In the book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice follows a rabbit down a rabbit hole and discovers a whole new world, one where impossible things are possible, flowers talk, and tea parties are actually entertaining. It’s one of my favorite books. And it’s a favorite because I can completely relate to Alice’s character. She is trapped in her head, imagining all sorts of strange and nearly impossible things, but never losing hope that they may come true at some point in the future. Her brain never stops thinking, or imagining.
That’s a thing we have in common, the running of the mind. The constant presence of thought, one after another, this and that, good and bad. Taking a Mindfulness Class, I am constantly reminded to let the thoughts go and refocus on the breath. This is a novel idea. And I am totally on board with doing it, but it’s one of the impossible things. If I had to continuously redirect my mind, I would get nothing else accomplished in a given day, as all I would be doing would be redirecting my thoughts to elsewhere. Not only is this not probable, nor possible, it would be incredibly exhausting.
I have come down from the mania.
I have come up from the depression.
But, it seems like I have settled in this place of agitation and anxiety. I have been worrying over everything and anything. Being enrolled in summer classes, I am beyond stressed over the course. I have been doing well with the coursework, but failed the first exam and this rattled any self confidence that I could muster. I feel as though I should be studying every waking moment that I have if I want to get a decent grade in the class. That somehow this math course will be easier only if I dedicate all waking hours to the course.
My mindfulness class is causing me more strife than I think it was ever intended to. It is stressing me out, rather than helping me learn how to reduce stress and be more mindful. I lay down to complete a body scan and all I can think about are all the things that I should be doing. The shoulds and the coulds are racing through my brain. Then I jump to the, “Why did you say that?” “How could you do that?” “What were you thinking?” While also thinking that everything I have done will some how come back and get me in trouble. My shoulder’s are constantly scrunched up as result of the stress that is coursing through my body and my neck is starting to ache, the nerve pain is returning. Which is troubling in itself, but knowing that the nerve blocks that assist with removing the pain cause shifts in my mood, I feel like I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.
Have I just overloaded myself or is this the byproduct of Bipolar or even the increase in Lithium? Could the increase in Lithium, given that my hormones have kicked in, now be too high of a dose for my far too sensitive and high maintenance body. Can I last another week before seeing my doctor? I know I should not alter my medication on my own, without doctor consent, but holy Moses, I am really getting tired of being a tightly wound ball of nerves.
“I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say hello, good-bye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late…”