Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.
#Bipolar #ManicDepression #MentalIllness #ToDoList #Mania #Manic #Depressed #Depression #Routine
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,