You can't help but go among mad people. We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad. You must be mad, or you wouldn't have come here.
~Cheshire Cat

01 February 2015

Falling up

It has been nearly a year since my last post. I have several rough entries waiting to be finished, each with its own unique point. Each untitled document is a stream of consciousness that will someday turn into something useful, but for now all I have is a metaphorical pile of ramblings from a bipolar brain.
This is typical.
But instead of dreading fixing each entry to make it useful, I have decided to use the opportunity to illustrate how the mind of the afflicted "works."
Many sufferers of bipolar have other symptoms, usually resembling those of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The two often overlap, like a nervous Venn Diagram. One in particular is perfectionism.
Perfection, as some call it, is bullshit. It is unattainable. It takes minutes/hours/days/months/years of trying something before the realization overcomes you and you shut it off. The result is a lot of unfinished projects spread out over a lot of living room floors.

The best example I can use is doing laundry: you have a big pile of dirty, smelly clothes and you have the solution. You start sorting the items according to their instructions, you designate loads, and you fill the washer. You already start to feel better. Now you wait.
The wash cycle ends, and you carefully put your newly-washed clothes into the dryer. You set it on tumble dry low, and put the next load in the washer.
Then, the wash cycle is over. But the dryer still has 40 minutes. Should you have even put this load in the wash? How could you not have realized your mistake? What are you supposed to do with all these wet clothes? Why didn't you just do the delicate load next, so you didn't have to wait for the dryer? Should you put all of your wet clothes in the dryer with everything else? You can't just leave them there, can you? 40 minutes isn't really that long for wet clothes to set out, is it?
So you set your wet clothes on top of the dryer and go do something else.
But now it's ruined. Your plan didn't really work out. There is a wrench in the process so you simply say, "eh, fuck it."
Two days later, you revisit the dryer. Your first load is dry, and your second load is musty. You reluctantly throw them back in the washer for another try. Maybe tomorrow.

And that has been my mind for the past year.
I have made a lot of progress.
I bought a car (not a nice car, but it works).
I moved into my own house (I have two roommates, but we hardly see one another).
I got a real, grown-up job (goodbye minimum wage!)
And maybe I am beginning to see that elusive light at the end of this stupid tunnel everyone keeps talking about.
And it hasn't been easy.
I quit one of my jobs because I couldn't handle the stress.
A back injury severely offset my momentum.
I was fired from a job I loved. For the first time in my life.
There have been too many deaths to count. I won't try to list them all, because it doesn't seem fair that they even belong in the same category. Friends, friends of friends, family, family of friends, children, adults, illness, accidents, etc etc etc.

And forgive this for being poorly written. I thought it best to publish something without even thinking about it first.
Because you can't edit a bipolar brain.