It was going to happen. It was bound to happen. And the thing is, I’m alright with it. And oh my God is it ever a relief.
The thing I have worried about more than anything else in the whole wide world, when I started this journey of 365 days of recording my days as related to my practice of mindfulness, was that I was utterly terrified to miss a day. Historically when my bi polar disorder acts up and I miss a beat in any project I am doing I end up never getting back to it, or I try but it is hit and miss until I finally peter out.
I think what helped this time is that I had a real head of steam going and the thing is because so many of my posts have been published past midnight theoretically this IS the next consecutive day, but it’s not really, not the way I work.
I had a very very hard day yesterday, I cried a lot of the day. My sweet daughter Rachel comes on Monday night and I was so grateful that she was here but almost as soon as she got here I started crying, really crying. I do NOT do that. I do not want my children to worry about me. They are all young 30-somethings with their own young families, they all work very hard, Rachel has a 2 hour round trip drive to work every day where she works with children with autism, she is a psychologist, it is her specialty, she adores her kids, but the drive is very hard on her. This is our night to relax and have fun together, the last thing I want to do is burst into tears the minute she walks in the door, but the thing is I am not giving her credit for being all of who she is, all of the wonderful marvelous things that she is. As she has said to me before she would rather know what was going on and be able to help or support me than not know what was going on but know that something wasn’t right and worry about me. The not knowing was so much harder.
I finally calmed down and we hunkered down in the Cozy Room and talked for a very long time. I told her about a recurring dream that I was having, in slightly different forms, but the same key elements, and how something bad would happen but it all turned out okay, in fact really magical. The theme of my dreams is usually magical realism. There is a house in the dream that has shown up so often I honestly can’t remember if I saw it somewhere or if I just dreamt it up, but in the dream it is somewhere I have lived, and loved very much, and had to leave, and longed to go back to. There were many other elements but after I got done she literally blew me away telling me what she felt the dream represented and meant. I won’t go into it here because frankly it’s just too private, but the thing is I understood what is going on with me right now better than I have in a very long time. I think it was forward thinking of me to have a child that would end up being a psychologist with me toting around a basket of mental health diagnoses. I don’t use her as a therapist, I have my own, but sometimes it really helps to talk something like this over with her.
I felt so much better after our long talk, and then we talked about family Christmas things, and finally watched an episode of our show. We are currently watching Downton Abbey and just love it.
After Rachel left, about 11, I got the dogs their night-time meds and treats and walked outside in the garden with them for awhile. It was really chilly and felt good, the brisk night air. I got ready for bed and then ended up spending a long time putting the graphic together for my newsletter subscribers — I am doing one for every day in December with fun ideas, and helpful things like journal exercises, how to have an inexpensive handmade Christmas and more — for those who subscribe and this is very important to me. By the time I finished it was after 1.
I had been crying so much of the day that I was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually worn out. So many tears, so much processing, my bi polar brain was soggy. I started a blog entry that I really liked, and will finish for tomorrow or the next day, and I got a good chunk of it done but by 2 a.m. I had hit a brick wall. I was so numb I couldn’t go on. I kept redoing one sentence and it never made any sense at all. That’s when it hit me. I had to stop and do it today after I got a night’s sleep. And for some reason I was okay with it. I realized in that moment that delaying finishing it until a few hours later and technically sending it out a day later was perfectly okay. I knew it wouldn’t keep me from carrying on. I don’t know if it was just exhaustion but a perfect peace came over me and I slipped down into the covers and went to sleep.
I woke up this morning before the dogs did and as they were all sleeping so soundly I reached over for my phone and used my note program to make copious notes. I don’t usually do this on my phone, I am loathe to text because I don’t do it well but I wrote like a house-afire, thoughts were coming so quickly that I didn’t want to chance forgetting them. The point was that not getting the post done before I went to bed was not a calamity in the whole scheme of things. Life would go on and likely no one on the list would notice or even care. And when you are both a perfectionist and bi polar you are setting yourself up for constantly beating yourself up and feeling inadequate and less than. Perfectionism never really works out well for anybody, and when you know you have an issue that is just going to make your life uneven to beat yourself up on a regular basis only makes you feel worse. That’s when it came to me…
Stumbling is not falling…
I wasn’t going to not do this entry, it would get done. I wasn’t going to toss the project away, I was going to be a little later with one post. I tried to do it at the end of the day so I could gather my mindful moments during the day and be inspired by them to write the next post in this series, but the way my evenings go it just kept getting really late because until the dogs all get settled and the house is really quiet it’s hard for me to do this. I have decided I will now do them in the morning or early on in the day like now. Being illogical is a leitmotif in my life so I should have figured this out earlier but I was so afraid I wouldn’t keep up all I could focus on was steamrolling ahead no matter what so that wouldn’t happen. It lead to a lot of days where I was almost sick I was so tired, and when that happens I am setting myself up for all of my oddities and idiosyncrasies to sing arias all day long. It was getting worse and worse.
Now I need to work, really hard, to be able to make a living, but I also cannot do that if I do not manage my life better and take care of myself. When you get in these downward spirals, which is common for bi polary people, it is hard to pull out of it. I usually do but not until I am falling on my face or hit a wall so hard it knocks me for a loop and I spend a few days off-kilter, numb, and completely non-productive. It may be a little late in the game to change my patterns, but I am gosh darned determined to try.
So here I go, I am getting the post out and the newsletter, and I will design the graphic for tomorrow morning’s newsletter so it is ready to go, and I will get up in the morning and rested and in a better place I will move into a better rhythm. I am also designing a year long course that is essentially meant to send my students a mini ecourse each month to help create the best year of their lives, to support them through all of the ups and downs, and I am very excited about it. It will be called something like “Miracles and Mindfulness & Living Your Way Into The Life You Dream Of…” The first one will be going up January 1 and there will be a special reduced price for those who sign up before January 1 so I have double duty each day getting the mindfulness posts and the newsletters out and creating the new course material but I am very excited about it. Staying busy doing the work that I love is very important to me but I have to do it in a sane and healthy way and I am going to. The holidays are happening at the same time but I have plenty of time to do it all if I pace myself. This next year is going to be life changing for me. I am feeling really good about this.
There will be days that will be hard, where I will falter, and maybe even miss a day, but I know that I will continue on. This work I am doing now is not just essential to create income but it is the year that I intend to get my life together in a solid way so that I can move forward into my seventh decade with more confidence and greater ease. I may stumble, but I will not fall. I will pick myself up and carry on. Tomorrow is always a new day.