I went swimming today, this evening in fact and I’m glad I did for a number of reasons.
The first reason is that I have felt for the last two days as though I were somehow underground, trying to dig myself up to the surface, where the real air, and the concrete thoughts are, and the real life is. This feeling presented itself at the weekend, and nothing felt particularly real, and yet of course I was aware that life is not a dress rehearsal and I started to worry I might feel like I was only half-alive for the rest of my life. I’m 37, so I reckon this could be quite a long time. I had consoled myself with the idea that you don’t have to feel like you are thinking to actually think, but all the same motivation goes right down the drain when you feel like your IQ has dropped to half of what it should be to function.
The swimming worked and woke me back up though, and I feel pretty good now, so I think as long as I get back on with the good habits, the meditation, and the daily exercise and using my brain outside work, I’ll be flying again by the end of the week.
What these experiences show me, is that I still know absolutely next to nothing about bi-polar. I have been writing about how I cope, and how I have recovered from a really long episode of being out of control, but I don’t know anything about the illness except for what it feels like being stuck in my head. I was talking to the colleague that I went swimming with, and I will talk to him further I think, as the reason we began swimming was partly to see whether it would help with our mental health. He spoke about being paranoid about his manager tonight, and he is worried that his medication is not working as efficiently as it once was. There is a problem here as his manager is pretty well-known to be more than a little bit backy-stabby. She probably has her own insecurities, and problems to deal with and talking behind people’s backs is one of her ways of dealing with people. I am able to see this now. I think it is because my meditations at the moment are focusing on seeing the good in all living things. Obviously this philosophy is not without its ethical and even moral drawbacks, but statistically speaking, in the vast nature of the Universe, we are all odds on incredible. The main point he hit on however, is when it comes to mental illness, you can never quite trust your own instincts. You always second guess. Is it the illness, or did that person just give me a funny look? Am I talking too much? Am I bored, or is it that I’m finding it hard to concentrate because I’m ill. You know, the lines aren’t all that obvious sometimes. And sometimes they are obvious to everybody but you.
I think the message to myself that I will learn from this week, is the next time I feel dissociated, which is what I think this feeling has been, not to become de-motivated, but work the brain anyway.
The way I am aiming to do this right now is by writing a novel, and I am using the duolingo app to teach myself German. I am also currently reading Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Of course I should also just come running to the blog and hammer out a few thoughts whenever I feel below par. It is quite telling I haven’t managed to do this for a few days, when I meant to.
Anyway, here’s to taking the battle to bi-polar and all mental illness. (I’m not sure my meditation practise counts as a battle, maybe a really quiet, not moving kind of a battle, like the game battleships.)
Thanks for reading and may you be well.