Here is where I must admit defeat or acknowledge my limitations and sensitivity to social stimulation. I’ve been hypomanic since I began coming into the NAMI Orange County office to volunteer, and since I offered to help with social media. Apparently, both overstimulate me. I love everyone at the NAMI office and so want to help, but I must acknowledge my own limitations and slow down.
I still very much look forward to participating in my local NAMI Walks (please consider walking with or sponsoring me) & raising as much money as possible. I still very much look forward to being an Ending the Silence presenter in local high schools and a Provider Education panelist.
Of course, I will continue to shout out for NAMI and good mental health as myself and as a NAMI volunteer.
Sorry to my friends at the NAMI Orange County office. I always do this – take something on that I cannot handle & then back off.
In one of the coloring books my sister gave me for my birthday to help me with my ramping hypomania, I found this apt quote:
Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress. — Melody Beattie
My problem is that I want to help everyone, rescue all, offer of myself what I really cannot spare.
Yes, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) understands, as it is it’s mission to support those of us with lived experience and our families. Same would apply, no doubt, to the U.S. Pain Foundation. My son lives with chronic pain (migraines). People who do not live with chronic illness do not know what it is like. Those who do, or love someone who does, do understand. It’s hard. We want to be able to do more.
This always happens to me too…taking something on only to find I can’t do it. It makes you feel like failure, big time. My therapist says I do this because I want to do..whatever it is…so badly, that I say yes before fully knowing what I’ll have to do. I’m desperately in search of a way to support myself. Recently I became a Certified Mystery Shopper. Yes, it’s real, not a scam – if you do your research & find the legit source – which I did. I really thought this was doable for me. I paid $25 to take the beginner course & become certified through MSI. Jobs started coming my way immediately. The jobs were at stores in the main part of town, which is 15 mins away for me. I noticed right away that the pay was very low. I also noticed that the more experienced shoppers were getting the easy, do it from home, online jobs that paid much higher. I thought that once I got some experience, that I would get those jobs too – and I probably would have. What I didn’t know is that you have to commit to being at a certain store on a very specific day & time. This is where I failed. I never know how I’m going to feel from one day to the next or even one hour to the next. I eagerly signed up for assignments that I could never complete due to the pain & fatigue I was feeling on the day & time of the assignments. Not showing up & completing an assignment is a big no-no. It gives you a bad rep as a field agent. So I stopped applying for assignments. I now realize that I failed at this for the same reason that I can’t commit to the traditional 9-5 job. I need to find a way to support myself that can mostly be done at home. I know my limitations & should have thought this through more. I hate my limitations, but if I’m going to be successful at anything, I need to work within them.
I understand how you feel. I keep hearing/reading the same advice: “Do what you can, not what you can’t.”I recently signed up to be a volunteer with the U.S. Pain Foundation. I hope very much that I can do this & not fail again. I want to advocate & educate people about what it’s like to live with chronic pain & fatigue. I think what you’re doing is great & you are very brave. If this organization understands your limitations & is still willing to let you volunteer…that is amazing. Good luck. 😊
We’ve all been where you were, Kitt, but many of us stayed in denial of the issue until it blew up in our face. Kudos to you for your awareness…that is such a huge part of the solution and the road to balance. 💕 Be well.
Thank you for remaining my nag. I appreciate it.
Indeed. I will continue to go back and forth, offering to volunteer, trying to find the right balance, which of course changes as my mood changes.
I can and do, appreciate that whole business of autoimmune and migraines… its a hmmm “pesky nuisance” a polite phrase 🙂
Hey Kitt, I’m so glad you told your son he could do independent study, despite the drawbacks (lack of advanced classes that he could ace in his sleep!) I’m incredibly proud of you for being his mentor/mother – I know the situation is not easy but I also know you’re doing what’s best for him. You’ll both be in my thoughts – and you’ll get back to exercsing when you can. Your little loving “nag” is here to send you gentle reminders. XOXOX
Good to know that the kids get it: this fills me with hope. I’m all for a more compassionate world.
you hit it right on the head. Over stimulation is so bad for us, but the double edged sword, is that without it, we can get quite lonely and bored. I love what you’ve written, thanks for sharing x x
It’s very frustrating especially if its something you enjoy doing. Guess we have to stick together and support one another.
They know me and appreciate me (at least that’s what they say).
My son struggles with a constellation of health issues, including migraines, depression, anxiety, and problems with his immune system, if not an autoimmune disorder. Today he was unable to get out of bed to start the school year. He spent last night vomiting. So, enrolled him in online high school. We’ll see how that goes. It’s an ongoing process for the two of us.
NAMI should understand or at least I hope they understand your limitations. NAMI in my area sucks so I pretty much given up on them and I live in a major city. Glad NAMI is working out for you.
its wisdom to pause when you need to pause, before restarting the journey again. good for you. I’d like to be as wise… my issue is a constellation of autoimmune disorders – but, in essence I don’t have the ooomph that ‘normal’ people do & expect. & I just keep on trying to be ‘normal’ LOL silly me.
Habitually I take on lot of responsibility, then have to pull back. Mania me always takes on too much.
Without doubt, you are not alone in having mania and mood cycling triggered when overwhelmed.
Thank you so much!
I take it you’ve been there, done that.
Yes! Mental health is actually part of the health curriculum in terms of stress and anxiety and depression. Not so much bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or other mental illnesses. It helps to have people with lived experience speak and present, for obvious reasons – helps to destigmatize, put a face to the issue, help students be compassionate. The kids are great, by the way. They really seem to get it.
