Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Morning Pages

This is what I wrote first thing this morning:
Last night after I finished reading and as I was daydreaming into sleep fingers of self-doubt began to crawl up my spine. I began to wonder if my high had worn off. I woke up at 7:46 to the morning sun coming through my faux wood blinds. The last few days have been a bit manic. I don't feel sad or self-loathing today, but I also don't feel as I need to do a million things.
My days usually being around 7 am. I get a large glass of water and then sit down to write my morning pages. For those of you unfamiliar with morning pages they are a daily task from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
I first began working with this book my freshman year of college. My creative writing teacher assigned parts of the book along with other writing assignments. To be honest the morning pages are the only thing I really took from the book.
The idea is that each morning before you do anything else like check your email or take a shower you sit down and write three pages. The rules include that you write with pen and paper (no computers allowed) and you not read the pages when done. The point is just to write: to jump start you brain and get all the cobwebs out from the night before. And you write about absolutely anything even the fact that you may not have anything to say. Eventually you break down and actually start writing about things, typically things you hadn't realized you'd been thinking about. It is cathartic, surprising and part of my saving grace. While I have not written steadily for ten years I have gone back to it periodically. And this time around has lasted about seven months. The only days I've missed were Thanksgiving, Christmas and the day I had a tooth pulled at 8 am. And when I miss a day I notice.
I've included my words from this morning because they help represent cyclothymia, my cyclothymia. Cyclothymia is characterized by mood swings in the same vein as bipolar, but much less severe and faster than a typical bipolar. Cyclothymics can have swings weekly or even daily whereas bipolars tend to cycle over longer periods of time. (This is all my understanding of this, if I mis-write I apologize.)
But there are things that can be done to keep oneself more consistent (I hope anyway). That is where I'm at. I've only missed one day of work because of this in the past 6 months and I'm not manic enough to really warrant medication, but consistency and productivity and confidence are big issues. My ritual of writing each morning helps. It gives me perspective, a place to vent and a routine. I love routines.

No comments:

Post a Comment