“At loose ends” – “Out of sorts ” – “Twixt and between” – “All at sea”
All the above describe me for the last few days. . Do “normal” people at times wake up feeling the uneasiness, the free-floating anxiety, the sense of dread, the scared feeling in the pit of the stomach? Of course, there is no normal as far as people go, but when you have any mental disorder you tend to think of others as normal. ( I fight against the classification of bipolar as a mental disorder, but that is the clinical classification.)
The thing that puzzles me is the when and why. The drift is gradual, the cause uncertain. I know others struggle as I do. The difference in me and some others is I know this too will pass. That certainty makes all the difference in my life. I remember when I did not know that. A few days or maybe weeks of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and out-of-step with the rest of the world are not so bad as long as I know sooner or later I will feel as right as rain again.
I have what I call my strategies to make it sooner instead of later. I think they would work for anyone, normal or not, but I am sure they will help anyone who struggles with bipolar disorder.
These three are non- negotiable for me every day and night. What I eat and how I sleep are important, but I need the short mantra. A fourth one, exercise, should be non-negotiable, but I do not always accomplish it. These are so simple and basic, one would think no thought or effort would be required. For me, they are. To move through and get back to a better place, I have other strategies. None of them work all the time, but there is always at least one that does.
These bipolar posts are hard to write. Bipolar disorder does not define me, but the more I share the more some people see me through that filter. Because I have been told so often how my sharing has helped someone to cope or better understand, I accept the discomfort. I put myself out there as the bipolar disorder poster child. I qualify because at seventy-five I have a full, happy, productive life.
So I write. I breathe. I eat. I sleep. Maybe tomorrow I will exercise. If I shut down, still I trust. Tomorrow is a new day. My strategies will work. Perhaps not quickly, but this too will pass.