I realized this week that I think I’m hitting my fall “wall” a little early this year. I have no idea why.
If you’ve known me long, you know that I have bipolar 2. I sometimes fear saying that “out loud” because of the stigma that comes with it. For me, it just means that I have big ups and big downs. I don’t do crazy manic things, I just have lots of energy and can handle all the things that I put my mind to. Then I hit a wall and go the opposite direction.
Thanks to meds, I don’t sink down so low that I’m not functioning anymore. Before meds, I would have to quit jobs because I couldn’t go on with life. Now I just become low/down and work hard to muscle through it because I KNOW I will come out the other side. I always do.
It tends to be seasonal and I haven’t figured out how that works, but it’s a pattern that I’ve noticed.
Late summer/early fall, I have been on an incredible “high.” This happens every year. I have had a lot of energy, worked out a ton, worked and thrived there, ate really well, stayed on top of meal prep, kept up with our busy schedule, etc. Like I wrote in my last post, things got extra crazy then I got sick (again), and I just kind of went down from there. It’s a challenge to get back up from being down.
Now that I’ve recognized what is going on, I feel like I can work hard to overcome. I have to accept, to an extent, that things are going to be harder for a while. But I also know that there are things that can help me in the moment.
One of the things that I’ve realized is that I need to take a step back for a time from the things that are overwhelming me. Not stop them completely, just reduce my focus on them.
One example is that I was shooting for 5 Street Parking workouts a week + a burpees challenge + “Squatober” + running. I found out last week that I really should stop trying to run. It’s a long story, but running makes me hurt. I have sciatic nerve pain almost immediately and it continues for days. It’s hard to even walk normal. I keep trying and it just keeps hurting. My doc and my chiropractor suggested finding another form of cardio. I’ve decided to attempt to get back into hiking. The only hard part is that it isn’t as efficient as running so it’ll probably only happen once or twice a week. I’m learning that that’s okay. I might also do some mountain biking. I’m going to reduce my workouts to 4 days per week. This can be hiking/mountain biking and/or Street Parking workouts. That’s still plenty! I don’t have to make working out complicated. That’s why people quit. Keep it simple and be consistent. I don’t have to workout like some other people do. I can just be me and do what I need in this season. I can always workout more when I feel up to it! I just know that I need to keep going.
I’m trying to scale back on things outside of work and spend more time at home. It’s hard in this season of sports and things, but Ethan is finished with Cross Country now, so that should help. No more after school practices and weekly meets.
We have decided that the kids will not be on electronics all the time like they have been. We will spend more time as a family and make memories. Movie nights, game nights, and we are taking a trip for Christmas instead of gifts. Well we’ll probably do stockings but that’s it. The kids are at an age where they will remember everything, and while they say they prefer to be on electronics and get more “things,” they will be glad in the future that we focused more on family and making memories. So that’s my plan and goal. Relationships are the most important.
There’s something about hitting a wall that makes you focus on priorities and even figure out what those are.
Some other things that I’ve decided is that what I watch and listen to affects my emotional/mental health as well. I watched The Handmaid’s Tale one after another because it’s super intriguing, but I found that it brought me down. I’ve also been listening to a lot of true crime podcasts and have decided to take a break. Just music for now (and other podcasts).
I decided a few weeks ago that I need to embrace Jesus even in the midst of questioning and doubt. I cannot live there. I have hated how I have felt emotionally and mentally because of this, and I want to come to Him despite the wrestling. Because of it actually. So while I have so many things that I’m struggling with there, I need Him. I need to worship Him. I need to focus on Him. I need to study His word SO THAT I can understand Him better. Avoiding His word, fellowshipping with believers, and corporate worship has not benefited me at all. It has just torn me down.
I heard this song the other day for the first time in a long time, and it spoke to me so deeply, especially these lyrics:
“Would you come and tear down the boxes
That I have tried to put you in
Let love come teach me who you are again
Take me back to the place
Where my heart was only about you
And all I wanted was just to be with you
Come and do whatever you want to”
I feel more at peace today. I’m looking forward to spending time with the family this weekend. I’m going to help the boys clean out their room because it’s really, really bad. While I hate cleaning their room, I will be working WITH them all day + their room will be liveable again. We will be having a game night tonight as well which will be awesome.
I will be hiking later as well. I will lesson plan at some point this weekend and meal plan and prep. We will go to church tomorrow because we have been making a point to focus on that!
Now off I go to make a big brunch! Pancakes, eggs, and bacon!