My therapist brought up agency the other day. I have a tendency to say, “Oh, things will change,” instead of “Oh, I will change things.” I need to get my shit together. I know the things that will fix this low mood but that doesn’t help me when I can’t motivate enough to get anything done. I thought she had a good point though. I have to maintain my agency and say that I can do things instead of waiting around for things to happen to me. I always say there will be a catalyst that spurs me into action (and for the most part that’s been true), but what if I could shift it so that the catalyst was just me? Can I do that? Will these disorders let me? Will I let myself?
I am going to accomplish a goal today. If it’s taking a shower, taking the dogs to the park, finishing a project, doing my math review, I will do something. This is really what I should be doing every day: checking off all these little goals so I can work toward my bigger ones. I’m going to get my shit together.
I have a friend who is the most stable person on the planet. She has mild breakdowns but nothing comes close to the type of explosive destructive episodes I have. She gets worried about things but she doesn’t have anxiety. She’s done everything on time, married early, had a kid, has done well at her job, was even asked to give company TedX Talk. She and her husband just bought a house. If I am envious of one person, it’s her because she isn’t ruled by moods and rough behavior, she hasn’t put her friends and family through crazy times because she lost her mind, she’s practical, intelligent, thoughtful, caring, and steady. She’s an anchor in my life and she’s been there for me since we were kids. She has her shit together.
My friend G said getting your shit together was like learning “to handle your finances like an adult, but hiring a real adult to do it for you.” I don’t feel like a real adult. I don’t have my shit together. I feel stunted because of all the years that I lost to mental illness. I’m delayed on my path because of it. Granted I didn’t know what I wanted to do until the last couple of years but maybe I would have found it earlier and without the heartache. I’m happy now though, on the right path, the path that helps me get my shit together. The path through pre-med into nursing and hopefully a useful career.
So maybe I’m a little depressed right now but I recognize my agency and the ability I have to overcome this mood episode. I have things to distract me and people who support me and things to accomplish. Tomorrow I will have a Ukelele and I can start teaching myself some music. I’m actually very excited about this. I’ve missed being musical (aside from singing when I’m alone), and my guitar feels too big for my hands. I think the chords will come back to me. I look forward to being able to accompany myself.
I’m trying. I’ve slowly been getting my shit together over the last year and a half. I started with getting physically healthier. I switched to thinking about the future, and I have hope that I can accomplish my “dreams” or aspirations. I came up with an idea, I found a program, I applied and was accepted, then I started school again. I think that, considering I was lying on the floor of psych ward in November 2015 broken and bloodied, I’ve come pretty far. Recovering from a suicide attempt is not the easiest process in the world. It has had a lot of residual effects on my life that I’m still dealing with. Relationship strain, social anxiety, self-esteem problems, etc. Less and less so as time goes on but it remains a factor in my life.
I say this as a self-affirmation: I am doing well and I have made good progress. This is just a moment in the mood cycle, and it will get better. Honestly it’s not so bad right now, but I know there can be more. I’ve just got to get my shit together.