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.