Mindful or Manic?

Dear Rex:

I’m struggling mentally.
And I don’t have you to show for it. 

Don’t have you to validate it.
It sucks.

It’s time like these when I miss you most.

It’s my thoughts, you see, it’s my thoughts. They’re off the hook. How should I describe it…It’s like I’m looking down on a still body but hearing nineteen voices bickering mercilessly about whether or not it’s safe to drink coffee at 5 am because it will dehydrate me but it will wake me up but it will give me reflux which will disrupt my digestion which could trigger my eating disorder but it will taste good but it will make my pee yellow but it will shock my nervous system but it will wreck my schedule but I like it and I’m up and it’s okay to treat myself but it will mean I can’t have coffee later but of course I can because I’m a free woman but it will trigger my eating disorder it will trigger my eating disorder it will disrupt homeostasis it will trigger my eating disorder it will trigger my eating disorder it will disrupt homeostasis and it’s just not safe.
Don’t even get me STARTED on the milk question. The milk, or the toilet paper, or the clothes, or the backpack–

It starts with little things but then it grows, it evolves, into I want to start a yoga studio, but I can’t just stick it on the Goal List, it’s gotta be worked out now, so, okay, I see here that The Sacred Fig has a 26-day retreat in Bali that meets from November 14 to December 9 but that’s out because I’ll be in school but I’ll table it for post-graduation, and that’ll be $3500 so let’s start saving, I’ll do that Wag walk at 7 tomorrow and then another at 9 and another at 11 and I can’t cancel because I need this money for the yoga training I might potentially do one day and I’ll start a GoFundMe which I must do immediately otherwise there’s no guarantee I’ll complete this yoga training and shit I don’t have yoga blocks I only have a mat so I must overnight two yoga blocks and technique!, technique!, I must pick technique!, well according to mindbodygreen.com Vinyasa is the “most athletic” and I already do that at Yoga to the People but Bikram “makes you sweat” but that can’t be safe for my exercise addiction but Kundalini is “equal parts spiritual and physical” and releases energy trapped in your lower spine which is where I feel severe pain because of those trapped emotions my therapist talks about so this is perfect for me and my budding spiritual practice and my life purpose which is to heal which means I need to shift my concentration from theatre to healing but of course I can’t quit theatre so I’ll have to integrate the two so I must call my concentration “the Story and the Self” because each of us is the protagonist in our own stories and theatre is about telling stories and in order to maximize our stories we must take care of ourselves and heal and yes it all comes together this way, but let’s zip back over to my theatre career, I can’t forget my potential internship with the Neos and my 4-credit Shakespeare intensive with Fiasco Theatre and O Negative which I’m writing, directing, producing, and acting in and while I’m at it I might as well submit to the Gallatin Theatre Lab, there you have it, I can complete my whole career in one summer, scratch that, one half of a summer! 


IT DOESN’T STOP! It’s Hypomania, a symptom of Bipolar Disorder which I recently learned can also be contextualized by OCD. (Well that’s validating, at least it’s one less diagnosis, hopefully, anyway, except my psychiatrist’s not sure). It brings me back to my first day of treatment, when my dietician so cheerfully exclaimed: “You’re just a little BUNDLE of eating disorders! Anorexia, Orthorexia, Binging, Exercise…everything except purging!” Well I guess I’m just a little BUNDLE of mental disorders, too.


Lately I’ve tried to talk myself out of this because who wants to admit that they have Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Eating Disorder, Exercise Addiction, and potentially mild Bipolar to quote my doctor, because Jesus, what are the odds of that, doesn’t that just sound insane and totally attention seeking? But if you look at both sides of my family, it runs in all 4 ancestral lines. I guess I just inherited everybody’s genes!

It’s more than energy. It’s more passion. It’s a rat race that doesn’t stop. It’s a discomfort with the present, a discomfort with stillness, a constant flow of inner dialogue, of hypothetical conversations and unquenchable energy and a mind that moves faster than my body and won’t permit me to sleep. It’s not being able to make a decision in the dining hall and when I do make a decision and albeit a fast decision because I don’t want to reveal my raging thought process I panic for at least half the meal that I made the wrong decision and the sushi probably has less calories but I can’t think about calories that’s not an option for me but what if this doesn’t fill me up but if it doesn’t you can always get more but maybe I shouldn’t be having quinoa but remember your body needs fuel and you’ve accepted that but, “Wait, excuse me ma’am, I know you’ve just swiped my ID, but could you actually take some of that spinach out? Actually, no wait, never mind it’s fine,” “are you sure?” “Yes,” “ok” “Actually!” — OH MY GOD!!! It’s fucking FOOD, get over it.

Well…what started out as a letter to my eating disorder has turned into an open confession. It’s weird. I used to write on this blog all the time. But without my eating disorder it feels self-indulgent. It shouldn’t, ’cause really, what’s the difference between writing about anorexia versus writing about OCD & Mania, but when Rexy was in the house nobody could call Bullshit. But that’s a shit excuse not to write. If someone told you they had high blood pressure would you tell them they’re making it up? OCD is a treatable medical condition, just like anxiety and depression and diabetes and acid reflux! It also seems silly to write about it like it’s special, episodic, when in reality it’s constant. It underscores everything. I’ve just learned to compartmentalize it.

I’m already medicated. But lately it’s been worse. My psychiatrist says I should increase my Lamotragine, but Ego says No: I’m doing this on my own. I’ll start the morning with a a daily intention, on the way to school I’ll do a gratitude practice, I’ll focus on tastes and textures during lunch, I’ll hit the 2 o’clock class at Yoga to the People and I’ll stick around for the 4:30 because healing your body is clearly a sprint and you can knock it all out in one day, and then I’ll meditate in Grace Church, first on my Daddy issues, then on my Body dysmorphia, and finally on my fear of the future.


Dude, that’s not mindfulness; it’s mania.

I think my Body’s talking to me. And it’s telling me to slow down. It’s telling me to accept help, increase my dosage, and release this pressure. I should allow myself to experience the beauty of the present. I should relish in the opportunities I have now, like my spring playwriting seminar and my adventure with O Negative. I want to experience these fully; I want to invest in them, remember them. My obsessive thoughts shield me from disappointment; if I don’t fully invest in a project, I can’t get hurt if it fails.
It’s time to surrender this fear and lean into these opportunities with love. It’s time to slow down and take my own advice: Be Patient.


Alright. It’s 6:31 a.m. I’m caffeinated, motivated, and ready to eeeease into my day.
Well, maybe. One step at time. 

“And this is where you are today. Strike your mats.”

In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are strictly my own and may not resonate with everyone. Take what you like and leave the rest. If this post spoke to you, I invite you to share it, as these messages are for all. 


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