I feel like I have to spend the best parts of my energies just holding it all together (all the time, regardless of mood state). A constant below the hood and out of sight vigilance just to stop me from flying apart in all directions. Like ‘background checks’ being run on your computer while you’re busy using front-end programmes for things like ‘life’. Like the wizard in The Wizard of Oz – busy turning levers and pressing buttons in an anxious hurry in order to keep the front-of-house edifice running – alive and convincing. I don’t give myself a hard time any more for not achieving ‘stuff’ – I know how busy I am.
My head’s unravelling more than its usual at the moment. I’m whizzy and disparate and stretched and losing myself. It’s painful and getting scary. I should say that lithium ensures my highs never get to the point of dangerous or impulsive behaviour. But highs of any shape or form don’t always feel glorious.
I thought I’d try for some thoughts on what to do when you’re losing yourself. I’d be interested in any thoughts or advice. The basis of my current plan is to walk walk walk and burn off some of the extra energy that’s flying around in discordant directions. Walking in a straight line is helpful to my scattered mind. With that in mind I’ve been walking across town in a pretty straight east to west direction for several hours at a time. If that proves not to be enough then I just set off again later in the day and do it again. Walking pace is good for trying to formulate your thoughts – many writers walk as a means of exploring their ideas and gathering inspiration. Walking in a straight line appeals to my need for direction in the middle of this chaos.
The physicality of this I think is important, and brings me to something my Community Psychiatric Nurse told me recently when I was struggling with stuff – focus on the body. The body needs warmth, comfort, food, drink, rest. This is a good thing to focus on when your mind is disparate.
Having whizzed around for days and not written anything, I’m now realising that composing and writing blog posts is a really helpful way of gathering my thoughts together. Difficult to do when things are whizzy, but well worth the effort.
Finally, I harbour a sneeking suspicion that doing the housework would be a good way to gather myself together. A physical focus and activity with a satisfying endpoint. But given my relationship with housework I’d say that’s still a step too far!