Having gone through so many depressions, I know how important it is, often, to shock the system--cold shower, brisk walk, scream, dance, sing, jump up and down.
Coping with bipolar seems to require the same things. I am sitting in my recliner as I have been for the last few hours. I know this is not "good" for me and is adding to my stress, but I am doing it anyway. Granted, I have "sat" for my stab at meditation. I have done the Morning Office. I have resisted the urge to have the TV on while reading the Times, while searching the Interwebs, and I have mostly done this. But I have had a sense of dread about whether or not to go to the Y, whether or not to go out, to do anything.
Guilt, the default emotion. The dreadful state. I'm so so so so so so sorry for whatever it is that I have done.
I want to do nothing. Much less shower. Dress. Clean up.
But these are the things I need to do. And many other things.
The problem is where need meets want meets need. "Should" and "need" and "must" are dangerous words for me and can send me into an endless feedback loop of guilt and anxiety.
Instead, I want to concentrate on the things I WANT to do and LIKE to do.
Life is play.
Writing helps. It usually does, but I resist doing it also.
I am cutting out caffeine to see if it will help with my stress. Well, it certainly should. Although giving up daytime caffeine has been very easy, forgoing my morning coffee for decaf has pretty much put me to sleep. Back to sleep. Comma groggy.
The cure for how I feel, guilt-wise, at this moment, is to make a decision. And then let the anxiety go. I can either go out. Or stay in. I don't "have" to do anything. Nothing is pressing.
I can choose to approach the day as a gift in which to play and putter and be grateful for the change to do so. Or I can sit here and continue to fret and curl my toes because I'm so anxious.
My path seems quite clear when stated in this way.
But I haven't been to the Y at all this week. Pressure.
But really, stop.
Talk to the hand.