Found my mind! …but then I lost it again…

Last weekend, my husband told me to write on my blog, “You only write when you’re not feeling well.”

He wanted me to write about how great I was feeling and how well I was doing. He wanted me to write about how quickly my sense of self changed from laying on the floor in an “I’m losing my mind for good this time and no one will notice” panic attack on Friday to being a wonderful mother making a really nice birthday party for my daughter on Sunday.

I told him that I didn’t need to write about feeling good because, how could I forget that I feel good? What kind of mom forgets on Tuesday that she did wonderful things with her children on Sunday? That would be so weird. Of course I’ll remember. Besides, now that I know how to be happy, I don’t need to worry about trying to write notes to my crazy self anymore. She’s not coming back. That depressed girl is really gone for good.

But then, guess what happened?

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Depression!
o.

It’s a very odd thing to understand that you can’t quite control your state of mind. (I feel like I write this in every post.) It’s like the only predictable thing about my mood is that it will change. Quickly. Randomly. It’s not even distinct moods. Like I can’t say, ok, I’m depressed now, I’ll be depressed for a few weeks, I’ll figure out a routine to work around it and then it will change and I’ll have some time to adjust to something else. (Isn’t it weird that my ideal situation would be to be depressed for a few weeks? Perspective…weird.)

Instead, it’s like, gee, I’m a bit tired. O wow, I feel like I need to cry right now. Now I’m furious about a Purim costume party that told kids that they had to be a princess or a super hero. (Are people really so dumb as to not see how limiting that is to our kids imaginations?). I must immediatly start a movement to save the children. Maybe I should make a music video? Wait, I need to cry again. It’s only 10am. This might be a long day.

There is really no point thinking about what could have triggered it. There’s actually no point in thinking at all when it’s difficult. I just need to keep going through the motions that will protect my life. Keep my job, care for my kids, eat healthy food, be kind to my husband, get enough sleep.

One day after the next. Some moments I feel the life, some moments I don’t. But as long as I keep going through these motions, I’m doing what I need to. It’s not really a very good way to live. But I guess those good moments are worth fighting for. I’ve been having more of those lately.

So, I should probably write down something good because I am starting to forget…

I have seen a new/old smile in my husband lately. He’s been more relaxed around me, taking my advice sometimes, following my lead with the kids and having fun with me… I’ve also seen my son come to me for comfort more often and expect that I will be there for him… I’ve also seen my daughter be silly, confident, outgoing and creative. I think that these are the external clues that tell me that I’m caring for myself and my family right now. I guess this means that things have been generally good.

Someone told me the other day that she thought it was so interesting that I am using logic to manage my bipolar.

It seems to be the only thing I can trust.

It's hard to be a person, but you're doing a good job.

It’s official… I’ve lost my mind

I wasn’t quite sure but now I am. I’ve lost my mind. It’s really gone. I just can’t trust it.

I seem okay. I’m doing good work, I’m acting like a good mom… but I think that I may be quietly going mad.

Apparently there is something called “olfactory hallucinations”. Super fun. I thought that my husband had caught a horrid smell and made him feel really bad about it. But then I got on the subway and other people had that horrid smell too.

Now I’m standing in a meeting at work and I smell it again. Suddenly my boss has that horrid smell. Then I realize that I really can’t trust any of my senses to tell me anything about the world. Even my nose betrays me. Maybe I just think I’m standing here at work typing but really, it’s an illusion too. Maybe I think there is carpet under my feet but there is not.

You know how I like to play a fun game where I try to decide which is my favorite part of bipolar, well, I think that the best (and by best, i mean worst) part is that there is no cure. I will never decode this once and for all. I will always be forever getting my feet stuck in rabbit holes.

It’s like I’m walking, getting stronger, foot stuck, pull it out, walk, foot stuck, stand, pull it out, walk, run, fall in hole, climb out… you get the idea.

But I can never hope to live somewhere that is not full of rabbit holes waiting for me to fall into. Because the holes are in my head…apparently.

There is no finish line, it’s just a hamster wheel that I have to keep running around.

This really sucks because I actually have a really great life. I’m super lucky. Only not. errrr…. grrrr….Because this woman lives in my head:

princess bride witch saying liar

Brain, turn off… please

I fear I will never have time to think all the thoughts that I need to think. I keep getting distracted. Where is the off button for my brain?

But I can’t turn it off, I need to get to work on my brilliant bipolar book that will perfectly capture the essence of what living and mothering with mild madness feels like. It is my life’s purpose. As if writing it and having it validated will make it stop existing. As if being recognized positively for suffering will make it all worth it.

We write about things that have passed. So maybe if I am able to write about this once and for all, it will mean that it is over. Then I can begin living the next chapter- whatever that will look like.

Besides, isn’t all this crazy supposed to make me extra brilliant? I feel like it just makes me extra confused.
extra
xtra
trax
rats
star
I am a star. no. I don’t need to be a star.

Does everyone feel an unstoppable longing for attention? A longing to be seen and heard – by everyone – by anyone. It’s like all of humanity is just driven to have our existance validated in some way. For someone to say, “yes, i see you, i’m here, it’s okay.”

Am I supposed to learn how to say that to myself? Is that what “practising self-kindness” means?

I really want to be truly seen and heard. I can’t even see myself. I have no idea what I look like. I don’t understand how others may see me. I’m not even sure if it matters what they think. But I can’t stop feeling like my whole existence is supposed to focus on appearing the ‘right’ way.

I just really want to do right by my kids. I don’t want them to ever feel the way that I feel. I don’t want anyone to ever feel the way that I feel. I can’t even describe how horrible it is.

But I worry that maybe by over-focusing on trying not to screw up my kids, I’ll do the opposite.

It’s like I’m trying to teach myself a delicate dance on a (seemingly) fine line between smothering them and making them feel rejected. I’m not sure what the dance is supposed to look like.

But if I can’t do it perfectly, I have failed. I will have failed them. I will have failed myself. I will have failed my mother-in-law. I will have failed my husband. I will have failed anyone who ever tried to help me with anything.  I will have failed the waiter who brought me a sandwich yesterday. I will have failed the tree who gave me breath.

If Oedipus hadn’t feared that his son would kill him, he never would have sent him out to the mountains and the fear would not have come true. Sometimes, a decision that you make to avoid a particular outcome, is exactly what brings about that very outcome.

How will I know if I’m doing this life thing right? Where is my report card? and even if I received one, could I ever believe it?

…This post sounds a bit rambling and extreme but I’m actually feeling fine. I think. I’m sitting at my day job doing great work. I just have a lot of thoughts. I feel like I need some time to think about them all.

Where is my power to stop time so that I can get this all figured out?

out-of-this-world-tv-show-maureen-flannigan