Well my fellow Bipolareans, it’s that time. Put up or shut up. I’ve been studying for this computer security test for two months now. I’ve shown myself that I can be wayyyyy more diligent than I ever thought I could be at this point in my life. I have seen a side of myself that I didn’t know was there – an ability to study and learn and be consistent and intense! WHO IS THIS PERSON AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH BIPOLAR ON FIRE?!?! The journey has been trying, but it has also been a joy. The journey has shown me that I can rise above my label and rise above my illness. Alas, I have to tell you the truth, I am scared shitless to take this test next week. I believe I am ready, but what if I fail? How will I deal with it? What will I do? I’m so scared to report back. But, this blog is a place for me to be real, and I’m REAL SCARED!! I have six days of final preparation . . . and then I will take this test that is kind of a big deal for me career-wise . . . it could really help me advance and break through my own glass ceiling. I’ll be nose to the grindstone for the next six days . . . wish me luck! Hope you are all well and happy or at least o.k.!
You may or may not know that I live with my sister and her two kids, who I love dearly. One of my great regrets is not having kids myself, although I think with my illness, it was definitely the right thing for me. It gives me great joy to love and nurture this niece and nephew of mine, and I feel such pride that my sister has gone off to a three-day conference and left them in my care. That she trusts me with these bright little souls, says a lot to me. As I sit here on the couch with them, they are both playing video games (14 year old boy and 11 year old girl) and my niece is singing a song she made up about the dogs. They feel safe and loved with Aunt BPOF and that makes me happy. Here is another chance for me to be present for others, not thinking about myself or ruminating on my many worries as I make their pizza or pasta. Here is a time that I am called upon to be my best self, to rise above my broken, half-working side and be there for these kids. I am both challenged and uplifted by this chance. The weather buoys me with glorious springtime temperatures and I know I’ll get out and enjoy that over the next few days. I hope to live up to the faith that has been placed in me. More to come….
You’ve heard the Spoon Theory, right? We all get a certain number of spoons per day. Spoons equal energy, or spoons equal actions. Once you use up your spoons, you’re done for the day. You can’t do anything else. And theoretically us bipolar types don’t get so many spoons (unless we’re manic, then there’s the dilemma of unlimited spoons). So I totally get this and I ascribe to this and I consider myself to have very few spoons at my disposal. SIDE NOTE: Why spoons? Why not forks? Or tokens? Gold coins? I have no fucking idea. I didn’t make this shit up. I’ve only heard of it. Some fuck said spoons so I’m going with it. END SIDE NOTE. As I was saying, I don’t feel like I’m bursting with spoons. I have a helluva time just getting up and showering, most days, let alone doing laundry or, God forbid, COOKING A MEAL!! That would almost require hypomania for me. But! Then I get into crisis mode like I’m in now, with Dad in the hospital, and my Mom is sick with the cold that Dad had that turned into pneumonia. All of this requires me to rise above the Spoon Theory. And ya know what I call it when I can do wayyyyy more than I would ever think that I could? A State of Grace. That’s all I can think of! It’s like the Universe, or the spoon giver, or whatever or whomever the fuck, said this chick needs to function on a higher level right now. Let’s throw out every belief she has about how she thinks she can function, and give her a reprieve! Because I am functioning at a level I could not have previously imagined. I am there for my Dad and Mom. I am driving all over creation, seeing my Mom, seeing my Dad, hanging in the hospital for hours, being in the moment, talking to my Dad, and accepting life as it is right now. Who is this person? This is not me! This is some kind of gift! I am supremely grateful for this time with my Dad. Yes, when I get home, I’m tired, and I feel depleted, but in the moments that I’m meant to be of service to my family, I am able to do that, to help, to be present, to feed my Dad, get a nurse, whatever, with total serenity. And no, I am absolutely not manic. So what this tells me, is that theories like the Spoon Theory may have their place, but there are times when we can rise above our illness. Maybe this will last for a few days, or maybe it will stretch for a few weeks, but for however long, I’m grateful to be the strong one for someone else, for a change. And when I get in that car, and I feel like I just can’t do it, I remind myself that I am stronger than I think I am, and I can do more than I know. And then I go.