Life has thrown a lot my way in the past few months. In mid April I woke up without much warning in scary, mania territory that I don’t think I’ve ever been in before, and I hope to never go back to again. Since that Sunday morning, my world was shaken and then flipped upside down. After a recent chat with my Mom, I’ve been thinking that my boyfriend is right: it hurts more if you struggle. He’s usually talking to other people about me buying fancy soaps or forcing him into new jeans, but it applies here too.
I have accepted that I have limitations. Maybe they’re permanent, or maybe they’re not. But, right now, some days I can’t even commit to a shower let alone a job. In this world where everyone seems to be connected to their phone, their work, their friends and their social media profiles at all times of the day and night, constantly fielding all kinds of demands, I have accepted that I can no longer keep up. It is time for me to readjust my thinking on what is going to keep me healthy, because my mood disorder means that different rules apply when it comes to self care. What other people can handle— lack of sleep, iPhone addictions and stressful jobs—I know those things will not allow me to be healthy right now. I see now that they aren’t going to make me happy either.
Just as importantly, I have accepted that figuring all that stuff out, all the “what is my life going to look like from now on?” stuff, it takes time. Recovery can be slow. I’ve got vague thoughts of what I want to do next, but I also have recently admitted, that I have no idea what my world is going to look like by the time it snows in a few months. Will I be on medication? Will I even be able to consistently get up in the morning? I have no idea.
One day at a time is the only way to recover from a serious mental health episode because a lot can change in a few days or nothing at all can change in a month. If I’ve learned anything during the last twelve weeks, it’s that I don’t know what bends in the road are coming. I don’t know what is going to trigger a change for the better, or for the worse. Trying to plot those twists and turns on a calendar is futile.
Does it freak out my Type-A self that I have no concrete plan with a timeline and a checklist and a budget? Yes. Does it scare me when I think about how long it has been since things have been normal? You bet. Does it help to loose my cool about all that? Nope.
This is what it is right now, and it will just hurt more if I struggle.
About Sarah Lindsay
Sarah Lindsay is in her mid-twenties and lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and their dog (who also has some anxiety issues). Sarah was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2005 at the age of 16 and is still trying to figure it out. Follow Sarah’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog, or additionally you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or check out her new website: SarahsMoods.com