I am armed with books. I carry them from room to room. They surround me on the couch. I’ve got the bipolar survival guide, some Deepak, a book on staying in the moment and the last Radical self forgiveness. I stare at these books. I try to absorb the words, but I cannot. I can’t read right now. I can’t retain right now. I try over and over again to no avail.
I finally had to put them down. I’m already troubled enough no need to remind me I have no concentration or focus. But it was much deeper than that. It was as if I was pushing page after page to fill the hole I have. To find the right path I am supposed to be on. To be reassured I am on the right journey. That I am not destined to exist in darkness and pain for the rest of my life.
But what I found was more sadness. I became immersed in what I was supposed to be doing by someone else’s standards. So I felt worthless, useless and hopeless when I couldn’t follow through or comprehend what was written. I was trying to be intellectual about an emotional issue. Clearly it wasn’t working.
In the middle of this quest to solve my own riddle through books, I was decompensating. I had to leave work early several days in a row because I became overwhelmed emotionally and couldn’t keep from crying. I began to cancel meetings and avoid people. I would hide in my office with the door closed. Soon I was paranoid and thought I could hear other people’s thoughts about me. At this point, I wasn’t able to focus at work. I couldn’t remember directions or work issues from day to day.
My therapist told me to take all books back to the library, it was time to put attention to functioning. She reminded me I didn’t have to have all the answers all the time. She reminded me to be gentle and take it easy. She reminded me to breath and do one thing at a time. Keep short lists as I was easily overwhelmed. The big one was other people are busy and probably not terribly worried about me. And if they were that’s okay because I was doing the best I could.
I tried to implement her suggestions. Some I could, some I couldn’t. I am quite stressed at work right now. I’m not sleeping well. I have had to hold back tears a few times. I’m trying to have more of a sense of humor around mistakes and not knowing things. Or at the very least smile. I’d really like to let go of judgement toward myself. In my mind I envision a creek with leaves floating down the water, I place the judgement thought on the leaf and watch it disappear. I have yet to be able to use this technique. But hopefully one day.
While I think it’s wonderful there is literature for me to jump into, i can’t have high expectations. I am on the road my feet are on. I have to keep moving one step at a time.
123 Rhonda, Renee, Jill, Mer, Steve, Pat, Pam, Jeff, Jim