Cracks in the Sidewalk

????????????????????It’s always a shock when reality stubs your toe—especially when you thought the path was clear.  Oops, where was I when the sidewalk heaved?

I was managing this Week of Ultimate Change like a boss.  Before the Y closed for its annual week of maintenance, I called around to find another pool.  But with the rise in parasitic infections in public pools and school starting soon, all the pools I called were closed or closing.  So, instead, I parked my truck and walked everywhere.  I thought putting new inserts in my old sneakers would be a good idea, but ended up getting blisters.  Oh, well.  That’s what Band-aids are for.  The weather was mild this week, and I loved tramping all over town with my iPod.

True to my word, I followed up on the referral my group counselor gave me for Peer Support information.  What I got back were more referrals, so I fired off more queries.  I have a feeling I’m knocking on doors still under construction, but I’ll keep at it.  At the same time, I made sure my mental health records transferred to my new clinic and got an intake appointment scheduled for September.  All the ducks started lining up.

I checked on my mom, coordinated schedules with my sister to share duties, paid attention so as to not over-extend myself.

At TOPS, I neither gained nor lost, which seemed miraculous with all the change swirling around me.  But, I chalked it up to lucky brain chemistry and tried not to eat to celebrate.

And writing came easy this week—bits and pieces of my current story in Shitty First-Draft form (that is a technical term).  I can feel the words pulling me now, which is the pay-off for putting butt to chair and pen to paper every day.  I spent several hours everyday on my memoir as well, sorting through 800 pages of rough copy.

I knew I was enjoying one of my respite phases, a break in the bipolar Push Me-Pull You, but I started to take credit for it.  All this work I was doing, being all responsible and productive, must be good for me.  I know better than to take ownership of my brain’s haphazard chemical stew, but ego is a determined little bugger.  And its voice is so lovely.  Look how easy this is, it said.  Look how you’ve cleared the path…

So, of course,  there came a day when I tripped.  I completely forgot about my meditation group.  Only after my friends called to make sure I was all right did I really stop and Look.  I felt the agitation, the ramping up of ‘productivity” into spinning, the push to quiet it with food, the antsy itch to bolt.

Sly, sly Mania!  It knows I’ll ignore it as long as I can, because it feels so good.  But it gives itself away eventually, whether by grandiosity or giddiness or obsession.  The energy of it won’t let things stay tidy and organized.  Cracks break open in the sidewalk.  As Yeats said, “the centre will not hold.”

Being manic doesn’t discount the work I’ve done this week.  It’s just a reminder to not get cocky and to watch where I’m going.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. docrob50
    Aug 18, 2013 @ 01:44:48

    nice title and photo – everyone can relate to both as metaphor and or concrete-ness. Look for wild flowers and try not to stub toe.


  2. Moss Piglet
    Aug 18, 2013 @ 02:17:16

    Phew!…having had a week of my son’s grandmother Doreen in New Zealand sending me emails whilst being rocked by hefty earth tremmors…I at first thought you actually had the sidewalk rise up and trip you. However, the mental “quake” can be just as challenging and I am thinking of you as always.

    I seem to become manic at the summer’s end then fall into depression in the winter, but my medication seems to prevent this…With my descision to half the dose, to prevent side effects, we shall see? All well so far.

    Hope you get back in the pool soon…x


    • Sandy Sue
      Aug 18, 2013 @ 06:51:45

      It’s so helpful that you see the cycles in yourself and can prepare for them. And adjusting meds is always a crap shoot. Please keep me updated on how that goes as we move out of summer. I’m in your corner, E, I hope you know that.

      I thought my mood swings were entirely arbitrary, but when I checked myself into the hospital this last time, the nurse looked at my chart and said I’d checked in on almost the same day three years prior. Now I will watch more closely when April rolls around again.


  3. Littlesundog
    Aug 18, 2013 @ 12:08:00

    This was a timely post for me to read. I had begun a lovely walk, then got confident and started to jog… and in no time I was feeling the smooth transition into a light run (emotional feel good for a month now), Today, when I wasn’t paying attention, I hit that heaved up area in the sidewalk, fell hard, and skinned myself up. It IS nice to feel confident and roll along at a lovely pace… but it is important too, to be cognizant of triggers, signs, and obstacles along the way.

    I wish you were here. Our pool is still warm enough to swim in, and the temps are cooling down to more pleasant 80’s and low 90’s. I love these late summer, early autumn days!


    • Sandy Sue
      Aug 18, 2013 @ 18:33:17

      Ooo… a character in one of my stories meets her love-interest by creaming herself on a run just like that. Though you’ve already found your Prince Charming in FD! Hope the road-rash heals quickly.


  4. Kathryn McCullough
    Aug 19, 2013 @ 06:42:14

    Thank God you’re enjoying a respite, but how can one not ignore manic beginnings. There is NOTHING that feels better. NOTHING!

    Hugs from Ecuador,


  5. pegoleg
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 15:35:09

    It sounds like it WAS a good week for you. Do these periods always have to lead to manic episodes? Then depression after? Must be so hard to know yucky times are around the corner (yet another technical term.) Good for you for coping!


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