I never finish anything
**Spoiler alert: this post isn't just about being a starter/non-finisher**
Yet again, I had a crap night's sleep.
I went to bed early, hoping to get eight hours of rest but got up three times to visit the little boy's room. I'd been to the gym and had drunk a couple of pints of water, thinking I didn't want to get a drum-beat of a headache, as I often do when I forget to drink. It was clearly a mistake. In the end, at 3 am, I just lay there waiting for my alarm clock to go off at 5 am.
Ah, never mind. Hopefully, I'll be able to have a little nap this afternoon. If not, I'll have to make do with another early night and hope for the best.
If you recall, in yesterday's slightly hurried post, I committed to writing about new things. I gave a list but should have said that that wasn't determinative but rather an indicator of where I might direct my attention. Of course, like I always do, I was overridden first thing with a strong emotional sense of what I should share and indeed the first Tweet of the day was on this very topic — i.e. finishing stuff.
My starting point was to Google the topic. No surprise: there are lots of 'how to' posts but that's not my point. You see, something else started to emerge that's on all fours with a number of other problem areas of my life; namely, I'm beginning to wonder if I've got some of, if not many of, the symptoms of bipolar disorder:
"Having a house full of half-completed projects is a hallmark of bipolar disorder. People who can harness their energy when they are in a hypomanic phase can be really productive. Those who can't often go from task to task, planning grand, unrealistic projects that are never finished before moving on to something else." — Bipolar — 10 subtle signs
Now, I don't want to alarm anyone reading this post, especially those closest to me, but whereas I started off thinking about my biggest failing in life (not finishing what I start), as soon as I started reading around the subject — in the space, mind you, of less than an hour — the alarm bells started going off.
Now, of course, I could be totally off track and my proclivity to have a 101 things on the go and finish, well, fuck all may just be part of my DNA but I'm not so sure. You see, I do recognise increasingly how one minute I'm on the money, as if nothing else mattered, and the very next I've succumbed to an overwhelming sense of ennui and can't run away from the project fast enough. If you then weave into the equation some of the other parts of my personality, the picture becomes a lot clearer.
Shit, where does that leave me?
Not in any desperate rush to go talk to anyone, less still to ask for medication, but I will write down a list of the things that keep reappearing in my life and then do my own cross-check with the NHS website and other reputable sites to see how close I am to explaining my behaviour over all these years from a very different perspective. (For the record, on a cursory glance, I seem to display a number of the symptoms.)
It's not that I want to weasel my way out of a proper diagnosis — in many ways I'd quite welcome it — but I do, at the very least, want to do my own research before seeing my GP. If nothing else, I need to have an honest talk with myself about how much lifeforce I've got left and where I want to invest that over the long term. I mean, it's great to have all these wild ideas but having them and doing something about them is a different thing. Better still, to find a way to cut out all distraction and get one thing done at a time, be that finishing a book, painting the house or sorting out our finances (all areas where my starting-but-never-finishing proclivity/personality shows up in spades). This may look an odd thing to say in the face of something as big as bipolar but I know I can help myself by cutting out so many things that are never going to get done.
I'm pausing at this point to reflect on why now am I trying to get a handle on my 'personality'. The short answer is I don't know. What shows up both in my writing, my thoughts and the rest of my life just is. That's not me being defeatist or anything of the sort, it's simply acknowledging the fact that I'm human. Like you, sometimes it's fucking right up there and the next, well, you're in a dark place. I've been lucky that somehow, not by exerting great gobs of willpower but a loving acceptance of who I am, I've managed to let nature take its course, but I'm very aware that along the way I've lived a chaotic and disordered life. First this, then that and then a whole load of other shit. But I'm lucky — by god I'm lucky — that my wife and kids have stuck by me. That's not to say I've made it easy for them and in this regard I know I've got a lot of making up to do. Perhaps simply looking into the possibility of being bipolar might help me seek their forgiveness (not excuse anything — that's not my style) and move on to the next phase of our lives together in a more wholesome, loving way.
Sorry to burden you with this slightly heavy post on a Sunday and I hope I can be forgiven for being, yet again, a little self-absorbed.
Blessings and much love,