I Am Getting My Shit Together

My life is nothing if not cyclical.  This time last year, I was working on getting my shit together, and later in the year, I pulled a complete and total movie troupe, shaved my head and went crazy.  It actually wasn’t that linear, but I keep laughing about it.  At that time, I started identifying and mapping out my cycles, triggers, and all the things that greatly affected my life that I did not notice.  Flash forward to now, I even tapped into astrology in helping with understanding stuff.  I am all about moon phases as a predictor of my behavior.  I tend to go apeshit or get really creative around the Full Moon.  I’ll let you be the judge which is which on this last day of the Full moon.  Funny enough, I actually started researching moon cycles because someone called me a lunatic.  I find the original meaning of words far more informative than the general bastardization of language nowadays.  Lunatic actually was used to describe what is now called bipolar, and it was originally attributed to the full moon.  (The More You Know!)

Anyway, moons and bipolar aside, the really fascinating thing I’ve learned is I do the same shit at the same time every damn year.  The beauty of Timehop is that you get to witness your insanity year on year.  I actually just deleted my facebook not too long ago and it has been a nice respite from watching me go up and down all over again.  It was kind of scary seeing that, on the same day, every year I am the same way, and I suppose, equally scary that it took me 10 years of Facebook to see that trend.

Anyway, like last year, I’m focusing on routine, consistency, and discipline. I’m re-committing to yoga and meditation.  All of these have fallen to the wayside for the better part of this year.  I’m really happy that I’ve mainly stayed with writing and absolutely stayed with journaling for as long as I have, because both are so important, but also something I used to stop and start.  I’m focusing, too, on philosophy – especially Buddhism – still.    I have always had a very black and white, all or nothing mentality.  If I would start exercising or dieting, I would do it every day, and when I inevitably skipped a day, I’d declare myself a failure and quit.  download (3)

I actually caught myself yesterday.  I did 30 minutes of yoga in the morning, and by the nighttime, I was saying to myself that I ONLY did 30 minutes of yoga.  I started feeling down, etc. and I caught it.  Firstly, I’ve been doing yoga on and off at best for months, so I’m out of practice.  Secondly, I am THRILLED to get up at 5:45 AM to get the minions off to school. Given I’m a night owl and (unless I’m depressed) don’t go to bed before midnight, this is rough.  /whine

I’m beat, so committing to yoga and showing up at the mat for 30 minutes is great, not only.  It’s little shit like that which will chip away at me until I give up, and I caught it.  I am finally getting that it is not the big changes, it’s not the overhauls, it’s the little moments, the little thoughts, the little building blocks that make the difference.  And, I did 45 minutes of yoga today, so woot.  But this is the shit I kept missing.  I think it was Glennon Doyle Melton who said,

“Life is like a spiral staircase, you keep going around, picking up things you missed, and every time you go around you get stronger.”

It’s really overwhelming typing a lot of this out because I’m also remembering I was terrified of medication this time last year.  Christ, I was terrified of admitting something was wrong with me.  I’ve been so upset about being on meds since January; the med combos I was on were really fucking me up.  With the new psych and being on JUST Lamictal, I feel fucking amazing.  I don’t feel like this psycho hose beast because I’m on meds because I finally realized by taking the meds, I can do the things that really affect me – yoga, meditating, writing, music, being a mom (not in any order).  It’s these that build me up and make me who I am.  The Lamictal is making it easier to do that, and I feel so good. I know I’m going to have a crash, it’s inevitable.  But if 2016 & 2017 taught me anything, it’s: fall down 7 times, get up 8.  2015 was all about getting over my fears, and that has carried forward to now: I am finally getting over my biggest fear – myself! I’ve had my ass knocked down and handed to me so many times I’ve lost count, but my biggest enemy has always been me.  I’m tired of fighting with myself; I just don’t have the energy.

I’ve finally come away from perfectionism, but I swung too far to the other side and became enabling and indulgent.  So, true to the Libra nature, I’m seeking a balance between the two.  That’s where Buddhism and philosophy have been helping me for a images (5)year now.  Once I began identifying my cycles, I became terrified of the inevitable crashes.  I think the worst depression episode I have had happened in April of this year.  It made my other episodes look like child’s play. I’m weirdly grateful that happened because it made me stop being afraid of being depressed.  Looking back, I think so much of my mania vs depression has been more overcompensating for depression vs. depression.

