Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Structure, please

I hate days off. I have so many things to do but no idea how to begin them.

And it's not that they aren't important, I have overdue bills and a green card that's going to expire soon and an apartment overflowing with papers and books and children's toys, belongings, artwork, and so many other things that it just feels like chaos - it's no wonder my favorite thing to do is go and be in the mountains for the day.

But that won't get my green card processed or improve my quality of life when I am back in that overflowing apartment. In fact it only makes everything worse, as I am not dealing with the issues at hand.

For days when my mind is an almost incomprehensible muddle of thoughts, I have started making a list of things to do.

Hold the applause, please. I understand this idea is not new and not even all that helpful - indeed, my "To-Do" lists are often 18-20 items deep and can include anything from "pay the Verizon bill" to "figure out what to do with your life" - but, what is new is that I focus only on the top two or maybe even three things (the rest I keep as reminders of things I still have to get done, but on subsequent days), and tell myself I absolutely have to do them.

Then, I do them.

For some reason this has worked so far - I know, I'm as baffled as you are. Sometimes I am even so pleased with myself for getting those top two or three things done that I knock off other things on the list, just for the satisfaction! Heck, sometimes I even get down to number SIX!

Radical? I think so.

One of the top three things for today is to fill my prescription for an antidepressant, which I hope will alleviate both the intensity and frequency of my depressive episodes. I hate the state my mind and life return to, no matter how many times I am sure it does not have to be so.

Yesterday I was listening to a radio bit about a woman who decided to travel the world living out of her backpack - pretty sweet life, I was thinking. She explained that she had not always lived that way, having battled serious depression for years: "I didn't know why I was here - I didn't want to be here - I found the entire thing excruciatingly tedious."

This brief statement is a perfect description for too many of my days, and what a shame that is. I'll start taking the medication.

And, try to enjoy this day!


What's funny is that as soon as I walk into my apartment, I realize how much I love it. It is beautiful (to my eye) and spacious and the walls are covered with the bright, goofy, and whimsical artwork of my children. It's actually much more well-ordered than I remember. It feels like the warm home I have come to love. There is clutter, yes, but most of that suffocating clutter is in my head. It affects how I remember this place, but it is not actually here.

I am glad to be here for the duration.

Seeing a movie with a friend tonight. We are going to see a movie called Infinitely Polar Bear starring Mark Ruffalo as a father who tries to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) and raise his two kids while managing bipolar disorder. It actually looks quite touching - the trailer is here. It is an autobiographical movie, directed and written by Maya Forbes.

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