I have so many times where I honestly fear I am going to pull an Emily Dickinson and never leave the house again. Between bouts of depression that leave me too tired and withdrawn, and run ins with anxiety that leave me choked, I have reason for my lingering fears of extreme solitude.
Of course, I like at least a little interaction with friends and with the world. Sometimes the world inspires me. (Other times I wish it would disappear beyond my home and family.) Moreover I want to be a helpful helpmate to my husband, and that includes things like running to Target or going out to dinner. Beside that, I have a young child that needs me for doctor appointments, activities, and – starting this fall – rides to school each day. Becoming a recluse really isn’t an option, at least not now.
I feel tremendously grateful for the times I live in. I have online lectures and courses that allow me to learn from home. The internet lets me communicate with people far away. Books make me feel alive. It is humbling to think of how many people throughout history had no books to read, or the ability to read them. My home is comfortable, so on days like this where I can’t leave the house I have a spacious, relaxing place to be. There are paints at my disposal for some therapeutic color play.
I am grateful to God for all of this. There have been so many people like me who were born before these resources were available, or who live now in places where the comforts and opportunities I have don’t exist.
Today is hard. Recovering and bouncing back from the trip we just took to the coast to see family and friends has not been easy. It has been off and on. Today I had to reschedule my daughter’s tutoring because I can’t leave the house. Praying that tomorrow is a better day. Angelica has two different make up appointments in the morning. Hopefully, hunkering down today will mean better resiliency tomorrow.
Counting my blessings is vital to spiritual growth and happiness. Bipolar is hard. I had a manic episode last week, and now I am going the opposite direction. Anxiety is hard too. But my life is so good, and even shut in at home I have a wealth of good things.