Just another ramble

Hi all,

It’s me again. Checking back sporadically as always about inane details of my life. I’m officially signed up for coding bootcamp that starts in January! I’m really excited and nervous about this. Excited  because I feel like I am finally going after my dream of working as a tech nerd, and nervous because I’m not sure how much I’ve recovered- and if I have, how much my body (and mind) is capable of tolerating the long hours. I mean, much like after a huge physical health scare, of course that will be a worry- the relapse. In my mind, it’s something inevitable, as I have already proven to myself this week by getting sick from overworking (read, it was just homework for a class). So, I may not be physically ready for this thing. I don’t know. But I do have until January to get back on track with my physical health.

Another thing that happened was, that I reached out to some people who used to be in my life. One was a best friend, and the other was my ex-boyfriend. I never would have done this if my therapist hadn’t suggested it. I will tell you that right off the bat, what happened was drastically different. My best friend took me in with open arms, even when I apologized for my inappropriate bipolar driven behavior towards her, and we are now back to being friends like nothing ever happened. My ex, on the other hand, was a different story. He also apologized, but for the failed attempt at communication (which I didn’t think was the main reason for the relationship’s demise, but we can agree to disagree), and told me that he was seeing someone else. He did add that we should meet for coffee if I was still in Chicago, but I think he might have just added it as an afterthought. Who knows. All in all, I thought it was nice of him to respond. My therapist noted from both reactions of the people who responded, that one knew me, the true me, and that the other one, didn’t.

Speaking of friends, I’m making new friends! After being frightfully lonely from self-isolation, (for the fear of being found out about having bipolar and the stigma,) I decided to say yes to making friends. I looked for meetups and said yes to every opportunity thrown at me. I even said yes to going to a music/dance festival even though I’m way too self-conscious and don’t like dancing in public, and it turned out, I actually had fun!

I’m finally near the finish line for completing a course that I always wanted to take since college (but couldn’t because I had other degree requirements to finish), which is Algorithms. I took it through Stanford on Coursera, and while it was difficult, I got through it.

Running is going well! I started with 1 minute walking, then 2 minute running, then increased that to 10 minutes of running slowly, then upped that to 20 minutes.

Today I’m down with a cold, but looking back at September, there were many milestones I should celebrate.

Things that change

There are things that are going to change over time in a person:

Such as their appearance, status, health, how much money they have, their workplace, employment status, world views…

But things like character and personality are most likely not going to. It’s common, but foolish to judge someone by their external current state of being. It takes a wise person to look beyond the transient.

What a week

I slept more than how much a cat sleeps in a day today. I couldn’t help it! I was just so tired. I’ve had two technical interviews/assessments this week for a software engineering/coding bootcamp, and I mostly blame it on that. Those things are exhausting. On top of that I had class at night, and a bunch of studying for the said class during the day. I’m glad that I’m doing all this because it makes me happy and I love it, but sometimes I forget that just because I don’t mind doing it, doesn’t mean I get a jail free card from being exhausted from doing too much.

I am super stoked that at this point in my life, mental illness doesn’t define me. It definitely has in the past, if you scroll down to some of my earlier blog posts from a few months ago. I’m actually doing everything I love/want to be doing right now, which is running almost daily (although not very much), studying what I love learning about, and of course, having some sort of purpose/direction in life. Even though things are not perfect, I could have more friends, and I’m not “there yet” (we never are, or we’d we dead) I am so grateful to be at this point in my recovery for everything that I can do again. I mention this a lot about finally becoming stable because, I used to believe that I was going to be depressed forever, and have serious symptoms of bipolar forever. But nothing is forever, and even if some of it is, you learn to cope with it. So I pray that you, reader, can find some hope in reading about my high points in my life- it will come to you too.

There is still a ton of things left to do, such as another technical interview for this other school I applied for, and more studying to do on higher-order functions and closure (which are difficult topics at first for someone studying computer science). My month long class ends next week so I’m hoping I can get a breather when that ends.

