My knowledge of famous paintings is remedial at best but ask anyone who took one art class in elementary school and they can no doubt identify Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory. The piece was painted by the surrealist in 1931.
There has been much debate surrounding Dali’s state of mental health. He’s been posthumously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder by many in journal articles in recent years. Whether he actually was or not, well I will leave that one to the professionals.
One thing I’m certain of though is that his famous painting illustrates my perception of time and routine. Like his melting clocks, my attempts at establishing a routine for myself have melted away with the demands of life and motherhood.
None of my days are the same, a police officer husband and three children under the age of 10 guarantees it. While I love the fact that my life is anything but boring, it’s counterproductive to my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. All the experts say routine is critical to maintaining the balance required for mood stability.
The experts say maintaining consistency in circadian rhythms is paramount to self care. They encourage us to eat, workout and sleep at the same time daily. That is laughable and like most things, easier said than done.
In an article published in Bipolar Magazine, David J. Kupfer, MD, said, “Everything we do sends messages to the brain. Every activity affects body temperature, cortisol levels, and more.” Kupfer, a distinguished professor emeritus of psychiatry from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, goes on to say, “That first meal of the day and the last meal of the day are very important. When you exercise, in terms of regularity, is vital. You should take naps at the same time. Doing everything at the same time every day … can be just as powerful as taking medication.”
Again, that’s all well and good but I challenge Kupfer to attempt to establish routine in my life. I doubt even the doctor has a prescription for success in that arena.
So what’s a mother like me to do? It’s been suggested that I keep a journal of my daily activities and assign a trusted individual to alert me when my moods seem to be getting off kilter. I am suppose to attempt to find some rhythm in my daily activities and start from there. Well that’s crazy talk because no such rhythms exist. With the holidays rapidly approaching days will only become more hectic.
While writing this and reflecting on my daily life, it’s become clear that I must begin with the commitment to make changes. I guess the old adage of the first step is the hardest holds true for me here as my first step is commitment.
Perhaps I will start with trying to maintain a daily blog time. Will you all help me hold to that commitment? Call me out when I’m up until the wee hours of the morning playing catch up with my writing. Who else but you understands the importance of that commitment? My readers are my village, I suppose. Hold my feet to the fire. After all who else understands the chaotic rhythms of a Bipolar mind better than someone else who lives the life?
Image courtesy of Google