What’s now

I’ve been thinking about “what next?” a bit like a graduating senior. And like getting a degree, all in all, it’s a good thing, I suppose(recovery is a good thing.) They, the graduates, are usually bitter sweet, yet full of excitement and potential for new adventures. But unlike a soon-to-be-graduate, I’m not fresh faced, or excited about what is about to unfold at the end of my intensive treatment period. I have too much experience, too much trauma, if you will, to feel completely enthralled and optimistic about what I’ll have to face, yet again. I’m really scared. Scared to foot my foot back into the world, and scared to put myself out there, for whatever I need to put myself out there for.

Already, I’ve started “stepping down” from my self-led, treatment (i.e. isolation from major triggers) filled with psychiatrist appointments, med changes, therapist visits, more self care than I’d ever put myself through in such a short period of time, and retching amount of self compassion (if my old self were to describe it.) And you know what? I’m doing much better now: the meds are fine (no huge side effects that I noticed), therapy has been a bit of a struggle, (because I’ve been resistant to change, as you can tell), I do my workouts consistently throughout the week, and I go to art classes regularly.

But it’s always the “what next?” question that throws me off from feeling good about where I am, and how far I’ve gotten. Somebody told me that if you were to ask that of your own life, it would just be “death.” That is the ultimate “what next,” right? I’ve done the “what next” thing all my life throughout school and my short lived career, and it hasn’t helped me much. When I was in school, I was studying 2 grades ahead of where I was, and at my job, I was thinking two promotions or lateral moves ahead. And you know what? It was really tiring, having to do everything in front of me now, and having to do everything for the future. Thinking about your future once in awhile in terms of saving for your first house, or a special event like a wedding or something isn’t detrimental, but rather smart. But for me, my body was here in the now, but my head was in the future- and I can tell you it’s much more dangerous than having it in the clouds.

So today, I’m resisting the urge, this habit of mine, to think into the future, and making 5 year plans, or thinking about careers. Because I need to be here now.

Hitting refresh

Hi folks! I’m back on WP after a few weeks off. The break gave me time to read a lot of books and get caught up on the news. This freed me from my inner thought patterns a little bit and gave me perspective. I think we all need a vacation from all aspects of life, however enjoyable it might be, from time to time.

Where I’m at now: I think I’m finally stable, and will be for quite a while. I’ve said that I was sort of stable before, but this time, I’m actually, for once, confident in saying that. And it feels amazing and improbable at the same time that this period will last. I can’t remember feeling this well for this extended amount of time in years, including the years before I got diagnosed with bipolar.

Also, here is another responsibility that comes with feeling stable: I need to figure my shit out. Maybe not right away, but soon. I need a direction: personally and professionally. I was so cocksure of where I wanted to be and where I would be in life before my breakdown spiritual awakening, but since then, I feel like my elaborate life plan has been wiped off from the dry erase board mistakenly by a maintenance dude overnight. So yeah. I’m still lost with how to recreate myself and spend the rest of my life (or even just the rest of this year).

Instead of this assignment being a burden (as it was a few months ago), this time, it feels almost a little bit exciting, thanks to the stability in my energy levels and mood. I’ve been working out every single day, like I used to (because I finally physically can!), improving my art- both drawing and painting, rebuilding my wardrobe to fit my true style, and just enjoying the weather.

All in all, this is just to say that I have no idea where I’m headed, but it’s all right for now. So, we’ll see.

Silent (online) retreat

Hi folks- So, I’ve decided to do a version of a silent retreat on my own. Of course, that is impossible living in the modern world, you have bills to pay and angry excuse me’s to tend to, so I will have to be lenient when I’m outside of my home. But otherwise, I’m going to be spending a lot of time just being; being myself. This is really important to me because it pertains to my personal growth, aka. the stuff that I’m working on in therapy- I want to get more comfortable being in my own skin, because as long as I could remember, I never felt comfortable being myself; I never felt home, secure, connected (see insecure attachment in Attachment Theory if you’re wondering why). I felt like I was always changing myself to fit into a group, or alter my opinions to agree with the person I was talking to. More than a quarter of my life has gone by, and I don’t know if I can live feeling like that. I already got off of Facebook more than a year ago, and Instagram 6 months ago, and I’ve been struggling with taking a break with WP because you guys are fantastic. But as anything with a newsfeed goes, you get to spend more time on it, and more brain juice. I basically want to cut down the time I am online in order to meditate more, and really explore who I am as a person, because I don’t think I’ve ever in my life stopped to inquire it. Basically, I’m being selfish and making me time. There I said it.

