In some ways I hate the thought of another hospitalization, but in other ways I fantasize about it if it would help me. I’m not convinced I am on the right medicine or the right dosage now that I am being honest about how sick I have been in the past. For years I have struggled with the symptoms of a bipolar disorder and when I was finally diagnosed, the dream of a person with mental illness, I looked the other way because I couldn’t accept the diagnosis.
- Over Christmas, I got really low. I cried and cried and worried that I was going to end up in the hospital. In talking to me Grandma she gently held my hand and said, “You might need to be hospitalized and that’s ok.” In my mind that sounded terrible, but now I wonder… If I have to have a medication change, I am afraid I’ll have to be monitored. The old me would say, Sorry don’t have time for that. I have a life and kids to take care of and I can deal, Sorry not an option for me. But now I wonder. And that is confusing. So I guess I have to keep taking it one step at a time and see what my doctors say.
- In the meantime, I can function and deal with life and still feel regular emotions.
- This week I have several things I want to do.
- I need to make an eye appointment for my daughter because she failed an eye test at school. The screeners believe she has astigmatism in her right eye. If they are right, I have to take care of my little girl.
- I want to write a book review on Goodreads for Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.
- I want to clean up my office desk. It has been a disaster zone of books, papers, medical records, sticky notes, pens, pencils, highlighters, and coffee cups.
- I have to return a garage door opener from Amazon that didn’t work.
- I have to call in a prescription for the periodontal mouth wash I have to use because I am having problems with my gums. Then I have to find time to pick it up this week.
- I need to go to the grocery store.
- I want to have lunch with my writing mentor.
- I need to give the kids a bath.
- I need a bath.
- I want to make macaroni and cheese and ham for a couple I know that just had a baby.
- I want to read the two issues of Reader’s Digest that I am behind on, but I am unable to digest it with everything else going on in my mind. (Ha).
- I want to catch up some articles online that I like to read on Brain, Child Magazine.
- On top of all these things, it going to snow 3-5 inches today. The sun won’t shine and the bleak weather wreaks havoc on my mood.
- My kids have watched too much TV lately, but I know in the short-term that’s not a big deal. I have to give attention to my health and it is 15 degrees out now. They both have runny noses, so if the TV continues to get exercise, we’ll all live. My son wants to play Legos and my daughter wants to play grocery store. They’ll have to wait, but I’ll get there. For now, they are taken good care of and that’s enough.
- I hope I can out of “this” around the same time that spring arrives. I’ll feel better and they will play outside more. We all long for the park, not just me.
- I should probably clean the bathrooms today, but we’ll see.
- What’s important and what’s not today?
- Tonight I have to go to a board meeting at the kid’s preschool. No getting around it. Probably a good thing because it’ll get me out of the house later. I’d rather go to yoga tonight, but I’ll have to wait until Wednesday.
As my life list comes to a close for today, I can simply say that above everything I have going on now, I am viewing my life with a way different outlook than I have ever before. That feels good.
I am not manic or depressed or feeling anxious at the moment, although I have a feeling my ambitions for the week might cause some anxiety and mood swings. At least I can write all of this in a calm, open, and honest way and realize I’ll never get it all done.
Who knew I’d get to this mature point of awareness?
I know I am going to be ok.