Maybe it’s a mom thing, maybe it’s a me thing, I don’t know, but I feel guilty as fuck when I am depressed.  I feel like no matter what I do, I can’t do enough.  It’s this never-ending game of catch up, where I’m a no legged man in an ass-kicking contest, and it’s my own ass I’m attempting to kick.  Inevitably, I’m too tired, too beat down, too whatever to get anything done, and as it worsens, my depression worsens.  That’s only focusing on chores and crap like that, not to mention actually important stuff like spending time with my kids or enjoying life.  So, when I feel not depressed, I overcompensate for all the time I “wasted” depressed.  This is actually an improvement this year because previously, I would behave as though I was manic when I was actually deeply depressed.  I look back and I can’t even fathom how I did it.  I read my statuses on Timehop, and I would find myself choking back tears on what I used to put myself through by not being honest with what I was going through.

It is incredible how much easier it is to say, “No, I don’t feel up to it today,” as opposed to my “Everything is fine!” and push myself until I feel akin to a roadkill rabbit smeared on the highway.  I lied about everything to the point I don’t even know what the truth is anymore.  My obsession with philosophy has helped me finally understand it doesn’t matter, it’s yesterday.  Yet, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. As I start a new cycle, I’m not focused on perfection or even changing myself.  Alan Watts would say, “Fix yourself? Why would you want to do that?”

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At the same time, he and other Zen masters, and Perennial Man-child Kent Wayne say that discipline is what gives true freedom. Authenticity and freedom are all I truly seek. Freedom from these cycles, freedom from suffering, etc.  Yet desire is the root of all suffering, so it’s not something I’m chasing, it’s something I create.  I create freedom from all of this by building block by block the life I want or, maybe more accurately, the life I was born to live.  Everything before was a web of lies – to myself and everyone around me.  I tried my damnedest to fit in the boxes I belonged in, but it made me sick over and over again.  The psychosis, if nothing else, showed me I can’t handle a double life, I can’t handle being anything but me now.

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This time last year, I was still kind of scared to talk about Buddhism, the fact that I struggle with my brain, and despite appearances to the contrary, my shit is absolutely not together.  I’m really happy to not have all those shits to give anymore.  Alan Watts said in the seminar I listened to today (in addition to freedom in discipline), “The more you give control away, the more you realize you haven’t got a prayer, and you trust in the universe, instead of trying to control and bend to your will, you will find you have more energy, and more power, because you stop wasting your energy on self-defense”  That’s really it.  This time around the spiral, I’m pulling a 38 Special and holding on loosely.  I’m not worried about ups or downs, and I’m not worried about opinions.  I’m not really worried at all, and my anxiety is trying to get in there with “oh my gosh, you’ve clearly forgotten to worry about something!”

Nothing big is changing, but everything is changing.  Good things are coming, I know it.

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Thanks for reading!  If you’re interested, here are some links:

Very, very gentle easy routine, and I find it really helpful when I’m feeling unstable

Amazingly relaxing and helpful guided meditation:

Alan Watts, of course

12 thoughts on “I Am Getting My Shit Together

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  1. Completely get feeling guilty about being depressed with the kids and everything becoming overwhelming. Hang in there…so glad to read the lamictal is working for you! I had no side effects from it! It’s a keeper for me, definitely 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I thought it was me being too hard on myself. Which it is but not being alone in it is nice.

      Yeah – I’ve done lamictal twice before but always with something else and always had tons of side effects. I’m at the full dose he wants me at and my only side effect has been headaches and every time I itch I get paranoid about the rash hahaha other than that, I think it’s genuinely helping more than hurting. I have energy and I am
      Having more good days then bad. Two weeks ago, I was sobbing constantly. I’m glad it’s working wel for you too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This honest and very motivating in a way. Thank you for sharing!
    We all feel guilty for being depressed, it’s just a depression thing. It’s ok to be depressed, it amazing that you already seem to be on your way out of it. I am going to come back to look at those videos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!!! That was what I was hoping for. I think the best part of opening up for me is realizing how many people fee the same way I do. It makes me feel so much less alone and crazy. I thought to myself last night how genuinely happy I felt and I almost cried at how awesome that felt. It’s been awhile!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I agree. It’s what all the cool kids do, I’ve heard. In all fairness, I only shaved half my head, because I still love my curls, but it was one of those, I woke up and shaved my head sort of days. My first tattoos were impulses too, just woke up and went to the shop.

