Wednesday, January 31, 2007

you can't fool sleep

Being bipolar girl, I tend to pull off large projects -- in my case, events involving lots of planning and people -- with huge pushes towards the end.

I've learned how incredibly necessary it is that I work with people who break down things into time-lines, who think about deadlines before the drop-dead deadline, and frankly, folks who can hold it together if I can't get into work on a particular day because I'm plastered to my bed with anxiety and depression...

I also have learned over time that if I plan ahead, I can get help. I can delegate. I can empower people to do their thing. I have, I believe, become a much better micromanager over time (meaning, I micromanage less). Working with people I trust, not only do events/projects/etc. generally turn out better (sometimes wildly, imaginatively, qualitatively, quantitatively, better), but these successes plant a hope that some day, I'll be able to start a five day or eight day event feeling, well, rested (or well-rested).

I could talk more about functioning at work as bipolar girl, but now, at 11:43 a.m., with an early start tomorrow, let me tell you THIS:

After numerous nights staying up (not just up, but in the office) until 2-3-4 a.m., my bones aches. My brain's fuzzy. My body vibrates (not in a good way). I feel fragile -- physically and emotionally. On my way to the car today, I tripped and fell -- and let me tell you, there's nothing like hitting concrete so hard you tinkle that makes you feel happening and in control.

Now, I'm going to get a good night of sleep tonight (6.5 hours!). And for the next few days, I'll take deep breaths, and even when I have to perform my public self in front of a crowd, I'll dip into the well of whatever has allowed me to move through rough/shaky feelings and (ta-da!) *shine* for most of my life.

I love my job, especially the part of my job that involves all these people who are passionate about documentary work coming to learn new stuff. I want to change so that I can more fully appreciate how much fun it is, so that I can address the hard work with a rested self, and feel full at the end. I want to be able to enjoy how good I am at what I do.

You can't fool sleep, because if you could, I would do it. I've tried, tried, and tried again. Bipolar girl can't mess around. It's dangerous. It sets me up big-time for a crash. I need eight or nine hours. That's my goal for tomorrow night.


Friday, January 26, 2007

she walked back into the room quietly

I was talking to a dear friend about struggling with the times in my life when I just can't get things done the way I want to, and how shaming and awful it feels when my inability to get work done negatively impacts those around me. How hard it is to know that I'm making someone else's life more difficult, even as I get on some level that I'm doing the best that I can while struggling with depression, anxiety, etc.

I don't know how you do it, she said.

Well, I said, I have a lot of very compassionate people around me. A lot of care, a lot of support.

And then I paused. This was a friend that I could risk being honest with.

And will, I said. Force of will. And it's ironic, because for so long -- fifteen years or more -- I thought, if you just try harder, you'll be ok. You are not trying hard enough. But by some gift of grace, I can see now that another reason I'm ok -- functioning in the world, more or less -- is that I have been trying so hard.

My friend affirmed, that yes, it is also you, trying so hard.

May I please state for the record that I'm tired? I'm working so hard at the moment to get better -- in group therapy, regular therapy, being vigilant about my meds, etc. etc. -- because I have hope that there is way for me to be in the world that doesn't require that I work quite so hard.

It's not that I'm afraid of hard work -- it's part of my identity, this idea that I work hard. But I desire a new struggle, something that feels different. Fresh. Not these stinky bedclothes of depression, anxiety, and mania, oh my.