Almost exactly two years ago, I had a professor at Arizona State suggest to me that the best way to handle boredom is to do nothing. Don’t scroll through Facebook. Don’t flip through television channels. Don’t try to draw or find music. Don’t. Do. Anything.
It’s amazing what not doing anything can do.
I’ve dealt with some pretty serious boredom recently and the hardest thing to do is nothing. I find myself wanting to find some creative activity to fill the time. Instead, I’m taking my professor’s advice and I made a realization: boredom is my mind’s answer to being overwhelmed.
Now, there are people who legitimately have nothing to do and are basically wasting away by being bored. I’m not one of those. There’s always something to do; it’s a matter of if I want to do it or not. I actively avoid things that stress me out, so writing has been on my “avoid” list. There are a few things at work I’m avoiding. The question becomes: what do you do when you don’t want to do what you’re supposed to?
That’s where my boredom comes from, so now I’m taking time to just be still. It’s doing wonders for the anxiety. Saturday was bad, so I sat and stared at a wall for close to an hour before I figured out what I really wanted to do. Sunday was hella productive. Today is more like Saturday. I don’t really want to do much because the thought of everything I need to do makes me want to curl into a ball and hide under my desk. Combating that desire by sitting still takes more strength than I thought it would.
I’m pretty sure this is 90% just rambling, but I’m curious–why do you guys get bored? Is it really that you don’t have enough to do, or do you actually have too much and you need to disconnect? Does it tie into anxiety for you?
I’m playing around with the idea of having themed days of the week: Mental Health Monday, Writer Wednesday, Physical Friday; you know, basic catchy alliterative crap. It would mean I have to commit to a dedicated schedule again, which would be great for my personal growth as a writer and for my readers. I always feel awkward when someone comes here expecting a mental health conversation and they get inundated with information about my novel characters. Likewise, people who read me for my writerly stuff generally don’t seem to care for my mental health posts. Separating those might be a good idea. We’ll see what happens.
Onto the mental health updates. As many of you know, I’m Bipolar II. I’m on Lamictal and Abilify. Something you may not know is that I’ve scored extremely high on autism questionnaires in the past, but have not been diagnosed as autistic since my social skills tend to be top notch (it depends on the day). I’m hardly a fount of scientific information relating to mental health issues, so I can only speak, and often do, from personal experiences.
I recently had to stop drinking in order to allow the Abilify to work. I’m bummed because I’m actually a bit of a beer snob and love trying new ones when I go to dinner. I might also be the kind of person who has a few gin and tonics on board game night. However, all of those things were impeding the Abilify, so I had to cut back. So lame.
Everything’s coming up roses.
On the positive side of things, I can see where it’s starting to kick in again. I had to call a customer three times, which would normally send waves of anxiety rolling through my body. Not today. Without even thinking, I picked up the phone and called. No anxiety, no qualms, no anything. It was freeing.
If this is what it takes to become okay, here’s to not drinking.
I want nothing to do with anything. My anxiety has been through the roof over this last week. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to do homework, I don’t want to clean, I don’t want to play video games, and I’m paralyzed by every last notion that I have to do something.
Work is one place where that can’t get the best of me. I’m fighting through it. I’m still new, so I’m constantly afraid of doing something wrong. We just changed management so I’m even more nervous. Can’t let it show, though.
Writing is another place where I have to grin and bear it. If I want to be a professional, I have to write whether I feel like it or not. It’s harder than it sounds.
I’m not sure why the shift in my anxiety levels. The first month on Abilify was great but this is a 180 degree turn. No bueno.
Time to sit under my desk and force myself to be productive. I hope you all are having better days.
Man-Doctor put me on Abilify and I swear to God that 5mg knocks me out. I’ve been half awake for the last couple of weeks, not to mention irritable. My money’s burning a hole in my pocket. I can’t settle down. The nausea with the medication is gone, but I think these are the exact opposite side effects Man-Doctor was looking for.
The knocking-out explains how I managed to sleep last week, though, considering both of my roommates snored.
Thinking about the wedding still stresses me out. Bahama Mama (the bride’s mother) was . . . wow. I told the bride after we spent some time with her mother, “Your mother makes me appreciate mine.” Thankfully she thought it was funny. Bride and groom are honeymooning now, which means a few things–1) I don’t have to hear about wedding details anymore. 2) The damned thing is over. 3) All of my vacation went toward the least relaxing trip of my life.
Have to get back to doing homework, but I thought I’d rant for a minute about Abilify and the wedding. Also, if your friends decide to take you to a club without telling you what it is, be scared. Especially if said club is somewhere near the Capitol building, nestled behind Homeland Security and is listed on Google as a “gay bar.” Bad idea. Such a bad idea.
OH and for the love of GOD please vote this November. If you are an American citizen over the age of 18, this is not the year to say “eh.” Vote and vote your conscience. I’m going third party; most of my friends and family are going third party. Hell, my Senator is going third party. Vote for the person you genuinely want to see in the White House. Screw the “lessor of two evils” bullshit. There are more options than that and this is the year to take advantage. </rant>
Okay. Goodnight. Time to take a “sleeping pill.”
There is a reason Bahama Mama is the name of an alcoholic drink. As I’ve told several people over the last few days, I will never be able to speak of this wedding without drinking.
The wedding taught me several things: 1) there has to be a limit to the DIY-ing; if it isn’t done two weeks before the wedding, then just pay for it. 2) If you have a schedule, stick to it and don’t let people off the hook if they cause you to fall behind. 3) Always have a contingency plan. 4) When planning a large wedding, alcohol is required for every step of the way.
From this experience I’ve decided that if and when I get married it will likely be very casually formal. I’m thinking formal dress attire, potluck, party, ceremony in the middle of the party. Simple enough, right?
I have the next couple of days to rest up since there was no relaxing on this trip. I also get to work on homework since there was barely any working on homework on this trip as well.
Time to go to sleep. Good night.