I’m still volunteering with them. I will be doing Ending the Silence presentations in high school and Provider Education (for mental health and health professionals). I just may not be able to do social media or phone calls.
Thank you, Dy! Yes, you know quite well what it’s like to become overstimulated and hypomanic. Takes its toll! Yes, too, I must get back to exercising. I miss you!
Today was supposed to be my son’s first day back at school. He felt sick last night and this morning – no doubt stress-related anxiety. I told him he could take independent study. He has chosen to enroll in k12.com honors program. The independent study offered by our school district does not offer the advanced classes he is intellectually ready for. He still needs to make up his incompletes from last semester, so helping him, being his “mentor” is my new job.
Thanks, Jim. It’s almost diagnostic of bipolar disorder.
Thank you for reassuring me!
Thanks, Vic. By now you’d think I’d know myself pretty well! But, yes, it’s an ongoing process as my mind and body do change as I age (and as my son ages into adolescence and continues to struggle with chronic health issues, quite frankly).
Yay! I’m so proud of you that you discussed your limitations and desire to help as you can. You can volunteer (volunteering with kids is wonderful – I loved volunteering in the classroom when my son was in elementary school). The issue is taking care of yourself, too.
Thanks. Always trying to find that balance.
Yes, I also get overwhelmed when taking on a new project and unfortunately I get manic, thank you for sharing as now I know I’m not the only one. Good luck friend
Just because you have to slow down, doesn’t mean you failed. We all have to set and find our limits. I know it sucks not to be able to do all the things other people seem to do so easily. You do a lot. It is enough. I hope you have a good day.
Wow, do I understand.
Hi Kitt, so sorry to hear this, but good to know that you realise when you’re becoming overstimulated.
You have a loving heart, witness this: “My problem is that I want to help everyone, rescue all, offer of myself what I really cannot spare.”
I was on a WRAP course three or more years ago, where one of the people leading the course said, “We can’t look after other people if we don’t look after ourselves.” Those words come back to me every time I have to take a few days off from my work (mental health) because I realise I’m starting to become unwell.
Take care. The NAMI work in high schools sounds amazing: would love to see this in the UK. Correction: in the world!
hypo mania sucks! i am sad you are facing it yet again. You seemed to be doing so well with your nami work. anxiety robed that from you. that really isn’t fair. i hope you can find a level stability again.
Thank you Kitt for your very kind words!
I’d say this weekend I’m finally coming down from the conference from the hypomania courtesy of 15 mg of Seroquel/night.As the conference ended August 16th, that’s a chunk of time to be running on hypomania fumes, and then as you know I’ve been affected by my family member’s rapid demise.
My dear, I’m proud of you for walking away from an unhealthy, stimulating volunteer situation; I *****totally**** understand because I’ve “been there, done that” numerous times. It’s very difficult to go through that – to make the commitment, and then realize it’s not working, but if anyone should understand, it’s the staff at your NAMI.
Sending you my love and hopes that this week you’re able to rest more, keep coloring those gorgeous drawings, starting thinking of being Alsuwaidan-like again (I fell off the wagon last night due to food poisoning but I’m going to get back on that ellip. tomorrow night, maybe you could join me virtually??) and take care of a beautiful gal who helps SO many people but now must focus upon herself once again: Lady Kitt! XOXOXOX
I know over-commitment, don’t feel bad about doing what you can and leaving the rest.
Oh Kitt, that sounds so familiar!! I have done this many times. Please please don’t feel guilty about it. After all, you offered your services with the best of intentions. If you COULD go through with it you would, but we don’t live in a perpetual state of mania do we.. Just remember that you already do so much for the cause. You ain’t superwoman!!
Take care. Not just of others, but of yourself xxx
This is just another step on the journey of self awareness. Don’t be too hard on yourself, your intentions are good and that is what matters most!
I’m glad you protect yourself.
Hi Kitt. I was diagnosed as having depression and anxiety for so many years and then with a semi break down a few months ago I was re-evaluated and diagnosed with bipolar. Im more depressive than manic. Having this new diagnosis provides relief but is also very disheartening for me, especially when it comes to situations like you are experiencing now. Before, I would volunteer with the complete confidence of knowing that if I tried hard enough and put in the effort I would succeed, even though most of the time I was unable to give my all and eventually had to back out, there was still hope for a next time. Now that I am bipolar I realize that the outcome is going to be the same. I love to work with the kids and the opportunity has arisen again, I explained in detail what Im going thru in hopes that they will understand why Im not always there. They agreed to let me help as I can and I intend to giving it 100 percent. But, I am very worried that I will fail. Im glad that you posted this because it provides strength for someone like me to not go past my limits and to be OK with that.
So sorry Kitt that you found it too much, but so glad you recognised what was happening and chose to let t go. Stay well, dear heart. xx
Thank you, Leslie. I’m continually trying to figure out what I can and cannot do while maintaining my health.
Thank you, Samina. Thank you for your Suicide Prevention Awareness blog post, as well as all the great content you blog.
This is so typical of hypomania. I’m glad you figured things out early enough to prevent becoming completely overwhelmed. Good for you!
I love Melody Beattie. I’m sorry you aren’t able to do as much as you would like. But, I’m glad you recognized the problem before it became immense
Love this, especially the quote and your realizing that giving up is the best thing to do. I need to do this much more often too. Thank you for posting!