I have an 8-year-old daughter. This means I watch the same movie over… and over.. and over. Her record is 115 days in a row with Arthur Christmas when she was 3. Thankfully we love that movie and it doesn’t send me into deep thought. Our most recent beloved and continually repeated movie is The Croods. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the movie, but there is a caveman family living a hard life. One lived in fear of all the monsters and environmental dangers in the world. They get up, hunt, clean, and then hide in the cave until it was time to do it again. The family motto was often said by the Dad, Grug Crood. “Remember! Never not be afraid!”
During this time of the last few weeks that quote started to get stuck in my head as I thought about my current mind issue. I’m afraid of my emotions and my zeal. I feel large joy and immediate tone it back, I don’t want to go manic. I get excited about something, obsessed, and, oh no, I don’t want to go manic. Even the normal woman who has had a child hormones cries at touching moments, I lock them in my head only and try to stop it with this thought tickling the back of my mind, “maybe it’s dysphoric.”
The movie continues where their lives are disrupted by world events and they must explore on their way to a safe land, but all he wanted was to find another cave to hide in. During this exploration, the rest of the family are joyful with all the new things and their new friend, a homo sapien with many ideas, something Grug just couldn’t understand. They were all looking to the future and fun, and he kept being left behind, feeling useless. When the argument inevitably ensued, his daughter, Eep, says that his way of always wanting to be in a cave is survival, not living.
As all of my fears were mulling about in my head, I started to think of that part. My whole life I’ve been pretty optimistic, but not with my mental illness. All I’ve wanted to do is control it, but now the meds are truly starting to help and I can’t stop.
Yesterday my husband brought up the idea of writing this down for others which sent me into a research hole of bloggers and memoirs. As I went from post to post, person to person, I realized a few things I hadn’t picked up on when reading medical studies, BP1’s don’t truly get a break during euthymic times (not manic or depressed). Many of us have mention “manic personalities” between episodes. We tend have executive function (1, 2) issues that cause obsessions, an inability to organize, trouble with words, and other things. Other issues, feeding, sensory, GI tract, were all mentioned somewhere. While I realize this is not science, it’s still nice to read that others are dealing with these things. These are all things I’m dealing with and worrying are the meds or another episode coming on. Reading this helped to normalize a lot of the issues I’m having and are providing a new thought to write over the others.
It’s time to stop Being Afraid and start riding the sun into tomorrow. I’ve at least started the journey.