The story of the yellow flats: addiction, meth and my next high

I've got an intense craving that isn't being fed. 

Two days ago I wrote about being a "happy depressive". Read it here. It's odd to me that I used the word depressed as if I have any idea what that word really means. Because I don't. I don't think I've ever felt depressed in my life really.

Like, ever.

But two days ago I wrote that I was depressed. Huh.

What I didn't say is that my mind and body feel like they're chugging along in a slow panic.

My center is calm, while my brain churns in a lower gear than normal, as if on a slow motion hamster wheel of thought.

Now as I write, I don't think it's a hamster wheel. Hamsters move fast. 

This is a lower gear. My mind is a ferris wheel, consistent and constantly moving. It's high and low. It's dragged out. It churns a cycle of thoughts during the day and a series of vivid dreams at night.

I called it depression.

I think I'm wrong.

Today as I drove to Whole Foods I had the thought that I should buy some shoes. Yellow flats to be precise. 

Okay, I admit, also perhaps a spring like top that would go with the shoes if I was feelin' it.

My mind clicked a little faster.

THREE times I thought about these shoes. Once at Peet's getting my morning tea, a spark. Then in the car driving over to the market, a flare. Once more while picking out avocados, I feel a familiar rush through my brain, a quickening in my heart and a lift in my blood pressure.

I want those f*cking yellow flats.

As I was deciding whether or not to get organic or conventional avocados it persisted. (I got organic btw.) That spike in my pulse is something very familiar but I realize I haven't felt it for a couple weeks. This is partially because of a new medication and I'm hoping because I am closing out week one of a 30 day regimen that concentrates on mindfulness, exercise, food and the rote of daily living that my therapist and I came up with called The Simple 30.. Each day the same.

I suddenly saw my cute yellow flats for what they were. 

The yellow flats are my meth. My body is craving a hit.

Oh sh*t, a hit of dopamine and those cute little yellow mother f-ers are gonna give me just that. 

And before you get all, Molly don't you think you're being a bit dramatic calling yourself a meth head? And I'm all no I'm totally not. And your all, I think you are and it's unfair to equate yourself to something that serious. And I'm all, okay maybe but that's why you read...let's just agree that it's somewhere in the middle and tell you this.

Methamphetamine increases the amount of the natural chemical dopamine in the brain. People with Bipolar 2 tend to overproduce dopamine resulting in mania like behavior.

Apparently, so do yellow flats.

I mean I'm not a doctor, but that just makes sense. 

My body and mind crave it. It has sky rocketed me forward in my career, made life exciting, been my partner in writing musicals, teach insane dance classes and intense voice lessons at the speed of light. It's pushed me through illness after illness as I perform.

It has caused me to not sleep at night but still produce heavily during the day. It makes me talk fast, spin fast, and argue intensely. It's colorful, bright, exciting, just like those cute yellow flats- and it's, no biggie, almost killed me.

They say people with a high dopamine personality are characterized by high intelligence (okay if you SAY so). 

They have a sense of personal destiny (well my quest is to be the white Oprah, or the straight Jillian Michaels, or maybe the next David Mamet?)

They have obsession with achieving goals and conquests, (the only way I get work done).

Lastly, they possess an emotional detachment that in many cases leads to ruthlessness, (I mean I'm not a serial killer or anything but I have been known to take someone DOWN with my words and intense argument style. Guess I should have been a lawyer and would've been much richer).

Maybe then I could afford those yellow flats.

Too much dopamine can push some people over that fine line between genius and madness. 

Now I'm not mad and I ain't no genius, but I do know this.

My body will no longer tolerate it. Just like an alcohol, sugar, exercise, food or whatever your drug of choice is, if I don't self regulate my dopamine spikes I will fly off the rails, spin out making myself mentally and physically get sick. At 41, my bank account is drained (literally), my relationships fail, and my cuppeth literally hath runneth over.

In therapy today I was able to come to the resolution that I am in withdrawal.

I've thrived and survived with dopamine for over twenty five years.

That's where The Simple 30 comes in. Yes-I've already branded it. Duh. 

My 30 day plan to live life as a modern lady monk. Trying to resist surges in dopamine that aren't natural, increasing endorphins which my body can handle, keeping calm, methodic, and yes sometimes, bored. What I thought was depression is most likely withdrawal. 

Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither was Molly's new life.

It doesn't have to be forever although it seems like it's taking forever. It's an exercise in patience, something I'm not so good at. 

It's living a life that's rooted in intention.

Not in yellow flats.

xo, Molly

The Simple 30: A manifesto for living a Modern Lady Monk lifestyle for 30 days

I know. Complicated title. 

What is a Modern Lady Monk?

Well I'll tell ya in 30 days, but it's my version of a modern day gal (me) who lives a modern day life (mine) with intention, focus and clarity in order to create a calm zen life for myself (monk).

Why am I doing it? 

It was my therapists idea, in order to help me keep my bipolar 2 from cycling too rapidly and also to support my immune system in the face of my common variable immunodeficiency.

What is the plan?

To do the same routine each day with focused and calm intention. Like a monk. Just a modern lady monk.

Just go with it.

As my mentioned in my last post, if she's wearing soft elegant cotton or cashmere it's even better. But that's just not always reality, I'm looking at you old blue sweats with my husbands old t-shirt. Also perfectly acceptable, btw. I mean the goal isn't to be snotty.

You can switch out the L for M and Modern Man Monk if you'd like. Be my guest. 

I know it's important to write out what my MLM manifesto will be for the next 30 days. First, in order to set myself up for success I need to provide clarity around my principles and intentions.

Then I can lay out a structured, precise, and thorough plan of action.

I mean plan of zen.

These are my commitments, not to be confused with yours.

You will indeed have yours tailored to your own wants, needs and strengths. Mine reflect the daily practice I believe I need in order to have a fully realized 30 days. 

After consideration of this intention I have laid down my 11 tenants here.

The Modern Lady Monk Manifesto

1.  I commit to my meditation practice to clear my mind of clutter, social media influences, negative thinking, or overly worry about my weight, illness, kids, dog or whatever obstacles I face each day.

2.  I commit to keeping my house, car and desk clean and tidy, including drawers and good lord the garage.

3.  I commit to eating and cooking a wholesome, low sugar, low carbohydrate, diet and keeping my inflammation at bay. I will eat at least 3 servings of veggies a day.

4. I commit to writing daily as my one and only medium, without the emphasis being on the expectations of my success or dwelling on the possible failure. I will write from the heart, in my own voice, without comparison to others.

5.  I commit  to surrounding myself with people who I gain positive, honest energy from who have my back and I have theirs. I will allow them to support and help me, take their advice without judgement and I will do more listening than talking.

6.  I commit to reading, learning and researching something new each day.

7.  I commit to time spent with my family free of distraction and focus on their growth alongside my own.

8.  I commit to eating dinner as a family.

9.  I commit to bringing myself to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, with focus, in depth preparation, and patience in order to achieve the satisfaction I receive from this when done well.

10.  I commit myself to doing one thing at a time and resist the urge to over stimulate.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading and I've hope I've inspired to you to think of your own Modern Lady/Man/Person Manifesto. Go at it and let me know how it goes.

xo, Molly