During the past year, I was haunted by an overwhelming pressure that I needed to be able to slow down, take stock of my feelings. I was becoming aware of a wall coming down between myself and my emotional grounding.
At work a toxic environment was brewing as our director became increasingly paranoid and unstable. My daughter was trying to impress an unreasonable employer at her own workplace while, at home, my son who has long struggled with his own mental health and addiction issues was going through an especially difficult, potentially violent series of conflicts with friends. Just to keep my head above water I was going through the paces. A familiar process. Single parents tend to develop this coping skill.
It is strange how life gives you time to reflect when you need it the most.
Although I have lived with the ups and downs of a mood disorder for most of my life, a full manic break and diagnosis did not come until I was in my mid 30s. Until that time I felt like I was lost at sea, battling waves I could not put a name to, but hanging on and, as much as possible, faking my way through the years. After all, unless you know better, you figure that everyone else is essentially doing the same thing.
With the diagnosis and other critical underlying issues that subsequently came to light, my life started to make sense. I felt I had some answers, some sense of a guideline. It was not an easy prescription and there were costs, including the end of a long marriage, but I prided myself that I had persevered, that I had survived. Although I was late to the game I was able to build a career that allowed me to support my children, buy home and start to put away some money for the future.
Now the reality of the diagnosis has cruelly returned to confront me leaving me unable to know if returning to the job I had is either possible or even desirable. I find myself re-evaluating what I want for myself.
Something that haunts me this go round is the notion that people with mental illnesses, bipolar in particular, have a shorter life expectancy. Although the reasons, methods of study and populations under consideration is not clear this is not a factor I ever considered before. Funny thing, we are bombarded with the message that we have to be prepared to support ourselves financially for longer than previously expected and yet we see people die prematurely – of natural or unnatural causes – all the time.
Fact is, life offers no guarantees.
Read. Travel. Write.
Either everything has meaning or nothing has meaning.
5 thoughts on “Time – too much or never enough”
Very moving post. I with you and understand 😉
Meant “I’m with you,” haha. Hang in there. You have insights and skills others don’t. I know something of what you are dealing with and it’s very tough because you’re smart, intuitive, creative. Take care of yourself and your health. Get plenty of exercise. 🙂
Thank you for your supportive comments, it means a lot.
Many are called for a life change; so few are chosen by themselves. I am not young enough to be naive regarding the world and people. And not too old to the point of being stagnant, alienated, retrograde and pessimistic about the world.
There was a time that I used to work 16 hours a day. The remaining hours I slept dreaming about work. I stayed almost twenty years like this.
One day I felt I could no longer drive the car by myself. The world was
too big. I felt small. My arms had no strength to fight against the current that was totally stopping my life.
After going to the doctor I decided to totally change my life. I stopped everything for a year. I learned to live again. As a child who needs to learn everything for the first time. Finally I overcame.
I remembered Julio Cesar and his crossing in Strait of Dover with
his legions. As he stepped ashore with all his men, he ordered the burning of all ships.
The generals were terrified. They said: “And if we lose the war how we can flee?”
And thus Cesar replied: “There is only a single possible move – move on. No escape routes. Concentrate all forces on yourselves. We will win or die.”
And It was with this feeling that I tried to live my life from then.
have an outstanding life, marvelous and full of love.
All the best.
Thank you for sharing.