The Bipolar/Postpartum Depression Chronicles: Priorities

So something personal about me is that I’m dealing with a diagnosis in May of being bipolar.  I had thought I was dealing with a nasty case of postpartum depression, but in fact, it is actually bipolar disorder.  So now I’m on 3 regular meds (I worked so hard to have a natural childbirth, and here I am on meds all the time!) and giving myself grace and space to rest and be peaceful.

The complete (and don’t get me wrong; completely miraculous) collapse of Life as I Knew It has got me thinking about what pieces of my former life I really need to hang on to. There is much more limited time and energy now, but parts of my old life have to be worth fighting for. It’s those pieces that I’m trying to figure out. Choosing my battles, as it were.

The doctor told me that I essentially need to clear some space off my plate and have less obligations so that I can concentrate on being well. So I’ve made two lists. The Still Important list, and the Not So Much Right Now list.  It pained me to put some of my favorite things on the NSMRN list, and so I am going to review the list in 6 months, and move some things around.

The things on the Still Important list include:

Exercise
Meditation
Writing
Kicking my sugar addiction/losing the baby weight (and then some)
Spending quality time with my husbster
Re-homing some of our cats
Focusing on moving back to Pennsylvania
Yoga
Singing in my choir
Trying new things (ie a new museum or recipe or something each week)
Paying bills (cuz someone has to and I’m too much of a control freak to hand it to hubster)
 
The things that have been relegated to the NSMRN list are:
 
My podcast
Grad school
Travel
Keeping on top of the laundry
Having a super clean house (within limits…there’s still a feng shui element to consider!)
Nomadchick, my women’s traveling website that I’ve been trying to get set up since 2002
Re-learning German so Hannah can grow up bilingual

I’ve moved a lot of what I consider to be priorities to the NSMRN list, and that pains me.  But even looking at the Still Important list as it is, pared down, still overwhelms me.  When can I get time to meditate daily, like a practice?  When can I get time to write every day?  How are we supposed to do this?  The simple act of life, and the busy-ness of life (paying bills, going to doctor appointments, buying toilet paper) can get so overwhelming.  Add to that a job.  And a husband, who expects some attention (the nerve!).  And you’re supposed to sleep 8 hours a night.  How is there any time left over for anything vaguely resembling a hobby or interest?

It seems so overwhelming and if I stop and think about it, I start to get freaked out.  One day at a time.

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