This is the thirtieth in a series of episodes, detailing my dawning realization, that I have some mental issues, that I must address, or risk losing those around me, who mean so much to me. I do not know how many installments this will entail, because I do not have an outline, for this particular avenue, that my Life has chosen to pursue. Because I have always found writing to be therapeutic, I am going to share my journey with anyone, who cares to read along. Believe me, I am not having that much fun.
Some Semblance of Normalcy
As I signed off on the previous of these episodes, I alluded to making forward progress with both feet firmly on the ground, and how that would be the challenge. Now, eight days later, I find that I have had the smoothest eight consecutive days in recent memory. I have meticulously included all relevant information on the mood chart, and recognize that I am in a current Eurythmic period. It’s very possible that I may remain stabilized for months on end, over the course of the summer, with its light and warmth, and the ease with which I will be able to find employment to pay the bills.
On the other hand, there is no way to determine in advance what the future holds. Despite the overall smoothness of the past week, I have been grappling with irritability for the last few days. I can’t get over finding out that this is a characteristic of mood spectrum disorder. I have always assumed that circumstances combined to cause irritability. I never realized that starting out predisposed to being annoyed, would mean that no matter what I attempted to accomplish, I would encounter hard times.
Recognizing this aspect of my disorder, makes me realize that any event can serve as a stressor, and exacerbate the whole illness. I have given a fair amount of thought (as compared to obsessing about it in the past) to two upcoming events in the beginning of June. The first is Nathaniel’s graduation from the Cal Fire Engineers’ Academy in Ione, an event I attended last year, when Ben graduated from the same academy. Having been through it once, I should do well the second time through.
However, only two days separate Lito’s graduation, and nephew TJ’s wedding in the Placerville area. So that means some yo-yoing back and forth between Bell Springs and the Central Valley. Now is when Annie and I sit down and make a plan that covers some basic questions. The object is to plan a course of action that creates the least amount of stress.
This must sound kind of mundane, because doesn’t everyone naturally attempt to minimize stress? Isn’t that standard operating procedures? Most would agree, but in our case, we attempt to consider all factors, and weigh the enjoyment of doing one complex thing, in place of a simpler, though probably less enjoyable course of action.
We began by determining that we need to travel by ourselves. In one infamous trip earlier, when we had carpooled, a conflict had arisen because not everyone was on the same page, as far as how late to stay. We could avoid this kind of unnecessary problem, by traveling by ourselves. The second issue is whether or not to stay overnight, which would be a no-brainer normally, but money is still tight. The further into the summer we get, the easier money will be, because I will be able to work at least four hours a day, and that will set us up well.
So we are going to see what this next week brings, so that we can reserve a room for one night, for each of the two events. Though both Annie and I feel that having to drive there and back is doable, I see it as unnecessarily brutal. I struggle to go to Mendocino every Friday, because it means at least five hours riding in the car, and that’s hard for me.
It is farther to the Central Valley, and then to have to attend the event, knowing it was another three plus hours back home, I think would weigh heavily on my mind. I look for the hidden razor blades, that serve as obstacles to great success, and address them one by one. This is not like the trip to Ireland, where the success was in the boarding of the plane; I still have to function while at the destination, especially the wedding.
So I can plan the optimum transportation, bring along sandwiches, so we don’t have to stop, and we can get lodging. There is no more winging it, or flying by the seat of my pants. That works when you are flying along on all eight cylinders. I don’t actually know how many of my original cylinders are still on point. It doesn’t really matter. The ones that are still operating are the ones calling the shots, not me. All I do is wait for instructions.