Today I learnt of a recurring theme in my life: quitting. When I was 10 I quit ballet lessons, 11 I quit flute lessons, 12 tap lessons, 15 horse riding……on to age 22 I quit my degree at University of Leeds- the list goes on. Needless to say those hobbies I quit as a child, I’ve returned to and quit again at numerous times of my life.
I realised that I’ve never really learnt to follow through with anything. As soon as the going gets tough, the weak give up. Maybe there have been good reasons for me to quit many of the things I’ve started, but I’ve also started many things I never should have- like full time jobs in the middle of hypomania. When hypomanic, it is sooo easy to want to do everything, here’s my usual list:
Full time job (where I will naturally have a promotion in 6 months due to my astounding talent and dedication ;-D)
Driving lessons (plus brand new car)
Dance lessons (three times a week and will join professional company within a year)
Yoga classes (will practice every day)
Piano lessons (be soloist within 2 years)
That doesn’t seem a very long list when I write it down, but when it comes to reality and trying to maintain a long term relationship, house and sanity, it becomes rather more challenging. Add to that overexcitement about the extra income and what I’m going to do with the extra £800 per month (buy a mansion, Audi A5 for Chris, holidays to South Africa, Alaska and Caribbean, start my own business)- it all becomes a little overwhelming, so quitting some of the above has always made perfect sense at these less sane times, to bring me back down to Earth…and protect our bank account!
But I guess the devastation caused by all this quitting has been greater than I could have ever imagined. In the case of quitting jobs in the face of panic attacks and increased anxiety having taken on too much, it inevitably leads to severe depression ( the natural crash after mania), but also huge drops in confidence and self esteem. In short, I have lost my motivation to ever start anything new ever again. I just see it as the beginning of another failure, another trigger to a mood swing- I am terrified of any challenge because of the intense disappointment after having such unrealistically high expectations during the grandiosity of mania. This disillusionment has to be dealt with and I’m currently drawing up a sensible plan of action involving setting small, achievable goals: number one of which will be to write my blog more regularly, and perhaps to get back to those piano lessons after three or four quits!