When You Have Gerbils in Your Brain

gerbilsBeing bipolar feels a lot like an extended family of gerbils moved into to your head, set up a condo and are having a non-stop party. There are some days that I can stay reasonable focused on one task at a time, but those days are few and far between. Most days I have the attention span of a gnat. “Oh look at the sky, I’m hungry, I want to go see X movie…right now, squirrel, need to do laundry, where did I leave my collection of paint brushes? And where the hell is that painting I’ve been working on? I have too many shoes again, where is that book I was just reading? Oh, the deposit slip I was using as a book mark is dated March 2011, so I guess I wasn’t just reading after all. I guess I’ll start over and read it from the beginning.

Get it? There is never ending bedlam going on in my head along with a running commentary on what I “should” be doing, or even what I should “want” to do. It takes practice and fortitude to come to grips with the fact that something I was absolutely obsessed with last week holds not even the slightest bit of interest to me today. I may go back to being obsessed with it next week or never be interested again, there’s just no telling how it’s going to play out.

I can go from crocheting granny squares for a blanket that will be complete in about 2025 to planning the rest of my life on an Excel spreadsheet in the blink of an eye. The good thing about both of these activities is that they are both works in progress and can sit and wait, happily ignored, for me to come back to them when I get around to it.

Sometimes I worry that living basically in the lap of luxury is one cause of my lack of focus. There is nothing that I must do or else…have no water to drink, no food, no shelter, children to care for, etc. Mr. Husband makes a decent living and pays the bills. I can pretty much do exactly as I please any time of the day or night. I found myself being rather embarrassed lately when a friend asked me how much our electricity was every month and I had to admit that I didn’t know. Hubman takes care of all that and I never even see the bills. He talks to me about the family business and seems to value my advice, so I’m sort of an impromptu consultant, but that is the extent of my participation

God Lord, am I living in my own private funny farm? That’s a scary thought. Will I end up sitting around all day weaving baskets and gluing macaroni to paper plates? Am I turning into some kind of sheltered old biddy who doesn’t even know how to gas up her own car? It’s something to think about.

15 responses

  1. Good god, does all of what you write sound exactly like the world (and mind) I live in. I’ve tried explaining it in my own blog and to others, but never felt like I got it quite right. You did. The only difference is that my hubby and I are both working and I’m the one paying the bills, so instead of feeling like living is a lap of luxury, I feel like all this “stuff” like work and all those other have-to’s of life are getting in the way of me being able to live life and achieve all of that which I “know” I would excel at, if I was just given more time. Very frustrating, and very ambitious. The way only maniacs can achieve. 😉

    1. I don’t miss the have-to really, but I do miss the structure. I’m finding out that I’m not quite as self motivated as I thought I was. Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my little corner of semi-reality 🙂

      1. Yeah, I can see that. I know the structure is good for me but it drives me nuts. The have-to’s are what make sure that I abide by the structures, but they can bring me to tears because I, when black, feel like I’m being dragged to the maw of a dragon. It’s a constant sense of tug and war, isn’t it.

        1. Dragged into the maw of a dragon…great mental image. I know how you feel.

  2. Great writing! And you seem to have a positive attitude and perspective towards life. You’re hardly living on your own funny farm, (haven’t you heard, we’re all crazy!)

    1. Thanks for the pat on the back. I guess you’re right though. We’re all a bit crazy to some degree. Just some more than others 🙂

  3. Well, if you start weaving baskets, you can sell them on Etsy. At least then it would be a productive funny farm.

    Your brain sounds a lot like mine–except I don’t have the excuse of being bipolar (my moods are pretty damn stable). I just have a brain that runs around like a hamster in a wheel.

    1. Selling baskets on Etsy, what a great idea. Welcome to the hamster wheel club 🙂

  4. Hmm. You have me thinking. Certainly, I think purposeful activity helps structure our days and can help folks with Bipolar like us function better. It’s a fine line, though. I don’t think we should seek out stress. Just seriously pursue what we believe in and do well.

    1. True I think I need to add a little more structure to my life. And trust me I don’t actively seek out stress, with my large extended family it comes and finds me often enough even when I’m hiding.

  5. well, it´s been 2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 6 days since you started to enjoy your freedom … bipolar or not, it seems natural to me that now that you have the time and the money you want to do it all or nothing at all, at your wish. You deserve it, you worked most of your life. Now it´s time to have fun!!

    1. Yep it’s time to have fun. I need to walk out on the branch, jump off and start doing stuff. All the stuff I never did when I was working because I didn’t have the time. But, I’m finding out also that I really enjoy just hanging out.

  6. As I read your posts I am being educated as what it must have been like to be my mom. She died a year and a half ago and throughout her life she was without doubt bi-polar, though not diagnosed until she was in her 70’s. If someone else want to relieve me of the responsibility of driving I would be happy to accommodate. I don’t find the thought of weaving baskets to be a frightening one. When I was in summer camp as a kid I tried it and was quite good at it. 🙂 I’ve never been drawn to macroni art but I have used many materials in my artworks and I haven’t closed my mind to using pasta of any kind in my future projects.

    Be well and happy too.

    1. Wow not until she was in her 70s? I can’t imagine what it was like to be with her before that. As for the basket weaving, I’m giving it some serious thought because I’ve always been fascinated by baskets. Whenever I get one with a gift I can’t bring myself to get rid of it. I did recently bite the bullet and donate some to charity because it was getting ridiculous. I’ve always been fascinated with bow tie pasta. Maybe I’ll paint one and turn it into a necklace. 🙂

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