a day in the life: part 1

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”

Charles Spurgeon

It goes without saying those dealing with bipolar disorder have to handle themselves on a day-to-day basis. Second-to-second, at time. Although I wouldn’t have began the day describing it that way, I could sense the resolve of Christmas and the weekend happening at the same time and knew there would surely be some major, stressful shift in my life. Had to be.

Of course, naturally, there was already a shift of some sort happening in everybody’s lives: the Christmas holidays were ending, bring on the new year. But I knew lingering on this type of thinking could be a trigger for me. A trigger for something a little more grandiose.

It usually begins to manifest itself in the form of worrying. Extreme worrying. Worrying and anxiety that I have never been able to accurately describe.

As the day went on though, I sort of just stayed “hidden” from the idea of something happening. It was genuinely like I was playing hide-and-seek with just the notion of something possibly happening. I was handling myself fine, but I still felt like I was barely getting by. It’s the emotional equivalent of having too much toast and not enough butter: less serious than you can imagine but deathly worrisome, and in the worst way.

I was beginning to feel like this was one of those days I should’ve stayed in bed. My silent worrying was turning into silent paranoia, and I wasn’t sure if it was showing or not. I was really just trying to stay hidden, hoping I was protected from this day’s unpredictable bullshit by some sort of cosmic invisibility.

However, that was not the case and I knew it. But I also had no idea of what I was trying to keep at bay. My worrying and anxiety, of course, but more so from where it was coming from. Which was where?

I was trying to keep whatever dread was going on just below the surface, though. And I did. A true shift of the paradigm. I made it through the silent chaos in my brain.

I always do, but that doesn’t mean each time isn’t just as difficult as the last. What exactly did I do anyway? Stress about something that even I knew wasn’t real?

That’s how it goes, though. But the main takeaway was that I caught the trigger before it got pulled. I spent the day worried and anxious over an invisible fear, but I did not let it turn into something more personally destructive.

Sometimes I feel like I’m headed for a hopeless destination. And if life is the journey then why I even be on it? You’re getting nowhere fast. And where you are going is worse than the route you took.

But I conquered the day and was able to get into my bed and hide under the covers, feeling safe and accomplished.

Yet already dreading tomorrow to see what little tricks I could pull on myself if I played my cards just right.

Even so, it’s a day-to-day journey and you can’t skip ahead any. And why would you want to? There’s no point. Stress and anxiety, mania and depression, they don’t have to follow you; they know exactly where you are at all times. But we must push through. It’s all we can do.

Plato once said, “Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.”

Plato must’ve had a good therapist.

It goes without saying those dealing with bipolar disorder have to handle themselves on a day-to-day basis. Second-to-second, at time.

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