It isn't a habit though it can certainly become one. Recovery after hospitalisation takes a very, very long time - especially when you've been hospitalised more than once - and when you're going through the mania of Bipolar Disorder your creativity can run on overdrive - more on this later, but I've added that detail just to say: it's a form of relief. To procrastinate, I mean.
Procrastination isn't about delaying or avoiding work when you're talking about recovering from another relapse of a severe mental health disorder. Because who cares? I'm sick, it's my problem - I get it. This is about what I do to deal with it. Procrastination. It's about needing to distract yourself for prolonged periods of time in the hope that by doing so you'll be able to ease some of the pain. What is this pain? Distress. Why? That's the illness, sadly. At least my experience of it. So, will anyone empathise? That obviously doesn't matter because we live in a mad world that never stops so if you're not ticking you're still, which means you're done. Gone. Right? What did you do when you did nothing? More importantly, why didn't you do anything? Did you disappear before you appeared? Why would you do that? Why would I write about it over and over again? Because I have to. I have to record this survival because it feels about as epic and life changing as the COVID19 pandemic, only in this case, I'm going through it by myself. Not just isolation. I am alone. Alone. Doing nothing. Doing nothing is doing an awful lot. How can I convince you of that? You'd have to live inside my head to understand what that means and that is impossible. Nor would I wish for you to. You wouldn't be able to handle the madness - trust me, you wouldn't, it can get incredibly unpleasant, and yes, painful - and in any case, there is no way for me to make you feel the truth of this illness even if you could. I don't think so. It has to get into your nervous system. If it doesn't do that then it's just another sad situation. The world is already a scary place and often an ugly one. Why would a Procrastination Princess' despair be notable? After all, I'm not Princess Diana.
Although, from very far away, the way I've been living could seem like some Arabian Desert Rapunzel type story, deserving of a certain degree of fascination. There I am - here I am - day and night, at the edge of this ultra-luxurious, multi-billion dollar private island, at the very top of a Maghreb penthouse, on a Mediterranean tower right by the turquoise, glimmering Arabian sea, surrounded by majestic, palatial skies, straight out of a fairy-tale. And I am thinking. I am writing. I am breathing. I am crying. I am roaring into the sky. I am blessed. This is as unique as unique gets. Indescribably. I have never witnessed such a perfect balance of utter agony mixed with sheer beauty. It's like living through good and evil - in a strange way, you finally witness the starkness of polarity, and you are made to confront yourself. How can you be both? Blessed and cursed?
Cotton candy pink and baby blue skies mixed with glistening gold clouds. I can taste it all. I have breathed it into the neurons of my mind, through the sunshine, into the darkest darkness, until I can feel the warmth in my heart - almost. It really does feel that spiritual.
And I need that. Because I am unwell.
Procrastination Princess is less about how I'm spoilt and lazy, which is the harshest way to describe what I've had to and still am going through, but more about acknowledging the privilege associated with being able to make sacrifices for recovery, and the circumstances, which make it a sheer necessity. I feel like an undercover spy trying to disclose my identity to the world after having been in exile for a long time. People don't understand mental illness. That's ok. Until it's not. Because I'm not a Princess and I'm not Procrastinating, but calling myself that and describing myself that way is easier than explaining everything I keep writing about in this messy - yes, messy - and chaotic - yes, chaotic - and very isolated space. I think about privilege a lot - more than people who genuinely are ridiculously privileged. Far more than I am. Everything is relative. I do it because I need to remind myself to be grateful. So I can keep fighting. So I can live another day.
I'm going to be entering a new decade of my life tomorrow and I am making myself write this, and two more entries the following day, and the day after, on the last day of my twenties, and the first few days of my thirties because this is where I am right now, and I cannot say with full confidence, certainty, assurance - anything, nothing - that I ever knew, predicted, or imagined, that this is where I would be. I could anticipate a storm after the first time I was hospitalised. It was like a preview, and it said, there's more to come. You're going to have to get sharpened further, endure more, be grounded down, and beaten up, and torn apart, and you're going to have to make it out alive.
And God knows I've gone through Hell and back. And back and through and up and down and madly so. I burnt right through it and am burning still.
Yet, even as I am making my way through this fire, I have a calm serenity about me - the type of resilience that shows after you have survived the depths of the unknown, where you gasped for air, begged for light at the bottom of a dark pit, and came back barely alive from the deepest, darkest death - more than once. I died without dying. I cannot explain. I cannot take you there; however, as Procrastination Princess I can assure you - I didn't get to wear a gown and a tiara.
I was a living corpse.
I am Royalty because I am resurrected. I have been to where no one goes, where no one came with me, over and over again, all alone, aware I may never return - and then suddenly - I was summoned back, every time, as if through Divine Intervention.
How else can I possibly explain it?