Despite all the scrupulous packing (and re-packing) and organizing, I discovered upon my arrival in Monterrey I had forgotten a comb. Now granted my hair is short and doesn’t really need a good brushing, but as the gods willed, if you forget something that may not have been that big of deal now it becomes a massive big deal later. Thankfully I was able to make my way to Walgreens before my world collapsed from 3″ strands of hair not being properly sorted out, which could have proved disasterous.
I’m in Monterrey, sitting in a Starbucks around the corner from my hotel on my one day off this week. Tomorrow kicks off the conference in full gear, and I wanted this day to be one of me time and relaxation as I knew as the week wore on, the conference would wear me down. While my energy levels have reappeared since I came off the lithium, I’m more conscious of personal space and needing to escape into my own world for awhile before any major social interactions are going to occur, even more importantly when there are large groups of people I do not know.
I arrived in Monterey after a very full day of traveling, which started at 8AM EDT and ended at 5PM PDT, which mainly included my hopscotching my way around the US. As I was checking in and getting sorted, I ran into one the panelists who will be presenting with me, and his partner, both whom graciously invited me out to dinner. After the hopscotching around various airports, I was delighted to get a chance to get a bit of a stretch around the area before heading to bed. We had dinner on the wharf and I was so determined to have my bit of vodka and Guinness, which I made happen, before anything else occurred. By the time the evening wore down, combined with jet lag, travel lag, and other wordly lags, I was hoping to fall asleep when I got back to the hotel and make it a fairly early night.
But nothing is ever really that easy as the fates again decided I had not sacrificed the correct amount of virgins to satiate them as not only was I not able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, I was wide eye awake starting at 7AM local time despite the alcohol consumed the night before and coupled with jet lag meant I was running on 5-6 hours of sleep.
I laid in bed most of the morning, pondering what I was going to do for the day while watching terrible reality television that I seem to only care about when I’m not at home. I caught an episode of SECRET PRINCES, which turned out to be the pilot of the second season. Later, I gleefully regaled my breakfast companions the background stories of four unlucky in love royals who came to America, Austin specifically, to find love while undercover from their true identities. The whole show is a bit daft, of course, but there is some kind of glee about these bumbling fish out of water experiences that I can view like Margaret Mead, except all virtual and not with binoculars in the grass.
The rest of the day has been lazy, walking around the downtown core and grabbing coffee to keep the energy going. The weather, and as one must always talk about the weather when travelling, turned for the worse, I ended up back in the hotel earlier than anticipated because sitting in a coffee shop with my back against the drafty window is neither noble or smart and the outcast seemed to huddle on rain for the rest of the day. It was like I had never left home.
I decided to use the rest of my time to work on personal and work projects, only to discover my charging brick for my MacBook Air is dead, which explained why some of my other devices were not charged this morning when I grabbed them on the go. Here I thought the problem was with the room outlets but that is turned out to not be the case. Even with next day shipping, I missed the window to get a new brick to me via Amazon tomorrow as it won’t show up until Tuesday and I’m leaving ungodly early (4:30AM) Thrusday morning fot the airport. Thankfully I brought along my iPad, so the laptop will only get used in extreme emergancies while I mainlined everything else elsewhere.
I had some cause of worry for this trip, not of the conference or the people I was going to see, but the worry of my own behavior the further I get from my last dose of lithium. The same week I was first drug free, I was hit with PMS enough to cripple me and the mood swings enough to remind of all the 100s of reasons I wanted to be on mood stablizing drugs. Once that was over, and my inner world was smooth again, I’m finding myself feeling much more of myself than ever before.
I am desperate to not let this be a manic episode stemming from coming off the drugs, but it’s difficult when I’m only sleeping on 4-6 hours a night, I don’t get catch up sleep when I can sleep in, and I seem to exist on zoom the entire day with very little caffeine. The crash will come, there is almost always the certainy with that, but I’m praying to whatever will listen to not let it be so terrible that it is crippling and more importantly, I can have the forsight to be self-aware of it as it happens. It seems like a lot to ask, but if the drugs are not helping then I need something to guide me through the uncharted spaces to get me back on track again.