Early Rising for Mental Health

My girlfriend gets up early for work and last night I decided I’d try it with her. Today is my first day. I feel mildly sleepy so far. I’d been feeling like maybe I was getting too much sleep because I usually go to bed with her at around 10pm, but then don’t get up until around 9am (if it’s a good day). Today I got up at 6am. I want to feel healthier and get the proper amount of sleep, but it’s hard. I’m tempted to just go back in the bedroom and snooze. To combat this, I’m doing laundry and using the blue light from the computer as I type this. I’ve also already fed my cats. I’m planning on going to an exercise class at the gym I used to use before I started going to Planet Fitness so much. This gym offers more in the way of classes and I think I should get back into that. I’m also steeping some Earl Grey tea. This is just the first day, but we’ll see how it goes. I think some regulation would do me good. Wish me luck. If you have stories about your sleep schedule, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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Washing Hands Near the Ocean

Washing Hands Near the Ocean

Soap under my nail
rubs out onto the towel.
Your lip pushes onto mine.
I’m all edges.
The sea is angry and pushes over my head.
It bites my eyes and rushes into my mouth.
The roughness shocks me.
Isn’t this rage supposed to be picturesque?
The towel nubs run under my fingernails.
I dig into my thighs.
Can you calm me?

Volunteer work as a purpose

After writing the post about what is important to me, I feel like I should chronicle the two volunteer experiences I’ve had so far. Both occurred last week. It was the first time for both of them, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. One of them is an organization that works with children, which I went to on Tuesday. Then on Friday, I volunteered at a local hospital. I’m still not entirely sure what to expect because I’ve only done each one time. The children’s organization was pretty crazy, but I got to play with a few kids. That was nice. It did make me pretty nervous, but I hope that will calm down with time. At the hospital, I’m still feeling things out. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not because I’m so new to it. I hope to find out more. I feel accomplished for having conquered my fears and tried both. I had a lot of anxiety about starting, especially with the children’s organization. I’ve volunteered at the hospital in the past, so I was less nervous about that. I didn’t return to either this week, even though they are supposed to be weekly, because I’ve been on vacation. I am going to take a break this week too so that I can recover from vacation, but I’m excited to get back in there. (And nervous too!) I want to feel like I am making a small difference in the world. I want to have a purpose. I hope this is the way to go for me right now.

Hypomania turns to depression

A rush of energy
storms my nerve endings.
Why be gentle with a spark?
I swallow the sea foam,
pull away into the waves.
Charge!
A free margarita of the mind.
I’m tipsy of myself. Too much
self.
When it’s over, I’m left staring into the beady, dull eyes of a shark, seaweed grasping at my ankles.
I must pass into the gate.

Mini poem

Bleach Body

Bleached blond, bralettes
comb over the edges of the ocean.
Billowing white thighs –
lightening streaks as I walk.
But you like me admist
bleached blond, bralettes
swarming like bees.
I taste the honey, like the slope of my stomach.
Bleached blond –
but you cradle the curve of my arms.
I don’t have a beach body, just a body waiting for you, rolling over the beach like the tide coming in.
You wait for my body like your skin waits for the sun – cream to crisp, bleached.

Mini poem

Corner

I could taste the sea later
when I bit beneath my fingernails.
I liked the taste, so I kept digging with my teeth.

I dug a hole in the sand. Scooped out handful after handful, hoping to reach you, even though you were already sitting next to me in the sun.

I piss away my time digging for what I already have. Your eyes are large again. I can tell you’re out of patience, so I just bite beneath my fingernails, suck on the sea I taste, and look at you out of the corner of my eye. I’m good at sweeping out a corner for myself.

What is important to me?

I have recently been told by multiple sources that if I want to find out what kind of work/volunteer work I should do, I should take some time to think about what’s important to me.

I made a list on one of my adult coloring pages. I thought it was important to be able to spread out a little to foster the brainstorming process, but it actually got pretty full really fast.

Maker:S,Date:2017-11-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-11-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

From what I wrote down, I can piece together that I want to do something to help people, but I also want to do something that taps into my creativity. I have this idea about writing copy for greeting cards and sending it in or making my own line of greeting cards. I want to be part of something bigger than myself. I don’t know if I should join something existing or make it happen myself. A lot of the things I wrote down are on a daily/weekly level, such as exercise, routine, managing money, and having a good book to chew on. Others happen organically, such as learning to cook and writing my blog. I just wish that I had something that would give me a larger purpose, but I’m not sure what that thing is. There are lots of things I’d love to try in life – learning French or learning to dance. But what is the thing that I strive for? I don’t know. Maybe it’s volunteer work. Maybe it’s something creative that I come up with. But I know I haven’t found it yet. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to comment.

I am working on several volunteer opportunities right now, but the start up process is slow. I don’t think I can handle a job right now because my mental health is so bad, but I think lining up volunteer work will be good for me. I’m trying to create a routine filled with volunteer work, exercise, family, my girlfriend, chores, a support group and little things that make me happy like reading, coloring, and music.

Something I’ve noticed though is that I’m not as interested in poetry. I was never great with reading tons of poetry, but I’m not as interested in writing it these days either. I don’t know if that’s due to depression or if my interests have just changed. Sometimes I think I prefer writing creative non fiction (this blog) these days. Other times I think I should play with words for therapy like I used to again. But I don’t think my calling is poetry the way I used to wish it was. It’s probably something else. I don’t know what yet, but it’s been interesting to explore these thoughts. If you have similar issues or suggestions, please comment! I would love to know about the struggles others are having with this “finding a purpose” stuff, especially if it ties into a state of poor mental health like mine does.