Bipolar Disorder, Everyday Life, Uncategorized

Swimming in the Shallow End

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At times we can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we are literally flying by the seat of our pants.  Minutes blend into hours, that turn into days, weeks and months.  Before we know it, a season has passed and shortly after that another year has flown by.  I have found that in today’s world, this way of living is totally acceptable and for some sought after.

The years between 2003 and 2016 were exactly what I mentioned above.  Time passed much like snowflake flurries quickly falling to the earth to cover the ground and anything that is standing still.  Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.  All passing seemingly faster than cars that drive on the autobahn.

For me, in 2016, everything came to a standstill.  Time started to freeze, and I started to freak out.  Being on medical leave, the days inched by.  I was alone, and I was lonely.  I did not have much to occupy my time.  I was not able to sit still long enough to read, nor did I have any creativity, so crafting was out of the question.  I sat and lounged and thought about how much my life sucked.   After the spring and summer of that year passed, and the depression and mania stabilized, I started back at work.  At this point, even though I was working, everything still seemed to stay in slow motion.  Each day moving by slowly.  It was torture.  I was so accustomed to moving so quickly and swiftly based on my previous career, that this new life of mine seemed like a horrible punishment.

Fast forward two years.  Most days for me, move by with ease, a little on the slow side, but without friction.  The days are not the days of my past, either in the quick like a bunny way, or the slow slug way, but this new, fluid kind of a way.

I recall a time I went swimming about a year ago.  The purpose of swimming was not to burn calories, but to swim for the sake of swimming.  To be in the water, to feel the cool, wetness on my body, to glide through the water and not care who was watching.  It was the most enjoyable experience I have ever had swimming.  I propelled myself through the water with ease.  It was fluid and I felt like I was water dancing.  This is how my life is now, like water dancing.  It’s smooth, the water is the perfect temperature, I know where I am going and if I choose to put my feet down, the pool is shallow enough that I can stand up.

To know that I can stand up when the time comes provides a huge sense of relief.  That at no time, nothing will be so grand that I am not able to stand up and walk to where I need to be.  In the past, I was treading in deep waters, and there was no opportunity to stand up should I have needed to.  I would have to tread water until I was able to regain the strength that I needed to press on and finish what I started.  How amazing is it that is no longer the case for me?  I am incredibly blessed.

Bonfire Web_mainThese are the things that I think on when I start to think that things are going too slow.  I think about all that I am now able to enjoy and endure because I am not in the deep end anymore.  I have the time to go to the gym, and spend an hour reading an amazing book (the latest book was “Bonfire” by Krysten Ritter).  I’m home every night for dinner, and most nights home not long after the kids get out of school.  These are the benefits to swimming in the shallow end.

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