Wishing it all away

It’s a bit of a quandary.  Life has settled down in the last couple of weeks as I’ve worked to get my latest Manic Episode under control.  I’ve stopped all the serial dating and casual sex, and started working on developing a meaningful relationship.  I know it’s only been a short time, but after dealing with first a crippling depression and then the mania during the last six months, every day that is stable is a real blessing.

So here’s the conflict.  Stability is good.  Maintaining a regular schedule really helps keep me on track.  Spending time alone and being with someone several times a week is healthy and healing.  I’ve got a meaningful job, and have kept productive and engaged.  I’m working on developing a relationship and really focusing on applying the lessons learned and building something real and sound.  This is all something I’ve craved and worked towards as I’ve struggled to get my mood swings under control.  It’s a ‘normal’ life.

I feel like I have no purpose and am just moving through the days.

Time is flying by.  I’m so busy at work the days seem too short to keep up.  I have a 45 minute commute that I do twice a day that’s complete down time.  Since I’m working overtime, by the time I get home there are only a couple of hours between dinner and bedtime, and I spend it sitting in front of the computer or TV.  I sleep hard in a dreamless sleep, then start it all over again.  I can’t wait for the weekends, but end up spending the days lying on the couch either watching more TV or napping.  Weekend nights are usually good as I spend time some really enjoyable time with my new lady friend.  But they’re over in a flash, and before I know it I’m back at work, doing what I always do and waiting for the weekend.

I feel like I’m wishing my life away.

The older I get, the faster the time goes by.  It doesn’t seem possible that I’m going to be 52 years old in just a couple of months.  I don’t think like a 52 year old.  I don’t feel like one either.  My stamina isn’t what it used to be, nor am I as strong, but it’s nothing that makes me feel old.  But the man who looks back at me in my mirror belies the way I feel.  I see my gray hair, white goatee and plenty of wrinkles.  I get senior citizens discounts without even asking.  The lady I’m dating, and in fact most of the women I’ve seen lately are grandmothers.  I’d never believed that I’d find a fifty-something grandma sexy; but I do. It’s just part of getting older and a natural progression of life.  But every day that I see myself getting older I become more aware of my own mortality.

So why am I so anxious for time to pass?

I don’t think it’s just a matter of the days passing so quickly, I feel like I’m falling into a rut.  A large part of this is probably because I’m coming out of a manic episode.  When I was in the mania, life was exciting.  I was throwing myself into my work and always looking for ways to surpass my own expectations.  I was going out every night with a different woman.  I had goals and I was achieving them.  They weren’t healthy goals of course, but it was something that made each day worthwhile.  I was having a lot of fun.  I was having too much fun.  Now without all the excess energy and over the top excitement life seems boring and mundane.  I’m just going through the motions.  Sure, I do get enjoyment and satisfaction from what I’m doing.  And I’m happy that I seem to have my mood swings under control; at least for now.  It’s the way things are supposed to be.  And I don’t want to go back into a depression or another manic attack.

But I have to admit… I miss the mania.

I’ve worked really hard to get and stay healthy.  Being bipolar is always something that is going to have an impact on me, but my intelligence tells me that I have to maintain the best I can.  I’m being successful managing the illness at the moment, and it’s an accomplishment to be proud of.  I know, things change quickly and I could be just as crazy as ever tomorrow.  But here I am; level headed, calm and rational.  And while I’m here, there’s going to be the void that comes from the loss of the mania.  Depression doesn’t affect me as much, and when I’m coming out of one of those episodes the ‘boring and mundane’ life feels really good.  But that’s not where I am, and I’m struggling just a little bit to adjust.

So what can I do?

My Therapist has been encouraging me to take a seminar on Mindfulness.  It’s something I can’t afford at the moment, but I have spent some time researching it and reading resource material on the internet. “Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.  When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad.  Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience”.  (Psychology Today).  I’m no expert by any means, but it certainly a sound to me like this is something I should really pursue.  A lot of my therapy has been learning new tools and skills to help deal with my disease.  I don’t expect this to be an end-all solution to what I’m currently going through, but it should be another weapon in my arsenal.  Being bipolar is always going to be a challenge.  But I’ll continue to fight this with everything I have.

Day by day, moment by moment, I’m going to beat this.

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15 Responses to Wishing it all away

  1. You’re a really good writer. I go through the same struggles as you. Keep writing!!!! I will keep reading. And thinking of you as you walk this road too.

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  2. RAFrenzy says:

    A question is begging to be asked, and perhaps after you approve comments, I’ll see I was in a line to ask: how does a 52 year old think? : D

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    • I guess the real answer to that isn’t how a 52 year old thinks… It’s more like I’m thinking like a 30 year old. (Is there a really good answer?) 🙂

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      • RAFrenzy says:

        Cling to that. It’s a good place to be, and for the record, I think like I’m 27 when I’m really 53. 😀

        BTW, bi-polar is all over my family, and I have been diagnosed with it twice. I understand.

