#4 and I are making a quick trip to Alabama today, just an overnight thing. I have an appointment with The Good Dr. H. tomorrow. In preparation for that, I’ve been doing a whole lot of personal evaluation.
One of the biggest issues with bipolar disorder is a deep mistrust of emotions. Feelings, due to the nature of this disorder, are misleading. It is one of the reasons I keep wondering if I am doing this “grief thing” right. The primary one, really. So, reading over the stuff written in the past couple of months, it would appear that I am, for the most part. There are moments of intense anxiety, panic attacks, etc. Who wouldn’t, when the world is turned upside down? Moments of intense sorrow, because my life’s companion is gone. That’s also normal. My faith has kept me from despair, and that is a good thing. I don’t even want to imagine what this would be like without the confidence provided by that.
So, it’s all ok. Ducks are in a row, anxiety and sorrow and sadness are normal. I can report to Dr. H. that, all things considered, I am doing as well as can be expected.
#4 got The Dreaded Report finished. FINISHED. He is ready to turn it in as his rough draft for Mrs. W. to check over and edit. She gave him until next Friday, and I told him that if he wanted to come with, and not be babysat by #2 (a fate worse than being slapped by a cod), he would have to have it done by yesterday. He whined and complained and said things like “cruelty” and “unreasonable” and actually spent more time complaining than it took to actually DO the work. When he was done he said “Well. I’m done. That was easy enough.” Mrs. W makes them do things like outlines and bibliographies, and I make him do things like highlighting the quoted passages and work at the dining table to eliminate the distractions of beds and interesting comic books. Now it’s done and he’s very happy about it.
One of the lessons I have TRIED to teach my children (with varying degrees of success) is to do the work first, and as soon as it’s assigned, then there is time for revisioning and such, or maybe all this free time without the weight of impending deadlines. He seems to be the only one who has actually caught on to that (sort of).
Anyway, the anxiety and sorrow off the past couple of days is still here, but it is softened with the knowledge that this is entirely normal, and there isn’t actually anything WRONG wrong. Plus it has been raining the past couple of days and that always contributes to a moodiness.
I am determined, for the next few days, to look at the upcoming life with optimism. I will NOT allow myself to be overwhelmed with the amount of stuff, because there are 2 years to deal with it. I am going to think about work, what kind and how to approach an education for it. I am going to investigate an opportunity that a friend told me of, and consider what sort of training would be helpful with that. I am going to make a long list of good things that will happen soon…stuff like a grandbaby coming in June, and the peas that will be ready to pick in a couple of days.
I CAN do this. I can. I have a backbone and a support system and a God Who loves me more than anything I can imagine. There is purpose behind all of it, nothing is random. My job is to figure out what I am supposed to do, even the rest of today and into tomorrow. The anxiety is there, like a knot in my stomach, but it will not control me. The sorrow is there, like a weight on my shoulders or a fog, but it will not stop me. If I can make it through 2 years of coping with a mental illness that wanted to destroy me, and live, I can make it through this.