New Year

 

Go gently into this new year.

If you’re up for rapid-fire frantic musing on identity, watch Hank Green.

“My self is just a story that I tell to myself that is just like any other story: subjective and incomplete and at least a little bit of a lie.”

 

 

If you’d prefer a sweet pensive song about versions of self, watch Iterations.

“I am recycled cells, I learn to like myself more with each iteration.”

 

 

If you’re in need of a meditative nature-based poem, watch Growing is Forever. I recommend full screen, high quality, sound up for this one. It’s good for three minutes of deep breathing, three minutes without distraction.

“It is not easy to grow so much for so long.”

 

 

(for better fullscreen, here’s the vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/18305022 )

These are the thoughts and words I return to in this never-ending cycle of trying to be better. I floss now, and I spend more time reading, but I still don’t do sun salutations in the morning, and I haven’t been to the gym since I moved to Texas. My diligence in different areas of self-care fluctuates, and I’m okay with that. I’m building the habits, practices, skills, and experiences that will lead to a better me: stable, capable, strong.

Go gently into this new year.

Have compassion for who you have been, have compassion for who you are now, and have compassion for who you might become.

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Curbing Bipolar Overreactions

So much of this made sense to me intuitively, but wasn’t something I’ve been practicing intentionally. I get triggered easily these days, and this is a great system for managing those overreactions. (Although I’m not sure how I feel about the word “overreaction.” It has a negative connotation, implying that because a reaction is higher than how the average person would react, it is therefore less valid. )

bi[polar] curious

When it comes to bipolar disorder, it can be hard to discern which type of mood episode is more harmful in any given situation; the moods that pop up sporadically without warning or the big overreactions that can happen in response to a stressful situation.

I think for most people, understanding that bipolar disorder includes un-triggered mood episodes outside of our control is simple enough to attribute to the disorder itself.

But what about overreactions? These big mood flare ups have often been a bigger source of trouble for me when it has come to my relationships with other people, because it can become easy for others to write these actions off to “a dramatic personality”. It can be difficult for people to separate a mood disorder from what our culture has been putting on a pedestal (via reality television); the drama queen.

For this reason, it has become important…

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I made it through today.

This morning I woke up feeling apathetic. 

The kind of apathy that makes everything despicable. I can’t quite put the feeling into words, but it’s what plagued me in the winter, when I couldn’t do anything. The kind of morning where I could just wander around the house, listless and unmotivated, and irritated with myself for feeling that way.

Somehow, it’s now almost bedtime. I’ve made it through the day.

I ate breakfast, I finished my taxes, I got in touch with friends, I did a bit of writing, I cleaned my laptop.

I ate lunch, I worked on my blog, I drank tea.

I helped make dinner, I watched a movie with my folks, and now it’s bedtime.

Between each of those activities, there was the listlessness. The lull that had the potential to become stagnation. The hesitation that could have dissolved into despair.

Somehow, it didn’t. I didn’t let it. And if I can keep doing things, keep myself from dissolving, then maybe I can keep myself okay.