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  3. epilepsymeandneurology says:

    http://www.freemindfulness.org/ i found this link for a friend yesterday and when i read your post i thought you might like to read it. i don’t know is an app would be any use to you, but i find mindfulness really useful and so do quite a lot of my friends. The only negative feedback I have had about it is that people get frustrated and beat themselfes up when they cant stop thoughts straight away or things keep creeping back in which is why its important to keep practicing. Over a relatively short time it helped me, but we are all different 🙂

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  4. NeveR says:

    But fifty-two isn’t old. I mean, who is a “senior citizen” at fifty-two? It think of that as being something that happens around seventy. Is that just me?

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  5. maddinaish says:

    Firstly, 52 is definitely NOT old!
    Secondly, my mum went on a mindfulness course. It was all a bit weird at first like ‘eating a raisin mindfully’ but actually, I think it really helped her. If you can find the funds to do it I’d give it a try.

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  6. I absolutely get the part about missing the mania (or hypo-mania, in my case). I miss the passion I have when I’m there. I miss the excitement and the …. well, it is an addiction. And now here I am being a responsible, level-headed citizen with no direction or passion. What I am finding is that I have to practice passion. I choose to practice bringing fun or even , gulp, amazing things into my life, and it takes work. I feel ya. I notice that when I distract myself with writing or whatever I have to work at to like, My grey-ness fades just a little bit. Hang in there. I am thinking of you. You are not alone in this. Soon, you will find your smile. 🙂

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  7. bluemerlegirl says:

    Mindfulness can work for anybody. It was once gone over in a leader training seminar I went to for MS. When we came into the room, there were different miniature candy bars at each seat at each table. I joked with a fellow leader not to eat it…that it was a trap. It’s sort of was. They wanted to see how many would eat it before the exercise was done later in the training session. When it came time for the exercise, does of us were told to take 60 Seconds to eat the candy bar. We were told to be mindful of how the candy bar tasted, instead of woofing it down as most usually would. We were then asked to describe the taste of our candy bars. It was an interesting exercise.

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  8. A lot of what you describe is normal feelings for all of us. Working for the weekend is nothing new. Being 52 is an i9nteresting age, i think. It seems as if, at least to me we all of a sudden got “old”. The mania I do not understand because it’s not part of my personality. It sounds like a cocaine addiction or probably any substance. Maybe that’s why so many people who are bipolar are also addicts and/or alcoholics? They use the substance to create the euphoric feeling of their mania. I don’t know, I am just guessing. I also wonder if maybe some with bipolar 2 who when they are not in a mania stage create drama or chaos to experience that feeling?

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  9. It is important to feel there is a purpose in life. Many people find this through faith, (which is different from religion.) Sue

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  10. kelihasablog says:

    I’ve never hear of “Mindfulness”, but I do try to live in the moment, probably more so since after hearing that I had cancer. Luckily it was early stages, but still a major, life altering pain in the behind. However, I do tend to be more appreciative of the moments and small things in life. At the end of each day I list a couple of things I was thankful for in that day. I think many people tend to wish their life away instead of just trying to enjoy life while you have it and are going through it. There is always something to be thankful for, but then as Sue said. I am one who has a strong faith, even though I do not attend any particular church. 😀 Hang in there…

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  11. Henry says:

    Wishing it all away
    Posted on January 4, 2013by bipolarbloger
    I feel like I have no purpose and am just moving through the days.
    This is a very difficult question that I’m trying to work through. When I focus on this I become very depressed far more than any other thing right now. I’m just learning how to manage being bipolar, at times minute by minute, I very afraid of what my realistic capabilities are.
    I feel like I’m wishing my life away.
    I’m 52 also, and my situation is somewhat similar to yours. You are ahead of me as I’m hitting a low low, after a couple of years of my highest high. I’m fighting a mania state right now, along with my concern of not having a clear purpose. So I’m a little touchy on depressed side. I’m not sure what to wish for.
    Time does go by faster. Using what I thought was “a long time ago,” At 10, we thought 2 years ago was a “long time ago.” it was 20% of our life.
    – At 10, we thought 2 years ago was a “long time ago.” it was 20% of our life.
    – At 20, we thought 2 years ago was “sort of a long time ago,” it was 10% of our life.
    – At 50, 2 years ago doesn’t seem that long ago, it was 4% of our life.
    Using this math: time is moving 5 times faster than it did when I was 10, 2 ½ times faster than when I was 20. At 10, we thought 2 years ago was a “long time ago.” it was 20% of our life.

    So what can I do?

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  12. zozespot says:

    I love your positivity. I relate to a lot of what you’re saying (even though I’m only 20!). Sometimes I miss my manic states too, you often feel so good and get so much done. But afterwards your body and mind is exhausted and you just can’t deal anymore…though it sound slike you’re handling things very well. I’ve really enjoyed reading your journey with the manic episode you’ve been having and am happy for you that you’ve started to pull out of it before things go south. It’s inspiring. Keep writing please!

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