Walking Through a Day

I had extremely high stress at work yesterday. That is in addition to sleeping very poorly the night before. My sleep has not been very good since the break up, and that very break up does not make it easy to be stable.

After work, I thought of getting some exercise by going for a speed walk. I also thought about just taking it easy and recognizing the difficulty I’d been going through. The urge to exercise in this one case was a misplaced desire to deny the truth that my body needed rest.

I chose rest.

Not only did I give myself an easy evening, I also decided to take an antianxiety medication at bedtime. As a result, I slept very well. I awoke this morning with good energy, and I went for a long speed walk before work. It felt very good.

Sometimes the right decision is to rest.

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Walking Through the Stuff

My psychiatrist warned me that this break up would likely cause old feelings to resurface. He was right. I’m experiencing a resurgence of negative self-talk that I haven’t had in many years. It feels lousy.

I’m happy to report that a short meditation usually eliminates it, until it resurfaces again, and I have to meditate again to release the negative thoughts.

It’s temporary. This too shall pass, but it’s a pain right now. I’m walking though it. I have good moments and bad ones.

I think it’s a matter of perspective. I have lived through a lot of pain, but the important point to understand is that I lived through it. I lived. I survived.

I survived pain in the past. I can survive this, too.

Walking Through It

In my last post, I wrote about my recent break up. I’m still experiencing varied moods due to the end of that romantic relationship. I have good days and bad ones.

I’m happy to say I’m using the tools I have, and they help a great deal.

My most important tool is meditation. I am able to release a lot of difficult emotions very quickly and thoroughly by doing some simple meditative techniques I’ve learned over the years. I wrote about one technique in that last post.

I’ve used medication, too. I have some medicine I can take for anxiety. I have used them occasionally. I used them daily just after the break up.

I’ve spoken to my therapist often, and that helps give me clarity.

I’ve chatted with my best friend multiple times each day. He’s a rock in this situation, and I’m grateful for his love and support.

I’ve exercised a lot, too. I’ve walked and walked. I enjoy speed walking, so I do it daily these days.

I’ve been careful with what I eat. I allow myself some junk every once in a while, but I’m careful. I eat an almost completely vegetarian diet. It feels like the right thing for me to do.

I’ve been getting good sleep most nights, which is an enormous help. Sleep resets me, so I can start fresh every morning.

Yesterday was a rough day, but I used the tools, and I survived. Today feels better except for the fact I didn’t get enough sleep for some unknown reason. I’ll be fine.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Interpersonal Relations

Relating to people is the most difficult thing any person does. We maneuver a minefield when we try to convey our thoughts. At best, we can be aware of some of the history the other brings to the communication experience, but we can’t know it all.

We can’t know if the other person is feeling off because they were rushed in the morning. Their personal history may be a factor. Maybe they skipped breakfast and are feeling hungry. It could be a worry about a sick relative.

There are so many variables every time we want to communicate with another person. The best we can do is be sure of what we need to convey and be as careful in how we speak as possible.

I’m taking a long time to set up something that’s simple to say: I had a fight with my boyfriend. I really don’t understand why he appeared so angry. I truly don’t understand it. I tried to keep the conversation light, but it did not work.

In the end, I had to defend myself by stating I did not deserve the anger I was hearing.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’ve talked to my therapist. I’m willing to accept several outcomes. There’s an outcome where we move forward and try to help each other, and there’s an outcome where I move forward without him. That would hurt a great deal, but I’m willing to do it, if it comes to that.

What’s remarkable is I know I’m going to be OK with any outcome.

I am a person who lives with mental illness. I live in recovery from bipolar disorder. To realize I’m going to be OK is huge. I have spent years in therapy building a core that is stable enough to withstand the storms of life. Whatever happens with my boyfriend, my core is still going to be stable.

Obviously, I want to move forward with my boyfriend in my life. I love him. I love me, too. I owe it to myself to be with a man who recognizes and respects my stable core. I’ve worked hard on it. It’s firm.

While all this drama plays itself out, I get to continue living my life. I feel good.

Releasing a Fantasy

I have a very vivid imagination. It has served me well through my life and given me lots of good insight into many varied circumstances. I prize it.

Sometimes I get carried away, however. That came to a head yesterday.

I’ve had a fantasy for about 4 years that I fed and nurtured. At times, it preoccupied me.

In therapy yesterday, I realized it’s too big and taking up too much of my dreams. I meditated when I got home and did a bit of a release of it. I had some reservations about the release.

In this morning’s meditation, I concentrated on accepting the reality of my life, which is sort of a release. It felt good.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with fantasizing. I feel no shame. I’m grateful for the entertainment it gave me.

But it’s time to move on.

I’m moving on.

There’s More To It

I am glad there’s a lot of attention being paid to suicide right now. It’s a topic I understand intimately.

Here’s what I know.

Getting to a place where suicide seems like a reasonable option is a complex process. It’s not simple like breathing in a virus and catching a cold. It takes time and a series of events that overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope. The individual struggles through somehow. He/She manages to just make it from one day to the next.

Then one day, something happens that seems insurmountable to the individual. It just seems like too much. The pain is too great.

Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds the resources for coping with pain.

I did not write those words, but I understand them. In 2003, I was in great pain. Life hurt. Each day brought new pain. I struggled through, until an event added that extra pain that made the whole pile of pain too much to bear. I was in a black pit. The pit’s walls were made of slick mud. There was nothing to grasp to pull myself up and out. All was blackness. There was no light. I made a plan, and I was on the verge of carrying it out when the phone rang.

Miraculously, I answered the phone, and I sobbed to the person on the other end of the line what was going on. Like the majority of suicidal people, I did not want to die. I wanted help. I wanted the pain to end. My sobbing words to the other person opened the possibility of getting help. I called my sister who came and took me to the hospital. I got help there.

Slowly, over a period of years, I healed. That bears repeating: I healed. Today, I do not have suicidal thoughts. Today, I live in recovery from mental illness. I practice a regimen to maintain my stability. I take medicine, I talk to a therapist regularly, I exercise, I eat healthy food, and I try to get good sleep. It takes discipline. I am not perfect, but I’m damn good at making sure I do what’s necessary to stay stable.

I’ll continue to take the necessary steps to be well. I like being well. That’s a good indicator of recovery: I like being well.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, I want you to know that I understand.

Here are some resources for getting help with suicidal thoughts.

Here are more resources for mental illness.

I wish you well.

Walking Through It

Edit to add: We have talked. We have both acknowledged our mistakes, and we are moving forward. I am not blameless, and I took responsibility for my part.

***

I went away on a trip, and my boyfriend took care of some things at my house for me while I was gone. When I got home, I discovered he had not done a good job, and there are problems because of it. The damage done to some things at my home is not the issue. It’s the broken trust. I relied on him, and he let me down.

We have not had a chance to talk face to face about the issue, but we may be able to meet tonight.

The remarkable thing about this whole situation is that I feel okay. I have no idea what’s going to happen. In the past, not knowing would cause my anxiety to skyrocket.

At least for today, I’m okay not knowing. I’ve been using a lot of meditation. I’ve used anti-anxiety medicine twice in the last week, which is very little. My therapist is on vacation, so I have to wait to talk to him until next week. Instead, I’ve been chatting with a very good friend a lot, and he helps me. I’m using the tools to stay stable.

That’s a victory. Using tools to stay stable is a great triumph.

I live with a chronic mental illness, and I use tools to manage it. A number of years ago, it managed me. Now, it’s reversed.

I’m walking through the not knowing.