Work ethics for the manic depressive
It’s one of those days when motivation doesn’t come easily nor stay around for very long. Feelings of frustration wash over me, but five minutes later I am upbeat and ready to go, only to find my motivation running away from me like Road Runner (yes, I am talking about ‘’Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner).
I find myself distracted even if I do my best to organize my time. I have designated days for certain activities, I try not to put too many tasks in a day, etc. Us folks with bipolar disorder, we are good at making lists because we have to. *
All my lists are kept in my diary along scribbles, doodles, and lyrics. I consider myself a very organized person, and maybe that is thanks to my architecture background, or the rigid discipline I had to follow during high school years. **
Anyway, managing one’s time is hard enough without having to worry about your constant fluctuations in mood and energy.
“Bipolar disorder seems to be a disorder of energy; too little in depression and too much in mania,” said professor Michael Berk “This suggests that if we can usefully target energy, we might help depression in bipolar disorder” — Preach it!
Trying to re-adjust after an episode, or even while euthymic, requires hard work. This problem made me re consider all my work routine. I am learning that I need more time off than a healthy person, I am learning that full-time jobs are not for me, and unfortunately, I can’t do everything I want all the time. It’s really frustrating for a person with so many interests, but it’s the healthy choice.
I think that quality over quantity should be one of our mantras. Not accomplishing all the things from the list is not a crime. Taking time off is not a crime.
Since I am gravitating towards freelance work I can give myself some more breaks. Even so, there always seems like there aren’t enough hours in one day to do all ‘’I must’’. I am not used to not being busy and under stress, it is quite a foreign feeling for me, but I am going to learn to embrace it. Past experiences showed me how bad my health can get when juggling with studies, work, and managing my condition.
In conclusion, there is no conclusion. It’s a process, and what works today might not work tomorrow. It’s learning and adjusting to emotions and circumstances and, to be honest, that shows how flexible we can be as individuals. I’ll keep learning!
- *If you can survive without writing lists while your brain is on fire, I salute you!
- **I will write more about this on my personal blog.