How do I know what’s real?

Some of us are perfectly content with normal life. And some of us feel like we’re destined for more. But how do I know if that feeling isn’t the bipolar talking? Do people other than me actually feel that way? Or is it the delusions of grandeur that come along with the manias putting ideas in my head?

Can I even trust what I think? I don’t know what other people with bipolar go through, but I swear, I question every thought, every feeling. Are the genuine? Or are they the product of the disorder? I talked a bit a few weeks ago about negative thoughts and understand that they aren’t real, but can’t the same be said of positive thoughts? Of positive feelings? How do we know what’s real and what’s not?

It’s exhausting going through every day questioning everything that goes on in your head. The paranoia that comes from it is brutal. It makes you question all of your decisions – did I make this decision based on good information or was it a mild delusion? It makes you question all of your feelings – is this a normal feeling for this situation or is this not the proper reaction?

It’s no wonder I have anxiety. I question everything, second guess everything, worry about everything. I’m just so tired.

Things like this make me think I need to be back in therapy. It’s like having an existential crisis every day.

Maybe, though, these kinds of questions are a good thing. It means I can recognize that the disorder can put thoughts into your head. That it can create realities that just don’t exist.

I don’t know anymore. I feel like inside of my head is an interesting and exhausting place to be. On some level I wish it wasn’t like this – I wish it was easier.

The Art of Choas… and lots of socks

My life is generally in some state of chaos. Up until the last few weeks I was juggling working, classes, keeping up with house chores, grocery shopping, a husband, and four cats. Classes are over and I’m done with my MBA (hooray! Now I just need to find a job), so that frees up a lot of time in any given  week. So what do I do? Fill it with more chaos!

My husband recently came home from work to find me standing on the kitchen counter with everything that had been in the counters spread all over the counter, table, sink, stove, and in a few cases, floor. When we moved into our house two years ago everything in the kitchen just kind of got put somewhere. Most of the placements didn’t make sense, things that were of the same kind of thing (think pasta),were often found in different cupboards. This, more often than not, led to me buying more of things we already had just because I couldn’t find anything when I’d start planning meals for the week. So what did I do? Rip it all out and put it all back together again. Once the cupboards were done I did the same with the pantry racks, and the fridge. I drove Mike nuts for the better part of three hours as I planned and  then talked to myself as I put everything away again.

Another day was my closet and dresser – I haven’t worn most of that stuff in years. And with me in the process of revamping my wardrobe, I likely wasn’t going to. That turned into an all day ordeal as a number of things I had to try on before I made a decision one way or another. Nothing was safe from my purge. Haven’t worn this shirt in two years? Gone. Vera Bradley bag from 2014? In the bag. Again Mike came home to an absolute disaster, this time in the bedroom, as it looked like the contents of my side of the closet had barfed all over the bed.  And then there was the socks. I should explain that I hate white, cotton socks. All of the socks that I wear on a day-to-day basis are those thinner (not quite dress socks, but not as thick as athletic socks), mostly acrylic socks that have things on them. Doctor Who, Lilo and Stitch, Slytherin, owls, etc. The only white socks I own are no-show socks, and even then only because I couldn’t find them in fun colors or
prints. I wear scrubs to work, and funky socks make me feel like at least a little of my personality is showing through. That being said, as you can see from the picture, I have far too many socks. The picture was taken after my sock drawer regurgitated its contents all over my bed. I finally did the smart thing and got rid of all of the ones that I don’t wear, the ones I don’t like, the ones that have holes in them. I’m still left with over 30 pairs of socks, but progress is progress. Maybe later in the year I’ll start
retiring some of the Doctor Who socks – I’ve had some of them for 2-3 years.

(This is just not necessary. Watson for scale.)

Anyway, now that I’m totally off topic.

I seem to thrive in chaos. I grew up in an Italian household with my grandparents, my mom, my uncle, one aunt, and one aunt who didn’t live there but was always around. It was generally madness. When I went back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree, I normally took 16-20 credits a semester, and worked at least three jobs in a combination of an on-campus job, tutoring, and a retail job where I worked 25-30 hours a week. I was constantly under crazy deadlines, but I made it through in three and a half years with above a 3.0. After college I worked two jobs for a number of months just to try to make ends meet as my first job paid jack but it gave me a lot of really valuable lab experience and skills. About two years into my current job I decided that my bachelor’s in science really wasn’t going to help me climb any ladders, and I could already tell that the kind of schedule I was working was not something I wanted to be doing long-term, so I figured hey, let’s go get an MBA while I work full-time.

My point is that if you don’t like where your life is or the direction it’s going in, there’s always the opportunity to change it and make it better. Get a new job, get a new degree and a new career, move to a new city. Chaos isn’t necessarily a bad thing – sometimes the best ideas are borne from chaos. At least personally I’ve found that when things are chaotic and hectic is where I really challenge myself and test my limits. I refuse to be one of those people who sit around and wait for things to happen to them.

Because in my experience they just don’t happen. You have to work for them and make them happen.