I will be back with new reflections to share a few weeks. Until then- lots of hugs.

Late therapy update, more on anger

I feel like I’ve been away for awhile. It doesn’t mean that I, all of a sudden, stopped having intrusive thoughts, anxiety and everything else I write about due to having bipolar. In fact, it is the opposite- I tend to have nothing to write about (other than about my agonizing existence) when I go into a depressive episodes because things get so chaotic up there. I don’t know, I fell into depression and I must be improving because things are easier to manage. Bad thoughts are easier to brush off, it’s easier to laugh, and I can write again.

I still haven’t done my homework from my last therapy session, which was monitoring my anger. Or rather, knowing what makes me angry, since I hardly ever outwardly express it. C thinks it’s the root of my depression: my inability to know that I’m angry, and my inability to express it outwardly. I’m, of all things, a placid person- not even my family, who has seen me through thick and thin, has seen me lose it. Anger frightens me. According to C, it comes from my childhood experience of witnessing a violently verbally abusive (and some physically) household from a very young age, if you want to be technical about it. No one was physically hurt, but from an early age, I carried the hurt inside, and was careful not to unleash my anger for anyone to see. I’m not sure if I believe that to be my “core reason” but I do hate confrontation, and my heart rate goes a million bpm if I ever get into something like it. C asked, what triggers your anger? Is it unfairness? Worry (like a mother yelling at her child for not being in touch)? I had no idea anger could be other than anger and could be based off of another emotion. Anger was really complicated.

My mother later told me that there were times when she sensed my anger. She said that she saw annoyance in my eyes, and I was very uncomfortable- I just didn’t say anything, though. I probably had no idea that I was angry at the time.

And, look- I don’t know if fixing this will help me not be depressed, but I know that the meds are working close to their optimal level. So I’m going to give this a try.

Records of everyday existence

I feel like I’m shrinking and shriveling like a scared little ball of wet piece of paper. I’m collapsing because I can’t take being myself in this world. Tired, so tired for being incongruent to it, I’ve desperately tried to change, but trying apparently wasn’t good enough- I tend to fall short. (But it’s all in my head, they say, I don’t actually fall short but I just feel like I do.) Only a select few in this life know what “feeling nothing” means. I believe I’m one of them- there are upsides to it; you see the world more clearly. But you have to be prepared for the starkness and cruelty of it.

I had some rest.

Yesterday’s chasing thoughts have slowed down a little but still I’m faced with a bit of numbness. Numbness isn’t better than pain- it doesn’t work that way apparently. It’s just discomfort without a knowable cause.

I had some breakfast.

I look back on what I wrote, and it’s hard to empathize with those feelings I wrote about within the 12 hour range. I’m feel better, and I even had a few ideas for a new painting. The feelings I’ve felt- the roller coaster of them- are not uncommon to my every day, but so foreign every single time it happens. Only if I could reach back to that person feeling the pain and the numbness, and tell her that it will pass… only if she will listen.

Alien from outer space

I’m not sure why I’m still here sometimes. In this foreign land that is supposed to be my home. I lost most of the friends I had, and got rid of my job, too. I don’t have a community where I live because I’m afraid to meet new people. I don’t go to church and I’m not part of a cult. All my family members all except one actually reside here. They’re all in the old country. Not that I’m close to most of them. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next in my life career wise and it sure doesn’t look easier over here or there. I guess the psychiatrists are better and so are the therapists- they get me, so that’s one big reason. But otherwise, what the hell am I still doing here?

Beginning of another one?

The snow which had covered every inch of the abandoned lot outside my window has completely melted from the storm from earlier this week. That’s how depression comes and goes- a complete, gradual whiteout, then an equally gradual thawing, until the ground reveals itself like it never happened, like a lie.

Is this feeling the beginning of another depressive phase? Always feeling tired even when I have slept for more than 8 hours, negative thoughts, numbness, not wanting to do much of anything, not really caring when I should, being fearful and jumpy all the time…The signs of it are all present. But maybe if I deny it a tiny bit longer, it will delay the inevitable.

I don’t want to lose my feelings again, but as always, I’m mentally prepared to let go of them until I feel better, whenever that may be. I don’t want to dissociate again, but I may have to to protect myself and that’s what it’s for, so I’m told, so that’s how it will be. At least I won’t be impulsively online shopping again- I’ll just be reading books or painting, instead. I’ll have to just relish the white noise of numbness- the tranquility of starkness depression brings.