Perfection & Perseverance

“I moved house three days after my appendectomy.” – My Mom

She continues to be a good example of someone pushing it too far after surgery. Priority #1: Get things done. #2: Do them right. I’m not sure where the other goals fall in the remainder of the list. Those are the top two. These are a lesson I have increasingly taken to heart as my years of adulthood continued to pass.  The message sank in, once I had real responsibilities I got them done and done right. There’s no room for illness if you’re not on your way to, or already at the hospital, you’re working from home, no need to get others sick.

Pushing through it was a lesson throughout my life, and it stuck more than I’d like. I’m not sure where in my 20s it all started, but I could not hand in any reports that weren’t perfect for an outside client. The fact that they were our only external clients and they were mine made them a high priority that I still have anxiety attacks when I think about working on their contract. I had to give them up over this last summer. It took me a year an a half of psychosis & dysphoria before I ceded to my husband’s wish and gave up the contract.

We aren’t the only ones.

My mentality shifted to an unhealthy, actions must be done correctly and before time. Personal health matters do not matter. Because if she could move house a few days after an appendectomy, we could do this. There’s no way I can not do this. Other side effects hitting hard? Get out there! There’s stuff to do! Are you motion sick at the computer screen? Finish the project and lie down for 3 hours, that was just last week. Walking with a limp? Back a bit smooshed causing nerve pain? None of it was a good reason to not fulfill your goals.

When my pituitary caused an issue, I looked up everything I could about the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, and medications. I took my meds religiously and didn’t think of relaxing. I ran myself into the ground not following the recommendations for when your stress hormone is low. I didn’t accept they applied to me, I was fine! (and manic from hydrocortisone). I had to get things done, and I did.

Now I’m unignorably sick with low functioning in my life My general living stress, having a child with special needs, Hannah’s dog bite, and of course, Mr. Rapid Psychotic Bipolar 1. Bipolar & stress are not a good combo, and I run low on cortisol. I could not stop powering through, we were working with a wrong diagnosis, and I thought if I learned & did enough I’d be better and so applied myself to studies.

A lovely bipolar image

After about a year and a half with this mentality, I finally received a diagnosis that made sense, was biological, and would be a lifetime, gentleman friend from the last paragraph. I started medication slowly, the first diagnosis I didn’t believe, and I was right, I’m definitely not Bipolar 2, but it started me on some of the right meds. After I accepted, my BP1 it still didn’t hit that I need to take a break. The knowledge was there, but the idea of not being productive was abhorrent. I had given up the client but I still had my job, scheduling, activities, organizing, and all these things that fill my day, no breaks. I refused to do anything entertaining between 8-5, it’s like the work hours are ingrained in me. Through the psychosis, the episodes, & the pain, I just kept going until I had to leave the office. But I still kept going with the ‘if I am not being productive I am worthless’ style of life.

The anxious ball that comes with having to do something makes me need to do it, or I’d get so uncomfortable. I found myself begging the world that the requests would stop. I’m exhausted today, like walking down the hall with your shoulder on the wall to support you.

This all came to mind when I went to my favorite yoga place. On arrival, I told our teacher that if I fell asleep on my mat midway through just let it happen. She laughed and we began class. Was I perfect by any means? No. Poses I’ve done for years were outside my reach. She walked by but said nothing. In the end, she talked with the class about having fun with the practice. They did one more wheel walkover, and after one go, I just sat on the mat with a bemused smile after another failed try. Her face lit up when our eyes met and she was very complimentary on my ability to work as I was, not as I wished to be. A good reminder of a lesson I need to get through my thick skull.

A good lesson for all of us really.

Current Weight Total: 185.4lb (+.01lbs)

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