When I was young, family and friends seemed to be a constant in my life, but little by little members seemed to disappear, either by death, by moving or living far away, because of fights, or because their lives became so complicated (or altered) that they, like me, couldn’t give of themselves much (or at all) anymore. I do have my husband. He has been a constant for me during the last 22 years. I hope he will remain a constant for as long as I live, despite being over 10 years my senior. I guess if I had had a child, they hopefully would have served as a secure constant. But I didn’t.
As a person with bipolar disorder, my moods are obviously far from constantly stable. For me, among the worst of my disability has been ever changing productivity levels. There are periods when I can hardly get out of bed, do self-care, do housework, or even properly care for my pet, let alone have a job and give enough to others. Other times I find myself approaching normal. That gives me hope. I yearn for a constant period of relief, and the ability to get back to some true “norm” in life, and increased security of other sorts. Again, that always seems to end too soon. Though manic states and “seemingly” high creativity and productivity have its allure, it’s sometimes a mirage, and a ticket to fall back to the pit in which I’ve lived before. I know that those without mental illness have also felt the stress of unexpected and unwelcome changes and challenges, as well as losses in life. This post is also for you.
During the last 20 years I’ve seen numerous doctors and therapists. I have seen my gynecologist and GP for all of this time, but others, not as long. I’ve made decisions to switch them, some have retired, and a couple even “fired” or “quit” me, not unlike many friends. Just recently my therapist of 4.5 years announced the ending of her practice next month. I’m so sad! Tomorrow I see a new therapist. I feel like I’ll have to drag my history out of the pit of my stomach. I almost feel the same way about making new friends. My husband wants to perhaps move in a few years. If that becomes a reality, I’ll have to start all new in many respects.
I know that most people develop challenges and experience losses as they age. I try to hang on to what I can that is exempt from that, or exists in all places, like some hobbies that I love, nature, music, and the like. Though even they can be hard to enjoy when times are bad, they are never gone forever during our lives. We must grab on to them and never let go.
What have your constants in life been? How have they changed?