Parallel Tracks

I seem to be maintaining altitude so far, not dipping any lower on the bipolar altimeter.  I’m tired but moving ahead on my story rewrites and my art.  My eating compulsion gnaws at me, sometimes taking a big bite, but most of the time I can still make good food choices.  I can hear, faintly, the negative thoughts nattering in the background—wisps of doubt and dread.  But, I’m also still carrying a great capacity for delight.  All in all, this particular state is very livable as long as I do my work.

Life seems to be running on parallel tracks.  The track I operate in is the Bipolar Track.  Here I’ve got my daily routine, my daily goals, the tools I use to manage symptoms, my apartment and my cats and all the familiar sights and experiences.  Along side the Bipolar Track run other parts of Life.

Last week my dad, who is 88, fell and suffered a compression fracture of the spine.  He’s in quite a bit of pain, but my mom is determined to take care of him at home.  My sister and I are helping as much as they will allow, but my parents are fiercely independent.  It’s a dance that I let them lead.

School finally ended for my friend, Cheryl, and she’s out on summer vacation.  Yesterday we shopped at Wal-mart.  We chattered and laughed and goofed around.  We pushed our carts up and down the aisles, oggled colorful pretties, and I bought some things I’ve wanted for years—a pair of slip-on shoes, new underwear.  To top it off, we stopped at Wendy’s for a Coke, but decided to give the Wild Berry Tea a try.  Spontaneous delight.

My spiritual buddies in Minnesota and I are starting to plan our trip to Pittsburgh in July to work with our teacher for a week.  There are lots of questions flying back and forth—who’s driving?  who’s riding with whom?  who can bring a tent? sleeping bags? air mattresses? when are people arriving? how long are they staying?  All plans are still squishy-soft.

These tracks seem oddly separate from my Bipolar Track.  I feel them running next to me, I feel myself participating in them, but they’re still outside of me.  Maybe the state I’m in is screwing with my perception.  Maybe I’m hesitant to fully engage.  Maybe running in the Bipolar Track takes all my attention.  Whatever the reason, it’s an odd sensation.  Not unpleasant, not threatening, not scary.  So, I’ll just keep trotting along and watch.

I’m on an Adventure.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 08:05:30

    Brilliant description of the bipolar experience–my God–this is my life! Thanks for the mirror, my friend!


    • Sandy Sue
      Jun 08, 2011 @ 13:24:54

      I start these posts *knowing* no one will relate, but wanting to put words to my experience. It’s always a shock when someone else sees what I see. And such a gift.


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