Cycling — Baby Baby

Unrelated lyrics: But oh baby baby baby baby


It’s not supposed to work this way. I don’t usually cycle this quickly.

I need to go look up the date when I was last “up” — because it’s more often months in between. It’s been a few weeks or something. Usually it is more like a couple of months — I think, I haven’t been tracking it super closely.

I don’t know if I “triggered it” this week and today through things. I don’t know if that’s possible. What thing(s) might have triggered it:

  • More coffee than normal yesterday.
    I was still careful, but definitely allowed myself more — and recently have been having more.
  • Super stressed out.
    Work stresses, then some personal stresses dialed it up to 11 this week. (I thought I was at 11 before that hit — some moments of “white blinding stress” this week*.)
  • Emotional draining.
    While this can cause stress, I think of this as separate. I think too much stress — from any causes — might be a trigger, so this would add to that. But, by itself, I think this might be a trigger.
  • Insufficient restoration time.
    I don’t have a good list of “things to do to regenerate energy.” It would be worth working out such a list.
    Of course, I’ve been too busy at work to be able to indulge in much of this anyways**.
  • New Ideas.
    Curse the interesting ideas and the fascinating people they rode in on.
    I don’t mean that, but I recognize that that is part of the cause. No question.

This is only the first night of having sub-manic symptoms (wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts), so it’s early to call it an up cycle. But, here I am awake, mind racing, typing. So seems likely.

I hope that by setting this expectation for myself, I’ll be more relaxed about it tomorrow at 4am or the next day at 3am when I’m awake with a million thoughts and idea.

Is People!

Up and down.

I’m emotionally drained from a higher than average number of interactions with people this week. Some I could have controlled, others were less in my control.

And, as always, becoming a recluse and avoiding everything, while effective, doesn’t feel like winning. So I could have easily cut a third of the interactions — but would have felt like I was hermiting and giving in.

That’s definitely a mindset that I should change: sometimes that is the right course of action. I’m not yet comfortable knowing when avoiding difficult situations is the right choice.

Long-term, obviously, you can’t avoid all interactions***. But for short periods, it’s a valid response.

The trick is in the details: how long those periods are, which interactions to skip, what percentage vs. time for restorative activities.

Among the racing thoughts this morning, Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Use Me.” I have no idea why. I couldn’t pick that song out of a line-up on a normal day — I had to search to figure out what the song was that was stuck in my head.

* White blinding stress: there is a certain level at which is “stressed out” in a manner akin to how you get move from “anger” to a “rage” where you just aren’t thinking straight. And usually I can’t see that level of stress in the moment, only after some time I can realize that “oh hey, I was stress blinded there”.
 I’d guess it’s a particular level of cortisol or something, but I haven’t begun to look or think about what the cause is.

** The giveaway here is the word “indulge”. There is a certain amount needed that isn’t an indulgence. But if your restoration is found by going to a coffee shop and reading quietly — that will look like indulgence to the outside world and you’ll likely think (possibly erroneously) that people are judging you to be indulging. Ignore those people or the voice in your head who is vocalizing their judgement.

*** You could, but then you have a very different life. Which is a valid choice. But if you feel that isn’t a choice, then likely you won’t be happy with that outcome. So a different solution is needed.

Originally published at on January 30, 2016.

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