For the past 6 weeks, I’ve done almost nothing but sleep when I’m not working and work when I’m not sleeping. For me, this type of behavior cannot be sustained for very long without it effecting a semipermanent state of being and pretty much wiping out whatever ‘routine’ I had before that as a reasonably functional person. This is a very bad thing.
When I lose myself into something like that, I forget about, well, to be honest with myself and you, almost everything else. And it isn’t just that I forget, it’s also that I become unable to actually DO other things, particularly otherwise normal tasks, as though I am repelled from those things by the inertia of the “new” routine. Laundry, cooking, bill paying, and other household chores come to mind, but even very basic things are affected — like getting dressed in clothes I’d actually walk out of the house in, showering and doing my hair, even eating a meal, and certainly more in-depth or add-on tasks like going through my son’s school papers to keep or throw out, making a dentist appointment, or remembering to talk with my husband about an important change in our son’s school routine. And it isn’t that I suddenly don’t want to handle those tasks or can’t be bothered; I’m talking about literally something that feels like a physical pull of my body and mind toward “but I have to go do this” — which is currently work or sleep. In point of fact, to illustrate how truly pervasive it is, I will rarely even divert in order to do things for enjoyment, though that one has better odds of getting my attention because something in me recognizes the need to escape and/or reinvest something to be able to keep going.
So, it is at times like this that I stop for a moment, look around myself, and suddenly am tripping over a multitude of failures: the bills I didn’t pay, the batteries I didn’t change when asked to, the meals I haven’t made, the laundry I forgot to do, the homework I haven’t helped with, the child craving my attention, the gift I haven’t sent, the important item I lost, the friendship I haven’t returned, the housework that I can’t even describe, and most importantly, the husband whom I’ve forgotten to be a wife to and who is left to pick up all of my slack… And I start to spiral in guilt, sorrow, and depression.
For all the times I’ve been through this pattern and these feelings, there obviously has to have been as many times that I’ve found or made a way out of it (I was good with algebra, thank you). Yet, I still find myself without a clue of how to handle it. The obvious answer would seem to be to change something, but what and how exactly to approach that is the issue. I mean, the change part I get, but ya know, all those years of changing my hair color at a moment’s notice when I just needed to feel something ‘different’ in my life didn’t exactly effect the sort of change I was longing for deep-down; of course, that didn’t stop me from giving myself a hair cut this week. Didn’t help my psyche that it ended up being the 1 out of 10 I give myself that ends up not being at all what I wanted, but maybe that did help make the point clearer to me.
To top it off, I screwed up royally today, and though I can apologize (and will as soon as I have the chance), I know that years of living with me/my disorder have taken their toll on what that is really worth. An apology from me has a different type of value than from maybe even that of a stranger. My mother always told me that being sorry means you’ll do your best not to do it again, and actions speak louder than words. (A) My best not to do it again utterly sucks, period, point blank, and (B) if my actions always carry more weight than my intent, I am completely screwed.
This is the face of depression with ADD.