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  3. Ahem, young lady minor duplicating of a paragraph above – I’m beat, so committing to yoga…just to let you know 🙂

    I was going to tell you that I have been doing yoga and find I can transfer it into my life plus I love the videos I watch and that she has great mantras and her name is……Adriene!! Say what! I think, my friend, we are indeed cut from the very same cloth! Do you think we have done the same yoga on the same day at the same time?! Wooooah! Blows my mind! She’s good isn’t she? I love it. I’m trying to think of her when I begin to beat myself up, for little things as I am too a perfectionist (not that you would believe that with the about of spelling and grammar errors in my posts). Some days it doesn’t work, but gradually I’m seeing a change in my thoughts, I’m not self bashing as much and it’s great. In fact for the last 2 weeks I have been my ‘old self’ with very little to no anxiety/depression. Little steps, but we can do this together.

    Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha, thank you for the catch. I just really wanted to hit that one home ;P

      Adriene has helped me SO much. Yoga was something I liked but never really got into. Back in the day, I’d do yoga on my Wii Fit hahahaha but last year, my ex boyfriend said something to me like… “you’re so up and down, you need to move more. You sit and work all day, and you never move, your body and your brain can’t take that.” I was offended at first, but then realized he was right. Adriene was the first video I did, and it’s been a huge part of my life ever since.

      I’m doing her Yoga Revolution again (I started in January, but then I stopped when I got sick) 2 days ago for day 4 was “honor” and I loved that. I mean that’s it, that’s what I love about yoga, it gets me inside my body, outside my head, and every day I find myself marveling at the improvement. The first time I touched my toes, I think I scared the shit out of my neighbors because I was shrieking with excitement hahahaha

      We’ve absolutely done the same routine at the same time, because we’re sisters from another mister, and it’s kismet 😀

      I do the same as you, and I really love how she says, “The more you practice on the mat, the easier it becomes off the mat” it’s so true! I’m on the same schedule as you it would seem, because the last two weeks I’ve found myself having a better day every day. Last night, I was driving out for cigs, blasting some music and headbanging for the first time in what seems like forever, and I started grinning and realized “Holy shit, I’m happy. I’m fucking happy!” You are right, baby steps. And yes, we can. We’ll conquer the world, one Goldblum at a time 😛

      Namaste. I also saw a meme, namacray – the crazy in me honors the crazy in you hahahahahaha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m doing yoga revolution right now, I’m on day 10 tomorrow 🙂 – just done it on my lunch break. She is very good isn’t she. I used to think it was all a bit ‘nambi pambi’, but when you really focus, well! It’s zenalicious!
        Also, Kismet to me – as many Glaswegians means a big filthy (tasty) take away, I’m talking curry on a pizza, chicken pakora, naan bread, hoagie wraps (do you know what that is, google it) So yes! YES! to the Kismet. 😀 ha!
        …..also…..this is the truth….I have been singing my lungs out driving to work and it clicked – I’m happy. I thought, wow I’m actually care free and happy as I’m singing and I’m taking an interest in music, shite pop music but music all the same. How strange is that?! We are namacray, namasayin?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh god, you just made me drool all over myself. How bizarre is it we’re doing the same yoga series?!?!?! omg! I really love the revolution too. I agree, I mean, christ… I was raised catholic and my dad would always say yoga was devil worship, so I kind of always felt this guilt and fear doing it like I was going to channel satan or something. Now that I’m studying this, it makes perfect sense to me. Chakras, etc. energy is energy and that’s what we all are.

        That makes my heart so happy! I’m glad you are car singing too, it’s the best 😀 I’d say you and are are QUITE linked hahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

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