[To listen to an audio version of this blog please click here: https://soundcloud.com/user-231831520/sets/we-have-normality]
Aficionados of Douglas Adams will recognise this quotation from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are rescued from certain death in space by the Starship Heart of Gold, operated by the Infinite Improbability Drive.*
Our heroes experience some pretty weird stuff, before the ship restores a probability factor of 1:1 – normality.
"We have normality," says Trillian. "I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
I've had a few weeks of "normality" now, but today? Irritable, hostile and agitated.
Normally, when the children say, "Mummy, why are you so sad/tired/angry/grumpy?" I have to say, "I don't know, darlings. It's just part of the cycle. It's not your fault: it's not anyone's fault – it just is."
But not today. Today I know exactly why.
No – I'm not going to bore you with too much information. Anyone who has a family will know that things don't always run smoothly. There are times when I feel like Prometheus, chained to a rock, while ravens eat my insides (and yes, I know it was an eagle in the original). Every night I heal, and every day it starts all over again. I love my family, I do. But no family is easy.
Just because you are not depressed doesn't mean everything is sunshine and roses.
Sometimes it seems harder. Suddenly there are no more excuses. If this new medication works long term, then I have no reason at all not to succeed long term. And success is important to me.
I want to be a successful business woman, a successful writer, a successful mother. The bipolar cycle that has bound me in barbed chains for so long has been lifted; I am free!
And it's frightening.
There are all the "normal" feelings of inadequacy, fear, self-doubt. But these are only the same feelings everyone has. It's time to pull up my big girl panties and face them. And I'm wondering how much of an excuse I have made my bipolar for not facing them before.
This feels like entering unfamiliar territory. While the ground was trembling beneath my feet, the only thing that mattered was staying upright and making some form of progress, or at least crawling forward. Or sometimes, just holding on; clinging to the side of the crevasse.
Now the earth is stable. There is nothing to impede my progress, except the perfectly ordinary slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
There are two things I need. I need stamina to just keep going, putting one foot in front of the other. And I need a way of reinforcing those big girl panties so they act as armour against that outrageous fortune.
Hmmm – why is there suddenly a picture in my head of a fantasy heroine scantily clad in bikini leather armour?
Is this me? I don't think I ever had the figure for that kind of thing.
But oh, if only!
A Moodscope member.
*For explanation of this, see http://bit.ly/2nCTzr0
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