Hi guys, how are you all doing? What’s going on in your life? Do you have anything to share? Anything to get off your chest? Unload a bit…you’re more than welcome to take up space in our special environment of no judgment. It’s sacred and we all deserve to be respected and treated with compassion!
Here We Go…
I’ll open up the floor for today. I really want to generate a discussion if possible; I’d like to get into a mutual sharing of our worries and pressures. Personally I’ve been walking around feeling pretty happy and enjoying the good things in my life…but also dragging some weight that’s holding me back. I’m getting anxious again. I can feel it because my hands have started acting up way more than usual. I’ve never heard of this as a symptom of anxiety but I get a feeling of throbbing electricity in my hands and fingers. Does anyone else feel that? It’s always been a tell-tale sign for me. You know the jolt of adrenaline when you nearly miss a step on the stairs? That’s how my hands feel and it can last a LONG time. I really hate it because it’s beyond uncomfortable, it’s actually borderline painful. At the same time I’ve been avoiding taking my as-needed Rivotril because it makes me drowsy and I really don’t need that at work! Speaking of which…the stress is tiring me out more than usual.
Something great is that I’ve seriously been trying to make solid, positive decisions with each step I take forward. I have to. I simply don’t have the luxury of taking chances that can send me into a relapse. No way! I’m mostly proud of the way I’m going about things but I’m facing a lot of self-doubt combined with bad memories that sometimes taint my vision.
What do I mean? Well…school for example. I’m going back … in person no less! It’s only one class of 3 hours per week and yet I’m terrified. I had cancelled my registration but very recently changed my mind because it would mean no longer being able to see my therapist. We’ve made too much progress to stop now and I can’t bear the thought of losing the relationship we’ve built. It took me so long to feel safe enough to share and I don’t think I can do it again. So I made the choice to go back. Despite COVID. Despite the horrible memories. I so very much wish that class was online! I don’t think I’m alone…
I’ll also be working 5 days a week which is great because I have a lot of expenses, but, that leaves only 1 day off for…well…me stuff. I need the time to write, I need the time to do artwork, I need time with my family and I need time with Mia and Piko. There’s not enough time in a day! The responsibilities are piling on which is normal, but I fear not being ready. I feel too immature, too sensitive, too impulsive. This is part of the reason why my fiancé and I had a discussion and decided to wait a little longer for our wedding. We’ve pushed it to the summer of 2023 instead of next summer. Our love is strong and a year won’t change that. Besides, there are way too many changes and new responsibilities in our lives to throw marriage into the mix as well! I’m very excited but I want it to be perfect and I don’t think I’m currently capable of the required time and effort. Oh and the money. That’s another big one! (LIFE IS SO EXPENSIVE!)
On another positive note, I’m learning that people aren’t quite as scary as I usually imagine. I’m having great discussions at work with clients and I really enjoy doing my best to help them. I’m also grateful to finally have opportunities to prove myself. Not just to others but to myself for once! It’s quite validating. Also…some people seem to actually LIKE me. My parents say that’s only a surprise to ME but…well…maybe. I don’t know but it feels good!
Back to my emotions, let me share some of the thoughts circling like ravenous sharks in my mind:
Should I be attending school full-time instead of working full time? Will I make it through this Autumn with work and school and all the other new things in my life? Will I make enough money to support my expenses? Can I SAVE money for the future? What if becoming a psychologist isn’t for me? What if I’m too sensitive to handle it? What if my grades aren’t good enough? How bad is it that I’ve stopped school so many times? How will I get through University? Why am I 22 and still missing 13 classes to graduate college? What if I burn out again? What if stress triggers my Bipolar and I can’t handle things? What if I mess up my new job that I love and need so much? Why do I seem to be gaining weight? Is it muscle from my physical job, or fat? What is my tiny little lifespan all about? Does it have purpose? Do I create its purpose?
I need to keep my mind in check because these doubts don’t help us. They’re only there to get in our way and complicate things. We can’t predict the future and stressing over it isn’t a healthy way to maintain control of it. I think the path to a successful future involves fully being present in every step of the journey. It’s when we miss steps by trying to rush ahead that we end up falling behind. So, I’m trying to ask myself some different questions…here we go:
What if I succeed? How proud of myself will I be? How much do I stand to learn, even if I make mistakes? What personal truths will I come to? How much closer can I get to my goals? What progress have I ALREADY made? What can I appreciate about my CURRENT life circumstances? Do I feel passion?
My Two Cents
Long story short, there are a million ways to look at the world and even more ways to interpret our personal lives. Is there stress? Is there fear? Yep…absolutely! But there’s also fun…there’s adventure, there’s unexpected happiness. Not all mistakes are bad; in fact there are a fair few ‘happy little accidents’! I guess what I’m trying to say in my long-winded way is that nobody said life was easy. (No one said it was this hard either though…) Kidding aside, sometimes the only thing we can do is release some of the control that we think we desperately need to have. I really need to try that on for size; I’m working on it but it’s a big one for me! Sometimes I think that my top-heaviness / overthinking just gets in my way. What am I saying – OF COURSE IT DOES! This is teaching me that simplicity might usually be best. Instead of overanalyzing and paralyzing myself maybe I should have to do what FEELS right. I need to tap into my intuition. Follow your heart might seem glib and cliché but there’s something to it…
That brings me to my last point for today because I have to go back to work. What do we do if we don’t trust our intuition because we’re impulsive and not always clear-headed? Yeah…that stumps me. I get it; having bipolar makes decision making difficult, complicated and potentially hazardous. I’ve recently discovered a really great tool though and it’s quite simple. Using time as my ally!!! Yes. I have to force myself – no matter how I feel – to wait before making a decision. If I still think it’s the right thing and it endures the full length of my depressed, ‘normal’ and high cycle, it’s probably ok. Maybe. Hopefully.
So please go on ahead and share your current struggles; I’m all ears!