Amazing pace!

My Bi-Polar Disorder LOVES to play tricks on me!  Just when I think I am doing really well, WHACK: my body stops functioning and my brain follows suit. The most annoying aspect of this recurring situation is that it happens even when I am 'medically stable' - i.e. on a cocktail of *drugs that are working well for me.

When I feel I am getting royally fed up, I ask myself 'what would I be like without the drugs?' It is then easy - and shocking - to remember what happens when the drugs aren't working or (even worse) when I am drug-free.

This little remembering exercise is good for my soul. I find I happily put up with the fluctuations of my illness as they are now because there is a HUGE difference between:

  • Being exhausted and being so EMPTY that I cannot even speak
  • Being unable to do very much and being STUCK in a concrete body that will not move out of bed
  • Feeling fed-up and feeling SUICIDAL
  • Moaning about my circumstance and SCREAMING in a pillow for hours on end to release the pain
  • Seeing my tired face in the mirror and seeing my DEVASTATED self in the same mirror.

Everything is relative. I can therefore say that I am relatively happy that the drugs I take have shrunk my internal helter-skelter from the size of a funfair one to the size of a Lego one.

I may have broken down for a couple of days but I am not written off ready to go to the scrap yard.

It's interesting how understanding I am when a piece of machinery needs repair and how irritated I get when my own body needs the same. I do my best to be 'kind to myself' but I have to admit I still have a long way to go.

Today, I have been very reasonable though so I am happy about THAT.  Although I am feeling better, I have NOT started rushing around driving at ninety miles per hour. I have taken care of myself first: washed my hair, had a shower, put some make-up  and some jewellery on. A least I have learnt to be a better Self Mechanic AFTER the crash.  Better than nothing eh?...

Actually, I am not being 100% honest here: I also took good care of myself during the 'mini-crash' (two days instead of two years!) by allowing it to wash through me.  I didn't fight it. I didn't resist it. I let it happen.  This painfully earned piece of wisdom on my part means that I am feeling better whereas I might otherwise still be in the doldrums. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!

I knew something was wrong when I reacted the way I did after my visit to the hairdresser's. I expected to feel tired but I felt more than tired: I was totally washed out. I also reacted to the Novacaine the dentist injected in my mouth a day later when I went to have my teeth seen to.  Those two reactions were over the top and as such, they were a warning of things to come so I wasn't altogether surprised when the crash came. And yet, surprised or not, I felt profoundly disappointed.

I guess that's what happens when we expect the best: we run the risk of being disappointed.  I would not change it tough because I don't see the point of living my life expecting the worst all the time, do you?

I would rather be occasionally disappointed than become a negativity magnet!  There are enough of those around already....  :D

*  I currently take 40mg Citalopram (anti-depressant) in the morning and 300mg Tegretol + 300mg Quetiapine (two mood stabilisers) in the evening. [Quetiapine is also known as Seroquel]

Amazing pace

Hello Gabrielle, 
I so appreciate your blog and your writings. Thank you for all your work here and for sharing your secrets so openly. 

I love your witty title for this post. And if I may be witty in reply, I want to say that it is by Amazing Grace that you came into my life, that we worked together coaching others and that, because I respected you so much, I listened when you told me I had depression and to get to the doctor.

I'm so much better on my antidepressant medication (though as you know I have stopped at times!) yet like you, I still feel so very disappointed when I crash. When all is going well, I get optimistic and hope I am never going to experience the crushing depths of my depression ever again. So it always comes as a surprise. 

I suspect you and I still need to learn more about taking our feet off the accelerator. Being determined and driven comes from having such intense energy and thus the Amazing Pace can come into effect. Maybe we, and others, can think of changing that Amazing Pace into Amazing Grace, whereby we gently caress our energy, talk in hushed healing tones to our mind and our heart and let go, trusting that there is a greater power who will hold us safe. 

Maybe by trusting in the divine, we can stop trying so hard and move into a more gentle rhythm with fewer disappointments? 

Warmly, Carole


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