Moods

MOOD: Desperately Seeking to Break Out of This Cycle

When I open my eyes in the morning: "I'M GOING TO PAINT TODAY. I WILL be in the studio, to hell with everything else on my to-do list."

9am-7pm: *Do (Most/Some/A couple) All The Things on said to-do list*

7:30pm-8pm when the kids go to bed and I've crawled into mine: "I didn't paint today. #%!?$&@! And I only accomplished 2 out of 5,437 things on my to-do list. The studio is too messy. I didn't spend enough time with the kids. Shit-I left a load of laundry in the washer all day. I forgot to call Kaiser. I didn't order those supplies. Forgot to hit send on 5 text messages to friends, and respond to that email. Also forgot to sign that contract. I hope I got into bachelor completion program. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DID?! I wrote nothing today. Did Brennan take his meds? Wait-did I take mine? Why am I so tired? <insert random thought/worry/concern/guilt> WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!" *cue anxiety attack*

11pm: *scroll through Instagram one last time*

2am: "Damn that dream was odd as hell. Oh, the baby's in the bed with us now. What time is it? Why is Morris Day and The Time's "Jungle Love" stuck in my head? OMG THE SNORING. Don't check Facebook."

4am: "OMG I KNOW WHAT TO PAINT NEXT." 

7:00am: "I'M GOING TO PAINT TODAY. To hell with my to-do list, TODAY THERE WILL BE PAINT." 

Rinse and repeat for the last 2 weeks.  

Must. Paint. SOON. When I go too long without it, my mind and mood become untethered, un-centered. Gotta get anchored. (This is getting ridiculous, Life. Back off.) 

#WTF: Missy Got Me Drake-ing It

I'm totally phoning in today's #NaBloPoMo post for 2 reasons: 1) I'm exhausted. It was a long, busy day. 2) MISSY ELLIOT RELEASED NEW MUSIC AND A VIDEO AND I CAN'T STOP LISTENING OR WATCHING BOTH.  

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It. Is. Everything. If I were to describe it in nothing but emojis I'd use all flames and probably a tombstone & Jesus to show how she killed me and resurrected me repeatedly today.  Welcome back, Misdemeanor. I've missed you so. 

Also: My kingdom for a marionette in my likeness doing splits & rocking to the beat.  

Funk

Today was hard. I can't exactly identify why. It appeared out of nowhere-I definitely didn't feel like this yesterday. Or over the weekend. Today I felt heavy and the weight of it (whatever It is) overwhelmed me in waves of unease and discomfort thought the day. 

I couldn't shake it either. I tried. Tuesdays are studio days, so I spent time trying to evade what I was feeling by continuing to work on the sheets of canvas I started last night.  

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I couldn't get any of the writing done that I had planned but I worked my way through these, hoping the agitation and heaviness would lift as I did. They were a helpful distraction but not the remedy I was hoping for. On his lunch break and after work, my husband kept asking if I was ok, so I know he could see it too. Sometimes I'm pretty adept at masking where I'm at or what I'm carrying (survival mechanism), but today he could see it. "You look like you've got something on your spirit. You ok?" I wanted to say yes with confidence and meet his eyes. Instead I just  mumbled something about being tired and having a lot on my mind and looked away. 

I don't know. It's hard. If I can't understand what's suddenly thrown my mind and mood off, how am I supposed to explain it to someone else? Things are just..."off" today and I don't have any explanation for it other than it's just the nature of my illness and sometimes that's just life. Both are inconsiderate assholes who do whatever they want regardless of what you're trying to maintain and accomplish day to day. Sometimes Life and Bipolar Disorder don't care that you're taking your meds, engaging in your creative outlets, and fighting to thrive. Some days they scream FUCK YOU like petulant toddlers and force you to just deal with their funk. 

So that's what I did today. I dealt with the funk. After following current events closely yesterday, I read nothing about them today. I didn't write but I painted. I'm going to go to bed early, remind myself this heaviness will pass, and strengthen my resolve to not give up. Tomorrow's a new day. Hopefully funk free. 

Mood: Above & Below (Current State of Heart & Mind)

Internally, it's been a hell of a week. Externally, I'm doing what I can to function as heart, mind, & body continue to process current events and change.  

Floating above Life's surface and sinking below it. Lately I've been experiencing both simultaneously. It's an odd, agitating state of existence.  

