There are stages through which to recover. I think we all can relate and understand that. I’ve gone through layers andlayers of recovery for.. well, I guess I could say – my entire life. Where I’m at right now is, I think, somewhere in the beginning of actually living. Not existing. Not surviving. Actually living.
And there’s a difference.
So, I’ve spent most part of the last fifteen years or so, living in chaos. Somewhere between 30 and 35 years of age, I was in the worst shape of my life. Bloody hell. I was crashing so hard it’s difficult to believe or understand that I survived. The weight of my guilt, my shame, my unability to perform, to make money, to take care of myself, my home.. it was all falling apart in a speed that it’s difficult to describe.
My stubbornness and refusal to accept that something was wrong didn’t help either. It took me several years to admit that I had a very long (it lasted for many, many years, ending up combined with hypomanias) deep depression, and to take steps to get help.
With my bipolar diagnosis came medication and, in time, therapy. Combined with my own efforts to find stability, control et cetera, I think I’ve gone through most of those stages of recovery. I’m not perfect. But I have to say I am immensely proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.
Going from not being able to do pretty much anything at all – including not doing my dishes for days, not showering for more days than I dare to say out loud, not brushing my hair for a week, doing laundry weeks apart instead of once a week… I am at a totally different place today.
I am still not top notch. I may never be – and I’m ok with that.
But I do shower almost daily. I do brush my hair almost daily. I do my dishes daily. I vacuum irregularily (mostly because it’s sooo boring and time consuming). I eat food that’s good for me. I do my yoga. I focus on finding and maintaining balance. I’ve done and continue to do some serious work on myself when it comes to my personal and spiritual growth.
Also – I think I may have landed in finding out what to do with myself and my life. This is something I’ve been struggling with for a very, very long time. I used to be a workaholic. When I was retired from work due to my bipolar disorder, I pretty much lost my entire identity, which I had based on what I did for a living (I used to work as a portrait/wedding photographer).
It takes a long time to rebuild, to go through all these stages of recovery. And I think it may be different for all of us. For me, it’s taken much longer than I would have preferred. I don’t know what that says about me. Was I more wounded than I thought? Did my mother do more damage than anyone else’s? Am I just lazy, or do I think too much? Do I have too high expectations of myself and my life?
I don’t know, and I don’t really care. It is what it is. I am now 46 years old, living alone with my cat and my dog, finally finding new paths to follow – that may actually get me somewhere. One of the things I really dislike, is being stuck. I do enjoy progress and the idea of movement.
What I’ve found is that there are three paths I’d like to pursue. One of them is this blog, and the podcast-to-be (instead of the Youtube channel). I really do believe all this is important, and I’m more than happy to share my journey with you. We’ll see where this specific journey takes me, but it is very closely connected to my spiritual journey.
The second path I like to follow, has to do with dogs. My own approach to dogs is more a spiritual and energetic one, than what’s normal these days with positive reinforcement. I use energy, direction and intention with dogs, rather than training. And – it works. The dogs I spend time with tend to love me.
My third path is – crafting. Back in January, I woke up one day needing beads in my life. This has very quickly grown into a hobby that hopefully will generate some income for me. I am going to start selling some of the necklaces I create. This may be of interest to those of you living in Sweden – I’ll only deliver inside Sweden, for starters.
And of course, my own, spiritual journey. But that’s more of a private kind, and nothing I intend to be professional about.
But I have come so far that, in agreement with my psychiatrist, I have decided to go off my mood stabilizer (Lithium). I’m off since a week or so, and we’ll see what happens over time. At this very moment, I feel a bit odd, but I think that may have to do with my presumed pms (I’m in menopaus, I take hormones for it because of my horrific pmsd) rather than my bipolar disorder.
What I do like the most about all these things, is that I can utilize pretty much my entire self. I get to be creative, use my photography skills, I get to use my spiritual knowledge and understanding, I get to bathe in pretty things, I can dive into meaningful stuff within all these bransches – and I love it.
This is all me, where I’m at, right now. Nothing more, nothing less. In my spiritual journey, I am given images – and I follow where they take me. And while I do not believe in religion at all, I have deep faith in my spiritual guides. There’s quite the difference between these two, and the first episode of the podcast will most likely adress just that.
Looking back at my life, I wish it’d have turned out differently. Nothing became what I expected and hoped for when I was in my 20s. But then again, I very much like and enjoy the person I have become.
Like I tell my spiritual guides and power animal repeatedly;
I am ready to move into my new life. ♥