I am finding more and more that no matter how small, an accomplishment is an accomplishment, and as such should be celebrated. In my current struggles to maintain peace and calm within myself and my emotions, the seemingly simplest things have turned into major undertakings, and when accomplished, are huge successes for me.
I am learning that I need to celebrate and embrace each and every one of those small things that get me through the day, that enhance my day, and make me feel more human, competent, and alive. Because with each celebration, a tiny bit of strength shows through, and love is felt for myself, and for my soul.
I am finding that this is a crucial part to maintaining some semblance of sanity. It is so easy to get down on myself and feel like I am a lesser person because I do not have the strength or stability to take on tasks that are commonplace for most. It's strange, because when dealing with an illness, the first reaction seems to be not wanting to think of yourself as different from anyone else, wanting to maintain a "normal" life. But in so many ways, part of dealing with and healing any kind of illness is to accept and honor your limitations and not be too hard on yourself.
It's those negative thoughts and emotions that can really hold a person back from making positive progress.
This week, I accomplished several goals, yet I sit here feeling stir-crazy with cabin fever, wanting to go out and do, do, do! It feels so good to actually desire to get out of the house and accomplish things, but is so frustrating to not only worry that it is the onset of a manic episode or manic symptoms in my mixed states, but to also have to consciously slow myself down so as not to over do it, which could bring on a depressed episode. I am always wondering which are true healthy desires and ambitions, and which are the effects of mania on the brain. So I have to go slow. And it's agonizing sometimes - tonight is one of those nights.
So I would like to rejoice in what I HAVE accomplished this week and try to savor those things and be proud of them. Such things include making two important phone calls and sending one email and getting some direction from all three; walking to the corner store to get myself out of the house for the first time in five days just to get some milk; walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes and loving every minute of it, yet also having the self restraint to stop at 15 minutes and not go too far; and in the same night talking my mom through Facebook for an hour, and then making a batch of cookies and doing the dishes while they bake. I was so proud of myself yesterday, and even more proud of myself this morning to have the courage to put a post on Facebook which not only acknowledges that I am suffering mental illness, but shows I am making progress, no matter how bad I feel these days, to be able to see that I HAVE made small strides this week. Small strides to most, but huge strides to me.
I'm not sure how to adequately describe the fear that overtakes me sometimes. When I feel like I cannot do something today, I desperately want to say I can do it tomorrow, but tomorrow is not something I can count on. For me, tomorrow remains a mystery, a darkness that I will feel my way into and hope that light appears when I get there. Because I do not know how I will wake up from day to day, and not knowing that makes today so precious, yet so frustrating at the same time.