Hi Crazy Beautiful Reader,
When you have bipolar disorder and you’re going through an episode, you can only focus on one thing, which is getting back some semblance of stability. The goal is not so much balance as much as it self-preservation.
Bipolar disorder, at its core, knocks a person out of balance. Mania or depression arrives and you’re turned into an alternate version of yourself—too up or too down or too agitated to know the difference.
Even though I take medication and am relatively stable, my moods still swing. I lose my balance. These past weeks, the stress at work has increased. I’ve felt overwhelmed and a little out of control at times. All of the proactive work I normally do to stay healthy—yoga, not working too late, eating relatively health meals—has fallen by the wayside.
Digging through an old notebook the other day, I found this Rumi quote.
Life is the balance between holding on and letting go. — RUMI
To regain my balance I’m realizing I need to think about a) what have I been holding onto? and b) What can I let go of?
I’ve been holding on to stress at work. I’ve been holding on to habits that don’t serve me—eating too much sugar, watching too much Netflix, skipping out on yoga. I’ve been holding on to my fear of failure—that I won’t realize my larger writing goals, that I won’t get a promotion at work— and that’s made it hard to focus on the things that matter to me …. like this newsletter you’re reading.
I need to let go of those things. I need to let go of my perfectionism about every piece of writing being perfect, about my job being perfect, about my relationships being perfect. And I need to let go of those days where I work obsessively and ignore my own health because I am out of balance.
It may not return right away, but the pursuit of balance is, I believe, better than wallowing in the imbalance. I feel relieved just knowing that I’m more focused today than I was, let’s say last week, on this pursuit.
Tell me … what are you holding on to these days and what could you let go of?