Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just feels like spinning plates

For those of you who don't know me personally (and some of you who do), I have bipolar disorder. I have bipolar II, which is kind of like bipolar lite; bipolar's annoying and less intrusive kid sister. People who do know I have it tend to think there's really nothing wrong with me. I seem to function just fine, I don't make impulsive and utterly life changing decisions at the drop of a hat (I do, actually, but many of them tend to work themselves out, occasionally even to my benefit), and I don't spend rent checks on a whim. I manage to hold a job, I have a small business on the side, and I even have a husband that hasn't run screaming from our relationship after the first year of marriage (yet). I don't drink in excess (this is debatable), I don't do any drugs, and I don't engage in any other serious self destructive behaviors.

It sucks having an illness that no one really thinks you have. It makes you feel like a liar, or a drama queen. Makes you think you really could handle life if you'd just pick yourself up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. It also makes you think you're fine well past actually being fine, and makes you feel stupid for seeking out help or therapy. However, I started seeing a therapist again this week. I had to admit to myself that I'm not doing so great, and that life shouldn't feel as unmanageable and overwhelming to me as it does.

I wake up in the morning, think about the laundry list of things I need to accomplish, and I'm filled with dread. House cleaning, making new work, writing a blog, taking pictures of finished pieces and updating my Etsy, submitting resumes and craft fair applications, paying bills, going to my evening job... Just thinking about all of it puts me in a panic. I know how hard it will be for me to stay focused and do it all. I know it will feel like a struggle to remember it all, to keep on task, to not doubt myself when I'm making artwork and give it all up for the day. It's easier to sit in the armchair and browse the internet. It's effortless. It is a major struggle to finish washing a sink full of dishes without feeling... I don't know, restless, distracted, annoyed. Simple tasks shouldn't feel like Herculean endeavors, but they do. And I feel like I should be enjoying making artwork, but most of the time I'm too busy worrying about whether it's any good, whether I'm making enough, or whether the idea I have has been done before. I sit down and make a couple pieces, and then pat myself on the back for having been "productive." Then a deadline comes up, and I realize I should have been working everyday on this, making 5 times as much stuff as I have been. I just can't seem to make myself sit down for that long everyday. I don't know why it's so hard for me. I don't know why there's this constant lack of energy, why the day just wears me out so easily. I do know why, it just annoys me that I can't overcome it by sheer force of will. I hate that I can't just MAKE myself better.

I was working on my ceramics today, thinking about all of this while I worked. I'm listening to Radiohead, which is my official "Life sucks and I feel sorry for myself" music. It's 4:50p, and I have 5 more hours to get pieces painted and ready for the kiln. And I just don't want to. My shoulders ache, my head hurts, and I just want to call it a day. I feel like such a whiner. I know that anything worth accomplishing in life should be hard. It should take effort. I just wish everything didn't feel that way.

There really wasn't much of a point to this post, was there? I just needed to get thoughts out today so I could work.

TL;DR - Here's some pictures of stuff I've been making.
Soon to be carved lantern - It has a candle holder place inside, and will have a wire handle when it's done.
Thought cloud


martha said...

Busy weeks and hot days make for stressed out women, huh? The nice thing we have to look forward to is that the Feast is a fairly laid back event. I love that you are making lanterns! Can't wait to see the finished product next weekend. Btw, sometimes it is good just to let the dishes go, have a drink and do what feels right. That's what keeps us sane!

eef said...

your stuff looks great! and i did actually read this, did not know you had bipolar, but then you may not have known i have ocd. or maybe you did because i'm fucking nuts. XD

anyhow, i feel you! i get overwhelmed too and sometimes just want to give up on everything. lately i've been feeling like i should drop drawing and stuff altogether because i barely sell anything. i basically work all day, go to the gym, and then work all night. my problem is more that i OBSESS over doing things though. work stresses me out more than it should because i can't stop thinking about it, crafting stresses me out because i can't stop thinking what i should do to sell more, moving to a new apt stresses me out because i can't arrange the furniture properly in my head--which is something really silly but omg do i obsess about where the couch should go.

sorry, didn't mean to turn this into being about me, i just wanted to say that i understand at least some of what you go through! especially about not wanting to do anything and just surf the internet! which is what i did tonight instead of blogging, which means i have to go blog now (for tomorrow) or i won't be able to sleep... *sigh*

15 Painted Cups said...

Martha, there is a very good chance that this stuff will not be ready in time, because I have to fire it up at Amaco, and they tend to take a while getting my pieces done. But I am keeping my fingers crossed! I wish I had gotten it all finished about a week ago, though. Especially the lantern!
Erin, I didn't know you had OCD either, but you don't strike me as any crazier than I am, just much neater! I appreciate you sharing that with me, though. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels completely overwhelmed by trivial things. Thanks:)