Well, it finally happened. Honestly, I’m not surprised, nor was it unexpected. I figured it would happen before now.
I really don’t have a reason to be bored. Things are really going well, and have been for some time now. I have a lot things going on in my life that are good. For the first time in three years I have a job. Oh, I’ve been working for two and a half years, but it was as a contractor. I was happy to be working, but there was little security and I didn’t qualify for benefits. No Benefits! Now that’s a real problem, especially with my chronic, sometimes even life threatening illness. I was fortunate enough that I was able to pay for my meds out of pocket, and my therapist unbelievably only charged me what I could afford. There are other health aspects that have been completely ignored however. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it was based on my blood work. And I haven’t had that test done in over three years. Likewise, I had some serious issues with my lower IT that needs a colonoscopy every three years. Guess how long it’s been since I’ve had one? And so forth and so on; especially at my age things just happen. But a few weeks ago I was converted to a full time regular employee, with all the benefits and security that I needed. Work is crazy busy though. My normal day is 12 hours, and it’s not unusual to work at least one day on the weekend. It’s not just me either; all of my coworkers are in the same boat. There is just more work than we can keep up with.
That ought to keep things interesting, right?
I’ve got a growing relationship. We’ve been together now for almost 9 months, and it really couldn’t be going any better. We’re together almost every day. We have fun doing all the things I’ve ever hoped for in a partner. We talk, cook together, take day trips, hang out with friends, and laugh; there’s always laughter. And we dance. I have to dance. And she dances so well.
She has done a great deal in restoring my hope.
Emotionally I have been as stable as I think I’ve ever been. I have mood swings, but we all have mood swings. The difference is, mine are no different from anyone else’s. I have good days and bad days, but they are just that. The bad days don’t lead to depression, and my good days aren’t manic. My reactions to situations are completely appropriate. Gone is the road rage, and the feeling of inadequacy and failure when there are problems at work. My goal has been to be normal, and I think I’ve succeeded in spades. So what’s wrong with that? There’s not a thing wrong about it.
There’s just something missing
My days are very full, but they’re also very predictable. I’ve settled into a routine that rarely deviates. I sleep, I go to work, I spend time with my girlfriend, and I go back to sleep. Weekends are a little different, but still the same. We do fun things, of course. And they are enjoyable. We always have a great time.
But where’s the excitement?
For my entire life I’ve had two speeds; off and full steam ahead. Or, as I’ve been diagnosed; I’m bipolar. I do not miss the depressions. In fact, the mere thought of becoming depressed scares the hell out of me. I do not EVER want to go there again. But the mania; well, that’s a completely different story. I am Type I, and there are certainly times of total madness. But the majority of the time I’m just hypo-manic. In fact, the nature of my illness is that I am up way more than I am down. I wake up in the morning full of energy and raring to plunge into a new day. I work at almost a frantic pace; in fact, I perform much better when under stress. It’s easy to make friends when you are the life of the party, and my social life stays full. Relationships are adventurous, edgy, and even risky. All of them; because when I’m in a casual dating mode I usually have more than one. And the sex is off the charts. There’s very little that I won’t try, and I can usually find a partner willing to go there.
My therapist calls it being an adrenalin junkie. And she’s right.
So in discussions about it with my therapist, she had a lot of suggestions for things I could do to help bring the excitement and sense of purpose back. She thought I could volunteer for a charity. Or maybe I could learn how to play a new instrument, or paint, or take dancing lessons. Maybe her best suggestion was to work on turning my blog into a book; that thought might have just merit. But the truth is, adding new activities aren’t going to do anything about the lack of stimulation. I have things to do and my time stays full. It’s the energy I’m missing, not having anything to do.
This is pretty common with being bipolar.
For the most part, manias are a lot of fun. Even being self destructive and dangerous, the nature of the illness is that you don’t realize the risk. The creativity just pours out, and ideas bounce around faster than you can react. It’s a real high. But it is risky, and the reason for therapy and medications. And treatment plans can work as I’ve attested.
So…the fun stops and days become mundane and repetitive. Just like mine have become. It’s at this point that so many of us quit taking our meds. Speaking for myself, I don’t have the drastic emotions, and begin to question whether I even need to take meds. I think that maybe the diagnosis isn’t right after all, and I’ll do just fine without taking drugs. And with that, regain some of that energy and excitement that I’m missing.
Yeah, right; go ahead and reserve my room at the mental institution.
But I think my therapist has it wrong this time. I don’t need to look for new and thrilling activities. I certainly don’t need to dump this relationship to get that feeling you get when a relationship is young. I don’t want any more distractions, thank you. No, I think that it’s time to do what I’ve strived to do and put so much effort into or so long. It’s time to break the adrenaline habit and learn how to be satisfied with where I am. To coin a phrase; it’s time to stop and smell the roses. I’m in a very good place right now; maybe the best I’ve ever been. No, there’s no overwhelming exhilaration. I don’t tremble with anticipation for anything. I’m not out having wild monkey sex every night. What I’m experiencing is normalcy.
And that’s been the goal all along.