So I’ve been busy, much busier than usual, in my real life, interacting with people in the flesh, which overstimulates me, so I haven’t been reading and commenting on other blog posts like I usually do, like I used to do.
The posts I published Wednesday received few comments. I wonder, is it because I have let down my online community of mutually supportive readers by not reading and commenting on their posts? Or, is it because my posts were not personal or particularly original in nature — just a rehash of a conference I attended Friday and Saturday and a repost of a TIME, Inc. infographic about why we still need Women’s Equality Day ? Perhaps my last post was simply too long (and boring, I now realize in going back and reading it).
I’ve been feeling guilty for not reading and commenting as much on other blogs, but I can only do so much, and taking care of myself comes first. I respond to comments on my blog. But, there are simply too many other blogs to read them all. I’m not even reading those with whom I’ve developed close online friendships.
Writing helps me. Consuming seemingly endless numbers of mental health posts, commenting on them and sharing them, unfortunately, does not. Perhaps doing so helps others, just not me. Not when I’m too overwhelmed. Not when I’m doing my best to slow down.
By the way, did some more in person volunteering. Once again trying to figure this one out. How much in-person social interaction and volunteering I can take on without spinning like a hypomanic top.
My past experience has been that in the workplace I become overstimulated, that I take on too many responsibilities, overwork, and burn out. Taking care of my husband and son, as well as myself, taxes me as it is. I need social contact, but still feel that it must be restrained, limited, flexible to my needs and the needs of my family. Group therapy as well as the writers’ workshops that I have begun attending give me needed structure and stimulation. They enable me to rejoin the world outside my home, away my family room couch where I sit in front of the TV until it’s once again time to pick up my son or go grocery shopping. These group activities provide me with a sense of accomplishment and competence. Unlike a job where there are multiple, competing priorities and deadlines, I am not asked to perform. Unlike taking a position as administrative assistant for which I am overqualified, I am learning from those more qualified and experienced than I.
Or, is it just that I had iced tea yesterday with my lunch?
Since I’ve been mildly hypomanic, I enrolled in my psychiatrist’s therapy group to take a look at what happens to me when I am in a social situation. For me, social stimulation, like the sun, can trigger hypomania, anxiety, and mood cycling.
Or, maybe it’s just that time of year. Spring is coming. The birds are chirping. Trees are throwing out their pollen. The daffodils already came and went in the warmth of Southern California.
The name of the Meet-Up that I plan to attend, a writer’s workshop, is “Sit Down, Shut Up, and Write.” Can I do so? When overstimulated by social contact, I tend to talk, to take over. Can I channel that into writing? Will I push people away with arrogance? Will I charm them? Can I just sit down, shut up, and write?
Here is what I fear I may do or look like: over-intellectual prig, snob, condescending bitch, insecure, scared, incompetent do-nothing, leech, poor mother, poor wife. Okay, now the tables have rapidly changed. Went from high to low. Mixed episode. Scared, insecure girl behind smarty-pants façade?
First written 3/1/14 at 1:08 pm