On a quest to find my identity outside of work and outside of bipolar disorder. I’ve always been a passionate, and quite possibly over involved, person when it comes to my job. Whether its case manager (previously) or project manager (currently) I obsess over whether I am providing excellent guidance to my “people.”
I can tell you who I used to be with ease: tennis player, runner, fitness junkie, concert goer, lover of the beach, social, engaged, hiker, friend, loyal, sensitive, empathetic, energetic, sober and willing.
Now? I’m not so sure. I am still a concert goer, but it is so hard for me to stay present. I am still a hiker, nature is important to my mental health. Continue to be sensitive and empathetic. I think I was born that way. I do love the beach. The smells, the sounds, the feeling of walking on sand are all soothing to me. It feeds my soul. And I simply do not make my way to the great sea often enough!
As I see it right now, I can no longer cast myself in an athletic light. I would go trail running every weekend up until a year ago. I took a hard fall during a manic episode and ended up at the ER. Walked away with 15 stitches, bruises up and down the right side of my body and a black eye. I think my ego was hurt the most. The funny part is I hike that trail and often wonder how I even ran on that terrain. Don’t be fooled I maybe hike it once per week. I have stopped working out pretty much altogether. For no reason. Other than I lost all motivation. Meanwhile I feel awful in my body and hate what I see in the mirror.
Let’s cut to the chase. Who am I on this day in 2016? A wife who is very lucky to have such a supportive and loving husband. I’m a project manager. Im a writer. a very caring person who takes relationships seriously, yet can’t seem to keep any going beyond my husband and brother. I’m very sensitive. Easily confused by social situations and assume most breakdowns are my fault. Empathetic. Patient. Diligent. Uncertain. Ive never been more uncertain about my distance and place in this world. Constantly, and I mean constantly, battling myself. I’m an introvert!
I’m a wanter: I WANT to workout, try yoga, finish what I start, express myself in the real world, accept myself, find my place. But, what do I do instead? Sit on the couch, recline and try to sleep. I have no gumption. There was a time I had non stop energy for almost 4 years. Bootcamp before work, work, then 2-3 hrs of competitive tennis 3-4 days after work. Now, I can barely get out of bed and it’s all I can do not to go back to bed once I arrive home from work at 4pm.
I’m probably off topic. This is the vicious circle I get into. Reflect on how I used to be, wish I could be that way again. When I can’t or I’m just not, I get angry and disappointed in myself. Then I become a slug on the couch. Sigh. I’m just so tired.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” “Your time will come.” “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
All things folks have kindly said to me. Smile and nod. Smile and nod. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, it’s just. I mean. I’d like to say, walk a mile in my head. Then come back and tell me those cliche’s again.
Yah, so my identity. Some days I have no clue who I am. The up and down roller coaster of emotion, the delusions, paranoia impact my sense of self. Just last week I was convinced I was some sort of CIA operative. At my core, what little I have left, I do know I am full of loving kindness. I’m not always able to show it or express it, but it’s there. My heart is big. When it’s not extra heavy it exudes compassion. Mostly for others, but that’s another topic.
If there was one thing I want you to know about me, the real raw fanatic, is that I am scared to let you into my inner world. I am scared it is too much for you and ultimately you will walk away. So I hide. Smile and nod some more. It can be lonely. But somehow it feels safer.