Wow, it has been a long time since I wrote anything…I thought I ought to get another post out there before 2014 begins! I got a surprising 2,500 views this year. I wish I were more regular with my posting. Consistency in activities and productivity is something I really have difficulty with. I know that many people would agree that they wished they were more productive…that is a pretty much universal complaint, I would imagine! However, the extent to which I am unproductive has changed greatly since I got sick. When I was young, before 16, I was full of productive energy. At least that is how I remember myself. I got up early, went to school, after school I went to practice (swim team) and finally got home around 7:00 pm where I would do homework for a few hours and then go to bed. Of course there was time for unstructured fun in there too, but I spent a lot of my time doing productive things.
Now, I can spend entire days – more like months actually – doing nothing. When I am in an episode of depression, that mostly entails doing literally nothing…lying in bed staring at the ceiling for the entire day until my family gets home from whatever they are doing all day and then maybe I go out into the living room and sit in my chair and stair at the wall. Right now, my mood is well-managed and I am doing better than that. Thank goodness.
I took this semester off from university for a number of reasons – I went with my parents to drop my brother off at his first year at college back East, and then my parents and I went on an East Coast trip. Also, as I have posted before, I am training a service dog for myself. Not being in school made it easier to fit in lots of training sessions with the trainer I worked with and gave me lots of flexibility. Additionally, I am not on a traditional 4 year track like the average college student. I took a medical leave semester off last year, and I don’t take a full-load so I am not going to finish in anywhere close to four years. I wasn’t going to lose my scholarships by taking a semester off, so I just went for it.
Anyways, point is – over this semester off I have primarily been focused on training Percy. I think I am doing a really good job of it, and am really enjoying it. However, if you look at my life, it is hardly the productive life of the average college student.
I am going back to school next semester, but am only taking two classes. That means I am only in class two days a week and will have manageable homework load. I just cannot manage going out of the house to hugely stressful school everyday, and having hours of homework to do on top of it. I usually cannot really do homework on a day that I actually go out of the house. I usually just end up napping when I get home due to exhaustion from the stress.
My unproductivity stretches to much more fun things than homework too…I enjoy writing these blog posts, but my immense inertia usually takes over before I can open up my computer.
As I have mentioned, when I am depressed, I do nothing. However, the inertia is there even when the bipolar is in temporary remission. I think that is due to the anxiety and worry and panic that needles me from the moment I get up. I panic when the mail man knocks on the door, when someone other than the 3 (literally 3) people I am comfortable talking with speaks to me, my hands shake when I have to pay at a cash register, I can’t breathe when asked to introduce myself…I obsess that my family doesn’t like me, that the person sitting next to me in class is angry because maybe I am sitting in their seat…I have a question in class and worry about whether or not I should ask it (even though I know I never will) and then it is the end of class and I have missed the content of the entire lecture, or even worse, I am so anxious in class that I fall asleep in the middle of lecture (day after day for the whole semester)…I worry that if I don’t say the right thing when someone leaves, I will never see them again. Randomly I am overcome by terrifying panic attacks. It makes sense I suppose that when I think to myself, “maybe I should write a blog?” instead I sit in my chair, too mentally tired to even read a book.
However, things can get better so hopefully in 2014 you’ll be seeing more frequent posts from me!