I do that a lot. Knock on my desk, the woodwork – even my head, which often feels wooden enough. I swear to you, it works – when I remember. And I need this little ritual.
I noticed after it happened often enough that every time I told my psychiatrist I was doing well I’d have a crash within a week – often the next day. Finally I quit telling him I was good. Now, if I’m good, I tell him, “I can’t say that things are going well,” with a BIG smile, “but if they were, I’d say I was stable, I was getting more work done, keeping on track, etc., etc.”
I’ve told him why I have to do this, and he plays along. And it works.
But bragging – I swear, it ALWAYS backfires.
I’ve just put up a new SharePost on HealthCentral, where I write in the Bipolar Disorder topic. Living Well With Bipolar II Disorder: Taking Charge of Your Time talks about a change in my life I’m really proud of.
It started in early November when I was talking with my son Joey via instant messenger. I can’t remember the details of the conversation, but it was probably me moaning about how overloaded and overwhelmed I was feeling. Something in our conversation inspired me that day (Joey’s good at inspiring), and I sat down with Microsoft Excel and created the schedule I wrote about in the SharePost.
I’d lived too long, too often, in a slosh of struggle, anxiety and desperation. Always feeling overwhelmed, always feeling inadequate, always beating myself up. There were some periods where using daily lists really helped. I could go on that way for quite some time, as long as my mood wasn’t too bad and nothing went wrong.
There were, and are, hypomanic periods where I had lots of energy, but I usually expend that energy on physical tasks like housework and gardening, not on work I get paid for. Face it – I don’t often get excited about working on my jobs. But they’re essential. They have to be tended.
Anyway – when I started making a schedule for the month at the beginning of the month, complete with topics for my required writing, the effects were instantaneous and lasting. Wow! Pressure eased. Confidence increased. Work done, on time, without turning into a frantic ghoul clawing at my own spirit. Continue reading