Most importantly Me & I couldn’t think of a good Title

I walked a labyrinth in A local small town today. I was envisioning my negativity rising through the trees. Letting go. Starting anew. New footprints awaiting to set along a new path. A walk of forgiveness.
I was really noticing the colors of the rocks and foliage and their vibrancy. Breathing in the cool crisp morning air. I wore my husband’s scarf to feel warm and safe. To feel…connected to something comfortable. Because, I’m uncomfortable. If I told you I quit my job because it was toxic. I didn’t believe in the leadership. I couldn’t see the way forward in success. I tried, I think, the best way I knew how. The management may not have appreciated my efforts. In fact, on my last day, not much respect was afforded. A wave and half smile ushered me out the door. You might say emphatically good for you.
The labyrinth is at a church w a preschool.The children came running to and thru the labyrinth, full of innocence. Carefree, free. Enjoying each moment. They also seemed to really enjoy each other and want to share in the joy each was feeling. True unbridled connection. No judgement as they giggled pretending they were birds or airplanes. I teared up knowing this was a lesson for me..a gift…a reminder to slow down, my path is okay, but…what’s missing is to be apart of. Always questioning where I belong.
The days pass. I open the curtains. I welcome the sun. Yet, home is where I stay for the most part. I’m doctoring my resume. Beefing myself up. Telling the next person my big plans. Rehearsing my interview in my mind. Going to the library to research how best to be what they want. But, what I want most is to go to bed. Be left alone. Curtains drawn drowning in covers. Some days moving from the couch is so hard. I shuffle. I reach for that next blanket to drape over me.
Going to the gym is a chore when I think about it. Running. Dripping with sweat. Logging miles. Just putting on gym clothes and pulling my hair back in the mirror used to be my nemesis. So much work and effort. I’m always too tired. I’m no longer strong. Time got away from me. It’s just a waste of time at this point. That was my thought process.
I made my way back to the gym. Slogging some days. Just battling to get my car to that parking lot. Negotiating if I did..only 10 minutes. Turn the key. Put it in your bag. Check in. Grab a towel. No one knows how long I’m there or how hard I work. I made it. Phew.
Enter my trainer. My leap of faith back into fitness and myself. I watched her lead classes. Heap positivity into such a big space and into me. Punching and kicking our way through 60 minutes she said something magical: unleash yourself.
I have. I am. Some days are harder than others. Some days bipolar disorder leaves me in tears in my car before class. Before our session. Yet. She unknowingly helps me to dig deep on those days. Squat harder. Lift heavier. Unleash the burden of what is usually myself. I confided in her. I shared myself. She pushes me just the same.
The beauty of the labyrinth is sometimes you are walking it and you may not even realize. Each step. Each breath a new opportunity. Whether among the trees. Among the din of a gym. The opportunity to unleash is always there. The opportunity to be you. Me. Most importantly me.

Advertisements

Chaos, Confusion & Wonderment

I often wonder about myself. And even more often I have doubts about myself. When push comes to shove I have to ask others to help me define my reality. I spin round and round like a top on a table. It’s not joy I am feeling but chaos. Intervention is typically required. Could be a gentle prompt, like breathe, or a more serious proposition such as please take some klonopin to help yourself calm down. Mostly I oblige, but, if I’m honest, I can also be a little resentful.
So in my wonderment I ask my husband if I’m a people pleaser. He replies I’m a people worrier. We laugh gingerly both knowing he is right. My heart is big and wide. I’m a helper inside and out. Seems perfect I landed in social services. It was and it is. Until it isn’t. I’m burning out. Burning up. My energy stores are depleting. As a person with bipolar disorder, I really cannot afford to give energy away. I am finding helping and caring about others is becoming a blurred line. I care about my work. I care about the people I serve. But it has to end somewhere. I am giving myself away. When my defenses are down I am subject to psychosis in both depression and mania.
Delusions tip toe around my mind. I begin to think my boss is avoiding me. No longer wants to provide support to me. She secretly wants me to fail. She is discriminating against me. She is pushing me out. I have no allies. Im not part of the team. Never mind I have been there for 17 years and she barely 2 years. Never mind I know more than she does and could be an asset. The bottom line is she wants me gone. She has the ear of those that can make it happen.
I begin to worry about the people, the clients w developmental disabilities, who need my help in creating resources for them. I begin to worry about the people I am guiding in the process of developing such precious resources. Am I letting them down? Am I not working hard enough? Do I not play well with others anymore? Everything is blurry. I am so very tired. Confused. Worried.
Where in all this do I consider I am okay. Doing the best I can. Care, but not too much. Give, but leave some for myself. Unblur.
Truth is…..I don’t know. I’ll keep asking my husband questions of wonderment and hope somewhere along the way I’ll stumble upon answers.

Who am I anyway?

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.