A thought about jealousy

I felt like crap looking at my linked in contacts, so here I am writing what you can do to change your feelings when you are feeling embarrassed, jealous, envious from comparing yourself to others around you.

This might be a bit cliche, but life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And also, when you’re old and wrinkly, job titles, awards, and where you went to school matter a lot less. 

Not everyone comes from the same background. We don’t have the same productive years. You may have even lost a few years of your life to an illness (that would be me). How fair is it to compare you to another person who had not had this experience?

Keep your head up, stop comparing, and do you coding homework.

Life update: improvements!

Hey there! I know it’s been awhile, but a lot has changed (for the better) in my life, and I’m happy to say that I’ve been busy.

  1. Meds: I’ve come down on my lithium, finally! I was taking four little pills worth 1050mg per day, but now I am down to 900mg. I asked my doctor about this because of my hand tremors, and out of the three things I was taking, lithium seemed to be the one that was probably causing it- and plus, I have been feeling a lot better lately, so this was a good time to lower my dosage. I’ve asked about possibly coming off of lithium completely, and it sounds like it’s a possibility, but something we would reconsider more down the road.
  2. Career Choice/School: I signed up for a boot camp preparation class for software engineering, which is very INTENSE. There is pre-readings, the classes themselves (4 days a week), then the homework which follows that. It’s made me very busy and I am so happy that I am at the level where I can occupy myself with something other than just my recovery. I’m also really glad that I’m on this set path with a clear career goal. I’m really excited to be embarking on this challenge.
  3. Yoga: I went back to my yoga practice, which I abandoned almost a year ago. I’m doing vinyasa style yoga, which means that there are almost no pauses between poses, and moves very fast. I am hoping to get more toned and a little stronger because I’ve atrophied a lot from my depressed days when I stayed cooped up at home for days. Yoga just makes me feel good.
  4. Therapy: I’ve faced some of my demons, and I am becoming more self aware about my relationship with them. Some of the main ones were workaholism, having bipolar itself/self-stigmatization, things from the past that have been fueling my PTSD, anxieties, my situation (where my life suddenly just fell apart) , losing friends etc. I’ve really made peace with these, and I feel good about it. There is still a lot more that I need to tackle, but some progress is better than no progress.

Those are the main ones I feel improved in the past month or so. Since school is taking most of my time out of my schedule, I think I will continue giving short updates like these every few weeks, so stay tuned!

I’m so sorry, so please just go away

I said sorry, so please go away.

You’re only a figment of my imagination-

A cruel, crude copy of someone more than 2000 miles away;

But you know too well how to guilt trip me.

Over and over again,

You get into the deepest of my wounds

To remind what happened that day with you.

I did nothing wrong, and the same with you-

(I mean, the real you,)

But I’m having to suffer over and over again at the

Imaginary awkwardness, pain, embarrassment, lonliness that I felt in my head

This helps me and my life zero percent.

I said I’m so sorry. Please accept that and go away.

At crossroads

Options are great. Really, they are a privilege. I know this, but it’s still agonizing.

Every night I’m up, thinking about how I haven’t made a decision about my career. I’m impatient, of course, and never have been able to “enjoy the ride,” as my therapist recommends. I mean, how can you when every single moment that goes undecided seems like lost time that I could have spent focusing on one thing and not on trying to decide?

My dilemma is one of which many artistic people had to struggle before me.  Do you choose what you love to do (fine art in my case) as your career, or do you choose what is practical? I’ve seen both sides argued eloquently, and I’ve seen successful people on both ends.

Now, while I love the idea of following your North star, your intuition, and following your values, my compass seems a little broken and points to many directions all at once. I would love to do what I love on a daily basis. But I also love the idea of a stable job, independence and good health insurance that usually comes with the package. There’s also the perils of failure. If things don’t pan out for whatever reason, what is the worst it can happen?

So I sit here paralyzed, once again with this privilege of choice. One of these days, I’m going to flip a coin…