Day Six of the Geodon experiment: so far, so good! My brain has not missed the 20 mg to date, and I’m feeling hopeful. One baby step at a time.
Which brings to mind the fact that I’ve been in remission for five months now, with a couple of very minor hiccups when the cherry blossoms first made their appearance back in late February. It’s been even better since my Social Security benefits began, but overall, this is the longest I’ve been stable in years. Hard to believe that only seven months ago I was suicidal and had to be hospitalized for my own safety.
So I got to thinking, maybe I really should take on some responsibilities now that I’m so much better. I talked about this in a recent post. But then several people pointed out that I’m better BECAUSE of my low-stress lifestyle, and that I might get overwhelmed again if I tried to take on too much at one time (as I am apt to do when my energy levels are higher, like they are now).
Maybe that’s why my heart beats faster and I get an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I think of taking a part-time job or getting involved with anything else that requires me to conform to a schedule not of my own choosing. I’m well now, but what about when I’m UNwell? I can’t just fake my way through episodes anymore; that’s one of the reasons I’m on disability in the first place, and why my last two major jobs went pffffffth. I’d be kidding myself if I thought I could simply ignore my bipolar and power through stressful situations without any consequences to my mental health.
Besides…..this is not a bad life. In fact, it’s a good one and I’d be crazy to want to screw it up. I can do what I want, when I want; I can take a nap when I feel like it; I can write whenever the mood strikes me. I don’t have to go out in bad weather. I don’t have to dress up, or even get dressed at all if I don’t want to (but I make myself because I don’t want to slide back into the habit of living in my pajamas). I have time to share the wisdom gained from 17 years of nursing with my colleagues on the world’s largest website for nurses. And I can see my family whenever their schedules are free because mine is ALWAYS free. I’m only limited by distance and gas money (or the lack thereof).
So I’m making a deal with myself. I will continue to be open-minded about opportunities to volunteer or do something fun that doesn’t require a commitment, and I will not beat myself up because I haven’t figured out what that is yet. I’ve been through a lot in the past couple of years and need time to fully recuperate if I can before the next series of unfortunate events arrives. (And they will come—I’m half Irish and we tend to be leery of good times because bad ones inevitably seem to follow them. Kind of like mania and depression.)
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this relative lack of stress and see where the wind takes me next. Summer weather is here, and the air already smells of newly-mown grass and barbecued meats. This is the life!