You have plans for your life?

Well so do I :-)

I had one hell of a trip to Hawaii and it was not IN THE LEAST what I was expecting. Picture above should give a brief idea of how far left off course my vacation charted. I had every aspect of my vacation planned out down to the sleep time. Land at X time, get to hotel at Y time, go out for hiking at Z time and so on and so forth. Let’s just say that NOTHING went according to plan. For those new to my story, I am bipolar and in my last entry, I was preparing to go on vacation to Hawaii. Now while on vacation, I unfortunately went Magically And Near Impossibly Careless (manic) ← The acronym is made up and the details of the episode are unimportant. Today, I am back to normal, down from the high and I can honestly say that this has been the worst incident by far. On a normal day, in my home zone, coming down from the high of an episode is hard enough. Co-mingle the experience though with travel, a new environment and the reality dawning on just how little control I have when an episode decides to make an entrance, and let’s just leave it at that I am fully and completely drained, mentally and physically. At this current moment, the worst part is that it all felt SO real… and it was… The good and the bad. All said and done, I can choose to continue to dwell on the negative of the experience but I am actively REFUSING and I am instead choosing to move forward.

When I woke up today, I started the healing process which for me involves reflecting on what went wrong, what went right and how to be better prepared for the next episode. Thinking about it, I realized that the entire experience reminded me of a saying that I had heard prior. I forget who mentioned it to me and even the exact words for that matter. It goes something like this, “Tell me your plans for your life and I will laugh at them, scrap them and do what I want with your life”. That might be a little harsh but the message that was being conveyed to me at the time was that I was not valuing myself as highly as I should be. The plans we make for ourselves and our lives are almost always not even remotely as grand as they need to be… seeing as we all seem to have the subconscious urge to devalue our self worth so as to minimize risk, hurt and what not.

The plan I had in this case was a beautiful relaxing vacation of sun, sand, sea and mountain air. To be honest, I did actually experience all these things, but just not as expected and I additionally was not as present as I would have liked due to my mental state. See some examples below:

  1. I wanted to hike to the top of the crater… well I ended up driving to the top of the crater… twice
  2. I wanted to fly through the air… well I did 5-line zip line tour
  3. I wanted to surf, relax and meditate on the beach… well I did all that sans the surfing (which I have done before and will do again at some point).

That was the smaller plan. The bigger plan was being able to complete all the above with an episode looming and some even smack in the middle of it. I have the picture of my wobbly legged attempt at surfing in Sydney to convey my feelings of the period i.e. this time I got on the surfboard and I am getting better at riding the waves. I am most definitely not yet steady enough to ride the wave all the way to the shore but I am getting there and surely will with some more practice.

As a law-abiding citizen, driving through a residential neighborhood looking for free public parking, I would not park in front of a resident’s driveway that has this sign posted. My wonder here is thus, “Why would I clearly abide by this law in the physical and yet fail to do the same in my own life”? The law being referred to here is blocking the passage way and while this may appear to be a complete topic change from the above, I was pondering how other people suffering with this disease handle situations like this. Do they curl and hide? Do they pretend it is not happening? What do other bipolar people do here? This question / thought was actually the driver that kept me from feeling sorry about myself and the entire situation. It is really hard to not have any other first hand account stories of similar experiences so I really feel as though I am running around this entire experience… blind.

I am finding writing purging for me and I am most certainly hoping that my writing is beneficial for other people assuming that they are parked in front of the garage door of our own lives incapacitated by this as well. Or maybe not even as extreme as being incapacitated but merely just newbies to all of this as I am. I know that we (myself included) have sometimes wedged (parked) ourselves in so tightly that we cannot get out of our own houses (minds) for a myriad of reasons.

We have parked ourselves in so tightly that we are our own blockers in getting out of our homes to get out to the beach, a nice dinner, a new career, or anything else we desire.

… and this is before you add in full of lack of control during an episode. For anyone who is hiding in their houses I say rev up your engines and be proud that you are not only handling the normal day-to-day but doing so all the while carrying the burden of this… situation.

So, where is my car parked?

After this trip and the VERY many mistakes that I made during it, I could choose to curl up, cry and not move forever. It would most certainly be a lot easier to go this route and I could possibly cause a lot less damage going forward… but there are no guarantees with standing still. Besides, you all already know how I feel about stagnation. Instead, I have taken the last couple of days to breathe and clear my head. I have chosen to forgive myself my mistakes (again), and to accept that Good times and things are still ahead.

This is my reality as I choose to see it since I have re-centered myself, reached out and received support from my support system.

In answer to the question, my car is not parked anywhere. I am sitting in my red porsche* with my eyes closed, top-down, revving the engine, ready to shift this bad girl into gear and take a stab at this roller coaster ride again.

Till we meet again, I bid you adieu.

Signing off on this entry

Love Hard — Fisayo

*P.S. I do not have a porsche :-)