Today I feel physically ill as well as mentally off. A bit of a chicken vs egg dilemma. Did I go from high to low because I am getting a cold or did I get this cold because I have psychologically dipped into the depths of my disease.
I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow morning. I worked an hour and a half from home today but do not know if I can do much more. At least not today.
The thought of faking mental wellness around others is as tiring as the act itself, which is why I don’t want to physically go to work.
This disease is conniving. Last week I felt invincible- getting all my tasks done at super human speed. Asking for additional assignments. But at the same time finding it impossible to concentrate for more than four hours on work.
This week I feel a failure. Unable to concentrate at all. Barley able to return emails, and unable to fake professionalism on the phone.
Bi-polar for me is going from Wonder Woman to a Dickens’s wretched street urchin in a day.
I’m sitting on a red velvet couch, in dim lighting, at our collaborative artists’ salon. Every Monday we have our writing group. I’ve missed the last two weeks primarily because it’s cold and dark now at night and I do not want to leave the coziness of my room.
Even though I only see these people once a week (unless I participate in other salon events) these are my peeps. We sit, we write, we share. It’s a social introverts dream; socialization in silence. A time to write alone with others.
We begin with a prompt. Some days we write on this subject, then pass our work to the right every five minutes; each writer beginning where the last left off. I love these communal works of fiction.Today we did a short prompt followed by 45 minutes to work on our own stuff. We are a diverse group; a film writer, a poet, sci-fi writers, the undefined, and I, the blogger.
Before group tonight I was at home daydreaming about Bass and not wanting to post anything on my blog. But here I am, on a comfy couch, in total silence, writing for you. Well, not total silence; just heard the helicopter bring some poor soul to med city central.
Our prompt tonight was “A Superhero whose power is only activated when he/she is drunk.” We had 15 minutes to write. My story is about a criminal defense attorney, who is a non-drinking Mormon, discovering she can read minds after drinking a Long Island Ice Tea. Fifteen minutes is not long enough to write fiction, or even flesh out a concept, but it gets you writing. For this girl who did not want to blog today, that short work of fiction with this group of writing misfits inspired a necessary November post (NaBloPoMo).
There are a great many advantages to having treated bi-polar II, or if you’re in my same mental health camp let’s call it bi-polar as well. The foremost being that I no longer suffer from suicidal thoughts. I know this is huge and would not be where I am today without medications, self-care, self-love, “the rooms” and therapy.
An over-haul of my thoughts and perceptions was needed, because in addition to being an alcoholic I am a workaholic. Accepting that I was a workaholic was much harder than the alcoholism, or even my mental health status. I had very high expectations for myself, which although I could never meet due to the depression that comes after the mania, I really did not want to give up my Wonder Woman status. I basked in the accolades I received for doing too much. Raise a son as a single mom without accepting help, work full-time and go to graduate school? Yes, I did that. And when someone would revel in my success, ask “How do you do it all?”, I would smile and say “I am a Wonder Woman.”
So in 2013 when I was told by my medical team that I could not work for a year, and saw an occupational therapist because I was forced to learn to schedule self-care, I was devastated. Even though a week prior I did not want to live at all because I could not keep up the Wonder Woman facade.
Being a mere mortal is hard. I have to put my big girl panties on one leg at a time, like everybody else. But I would not trade where I am today for that 200 pound WW on my chest. I had it right that Halloween when I was four. We all are Wonder Women, despite what we do or what we have achieved.