Here is where I must admit defeat or acknowledge my limitations and sensitivity to social stimulation. I’ve been hypomanic since I began coming into the NAMI Orange County office to volunteer, and since I offered to help with social media. Apparently, both overstimulate me. I love everyone at the NAMI office and so want to help, but I must acknowledge my own limitations and slow down.
I still very much look forward to participating in my local NAMI Walks (please consider walking with or sponsoring me) & raising as much money as possible. I still very much look forward to being an Ending the Silence presenter in local high schools and a Provider Education panelist.
Of course, I will continue to shout out for NAMI and good mental health as myself and as a NAMI volunteer.
Sorry to my friends at the NAMI Orange County office. I always do this – take something on that I cannot handle & then back off.
In one of the coloring books my sister gave me for my birthday to help me with my ramping hypomania, I found this apt quote:
Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress. — Melody Beattie
My problem is that I want to help everyone, rescue all, offer of myself what I really cannot spare.
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.