30 days

Today I felt an old friend come back.

Overwhelm.

Perhaps it's psychosomatic due to a reduction in medication. Or perhaps that medicine is working its way out of my body and brain a whole lot faster than I imagined and leaving me with the realization that I am going to try and move forward on my own.

Why do humans have the knack for forecasting the future when we are usually incorrect? 

The reason I am able to write on this blog daily is because I have let go of any outcome and see it as a ritual. I won't become rich and famous from it and yet it has given me valuable lessons.

1. I can indeed sit down for an hour everyday and write.

I thought I would have difficulty coming up with things to write. Somedays it's more difficult than others. I have learned to trust the process and simply begin writing. Letting go of the idea that this is for anyone, and worse, everyone all at the same time, it releases a freedom from within and out it comes. 

2. One simple daily practice eventually turns into a collection

I make things so complicated. I overthink. We all do. However, now after committing to writing daily Monday through Friday as part of my practice I have over 40 essays that I can be proud of.

They may not change the world but they've done a whole lot for me. They've shown me patterns, proven to me that I have the ability to focus, and I've felt the joy of actually learning something new. How to write.

I'm not the worst writer. I'm not the best writer. I'm a better writer than I was last month and that is of value. It has certainly has given me a sense of accomplishment. That's what we all strive for isn't it?

3. I have gained more and more confidence each day.

At first writing was mega gut wrenching. I thought long and hard about what people would say, how they might judge me and then I had a realization. People don't really care. They may think about me while reading a post, but there's so much frickin' stuff going on in our world that out the window it flies once they see that next blog post.

I've got my friends, family and relationships that are in line with my values and that's good enough. 

But now as I take a step towards some sort of outside work in creeps that old friend overwhelm. 

I know my old way of working will not be sustainable if I want to stay healthy both mentally and physically. The old way sends me into a spiraling maniacal maze of wires crossing and pond jumping rather than climbing one ring at a time.

And so a new 30 days begin. I will apply the same technique as daily blogging with a new section of my work. I'm not going to write or talk about it in an effort to keep the energy within the work. 

I have made a pact with myself to not change the project mid month. This is the most difficult thing for me. But I know this is the key. This project will simply be what it is. If it needs to stand on its own after I'm done that's what it's going to do. If it wants to grow then I will grow with it. 

And guess what? Another 30 days is around the corner. 

I will use the same technique I have used with writing. Gut instinct. 

After 30 days I will see what value it holds for me. 

See you on the other side. And yes, I'll still be here writing.

Meds or no meds- that is the question? Molly as Hamlet

I want to go off my meds.

When I said this to five of my closest confidants they all had the same reaction. 

"Isn't that what most people that have your type of problem say?"

Um, yes? It is. Or so I gather. That's what I've heard in all the movies.

And yet I don't quite feel like most people. I've also heard people in movies say that. 

I would say I have a tinge, a smidge, a scoache (I don't know how you spell that word but I think you get it?) of mania.

Okay I know I lost 18 pounds and yes I didn't eat for a year but again I was still lucid and aware that I wasn't able to eat. I did go off my rocker one, two or three nights, but that was mainly due to a mismatch of drugs alongside my mania. 

I don't know.

What comes first? The chicken or the egg? The drugs or the mania? The mania or the drugs? Is the immune condition causing my symptoms or the bipolar drugs? It's truly frustrating and when I talk to any of my eight doctors it's even more maddening as they run around telling me to take Gas x. 

It's complicated. I'll spare you the deets.

I know what came last week. Depression. Big time.

My metabolism has slowed, I can't exercise with enough strength and my tummy looks like I'm about to give birth to a medium sized cantaloupe.

That's where the Gas x comes in, get it?

I literally look like one of those people walking slowly in the Prozac commercials. And the character on the screen hasn't even taken the Prozac yet! That's the BEFORE! I'm the before and the after at the same time.

That is not how I can be the rest of my life. 

I'm a walking cliche saying I can do it on my own aren't I? Yep. 

Currently 1/2 the people in my life think I really really need them and the other half think I'm misdiagnosed and hormonal and making this up even though it's come from two separate psychiatrists. I've learned people don't always believe in psychiatry. 

It's a thing. 

I can see both sides. I really can't win in my own brain. Some might call it bipolar, huh?

Here's what I know now.

I need to wait, take a breath, get my health back as my body is out of whack from either the medication or something else going on. 

I was surprised to hear so many of my close friends have such big concerns when I said I was going to give this a go on my own. They obviously noticed more than I thought. That is indeed something to think about. I understand that.

I also think these same friends will immediately have the guts to tell me if I'm starting to cycle rapidly. 

I'm not sure I'll know until I see what happens when I'm off, so let's give this a go shall we? 

It seems like the cleanest and clearest decision to make at this point. 

Thanks for listening on what has been an intensely stressful week and it's only Monday. Thank god for the sun today. 

 

 

The Simple 30: Another anxiety attack comes roaring back

For 30 days I intend to do the same routine every day.

I'll explain.

I had a big set back a few days ago after thinking I was basically cured of Bipolar 2. What can I say? I've always had self confidence, and after two weeks of feeling fairly focused, eating well and having a relatively normal days I thought, "Yep, definitely cured now". 

Both of my doctors, primary and psychologist warned against this saying it was too soon to tell, but you guys-I wrote a musical in a year from start to finish-so I'm basically a genius. 

