This time of year is hard for me. Every year, late November, early December strikes into my heart and I am left feeling slow and distant. I love the winter, but I don’t love what it does to me.
Six out of my seven hospitalizations have been between Labor Day and early December. These are the months which strike me hard. These are the times when I must be vigilant.
Sunday night I told my wife I was calling the doctor tomorrow. She said I needed to go to the gym.
We were both right.
I haven’t called the doctor yet, but I went to the gym yesterday. Today I can barely feel my thighs from doing squats, but I was able to wake up on my day off and wash dishes. And now I’m writing this. Writing something with more ease than I have in the last three weeks. Writing without getting into my head about how everything is bullshit and nothing matters and all those other lies I have had on repeat for 20 years which have etched their way into my life.
I am experimenting. I am going to the gym three days a week, and seeing how that affects my mental health. Seeing how well that manages this illness during the time of year when it needs the most management. So far I’m feeling a million times better.
Exercising again may be enough. But it may not be. I may still have to call my psychiatrist and have my meds adjusted.
And that is ok.
Or at least I tell myself that is ok. I tell myself over and over that this illness does not define me and that this illness will not restrict me and I refuse to let it have the power over me it once did.
I am not bipolar.
I have bipolar.
So I will take long walks. I will lift heavy things. I will refocus on my general health because of how amazingly it affects my mental health.
I will keep going. One foot in front of the other. I may not know what the destination is, but it’s all about the journey or some bullshit like that right?
So here’s to the journey.
Here’s to doing what it takes to keep going.