The Bipolar Bum

Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.

#Routine and #InsurmountableObstacles

#Bipolar #ManicDepression #MentalIllness #ToDoList #Mania #Manic #Depressed #Depression #Routine

 

It BURNS! IT BURNS!

It BURNS! IT BURNS!

 

I know that the content has significantly slowed down for the last week or so.  For this I can only apologise.  Life has been and continues to be emotionally turbulent.  When I’ve finished work recently I’ve been happy to just take my meds and fade out in bed.  I don’t want to write sermons here about the bad times.  There are plenty of blogs that do, and though I’m not criticising that content – I don’t have anything original to say on the subject of depression and misery.

 

The first ‘revelation’ (for me at least) in this post is to do with how good it is to have a routine.  Not necessarily 9-5 routine, but a system by which you can wake up and get out of bed, go to bed and exercise at the same time each day.  I’ve had to learn recently that we walk a tight-rope between being kind to ourselves, and being self-indulgent.  I had a week in bed, and my friends (quite rightly) said that I wasn’t helping myself; They told me that I was just being a bit wet.

 

This ‘wetness’ leads into the real meat of this post and I’m curious as to just how many other people have a similar issue.

 

I’ve got a car that I’m fixing up currently to get myself around and sell on to hopefully make a little bit of money.  I’ve never fixed a car up before and until November of last year I can’t really put a claim to any mechanic/shed experience worth mentioning.

 

My friend is quite a seasoned fixer-upper and is on hand to help when I get stuck.  The car had been rear-ended so firstly I began sledge-hammering and using a pneumatic arm to pull out the worst of the dents.

 

All going well until I began to make a few relatively minor, rookie errors.  This kind of progression, if I’m unwell – acts as a cascading, snowballing and compounding disturbance until, eventually, there is enough negativity anchored in the project/job that I feel physically nauseous when trying to work at it.  At this point, whenever I approach the job, or think about it for too long – it acts as a shortcut to self loathing.  It reminds me of every job I’ve ever taken on and fucked up or not finished.  I become convinced that the job NEVER WILL be finished.  I do anything I can to avoid it; I know this is a half-measure at best but I feel embarrassed about my ineptitude and I know how ridiculous the situation looks from the outside.  It doesn’t take long before a specific project/job feels like a no-win scenario.

 

This happened previously with something else I did before leaving England.  Ultimately I sold the project on.  I very nearly called a wreckers yard to collect the current project yesterday.

 

What I’ve realised, however, is that I’ve been given a platform here to attack and figure out this particular pattern of behaviour.  I have support on hand and worst case, I’ve lost a bit of money.  In fact – no.  As my friend quite rightly pointed out the worst case scenario is that nothing happens, and I’m left feeling further wounded and mixed up because of an unfinished project.  Anything is better than nothing in this situation.

 

So I’m on with it.  Trying to find ways to pre-emptively drown out the negativity and mental cries of “Useless bastard”, “Who are you kidding?” e.t.c.

 

I’ve made a list of jobs, so that I can get blinkered and focus on individual elements of the job, without coming up against what seems like a cliff rather than a hill every time I engage with it.

 

Do you recognise what I’m describing here?  Do you struggle with it? Have you beaten it? I want to hear from you.  It would help me.

 

All the best,

H&J

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8 comments on “#Routine and #InsurmountableObstacles

  1. DysthymiaBree
    09/04/2014

    I know that feeling of having something important to do and not being able to do it and the very act of thinking about it is painful – which sounds a bit like what you’re talking about.
    For me, some days I just have to accept that it’s going to be another day when nothing useful gets done. Other days, I find if I can just get something done, no matter how tiny, I can build momentum and generally plough through a fair bit (but I know not to aim for that! I aim just to put my toe in the water). On even better days, I can do a deal with myself: 10 minutes of TV or reading or something else fun, 10 minutes on the task at hand (or even just 5 if 10 seems too much). I might only be 50% or 33% productive, but it’s better than 0%. I don’t now how that would go with restoring a car, though, because I’d imagine not many of the “chunked down” tasks would fit into 5 or 10 minutes. Then again, I don’t know anything about car repair. Maybe even finding and laying out the tools for the next step, even though you’re not necessarily planning on doing the next step? You’re the expert.
    So, for what they’re worth, those are my thoughts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      10/04/2014

      Would that I WAS an expert on repairing cars, Bree! Building a list and having more manageable, ‘bite size’ tasks to knock off is definitely the way to go. A good bit of anger at myself seems to be helping as well. I know I can’t ditch it because if I do I’ll have exactly the same scenario happen with another project in the future. Thanks for the contribution! 🙂

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

      • DysthymiaBree
        10/04/2014

        I really love the energizing effects of anger 🙂 On the whole, I struggle with anger as an emotion (obviously I’m the only person in the world who does, lol) but I do love getting fired up and being able to direct that energy towards something constructive. I’m doing that in my life right now – proving I did the right thing in leaving that group 🙂 Whatever helps, right?

        Like

  2. DysthymiaBree
    09/04/2014

    But yes, I know that awful insurmountable obstacle feeling. *ugh*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. somberscribbler
    09/04/2014

    I know this feeling. Unfortunately, the current project I’m stuck on is my Ph.D. I’m not getting anything good out of it and the negative bits are totally kicking my butt. I’ve been avoiding doing any real brain work for a while now. Thinking about it just makes me anxious and hate myself more. It’s like I’m just going to screw it up anyway, so why bother trying. I know this is a bad attitude, full of cognitive distortions. So I’m going to start changing my attitude. I’m going to find something good about my Ph.D., no matter how small and I’m going to remind myself why I started this project in the beginning. If those reasons are still true, I’m not going to give up. Finally I’ll make a list of what needs to get done and break each task up into the smallest doable bits. Then I’ll do one of the bits, probably something really pathetic, but something will get done none the less and I get to put a check mark on my list. That usually makes me feel a bit better, or at least better enough to try another task. I think it’s important to focus on the small things, good and bad. There are usually quite a number of good little things if you take the time to think about it and the little bad things are usually manageable. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back at the big picture.
    Good luck with your car project. Take your time, try to enjoy the process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      10/04/2014

      Something that has helped me was what my friend said.

      “The worst case scenario is happening NOW. The worst case scenario is that nothing happens and you continue to feel like this.”

      He’s right. ANYTHING else that happens is better than this stasis that I get myself into.

      Thanks for the contribution, Scribbler 🙂

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  4. You are already on your way to beating it. Identifying the problem…minor errors leading to cascading negative thinking…is an enormous step!

    Like

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