A cautious optimism seems to be creeping up on me. The last couple of days moved through with less frenetic, spastic energy; less explosive mood changes; more moments of quiet joy; more tolerance. It’s too early to tell if this is a shift out of the mixed state rapid cycling I’ve been experiencing, or just another variation of it. When all the bipolar symptoms get thrown in a bag and shaken up, moments of relief are bound to stick together once in a while, too. So, the practice is not to name it, not to grasp it, but simply Observe. And then take appropriate action.
“Appropriate” is a moving target, just like my symptoms. What I’m capable of doing changes with each shift. So, just when I sit down to make cards, I’m suddenly unable to tolerate being in my apartment. Or when the urge to eat bends me over the bakery goods at Panera, I feel the compulsion vanish in an instant. I guess it’s not surprising that I’m experiencing a lot of vertigo. These jumps from one state to another to something combined make me a little loopy. Lots of starting and stopping. Lots of whipping around and muttering, “What?”
Even in this weird, stuttering place a few constants remain. I can always exercise. The pain that comes with the depressive symptoms may make weight-baring exercise more difficult, but there’s always water and my new friend, the recumbent bike. And there’s always writing. No matter how crazy I get, I can always write. It may be crap, but I’ve learned that crappy writing is a gift. It starts the trek to the real story. A crappy first draft or hideous turn of phrase marks where the story isn’t. It’s a pushpin in a map. With enough pushpins, I can see just where the path leads. Even if I’m crazy, I can still read a map.
Exercise and writing give me a little foundation. Whatever else I try to do with my day starts and ends there. So, today I’ll stand on my foundation and cautiously pick up my Bad-Ass Training, knowing I may have to drop it if this moment of relief ends. I’ll check to see where I’m leaking energy or money. I’ll reach out to my support network. I’ll take care of chores that have been abandoned. I’ll shroud my TV. I’ll do what I can in each moment to get ready for that moment to shift.
And while I’m getting ready, I’ll listen to my music. Because that makes everything easier—like Eurythmics’ Miracle of Love.