I am usually in a state of being overwhelmed. My brain never stops. Someone could be suffocating me with the pillow of serenity and I would still be mentally creating next month’s budget, plan to declutter the house, decide which nail polishes to chuck, figure which books to order, and so on. The intensity of it all would be akin to planning a military operation from end to beginning and from beginning to end. It’s loud, repetitive, maddening and exhausting. The madness is exponentially worse if I’ve had a shitty diet that day. A good eight and a half times out of ten, my diet has gone above and beyond. That means on a scale from ninety five to one hundred, I’ve reached unicorn. No matter where I am on the cycle, manic or depressed, there’s no break from it. The Good news for humanity is I am constantly (yes, obsessively…shhh…) searching for ways to quiet my mind. I have found the more strenuous the activity the quieter everything becomes. Then the answer is easy, yes? No. I walk roughly three miles a day with Lovie Doll. It helps but it’s not like hiking up and down hills for miles. To my dismay, my body couldn’t do it everyday. I so desperately want to but I ache. It’s common with bipolar people but it’s not the entirety for me. I have nerve damage from the knee down on my left side and patellofemoral pain syndrome on my right.
Since my body is rebelling, I thought I would try yoga. I love it. I don’t love it in a peaceful, “all is right in my world” sort of way. I love it like we’re in a hate sex type of relationship. Truth be told, for a large woman I am really flexible and that makes the relationship even more intense. As I pose, my mind starts screaming about how the practice is a racket. Downward dog? Go suck a bag of dicks. Warrior Two? Why not? I kicked Warrior One’s ass. Okay, let me stop here. My very dear friend is a yoga teacher. More specifically, my yoga teacher. I don’t look at her with disdain. When I focus my anger it’s at the origin of the art. That’s right, yet another who has an emotional response to art. If it’s such an abusive relationship, why continue? I could prattle on about Stockholm Syndrome but ultimately, it’s because it works. For that entire hour, I don’t have a million thoughts racing. I have one hour of focused thought. Yes, an incredibly volatile thought but one, nonetheless. Afterward, my thoughts slow. I sleep in a longer stretch than two hours at a time. That’s more than I can say about anything else I’ve tried for sleep. Lovie Doll helps me with bedtime yoga. Sometime she poses with me and sometimes she just gets on my side of the bed and snores while I pose. No matter which, when I crawl into bed she makes sure I can’t sleep without being in some weird, slightly archaic pose. Gotta love her.