At work today I called Bossman a ‘fucking cunt’. It was under my breath so he did not hear it which is how it was meant to be. Imagine if people heard all the things we muttered about them under our breath. We would be jobless and friendless for sure.
It is too long a story about why I called him that but my mood was touchy as I missed taking my HRT on Sunday and the follow on effect was me feeling like I had the worst kind of PMT you can imagine. It doesn’t help that I am tweaking my bipolar medication at the moment and subsequently each day is a challenge. Upon waking up each morning I know exactly where my mood is at and implement a plan of action to allow for that. For example, now and then I will say to K ‘if you have an opinion on anything, make sure it matches mine this morning’. Other mornings I just get up and immediately take some anti anxiety medication as my anxiety has woken me up with great ferocity. That type of anxiety won’t go even were I to meditate on a mountain top under the morning sunshine. It is just full on shit anxiety.
Whilst in an ideal world I would just manage the troubling mood swings by being more mindful, the fact is that having Bipolar often disallows me to have that ideal world. The best I can do is manage it and ensure that it does not infect the lives of those in my world. Does it sound as though I am a difficult person to live with? Rest assured that I am not. When I am writing about all this, it is from a place in my head that feels it all but generally does not let it show. It would be reasonable to say that people only see five percent of what is going on inside. The classic ‘iceberg’. The bulk of the problem lays beneath the surface. So that means I feel that I am much worse to others than I really am. The truth is that I am worse to myself all the time.
The other day I stood in the kitchen crying. Not just normal crying. You know those awful snotty sobs that envelope you? There was no real reason for it. I’d had a busy Saturday and did not get to bed until 1.30 am Sunday morning which is not ideal for me (or most people for that matter). So, there I was just standing and crying and K came up and comforted me. It is kind of strange to be 53 and crying like a child and needing to be comforted like a baby but, there you go, it happens. The feeling of frustration of not being able to just get up and ‘be’ without having to check my mood. To think I have another thirty or so years of this shitey shite stuff just overwhelmed me.
2008 photo (or thereabouts)
Sometimes I cannot comprehend that I will have to manage my bipolar for the rest of my life. As you age, bipolar disorder often involves disabling and chronic cognitive impairments. You are also more likely to experience rapid cycles which is essentially more ups and downs. I try not to focus on that possibility. It is a waste of fear fueled energy.
When I think about it, a large percentage of my life is spent managing a bipolar disorder. I have to manage it to be able to live a productive life. That involves the maintaining of a strict routine, exercise, healthy eating habits, avoiding activities that are overly stimulating (such as social events), being medication compliant and continuing therapy to keep a lid on the propensity to maladaptive thought processes as well as learning to be very self aware. If I did not know how important it all was I would consider myself to be some navel gazing middle aged woman.
Had you told me years ago that this is where I would be at the age of 53 I would not have believed you. Sometimes I feel that along the way I made a mistake, dropped a ball and when I went down to pick it back up that one ball became lots of smaller balls so now I am juggling them instead. But here I am, a person that I never thought I would be.
Although I feel a bit disappointed in it all I accept it the same way that a person looks out the window, sees the rain and accepts that is the weather for the day. So they put on a rain coat when they head out the front door. That analogy is simplistic but that is the way I approach the whole thing. This sounds cliched, but I see my issue as small in comparison to what other people in the world out there suffer. Illness, poverty, abuse, war, loneliness. So many things that I could list that are so much more disabling than my issue. It does not take away from my own difficulties but it does put them in perspective. That awareness is part of the reason I see bipolar as a shitty thing that just needs managing properly. I don’t like it but it could be worse.
This week I have Wed onwards on leave. We have a public holiday on Monday which means I have six days off. I am just staying home. What do they call it? A staycation or something like that. I did take a bit of work home with me. Spreadsheet stuff and I am setting up a new data base. Both things I like as they are relaxing to work on. I really should have worked in some sort of record keeping field.
My plans for the time off are kind of vague. CrossFit, walk dog, see Wonder Woman. Something creative. My son has his first Uni exam tomorrow and he expects to fail. He now expects to fail all four subjects he chose. There are a couple of reasons. The bulk of students at his Uni are international ones and speak almost no English and he was unable to work with a group for assignments. The lecturers have accents that are extremely difficult to understand. It took two or three months to get results for assignments back. Almost zero help available. I think part of the issue is that S was expecting Uni to be a bit like high school and more help would be available. He would not be the only one who thinks along those lines. In the first year of Uni, the drop out rate can be up to 30% with private school students dropping out at a higher rate. This means that he is not alone and that he did not fail as a person, he probably just failed his exams. But he is a bit upset and all we can do is talk about it. I tell him to just do the exams, not to look too far ahead at this point and to remember that this is just life. We have successes and fails. Both are okay and part of learning.
In regards to work, I have a thought in my head that I would like to finish by the end of next year. I will be 55 and do not see myself working in a place of stress. I will be able to do what I do on a contract basis and choose my hours. A big part of me just wants to focus on creative stuff. I cannot do it without working out how to manage it. The problem is that I am friends with the Bossman and his wife. I know it won’t be easy for them if I go but I believe that I can train someone up to the standard they need. In the meantime, I am working on setting up procedures so that anyone can do my job. At this point in time I won’t be telling them as, right now, it is only a thought in my head and thus in early stages.
That is my life so far. Not exciting, not full of amazing things, not a wild journey to anywhere wonderful.
Just a quiet life.