Maybe I’m Just a Loner

THE WORLD NEEDS LONERS, TOO

What’s so bad about being a loner? Why is “social isolation” always referred to negatively? Can’t individuals have different needs? Some of us cannot tolerate social stimulation. Some of us do better alone, with a small family, with a close partner. Some of us do not do well in groups.

I Give Up (Again)

I Give Up (Again). I Admit Defeat. I Surrender. I Let Go.

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.

Slowed Down My Mind

I Feel Guilty that I Cannot Perform

Okay, so here’s what I did last week. My son & I got sick with the flu. The flu forced me to stop, to hesitate, to slow down my ramping hypomania. Instead of volunteering my time at NAMI and getting overstimulated by doing so, the flu forced me to stay at home.

Honestly, I believe it just may be where I belong. I can handle small amounts of social interaction, but my mind starts spinning when I’m exposed to others’ needs. I start offering to fix everything. I overextend myself. I overwork.

Before my hospitalization a decade ago, I was a major workaholic. I seem unable to work for or with others without overextending myself, without depleting myself.

Writing and even social media I experience differently, though. Yes, social media can be overstimulating, too, but not nearly so much so, for it is my work, my time, my (lack of) deadlines.

I honestly do not think I am made for the workplace. I can do occasional special events. I can speak publicly. I can be charming.

But then, I must retreat and recuperate. I must keep my distance. I must protect myself.

I do not have social anxiety so much as I have no boundaries. I’m raw. I immerse myself in a social system and then flee.

Anyway, instead of volunteering last week, I colored. Here is a slide-show of my creations. I found coloring and doodling grounding, doing so occupied my hands and focused my mind on something other than thoughts. My sister gave me two coloring books and colored pencils as an early birthday present. (Wednesday I turn 52!)

My mind I silenced with marathon television viewing. When immersed in blogging, reading others’ posts, and networking over social media, I cannot watch TV. My work occupies my mind. But as I wanted to quiet my mind, the dialogue drowned out any remaining noise in my head, pushing away speeding thoughts, giving me some needed rest.

This week will be busy for me. Since my son & I were sick last week, I had to reschedule all our appointments. This week we have five appointments: two physical therapy for my son, two doctors for my son, and one psychotherapy for me. Wednesday morning (on my 52nd birthday) we register my son for school. Finally, NAMI California conference on Friday & Saturday, at which I’m volunteering. Wish me well. I hope I make it through this week.

To top it off, I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I cannot perform. That I ramp up when in social situations and must then retreat. Header image and last two paragraphs mention my guilt, yet I hardly touch on the topic in the most of this post. But there it is, underneath and behind it all, seething, aching. I do not feel guilty blogging, for I know that I’m being productive. I do feel guilty when I offer to help and then must back off.

Better to renege than to fall dangerously ill, though. My primary objective is to maintain my own stability and mental health. If that means minimum social interaction, so be it. The workaholic hypomanic overachiever of my younger years I can no longer be. Now I must be well, for myself and for my family.

What Happens? Hypomania Happens

Inartful rosebush deadheading, weeds galore, must eventually break up and replant overcrowded bulbs (not the season - when in SoCal is the season?). Totally overstimulated and hypomanic. Crap.

What happens when I over-involve myself in social media? (If you are viewing this post from my lovely website, look to the right – or if on a mobile device, to the bottom – see those many colorful icons – I’m all over the place and overactive.) What happens when I engage in a protracted blog comment debate with Cabrogal of Neurodrooling over my involvement with NAMI – typing away into the wee hours of the morning and continuing over subsequent days? What happens when I participate in the Semicolon Project’s Facebook event “to raise public awareness against Depression, Anxiety, Self-harm and Suicide,” and feel drawn to reach out to as many people as possible – but my arms, my heart, my fingers, and my keyboard only reach so far? What happens when I involve myself in Tha.Speakeasy – an awesome and/but stimulating Facebook spoken word event Friday and Saturday – hosted by the incomparable T.A. (Tamara) Woods? What happens when I realize that in my focus on bipolar blogs, I have neglected reading and listening to so, so many fabulous works of writing, of poetry, of spoken word, of music, and then desperately try to play catch-up? (One of my Twitter followers thought that I’d been hacked for I tweeted out so much content.)

All this after a very busy weekend. I had spent a day and evening with others – people beside my husband and son. I went to a NAMI Advocacy training Friday, April 10th. That night I inadvertently crashed a dinner party hosted by the Executive Director and President of my local NAMI. Oops. The next day I drove an hour to and an hour from my parents’ home to do their income taxes; the day after that I finished our taxes. Finally, on Monday I managed to get my son to school after his week-long spring break, only to be called to pick him up from the nurse’s office two hours into his school day. So, in the midst of this all, my son has either been home on vacation, or home sick with gastroenteritis.

What Happens? Hypomania Happens

Oh, so my main point… What Happens? Hypomania Happens… Here’s a meme saying same…

What Happens? Hypomania Happens