A week of stress

I have no idea what’s happened this week. How things have gone from such a state of calm and focus, to feeling scattered, stressed and anxious.

The tone was set on Monday and has continued throughout the week. After a restful weekend, I have felt overwhelmed from the moment I woke up and logged into my course. Prior to this week the days have been nice and calm and I have felt no pressure. It is testament to the fact that my mental stamina is still not great. Even as I type this, I feel a sense of anxiety that I cannot shake. Despite my best efforts, scattered thinking remains. Maybe I need to get out and clear my head. Right now, I’m not too sure.

The Bipolar brain is a funny thing. I feel like attempted sabotage is at play. And I’m in no mood for it. This week I have done what’s needed to get through and survive. However, if this continues to escalate over the coming weeks, then I fear what may follow. I’ve had my fair share of depression throughout this year, hell, for a lifetime even. I don’t want to go back to that place any time soon.

Part of the learning activities for this semester include the use of reflection. I constantly feel that I’m in a state of reflection, however, sometimes thoughts and emotions become intense and very uncomfortable. I cherish the moments when I am not overwhelmed and be able to switch off and truly relax.

Last night was great in that regard. I had a stressful first part of the day. I went to the chemist to get my Geodon/Zeldox refilled. This is a medication that has caused me much grief over the past few months. I am a prisoner to it at the present time. This isn’t a medication you can stop cold turkey. I tried that a few months ago and it was a scary experience. Being in between psychiatrists hasn’t helped my cause and this is something I am still angry about. Hopefully a much needed change in medication will come at the end of the month when I finally see a new psychiatrist. For now I just have to suck it up and be patient. Back to the pharmacy yesterday. I waited 40 minutes whilst the chemist engaged in chit chat with just about everyone that came and went. As the minutes ticked by I became more irritable. I overheard the pharmacist say that my medication needed to ordered in and it would not be available until Friday. Not a big deal, but this is something I could’ve been told much sooner, rather than just sit there while he talked to everyone coming and going. He was a friendly person, but unfortunately for him, I wasn’t in a particularly friendly mood. He came out and asked my how I was going with the medication. “None of your business! When will it be available?” I said to him with a passive aggressive tone. Didn’t his attitude change rather quickly. “Friday morning” he replied, before I walked off in disgust, muttering expletives to myself as I walked out of the pharmacy. Needless to say the shit will hit the fan, if my medication isn’t there on Friday.

After that I went grocery shopping, still feeling on the irritable side of things. Luckily there were no further triggers at the supermarket. I came home and switched off. Last night’s movie was the 2010 release “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts. Idealism aside, I thought it was a great movie.

The idea of packing up everything and going to see the world for a year. Who wouldn’t do that? Fair enough I don’t have the means or even confidence to take such a risk, but the idea is definitely one to romanticize.

What would you do? Where would you go if you could choose three destinations?

I would leave Australia around the middle of October. My destination would be the United States and Canada. It would be an Ice-Hockey road trip. Different games in different cities across both countries. I would hopefully meet some weird and wonderful people along the way. I would submerge myself in American culture, taking a keen interest in the working class and what makes them tick. I would relish eating in diners and experiencing the different landscapes. There would be Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve to celebrate. Memories created would be something to cherish for the rest of my life.

Next on the list, would be visiting a European country such as France, Italy or Spain. Again I would embrace the culture, language, food and landscape.

My final destination, inspired by last night’s movie would be either Bali or Thailand. Hopefully I could spread out available funds for an extended stay with the sole emphasis on fun and relaxation.

How nice it is to dream!

Back to the present and life as it is. This is the time for reassurance. I am doing fine. I am doing the best that I can under less than ideal circumstances.

I am grateful for the things the that I have.

It all starts in 3 weeks

This year has not been an easy one when it comes to accepting the limitations that having Bipolar puts on my life. Through the despair of a long depressive episode, I am struggling to accept my position in life. No career, no partner, no kids. I’ve never resented having this illness as much as I do right now. Through all the pain and suffering, I hang onto a small glimmer of hope that one day things can get better. That one day I will have what my heart desires most. It’s not about material gain. It’s about being able to rise above a situation so dark and bleak in nature, to a place where the sun shines on more days than it doesn’t. Having a mental illness becomes secondary. Loneliness and isolation is a thing of the past. Positive relationships are forged. There is love in my life through the power of family. The shackles of all present limitations are broken and pave way to opportunity.

A new journey begins in three weeks. It is my chance to dig myself out from the depths of despair and strive for something meaningful.

I am returning to study. My sights are set on achieving something that should have been done during the early stages of adulthood. It is unfinished business and something I simply must do.

I have chosen to study Psychology. There is still a burning desire¬†within me to help people . My days working as a nurse provided me with the necessary insight, to realise how good I can be in the role as a carer. I feel a ‘calling’ in life. It is strong and it’s loud. If I do not try to make the most of the opportunity that lays before me, I don’t think I can live with myself.

How this idealism can translate to real world activity is still beyond comprehension. I am starting small by only doing a couple of subjects. This pace should suit me for where I am at right now. Anything more, and the chances of being overwhelmed by stress become more of a reality. I have been down that road many times before, when I knew it was bad for me, and yet I persevered. In the end, I lose the battle to keep up with everything and find myself back at square one. Depression in all it’s glory takes a strong hold and it will be months before I am in a position to pick myself up and dust myself off.

What I am most looking forward to about studying Psychology, is exploring how the brain operates. Nature vs Nurture concepts. What essentially makes us tick. I know that by the time the theory is done and dusted, practicing Psychology in the real world will be vastly different. For now though, I am looking forward to the journey of exploring all of the theory and the personal development that comes with learning a new vocation.

This opportunity is one I hope I can relish. It is a chance to grow and expand the knowledge and experience already gained in my life thus far. It is a chance to embrace optimism once again and strive for something better in life. It won’t be easy, but I think I am up for the challenge once again.

Wish me luck!