This morning, I find myself thinking about the word extraordinary. How really it’s just a simple word — ordinary — with a little extra thrown in front of it.
All I have to do to be extraordinary today is add a lil’ extra to my ordinary.
It’s a comforting thought — especially to someone who is riddled with mental health afflictions that affect her day-to-day living.
When the pharmacological and internal stars align, I’m a somewhat productive person — and am fairly pleasant to be around. When they don’t, anything (it usually isn’t the good kind of anything) can happen — and trust me when I say, no one would choose to be around me. (Mitchell, unfortunately, is legally bound to be around me — for better or for worse — poor man.)
If the latter occurs, it starts as a stirring in my skin — like tiny, angry, foaming-at-the-mouth spiders crawling all over me. In this stage, I go still and quiet. When I do speak, it’s more like truncated cave-woman growling than speech. This is the stage in which it is fairly safe for Mitchell to intervene. To say, “Hey, Lady… you’re lookin’ a little bit crazy there. You okay? What’s going on?”
I was stuck in this stage about a month ago. I felt dark; and so, the world felt dark. I hadn’t yet wandered into the lush, lunacy fields of psychosis (which Borderlines sometimes do); but I definitely didn’t feel like “myself.” (My personality is somewhat fluid, so the word “myself” can mean a different thing each time it is said.)
Fortunately, Mitch and I have been working diligently to catch my worrisome wanderings before they turn into full blown dances of destruction; and we were able to pillage through the brooding, together.
Turns out, I wasn’t getting outside enough and I was extremely frustrated with my reflection (which is about sixty pounds heavier than it was pre-psych meds). Mitchell expressed that he shared this frustration within himself; and that his doctor had firmly suggested he get off his butt and start moving. (My physician has said the same.)
So we made a decision to start walking. (Mitch had to stipulate just walking; because I can take anything “normal” and run it right off the rails, with ease.) It’s a declaration we’ve made many times over the years; but one we’ve done little-to-nothing about. However, this time we put a bit of action behind our words. We found a local park with several different walking trails, and started out slow.
Baby steps are still extra steps…
November 1st, I walked 1.32 miles. I then became horribly ill (was on killer antibiotics for a little over two weeks)… and had no desire to start walking again, afterwards. But!
November 29th, Mitchell drug my sluggish a** off the couch; and I walked 1.87 miles. We walked every day between November 29th and December 6th — at which time, I was up to 2.13 miles.
There was a bit of a hiatus, due to Mitch’s work schedule (because I can’t walk at night… an ugly consequence of trauma); but we got right back to it on December 11th. We took our first hike on December 12th (You can read about my lack of map skills on that one! Just click here.); and I am up to walking 3.22 miles, when at the park.
Sometimes, I’ll hit a wall… and that’s okay.
Yesterday afternoon was tough. It was the first time I hit a wall that I could not push through physically; and I was devastated. But Mitch — ever the optimist when I need him to be — reminded me that I have done more for my physical (and mental) health in the past month than I have over the previous couple of years.
When I looked at him with doleful eyes and said, “I feel like I shouldn’t have these limitations. I feel like I shouldn’t be fat anymore. The put-on/take-off ratio is total bullsh*t!” He responded with, “It took years to put it on. It might take years to take it off. Who cares? We’re doing it!”
My irrationally optimistic hamster’s head exploded, and I cried out, “Years?! Christ! I need you to lie to me on that one.”
And my sweet, patient husband said, “Nope. Not gon’na lie. But I am really proud of you. I’m proud of us!”
I’m doing a lil’ extra every day… and for Mitchell — and myself — that turns the ordinary into extraordinary. For now, that’s more than enough.
What will you do today to be extra-ordinary?!