I mean I graduated with a 2.9. Get me a white medical coat.

Cut to a few nights ago I didn't sleep well, a humungous gigantic trigger. Basically the only real reason I'm sleeping with some success lately is because my psychiatrist has allowed me to take Ambien, god love her. I basically bugged the sh*t out of her for three days, explaining that I don't believe she understands the degree to which I don't sleep and the amount of stress surrounding it. If I wasn't on sleep meds I would go five nights in a row on 3 or so hours of panicked sleep and take no nap during the day, and in the process create 5 businesses, 8 websites, and a choreograph a gazillion dance classes. And boom, get sick.

Okay. Fast forward.

I started to spin out the following day. My mind said, "Okay, here's what on the agenda for today Molls, listen up. You will have no concentration, mania, rapid producing of stuff that you're not going to use because well, it's all...useless. Have fun!"

I contemplated the following careers within the span of 3 hours. Maybe I should be?

  • A Barista at Peet's Coffee
  • A waitress
  • A salesperson at Nordstrom
  • Going back to school to get my Psychology degree
  • Wait that would take too long-should I get my Marriage and Family Therapy License?
  • I'd make a good lawyer, I argue really well
  • Wait that would take too long and I don't have any money to go back to school maybe I should go on the internet and get my Life Coaching license.
  • And then back around to I should just be an actor. It doesn't pay much but I'm good at it and it's easy.

That, my friends is what an anxiety attack looks like for me. And before you say, we've all had that. Uh-uh. Complementing this anxiety attack is my body's response, crying. Often uncontrollably or if I'm lucky it just wells up every 5-10 minutes, but when it happens it does not feels not in my control and not connected to any rationality.

I cried in the aisle of Whole Foods while picking out pickles. 

I one time cried while eating a chicken fried steak. If you know me, a girl from Texas, who loves chicken fried steak...with gravy...fried okra...and a butter bun...and green jello. Nevertheless, I was crying.

Crying is the body's natural coping mechanism. Even if it's irrational, I find it best not to stop myself because holding in that feeling will cause another anxiety attack later that afternoon. 

And to the lady picking out kosher pickles next to me and wondering why this blonde chick was weeping over sweet or dill, I say, deal with it. 

Actually, it's pretty embarrassing. 

After crying I have a feeling of apathy and exhaustion. I don't have the ability to do much the rest of the day. My body has released most of the anxiety but leaves me feeling apathetic and uninterested in continuing through on any projects. 

Sometimes I can break out of it by exercising or walking. Usually I turn inward and put my earphones in and listen to podcast and books. I can do that for three hours and would continue until I was able to take that Ambien and fall asleep, but I'm a mom so that ain't happening. 

My children do not see any of this btw, they're blissfully unaware, or so it seems. Maybe they'll end up in therapy because of some deep seeded anxiety I have can't see, but most of us have that anyhow as we get older, some I'm not gonna take credit quite yet. Plus, I've always had a lot of doctors appointments so they're used to it. I will indeed be talking with them about all this though.

Transparency is key to my eventual success.

I would never want to hold something as big as this from them, as they might be afflicted by it one day. I have learned that mental illness runs rampantly throughout my family and I'd like them to have the tools rather than running around for 20 years thinking they're just high on life like I did.

Luckily I saw my therapist just two days later. I recounted what had happened and self diagnosed my own core issue. I have the unique ability to do that. It's as if I hover over my life as I spin from thought to thought and intuitive Molly analyzes and course corrects crazy Molly. This time I came to the conclusion that for now I do not want a gigantic career filled with ups and downs, excitement, fear, and general "bigness."

Right now my body craves simplicity calm, focused days, weeks, months, where I can get joy out of small even tasks and goals that perhaps no one even notices. 

  • Making the bed
  • Cooking a meal
  • Paying the bills
  • Writing

Simplicity. 

I crave it. I want it. I need it. My mind, however, spins me into a whirling dervish of thoughts and destroy any notion of my zen like hopes.

My therapist, who is just amazingly awesome and has basically saved me from years of misery, had the idea of me living life as a Modern Lady Monk.  Or a MLM for short. Actually, I made that name up. Sounds cuter and pinker than a regular robe wearing monk.

Just so you know The Modern Lady Monk wears soft relaxed cotton yoga wear from Athleta, and cashmere. I love me some cashmere.

For 30 days I will commit to doing the same thing everyday, write out on paper my commitment to myself and stick with it. 

I will not worry about the outcome, what happens on day 31, or making money. I will simply stay within the guidelines I have set for myself of my day and night. 

We call it The Simple 30

Thirty days of Molly living as a Modern Lady Monk. That doesn't mean doing nothing. I will outline my daily routine in my next post.

I felt immense relief upon contemplating this idea from my therapist, as I somehow needed to have permission from someone else to do it, for whatever psychological reason that is. 

And so I begin. 

This section of my blog will be dedicated to The Simple 30. A series that documents the what, why, and how of my 30 days. 

I'm a little nervous. My body and mind is used to chaos. It's my natural go to. It has moved my career forward at a rapid pace and now I need to embrace the slowness and perhaps monotony of everyday life. 

It may be boring. It may be simple. It may be tedious. 

But I guess I believe it will keep me alive.

I hope you all have a great Friday. I will be here.

Doing the same thing tomorrow.

xo, Molly