“It wasn’t like there was some obvious change. Actually, the problem was more a lack of change. Nothing about her had changed – the way she spoke, her clothes, the topics she chose to talk about, her opinions – they were all the same as before. Their relationship was like a pendulum gradually grinding to a halt, and he felt out of synch.”
~ Haruki Murakami ~
Everyone is always telling me that I’m changing. My support worker, my counselor, attendees of the Hearing Voices Support Group, random employees of the service I use. They tell me that I’m not the person I was when I walked through their doors nearly twelve months ago. That I am coming out of my shell. That I have grown exponentially and will soon take to the sky and soar off into the stars.
Okay, so maybe they haven’t said it quite like that, but that’s what they mean.
What my support worker did say – in reference to my lack of sleep – was that “something” was missing. The blood tests didn’t pick up anything notable (aside from various deficiencies) and the medication should have (but didn’t) rectify the problem. The comment had been aimed at some hitherto unknown reason as to why I don’t sleep; that if we could just work out what this is, then things would noticeably approve.
However, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Addy isn’t some mysterious, mythological artifact that needs to be discovered. It is a dishevelled piece of cardboard that has fallen behind the sofa cushion. The missing piece of the puzzle is the monotony that has consumed my life.
It is my isolation, my boredom; my ennui.
Every time I walk through my front door I see the same manky cream walls I’ve been looking at for the last year and a half, smell the same musty no-amount-of-air-freshener-dents-it odor that I’ve been smelling for the last eighteen months, feel the same loneliness that’s been crippling me for the last six and a half years!
My days are inherently the same. My body simply going through the motions of get up, go to group, wander the shops, come home, eat food, go to bed, and with it, my mind just goes through the motions as well, stress about my body, worry about what people think of me, replay the abuse I received, relive the trauma I received, worry, worry, worry, anxiety, anxiety, anxiety, protect from further pain at all costs.
All of it preventing me from seeing the change others keep telling me I’ve gone through.
The problem is, even though I know all of this. Even though I’ve known all of this for a long, long time. I don’t know what to do about it. I require routine. It’s not just something that’s good for me; it’s something I need. Without routine my moods become unstable, veering erratically from depression to mania to suicidal ideation to hypomania in the blink of an eye.
So my question is, what exactly do I do about it? How do I enliven my routine without jeopardising my moods?