NOTE: No, mom, I did not get a tattoo. The above picture is of a temporary tattoo, which came with a purchase I made a few months ago. So don’t worry.
The last week has been challenging. You might think that living with the same chronic mental illness for nineteen years would make it more understandable. More logical. You’d start to look out for the same signs, the same signals, You’d settle on one medication regimen, and that one set of pills would have you going for life. All of this could not be further from the truth; at least, it hasn’t been for me. My illness has changed shapes. It takes off masks and puts on new ones. It alters my metabolism so that the pills I use to fight it become less and less efficacious, until I’m taking ten pills of the same medication to get to the bare minimum of therapeutic levels. I live with hallucinations for years, and then they become quiet and fleeting, leaving me with delusions and louder symptoms of schizophrenias. Maybe it’s like running on a treadmill. Some days, it goes fast. Some days, it goes slowly. Some days it doesn’t move at all, and I find myself standing, not knowing whether to get off or run in place to keep up my strength. And one day, the darn thing just decides to go backwards. Next it’ll turn into a eagle, and fly above our house in search of prey.
So I’m trying to protect myself in the best way that I can. I’m working with people on brainstorming contingency plans, and I’m reading blogs like Sustainably Creative for tips on how to do my job and keep up my work while allowing myself the space to rest. I asked my supervisor if I could start work an hour earlier, working from 9 to 6 so that I can have that built-in hour for walks, naps, or sipping tea on the couch while I stare out the window — whatever my wise mind tells me it needs at the moment.
On another note, I bought my first iMac (refurbished from Myservice, a company that I can’t recommend highly enough for Mac-related repairs and sales) for my home office, and I’m completely and utterly smitten. Oh my gosh! The HUGE screen! I’m in heaven, folks.
Am I totally asymptomatic right now? No. Am I functional? Yes. And I’d love to keep being functional, walking slowly on that treadmill, and taking care of myself.
You take care of you, too. Be well.