Searching for Balance

Wednesday, June 18, 2008  7:26 a.m.

Life has been a bit…um…busy lately.  With the addition of a roommate, I find myself occupied almost all of the time.  Feeling better doesn’t hurt.  I’ve also been reaching out to some other people (my neighbor, a co-worker) and have been just getting out there more and doing things.

There is such a thing as “over-doing” it.  Sometimes I have to learn that the hard way.  I spent all of last week running around, busy busy busy.  To go from hermit to social butterfly nearly overnight was great at first.  But then I got tired.  REALLY TIRED.  I’m not talking about being tired of seeing people, just physically tired.  I have been out of my routine, staying up late, and not taking time for myself.

After some stupid decision-making over the weekend and being somewhat of a huge bitch on Sunday and Monday, I realized that I needed to chill a little bit.  That, and my anxiety had been spiking and subsiding and was really causing me interpersonal difficulties.

It’s great to be busy, but I have to find some balance.  I wasn’t doing any of the things that got me to that point.  I was just having a good time.  Like Mom says, I do everything all the way…to the extremes.  How dialectical.

P.S.:  Being dialectical isn’t really good thing.  It means you swing between the extremes and can even mean that you feel two opposite emotions at the same time.  The key is finding the middle of the dialectic.  How to do that, I am still learning. 

IOP has become very, um, depressing lately.  There are a lot of people in there, just wallowing in their shit.  Which is exactly what I was doing, for a very long time.  In fact, I was told that I had been one of the most willful clients in quite awhile.  That’s not a compliment.  So I really can’t judge. 

It has been pointed out to me that my quick turn-around can be explained in part for being in therapy for the past who-knows-how-long (maybe 5 years straight, and then a couple more years here and there) with a DBT therapist, Goddess of Mindfulness. 

And as I’ve said, becoming willing has been the key.  Some days it is very fucking hard to be willing.  And some days it doesn’t happen. 

Becoming willing was like a lightbulb set on a dimmer switch, moving me from from absolute darkness and slowly creeping into the light.  All I can say is that it takes time, and that if you don’t stay on top of the bullshit, it comes back full-force and you head back into the darkness.  I also know that I will have “dips” and “hills” in my mood for the rest of my life. 

The whole point of all of this therapy and whatnot that I have been going through is that I should be better prepared for these bumps, and able to work through them, instead of succumbing to the hell of out-of-control mania or severe depression.  I’ve had a few “dips” and “hills” here in the past month, but have, for the most part, been able to pull myself out of the shit before I drowned in it. 

I am set to graduate IOP next Friday.  I’m pretty freaked out about it.  I can only hope that I will keep up with using my skills and being mindful of my emotions and behaviors…and the world around me.  I will still be having therapy, as always, with Goddess of Mindfulness, likely on at least a weekly basis. 

I’ve been having great anxiety over the fact that I will be returning to some kind of work here in the next few weeks.  I know for sure that I won’t be working as an employment specialist or a case manager, or anything clinical.  I can’t handle the responsibility that comes with it, when I can some days hardly be accountable for myself (and some days not at all).  And I can’t handle the stress, the constant bullshit.  I’m done with working in mental health, at least for now.

On the advice of my parents, I have been trying to look into getting some kind of non-clinical position within the agency I have been working at for the past almost five (or is it four?) years.  I called the HR director yesterday to ask him about it, and it doesn’t look like my chances of that are so good.  He told me that FMLA only holds the job that I already have for 90 days.  It doesn’t mean that they have to work with me to find a different job within the agency. 

I thought that worked a little bit differently, and maybe I didn’t say the right things or ask the right questions.  I’m going to have to check into it.  If I can’t return to the agency, I suppose I’ll just find something else.  Definitely something non-clinical. 

My long-term goal is to eventually work in some sort of fashion with plants and the like.  I likely won’t be pursuing this until I move to AZ, mostly because I can’t afford to take a huge paycut without having Malcom’s additional support with finances.  That, and the fact is that type of work here in KS is very seasonal. 

I hate the saying, “It will all work out in the end,” but I suppose that’s what I’ll have to live by for now.  I also hate the “One day at a time,” saying…but again, that’s what I really need to do.  What I think I’ll live by, for now, is my mom and DHut’s continual advice to me:

“For crying out loud, get your shit together.”  And keep it that way, right?

George Thorogood, Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job

4 thoughts on “Searching for Balance

  1. So, being my usual grab-n-go self, I posted two comments on the previous blog that were meant for this one. As our beloved matriarch-wannabe would say… Oh Well.

    Yeah, there’s a lot to learn about dialectic behavior…not so much what “it is” but what it can be for you. It becomes a practice issue, a doing issue, a living-your-life-by issue.

    I am also fairly bored by the One Day At a Time phrase… wasn’t that also a hokey TV show? Whose actors in time became a washed out elderly actress who couldn’t get another gig, a druggy, and a sexpot turned chunky? Oh yeah, and don’t forget the beloved alchoholic janitor.

    I, too, would be afraid of the “it will all work out in the end” phrase. Of course it will work out. HOW it works out is the question.

    I keep focusing on this part of your beginning post… ” Feeling better doesn’t hurt. ” I think it says a lot.

    Getting your shit together must be an absolute to move forward. Finding balance and utilizing the skills you’ve learned is also an absolute, at least in order to move forward.

    Having a social life and friends when one has not much experience can be very overwhelming, and cause one to lose touch with one’s self. But if one can do both, it’s a very satisfying result.

    Yeah, get your shit together. It doesn’t have to stay together, it just needs to be an end toward a means.

    And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. I like my shrimp fried, or boiled, or gumboed.


  2. I have always thought that people with any sort of emotional problems should not be involved in any sort of direct client service work. A non-direct service job would be the best thing for you.

    Balence is a rough one. I think that people with BP have to learn to limit themselves on the upside. One of my group members said that was a rough thing for him because he always enjoyed tinkering with things. In his case, getting into the groove could also set him off. He said that he would no longer let himself work late, after 9 or 10 p.m., even though he was feeling good.



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