All my life I’ve been told that routines are essential.  That they are what make it possible to hold a job or keep up a home.    I never was much for routine, myself.    While I suppose I did keep regular hours more or less, during my years of schooling and the thirty years that I worked before my retirement,  even as a child it was never easy for me to keep a regular sleep schedule.   I vividly remember in elementary school,  sitting on the floor of my room in the wee hours reading Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys books by the nightlight.

Being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at age forty-seven has caused me to spend much time reflecting on all the years that came before.   While I can hardly fault the psychiatrists who treated me in my youth for not making this diagnosis way back then (indeed, when I was a child the psychiatric profession did not believe that children could be what was then called “manic-depressive”) I have come to realize that what is wrong with me has always been what was wrong with me.   And that much of the behavior I exhibited,  which largely was regarded as defiance or wrong doing was in fact really just the exhibition of this disease.

A friend recently blogged about forgiveness,  and I find that I disagree at least somewhat with her contention that it is wrong to press those who have suffered to forgive those who have transgressed against them.    It seems to me at this far remove that it would be more than pointless to go on being angry about things that were done to me thirty or forty years ago.   Much of what was done wrong was done that way not out of malice, but rather in ignorance.   I know in my heart that I am far happier for having moved past and even,  dare I say it,  forgiven most everything I once suffered.   I am grateful for the understanding I am still in the process of obtaining, of the psychiatric disorder I suffer from.   And I am I do believe largely at peace with the life I have led.   All in all,  that seems to me a pretty fair accomplishment.


20 comments on “Routines

  1. Routines are most essential essence of career as well as for normal life. Thanks for sharing and remind about this !!

  2. I can just imagine things you have to go through to having this health condition. It’s like a roller coaster of emotions which is not easy to manage & yet you were able to make it. Awareness is vital in your situation to proper address it. Anyhow, my stand in forgiveness simply goes like this, when I forgive someone, I’m basically healing myself to be free of this excess baggage which is draggin’ me to move on to a better place on the emotional guidance scale. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, more power to you!

  3. I just LOVE this stuff, Alan. Routines are nice, policies for life, better. Treat yourself well, and please continue to allow us to be a part of that. I’m with you, if that’s okay.

  4. Routines are great, so are the opportunities of breaking them, which is a weird super routine if you are anal retentive. The greatest release that comes from the knowledge of a proper diagnosis of bi-polar or being manic depressive, the ability to know how to rein it in when things go haywire than to look at outside forces for an answer. Wishing you the best, and thanks for the means of keeping us engaged.

    • Honestly, Sia, I am kind of the opposite of anal retentive 🙂 And imho, the greatest relief from bipolar disorder comes from the medications. Oh, I can’t wait for May 1st when I start on Medicare and can go back to the doctor.

  5. Talk about routines … My life’s routinely been the same over the past year now and this routine is boring me but as of the moment don’t have a choice. Waiting for the perfect opportunity to break the mould into a new one.

  6. I have a routine of sorts, but that is imposed on me by my dog. She has a very acute sense of time, and knows when we should get up, go out, sleep and eat – actually, she would like to eat all the time but just before her set meal times she gets up, shakes herself to make I’m paying attention and then stands and stares at me till I get the message. Any training that has gone on around here has been her training me, not the reverse.
    As for the bi-polar thing, I think it is much more prevalent than people realise. I have it too, luckily to a mild degree so that it is not incapacitating. But when I’m up, I can’t stop, and when I’m down it is very hard indeed to get going. I think writers and artists of all sorts have always been prone to this, in fact it is hard to imagine a Romantic poet who didn’t.

    • I think it’s great that your dog has you so well trained, Laura 🙂 I honestly don’t know about how common or uncommon bipolar disorder may be. Though I definitely think you’re right that many artistic types tend to be bipolar.

  7. Routine is also essential for business success, even though there’re alternative practice observed by others that they always manged to scramble to get things done in last minutes.

  8. I love routine, if it weren’t for my kids, I’d be in bed all day or sit behind my computer all day and become depressed. They make me get up and make breakfast for them and cook diner. Ok, it’s not all that bad :).

    So what do you think: Is routine good for somebody with bi-polar disorder or not?

    • Elza, I don’t feel qualified to say what would or wouldn’t be good for a generic someone with bi-polar disorder. I know that right now, at this point in my life, routines are simply beyond me and I am grateful that I am in a position where my lack of routines is not hurting me.

  9. In terms of forgiveness, I think it really matters what the injury was. If it was out of ignorance or oversight, then, yes, forgive. But some injury comes out of cruelty and when there is no remorse, even the Catholic Church does not offer forgiveness.

    There are just some people or actions that are toxic and the damage can’t be repaired or undone. I don’t mean that anyone should hold a grudge…just that out of bad experiences comes a familiarity with woundedness. Sometimes forgiving a person, just opens yourself up to more pain if that person is still in your life. I wouldn’t urge anyone that they “need” to forgive another person, hopefully they will when and if the time is ready.

    • I understand wha you are saying, Li. And I certainly think that no one should ever just take abuse or leet someone go on hurting them. But imho, the after the fact forgiveness is not about the person who wronged you but about moving beyond the hurt for your own sake.

  10. Pingback: An Irregular Routine | Libdrone's Thoughts and Musings

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