Approximately one year of relative stability has passed, can I stop questioning it now? Can I stop waiting for the earth to fall out from under my feet? Is it time to stop holding my breath, waiting to be yanked up into mania? After a lifetime of instability, including over a year of treatment-resistant depression, I don’t know how to accept this state of mind.
Saturday was a big test. We had a surprise party for Greg’s daughter-in-law’s 30th birthday. I was in charge of grocery shopping, food, and drink; Greg (wonderful man that he is) did most of the cleaning-he even washed the windows. When I returned from the grocery store, I was going to make a vegetarian lasagna, homemade baguettes for garlic bread, mocha cheesecake bars, and sangria. The guests were to start coming around 3:00, the birthday girl would arrive around 3:30. Going to the grocery store took longer than I expected, and by the time I got home I was an hour behind schedule. But where was the panic? Everything was copacetic. I just looked at my list (lists are vital to my well-being!), and started doing one item at a time. It was amazing, like an intricate dance in the kitchen. By the time I was done, I couldn’t believe that nothing went wrong. I needed the oven five different times at five different temps, and it all went smoothly. Greg was in and out of the kitchen helping me with the clean-up, so I was always organized and working in a clean environment (that’s another thing that’s important to me). No anxiety, no need to run away, no wanting to kill anyone, just moving along like a well-oiled machine.
On a side note, one of the things that helped to keep me calm was that I was stuck behind a car that was going a little slower than what I felt I needed to go. I noticed a fluffy dog head sticking out the window, seeming to smile, enjoying the breeze. That made me smile, and I just focused on that instead of how fast/slow I was going.
Shouldn’t this potentially disastrous experience tell me I’m ok now? Why am I still questioning it? I’ve had maybe three “episodes” over the past year, and none have lasted more than three days. Bipolar disorder is insidious, it won’t let go; and PTSD on top of that will cause one to doubt every accomplishment.
I intend to keep fighting the self-doubt, to have the conviction to know I’m ok now, to truly believe in my capabilities. I will continue to take one day at a time, and not worry about how I’ll feel tomorrow. That’s not important, what’s important is that no matter what I do feel tomorrow, I have the tools and the unwavering support system to deal with whatever happens.