I had an excellent week.
The first few days, as you know, I felt a little bit out of control. After I had made the commitment to myself to do better, I did! I still spent too much, but I feel like it wasn’t as frivolous as it could have been. Without boring you with too many nerdy details, I would like to highlight a few of the things that I learned about myself while I was away.
1. I can handle the masses. I was 1 of 102,000 people navigating the stampede grounds, and I survived! I paced myself, I took frequent fresh air breaks, and I knew when I had had enough each day. T’s patience with me was indefatigable, and as always I feel indebted to him for his constant kindness. Being my caregiver on these trips can’t be easy, I hope he can feel how genuinely grateful I am.
2. I am sometimes guilty of underestimating my own value at home. Arranging babysitters, writing lists, prepping bags, getting to school on time, all things that I never considered to be a lot of work until I left it in the hands of others. It’s easy to lose perspective on what we do in our own homes, but realizing how many people it took to do the things that I do regularly was a big eye-owner. (Not saying that my family falls apart without me, just recognising that I’m not always as useless as I think I am!)
3. I need open conversation about mental illness. While out for supper with D we had a very candid conversation that I didn’t know I needed. D asked questions that were more personal; about how I feel during situations. I have never been asked what a mixed state is, or how it feels. Having someone ask something other than “are you ok,” was refreshing – and answering was cathartic and liberating. It rarely occurs to caregivers that we are just as confused as they are. I better than anyone know how hard I am to deal with, and trust me when I say that I get tired of my condition infinitely faster than anyone else does.
I left the restaurant that night feeling more in-tune with myself than I have in years. If I could have more of that with more of the people I love I would be very happy.
4. I need away time. I am a flight risk. Having a few days away is a good reminder that I don’t want to run from my girls, I want to run from myself. Until I can run fast enough to split myself in two, I know where I’m needed. The delusional eleutheromania that I am prone to experiencing can drive me to the brink of… Extinction. I can’t run from what’s on the inside, and traveling reminds me of that. It’s always with me, no matter how far I go. That few days was all I needed. I’m happily home with the ladies I can’t live without!
I consider myself very privileged to take part in these unique experiences as often as I do, and I was relieved this year to find out that I am coping. Every trip, every expo, every overnight in YVR is helping me prove to myself that I can be in control of myself.
It gets easier,
It gets better,
and I am proud of the person that I was this past weekend. Cheers to small victories and future successes.