I woke up this morning deep in depression. This is one of the mysteries of my bipolar disorder—sometimes sleep acts as a transition. I can go to bed feeling fine and wake up either manic or depressed, or go to sleep in the throes of an episode and wake up stable. Something gets reset, some sticky switch gets thrown, some chemical process does or doesn’t happen. If it wasn’t so deadly, it would be fascinating.
My whole focus today became doing the least amount of damage. I was supposed to volunteer at the Animal Rescue League again this afternoon. Instead of bolting completely, I rescheduled for Wednesday. Canceling altogether felt too much like failure, which was the depression twisting my thoughts, but I needed to give myself a chance to succeed later, if I could. Writing this helps me see how contorted my thinking is. Boy, I’m deep in it alright.
I recently added a bunch of books to sell on my Half.com account. Three orders came through over the weekend, and I needed to get them shipped. This task felt enormous and impossible. Driving to Staples filled me with anxiety, especially when they didn’t have the right size box. All I wanted to do was load up on my favorite junk food and hide in my apartment. But I went to the UPS store instead. I let the nice folks there find the right box, the right mailers, then I stood at the counter and packed everything up. Carefully. It’s very easy to make mistakes—wad up tape, mis-print the address, mix up the orders. I double checked, then checked the double-check.
I still planned on buying binge food when I dropped the packages off at Hy-Vee. I knew there was no denying the compulsion, so the best I could do was read the nutrition labels and try to make better choices in junk—a smaller sized frozen pizza, Haagen Das instead of Ben and Jerry’s, baked Cheetos instead of regular. At the Redbox, I got three movies instead of my usual depression fare of five or six. I couldn’t stop the compulsions, but I could temper them a little. Today, that felt like a huge victory.
After sleeping most of the afternoon, I feel like I can sit at my table and make a few cards. The Eagles are crooning on my stereo. Emmett is tucked into my big chair, sleeping his kitty dreams. The traffic keeps the beat of evening coming on. I’ve survived another day in Bipolar Paradise with a minimum of scars.