100% Success Rate For Over 35 Years

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.

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Got High Hopes

Day one since I don’t remember, I’m feeling pretty decent.  I got a good uninterrupted night’s sleep, I pumped myself full of iced tea, had a good chat with a friend on FB, and now I’m blogging.  And I don’t feel cloudy-headed.  Daresay, I feel pretty darn good.

Now, I am not new to the bipolar scene.  I, as much as anyone, realize this could be fleeting.  Realize that this could just be a little  hypomania and I’ll have cycled out of it by midday.  But for right now, I’ve got high hopes.

I’ve given myself a deadline of 12:30 pm to get off my butt and start doing some cleaning in my house.  I plan to sweep and vacuum, and clean the kitchen.  There’s laundry that needs doing, but its inconsequential laundry, like blankets I don’t use, and sheets I won’t need for another week.  All the “important stuff” has been done and is ready to be put away.  Okay, maybe I’ll put away some laundry, too.

The scary thing about having high hopes, is that they can crash ever-so-quickly.  The scary thing about having high hopes, is that you share your high hopes with other people, and then you often disappoint them.  The scary thing about sharing your dreams with other people is that they want those dreams for you, too, and they start expecting, maybe more than you can handle.

There’s a fear to having high hopes.  A fear that more will be expected, that you might not be able to deliver, that the high hopes you had in the morning are gone by noon.  There is a fear to getting better.

That sounds crazy, though, doesn’t it?  Don’t we want to get better?  I personally do, but at the same time, I’m terrified.  What does getting better mean?  Does getting better mean that I am going to constantly disappoint myself when I can’t measure up?  Does it mean that people will pull their supports from me when it seems I can do it on my own?

What does it mean that I am able to read a book again?  Or do some housework?  Or write a thought-out blog?  Does that mean I’m going to be setting up some new standard by which people will judge me from?  And if I have a little setback, does that mean I’m getting sick again?  And what if I do get sick again, or rather, WHEN I get sick again, am I going to remember what I did last time to get out of it?

Because I usually don’t.  I go from well to sick to kinda-well to better to good.  And then back down.  It’s like a ladder you fall down and then have to climb back up again.  And the rungs are slippery and sometimes you fall a little bit or lose your footing, and you’re just so unsure of it all.

The answer of course, is to live in the moment.  Isn’t that the answer with most things?  I have been doing daily diary cards and emailing them to the Goddess.  I won’t say that I’ve been doing a perfect job keeping up with them, but pretty well.  And those cards remind me that I need to stay in the moment.

Right here, right now, I feel good.  Enjoy that, revel in it, dance around in it a little.  Because right now, this moment is good.  It is SO good.  It doesn’t matter (and we won’t think about) that things could be shit in a couple hours.  What matters is that right now, I feel good and happy and like I could be productive.  I have high hopes.

This song is one of the happiest songs I know, and I have it on repeat.  Give it a go; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, no matter what type of music you like.