You Call it Bipolar-I Call it MSD:
Just Think Happy Thoughts
The funny thing is I am not feeling especially bipolar these days, and isn’t that a shame? It goes back to that recognition that the average MSD patient still has normal days, in which there are no manifestations of his disorder, approximately 46% of the time. So many people are impacted by the seasonal changes, or by fog in the middle of summer, that I feel fortunate to be seemingly unaffected by this element.
As it is, I am swamped with late spring/early summer chores, which leave me little time to ponder the intricacies of my illness. Conversely, if I were being rocked by various available options, as far as MSD were concerned, then I would not be having the success with my chores that I am. So it’s a good news/good news proposition: no symptoms and plenty of production.
What a benign period of time like this allows me to do, is work on patterns of behavior, that frequently take their cue from the characteristics of my disorder. For instance, Sunday presented several low points, completely unrelated to the grand occasion (such as the Giants losing in the ninth) which had me wondering whether I was dealing with my illness, or just plain life. However, being in the midst of the mellowest stretch of my disorder so far, I knew that I could not blame my illness. Therefore, my attitude was able to make an adjustment, and I pulled out of it.
The significance is that if I knew that I had one or more red flags present on the mood chart, then it is not simply a case of “suck it up.” The absence of any red flags told me that there was something I could do about the bumps in the road, without feeling as though I were beating my head against a wall. I think the idea that seems to predominate an uneducated public, would be the concept that someone who is depressed, can “think happy thoughts” and shake off a depressive frame of mind. I am guilty of having taken that approach in the past myself.
A side effect of my experiencing a calm period, is that Annie gets to relax. She also has a full plate, with her quilting practice picking up, and her preparations for market each Wednesday. We are both devoting a large amount of time to our vegetable garden. Last summer I was too exhausted from my construction work, to have any energy left for working in the garden. This summer I said I was no longer capable of keeping up with the younger generation, and that I would no longer work on a crew.
That doesn’t mean I do not work; it just means that I either work by myself, or with one other person. Another huge difference, is that if I go out to work on the workshop project, and want to take a nap two hours into the project, then I can stop and go take a nap. That’s not as easy to do when you are working on a crew. I also decided that working on a crew was unfair, because I can no longer be certain that if I want to work on any given day, that I will be able to do so. Again, that is not fair to a crew, because if they are counting on someone being there, then that must be taken into consideration.
On Sunday I was motivated to go out and tackle several of the boxes that were being overrun by invasive armies of weeds. It was still pretty hot up here, around ninety, and I enjoyed the time working with the soil. While weeding the tomatoes, which are in the ground this year for the first time ever, as opposed to being in thirty-gallon grow-bags, I noticed that we have tomatoes already on all of them The earliest I have ever harvested a ripe tomato from my garden, is July 18th. I will undoubtedly have several varieties available earlier than that date this summer. That is remarkable, but I attribute it to both the excellent starts provided by Casey and Amber, and the mild spring we had up here, which convinced me to ignore conventional logic, and plant outside on May 15th, rather than June 1st.
So just as the tomatoes are progressing nicely, so am I. Being as busy as I have been, has made it impractical to continue writing on a regular basis, so something has to give. I continue to write short stories in my head, and occasionally get one down on paper, but otherwise am content to let the events around me dictate the pace. I go back to Dr. Cerri for my second session on Thursday, and will certainly post on how that goes, but otherwise, I will be perfectly content to cruise lazily along, with nothing about which to write. You know what they say about no news being good news.