Sometimes looking back brings the pain. As I live it now, my life is one of conscious and continuous distraction. If my mind is off center, you’ll find me always doing something to distract the mind. If no activities are available, or even when I’m doing them, there is a neverending stream of audiobooks, Netflix that I don’t usually look at, or music if I’m feeling up to it. I don’t have time to sit back and look back on my life these last few years or focus on how it is now, which is much different than the one I led last year and especially two years ago.
Three years ago I had a full-time job in a family company, volunteer work, and my family. Six years ago I was weightlifting, running, and doing yoga on a regular basis. Looking back I have absolutely no idea how I managed to keep all that up. My days are now filled with appointments instead of work minus a few days to keep up with my downsized job. It is lucky to be working for people who care about my personal & business life.
In the latter, I spent hours, days, spent absorbed in Excel, reviewing & editing contracts, handling clients & vendors, both big & small, and managing part of the accounting. A jack of all trades type of position that I loved, there was always something I was interested in, and I was good at my job. Now those hours are spent in physical therapy for my injuries obtained in an obstacle course, acupuncture for my nervous system, therapy for my mental health, and some doctor or another here & there. I spend a few hours three days a week at the Jimjilbang I’ve mentioned in the past. Without these times I never get a reset, and my stress levels get the better of me. My days, filled with distractions, errands, and appointments, is a life I can handle. Well, until I get triggered out, usually about my work or inability to be the perfectionist I am.
I try not to think of it, what I’ve lost over the last few years when the PTSD from my daughter’s dog bite took my unknown but somewhat managed Bipolar 1 into Bipolar 1, Rapid Cycling, with Mixed & Psychotic Features. Quite the list of fun times. Two of the interruptions in my brain that trigger the shame and anger are my cognitive abilities and now terrible memory. I’ve tested it out with the Mensa test when out of episode it’s right where it was, but when I’m in it? I lose about 5-10 points plus memory issues. Add in the side effects that make my memory a 24/7 deal and I’ve made a few mistakes over the last couple of years. One of which came to the light today then turned out not to be.
I called in with a weird charge in my records, we both thought it was from a different card, one I handled solely through the crazy & the meds and hadn’t made a real error with my awesome spreadsheet of amazingness, but now we thought I did. I know he didn’t realize it, but as we went through my difficulties became the main topic. “Remember how you couldn’t handle mother on this one?” “Yeah, that was around the time you forgot x y & z.” “You had trouble with numbers for a few days here or there” The list goes on. A litany of all the abilities I have trouble with, making it so I can only work on certain projects with a lot of wiggle room.
It’s taken me two years and a lot of drugs to get where I can handle this loss of ability & status, it’s actually the anniversary this month. Yet it all came right back, there’s no distraction from a direct conversation with someone you love highlighting all you are ashamed and mad about. After about 10 minutes of this exploring, we found it was actually an error of his. Since he was sane, no analysis was needed. I miss that. I miss living without continual analysis, record keeping of all I do, and knowing I can break any moment.
So now I am here. A pallor on my day, thoughts popping in of my doubts, my losses, my knowing I’m disabled, and now crying at my keyboard, great. It’s difficult to see the contrast, to know how far you’ve fallen, and to be told that it’s a change, not a fall. I may not be in a place where I am OK with all that’s going on, but I’m still a great mom. I have that.