Dear Loyal Readers,
Today I cannot promise this post will make you laugh. Yesterday, I probably could have guaranteed a good chuckle. I’ve been running a tad bit high for the last several days. High as in approaching hypo-mania and not high as in smoking catnip. As usual, my speeding car could only run for so long before it collided with a guard wall. That’s not true. It’s not so much a collision as a fender bender. (Hubby, for the record, the car is in one piece. I’m working in figurative language. Promise.)
Let me clarify the metaphor. I grew up in upstate New York where people have fender benders, car accidents, or terrible, horrible car accidents. A fender bender causes minor damage to one or both cars, usually the bumper, but with no injuries. A car accident may or may not involve airbag deployment and major damage to both cars and minor injuries to one or both drivers. Terrible, horrible accidents consist of totaled cars and life threatening injuries or deaths. I left NY in 1997 and have since lived in Mississippi, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida. In these states, people have wrecks, wrecks, and wrecks. (And sometimes crashes.) The word wreck or crash is used to describe every type of car collision regardless of severity.
Say for instance a New Yorker backed a car into a mailbox. A New Yorker would say, “I had a fender bender with a mailbox which dented my car and knocked over the mailbox.” However, put the same scenario in Florida and a Floridian would say, “I had a wreck and crashed into a mailbox.” The imagery is quite different. A New Yorker’s explanation is literal, unfortunate, and yet calm and repairable. A Floridian’s explanation is figurative and leaves much to the imagination. As far as the reader/listener is aware, the car is totaled, the mailbox is in pieces and the driver is impaled by the mailbox post.
Back to my original point, today I am picking up the pieces of my fender bender, but I feel like I’ve been in a wreck. My body will allow me to run so long in high gear before it down shifts for me. And when the down shift doesn’t work it will collide with something. Luckily, today it was a flexible guard rail. So what does this mean for me?
It means I am completely mentally, physically, and emotionally running on empty. I slept until noon and can’t wait to take a nap. Everything hurts from head to toes. Think full body workout soreness or flu aches and pains. I have no motivation to complete any one task as minor as it is. My level of patience rivals that of an over-tired-two-year old who demands candy from the checkout clerk who can’t seem to scan it fast enough. I’m dosed with my daily medications as well as ibuprofen, additional anxiety meds, and a prescription anti-inflammatory lotion. (There are other issues, but I will spare you the gross details. You’re welcome.)
So where is the good news? I’ve been driving much faster before when I’ve run off the road and smashed head on into a giant oak tree. (Work with me people. I’ve never literally smashed into an oak tree going 100 mph.) Today, I bounced off the guard rail going a few miles per hour over the limit. I feel horrible, but I’ve felt worse. Much worse. And despite the discomfort, I am able to write about it. I want to write about it because it’s freeing and fun. Writing teaches me to appreciate myself and how hard I work to stay balanced. It shows me that even when I’m not well, I’m willing to work to be well. I’m still in the race.
Remember, the purpose of this blog is not to gain your pity or share my bitterness or lash out in anger. It’s to share insight into the life of a bipolar person. It’s designed to inform and entertain even when I feel terrible. Yet I must say, the North-South car example made me laugh. Hope you did, too. (Well, the Northerners probably laughed. The Southerners probably clicked unfollow.)
Today I spun 180 degrees into a guard rail. It hurts, but it’s temporary. I believe in yesterday. And if tomorrow looks like yesterday, then I’ll be able to write a new story about my stupid cats and my new get rich and famous scheme that might not be just plain crazy.