That’s right, I have kept myself alive 100% of the time for over 35 years now. Maybe that’s a funny way of looking at things, but when you live a life that very often involves suicidal ideation or, on the flip side, very dangerous and risky behavior, you have to figure that 100% is a pretty good number at the end of a 35 year stretch.
For all of the moments of “give up” I have had in the past, the fleeting “give ups” that I have at present, and the “give ups” that I know are going to be thoughts in my future as a person who deals with mental illness, I can say that, at this very moment in time, I have no “give ups” in me, at this current time.
Of course, that could change within the next hour or week or month or whatever period of time you can conceive of. And, it probably will. But when things are semi-ok, when I have a day, even just a single day where I feel like I have passed through like a semi-successful human being, I need to write it down, to commemorate it, to throw it a freaking ticker-tape parade. Sometimes I can go really long stretches without a day like today, and every great once in awhile, I will have a string of “give up” free days. I don’t have a string of them at the moment, but I have today.
Today was a pretty good day. I had only very fleeting thoughts of going up, and for the most part my mind just kept pushing me to go on farther, harder, faster, better, more efficient, more brave. I went into a craft store today, and I did not totally freak out while inside, and spent the better part of 30 minutes in there. That is no small feat, because as a general rule for the past months, I go absolutely nowhere, not even usually to appointments.
But I had a gift card, and the wise mind part of me knows that, if I have materials that inspire me, I will be more likely to do crafting-type-stuff, which, generally, makes me feel a little better. I pushed myself to go to the craft store, and I had my lucky, ever-consistent LarBear with me, and I did ok. I didn’t do amazing or great, but I did ok, and I ended up with some new beads that I am pretty excited about.
Even bigger than that adventure, was the fact that I went into a Kwik Shop gas station and picked out my own bottle of water and used the restroom and stayed inside the whole time, even waiting in line with LarBear to pay, and didn’t flee to the safety of the car. This is an even bigger deal because I have never ever been inside this gas station or into any place of business in this section of town. I pushed myself because I knew I had to. I pushed myself because I want to get better and be able to go more places. And maybe, just maybe, I pushed so hard because I really, really needed to pee. Whatever the motivation, I’ll take it.
I know I do better when I use skills like build mastery and build structure, which is basically exactly what it sounds like. Building mastery can range from doing everyday things like cooking a meal to learning a new skill. It is basically (in my eyes), anything that you can do that you can look at and say, “that is me being productive.” Building structure is also just like it sounds, keeping a day full and not having too much down time.
Building structure and building mastery are the two skills that are going to give me real success, in the long run, if I can keep them up. I am looking at what I have done today and I am pleased. I have made a plan for what I am doing tomorrow, and I have detailed it out on paper. If I can stick with it, I will have possibly another day of success.
A more stable length of time is started with stringing one day together after another, and so I have my evening yesterday when I made a new recipe and cleaned up the house a bit, and I have today, with the shopping and getting out in public and cooking a healthy dinner. Hopefully I am able to follow through on tomorrow’s plans, or at least some variation.
Right now, at this moment, I have no “give up” in me, and there is really nothing else I can ask for, more than that.