Bipolar Disorder, Everyday Life, Uncategorized

One Day at a Time

photo of woman walking barefoot on seashore
Photo by Akshaya Premjith on

It’s been heavy on my mind (and heart) the idea of “one day at a time”.  In so many aspects of our world, things happen one day at a time.  In each given day things progress, either forward or backward, but it happens (mostly) at an incremental pace.

I am not, by nature, a patient person.  I am more like Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as she sings, “I want it now!”  And for those that don’t know, in time she ends up swelling up like a giant blueberry and her father says, “Violet you are turning violet!” But this did not deter her from wanting what she wanted when she wanted it.  I am not Violet, I actually am not the biggest fan of the color purple in fact, but I do want what I want when and how I want it, and I am pretty certain that I have been this way my whole life.  So, when it comes to being patient, this does not come second nature for me.

Last year I had a severely ingrown toenail that I waited far too long to see the doctor.  As result of my waiting, I developed an abscess and they had to cut more into my toe… it was just a mess.  I ended up with this funky butted looking toe.  I was so embarrassed with how my toe looked that I did not want to wear open toed shoes because God forbid someone noticed my toe and made a “I smell farts face”, I would be devastated.  However, I had to let it grow.  And that meant letting it be and just letting it do what it needed to do in its time.  So, for a year I had a quite ugly toe.  But as of today, minus my bad nail painting job, I have a “normal” looking toe.

The idea of “one day at a time” also totally relates to my mental health.  Dealing with a mixed episode over the last month leading up to going on vacation was horrible.  The end goal was to stabilize, but I put a time limit on it.  I said, “I must stabilize before we go on vacation”.  Thinking that my body would listen was my first mistake.  When I finally stopped with the silly time limit and potentially unrealistic goals, and just let my body heal, I got to where I needed to be.  And that place was a place of stability, and it did happen prior to leaving for vacation, but it took progress being made each day.  It also consisted of willingly taking the increased doses of medication regardless of the side effects and completing a medical withdrawal from college that is further delaying my graduation.

Many things happen one day at a time:

  • Hair grows a little bit each and every day.
  • Weight loss happens one portion of a pound at a time.
  • Pots of water boil in their time, whether you are watching it or not.

Be patient with yourself with whatever journey that you are on.  Know that progress is made in small increments at a time.  Remind yourself to be patient and understanding with what you are going through.  That in time (although it may not be your timing) you will get to the place where you are supposed to be (even if that is not where you thought you would be).  One day at a time…

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