As I was searching GoogleImages for photos for this post, I was struck by just how popular the idea of the “bounceback” is. It applies to people, places, sports teams, jobs, the economy, relationships, and just life in general. I wrote the title “(Tentatively) Bouncing Back” before I started searching for “bouncing back” photos, and now am left wondering if I should have chose something else.
But that’s what this is, in the life of Rosa right now. I’m bouncing back, and I say I’m bouncing back tentatively, because not so long ago (say, maybe a week), I was in the throes of despair. That’s how it can be with bipolar disorder, so I have to be very careful that these extremely good moods I am having are not just an upswing. So, I’m tentative.
I do feel myself, the real me, the un-sick me, coming back to life. After a psychiatric hospitalization and then over six weeks of dealing with very poor physical and mental health, I am starting to feel like “me” again. Like Rosa has returned to the building, if you will.
Over the past week, I have been getting out more, doing things with family, doing more around my house, just moving around more. I started back to work on Tuesday. I thought I would never catch everything up and it would be a huge mess for all eternity, but after flailing on Tuesday, I managed to get everything up to snuff by end of day today. So see, Rosa? Not that bad.
I went to the grocery store for the first time in over six weeks today. I am almost phobic of going grocery shopping, but I went to my cute little IGA in the bad part of town and managed to get everything on my list while staying within my budget. It was such a good feeling…no, an amazing feeling. Like I had just kicked that grocery store’s ass and taken it’s name.
I know, in my brain, what I need to do to feel good. All those things on my Building Rome’s goal lists — I need to do those. And I need to do the day to day stuff, make sure I get out enough, make sure my house is taken care of, make sure I am taken care of.
It’s a lot easier to have better mental health when you don’t feel sick all of the time. I have figured out what I can and can’t eat to make myself sick. I have some tricks to feeling better mentally, and I have been putting them to use. I think one of the main things that has been helping me lately is good ol’ DBT.
One of the skills, “one-mindfully in the moment” encourages you to approach something head-on, with full concentration. It can be anything from doing the dishes to playing with your dog to singing in the shower. You put all of your attention on that one thing, and I swear, you enter an almost-Zen state or, it’s a lot like (almost exactly like) “being in the zone,” if that makes more sense. If you do enough one-mindfully in the moment, you will find that you are also more mindful in general during the day. Living in the moment is the only way to go.
So I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing over this past week; doing those things that are making me feel good and feel happy. That’s right — Rosa is happy. She’s bouncing back.