I'm not as graceful and composed about navigating this cyclical up and down movement between surviving and thriving as I'd like to be, but my gut urges me to keep pressing my way through irregardless of appearance and ability. I've learned from experience that forward movement helps me maintain resiliency and fight. It's a survival skill that undergirds me with hope and helps me employ self-care tools along the way when necessary. It keeps me striving to find the beauty in the mess, brokenness, and chaos that comes with living, motherhood, bipolar disorder, and being a person who loves words & imagery, sound & color. 

My goal as I do is to keep heart and mind intact, even when both are reeling and leaping between multiple thoughts and feelings. 

It's not always a pretty or fluid process, but I guess not much is in this life, right? 

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Mood: Me Haces Falta

We're moving to California. It's something we had been quietly talking about off and on as an In The Future possibility for months, but back in April, opportunity arrived and made it our next step NOW. 

The last two months have been a whirlwind of preparation and shifting as more than just where we will call home rapidly changes. Be it professionally or personally our family of five is experiencing transition, uprooting, growth and evolution in nearly every aspect of our lives. From where I sit trying to take it all in, it's an exciting, liberating, empowering, and nerve wracking season for us. I'm thrilled and terrified, hopeful and nervous. 

Our experience here in Austin has been both beauty and pain in some unexpected, definitive ways so I'm apprehensive about erecting any expectations around what I hope, desire, or think Cali will be like. My main focus at this stage is fixed on just getting us there and building a new (behavioral health & education based) support network for the boys. It's a daunting task to try and wrap my mind around much else right now.

Everything has been happening at a neck breaking pace. Bertski's been gone for a month, already transitioned into his new role at work. We sign a new lease next week. Bren finished 2nd grade today and Alex graduates from preschool tomorrow. Two weeks of camp start on Monday, all three boys wrap up their care with our current team of therapists at the end of the month and then the boys and I fly to New Jersey for 3 weeks with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and Philly friends. There's also a road trip to Asheville, NC for an event I'm excited about and a train ride to NYC for BlogHer. Then we come back to Austin to tie up any remaining loose ends, say goodbye to friends, and hit the road to San Jose. 

My head spun a little just typing that out-even though I've written it and repeated it out loud and mentally almost daily since the middle of April. The Plan. We all know The Plan. Thankfully, despite as stressful as it can get living parts of it out day to day, it's working. Piece by piece, things are coming together. 

When it comes to the solo parenting aspect of this process, I hope I'm managing it as well as I want to be and not coming undone at the seams. Some moments it feels like I am, others I mentally yell "Snap out of it, get a GRIP, this is nothing, you got this" and soldier through the overwhelm. I don't know.  It's hard to tell some days how I'm navigating any of this because I'm simply too tired to think by the time dinner and bath time roll around every evening. Being too tired to think means that once the kids are in the bed, writing and paint are largely out of the question, but I read-I make sure I feed my creativity with words an images from others. I stay engaged on social media. It helps. Distraction always helps me decompress. It keeps me together and mentally sharp for the kids, and from missing Bertski too much. 

This will probably come out sounding more emotional than I intend it to, but the level at which I miss him has honestly been the hardest part. It's the part The Plan doesn't account for. His presence has a way of quietly steadying me that I miss when he's gone for more than 5-7 days. We call, text, Skype...but I miss him physically being here, his energy humming alongside mine. Granted I'm relieved I don't have to listen to angry Linda Perry songs in the morning while he showers, but the silly dances he does with me to help me fight my way through Lithium's fog? Miss those. Missed them the hardest today when I was greeted with the fog upon awaking and found myself just too damn tired to fight, to push forward with the grind, with working The Plan, with adjusting to and preparing for Change. I didn't realize him not being here to carry out his part of this ritual we've naturally developed and designed to carry us through our day would leave me feeling a little lonely. 

So this morning I grabbed my phone as I climbed out of bed (LATE) and pressed play on one of his (our) favorites. Back when we first moved here and had one car, we'd sing it at the top of our lungs while we flew down Mopac as we drove him to work. (The fact that neither of us can sing was and continues to be completely irrelevant.)  I pressed play, started singing, grabbed Brennan's hand, and we danced our way to the kitchen to grab ourselves and his brothers breakfast. 

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We're moving. Everything is changing. Quickly. I'm tired. Managing. It's been four weeks of stumbling and wrangling my way into the morning, throwing ourselves into clothes and eating and taking meds and packing lunches and arguing over whose turn it is to pick an episode of a favorite show and yell about brushing teeth and throwing on back packs and making a dash out the door. We're working The Plan and I'm trying to stay grounded as we each transition into the new spaces Life has for us. 

I just wish I didn't miss dancing with him in the morning so much. Me haces falta.