Consistently Inconsistent

That’s the name of the game though, isn’t it?

I was discussing with my boyfriend how bizarre it seemed that one day my blog could have one hit, and the next it could have 60, followed by 4 the next day, followed by 16 the next, and from what I can tell there is no apparent pattern.

He said, “so it is inconsistent?”

“Yes,” I replied. “consistently inconsistent.”

“But from what you’ve told me, aren’t people with bipolar disorder usually inconsistent?”

HA. Consistently inconsistent!

Inconsistency feels like it is the very nature of the bipolar beast itself.

Even if just basing this on myself, I know I can be an incredibly inconsistent person.

  • My moods aren’t consistent, they may not even reflect my actual feelings in any given situation.
  • My goals aren’t consistent, they’re inflated with mania and deflated again with depression.
  • My feelings aren’t consistent, I can enjoy someone’s company one minute and loathe them the next (though this has gotten much, much better).
  • My actions aren’t consistent, they can be swayed by my moods.
  • My work ethic isn’t consistent, because there is no way for me to reproduce, while depressed, the workload I can carry while I’m manic.

What I find funny is that despite all of this (thanks bipolar disorder), I am somehow also able to exhibit traits of obsessive compulsive disorder… which, to me, seems like an unlikely pair. How is that possible? I feel that instead of inconsistency, OCD breeds consistency.

I feel compelled to repeat an action or task over and over again, or to control my environment almost meticulously, or to inject a sense of consistency into inconsistent things.

Why did I spend hours yesterday arranging my dvds by genre? I did it to feel a sense of relief, and to inject a sense of consistency into my world.

The collision of these two worlds (Bipolar vs. OCD) has led me to produce behavior that has been beyond ridiculous on occasion. How are both of these things within me, how are they managing to co-exist? And, is it somehow for the better? I can’t claim that I have managed to stop being inconsistent, but it might be beneficial having that other force present, kicking me in the butt every once in a while to get my attention.

Having a routine is the most helpful thing I can think of, and all the parts of me that relate to OCD push and push and push for routine.

Even so, is it terrible to admit that I’ve learned to rely on my own inconsistency?

If I don’t like someone when I meet them, I know all I have to do is meet them a few more times and I’ll generally have a much different opinion the next time around.

And as terrible as I feel at any given time, I always believe that going to sleep will wipe the slate clean, as often it does. I can rely on the idea that I’ll probably wake up the next day feeling quite different than I did at any given moment in the evening.

In times of great stress I have a 50/50 shot that Mega-Sarah will appear and somehow complete every necessary task in a fraction of the time they would have taken me to complete otherwise (not entirely unlike Mary Poppins).

Is this giving up?

Is this resignation to mental illness?


It’s adaptation.

4 responses to “Consistently Inconsistent

  1. Consistently inconsistent. Perfect! It really describes the contradictory nature of bipolar disorder. I sometimes feel like I am completely a walking contradiction. Me, with several faces, several identities. I’m not entirely different entities. I’m different working parts of the whole. It’s just that, I feel as if others may have a harder time getting the bigger picture, you know?

    I have OCD moment too. I have a serious organizational problem. Everything has to be done a certain way, or else it’s wrong and it doesn’t work. I like that cleanliness, the ease of life when everything is organized and kept in the place it should be.

    Alack, alas, my home is inhabited with creatures who aren’t quite like me. And here we have piles of clothes and no energy to deal with that.

    I adore this concept. And it’s absolutely adaptation. I think embracing certain traits and practices to ease tension isn’t always a bad solution. Why fight it, if it’s unnecessary? You are who you are. And sometimes, inconsistency isn’t quite that. It’s fresh, it’s new. It’s the shaking up and starting of something different. Different is good.

  2. I love it, consistently inconsistent. So true.

  3. Alexandra Signer

    I think the OCD might come from having high ideals. I notice that I have high goals and want to reach perfection. My life isn’t nearly perfect where I once actually believed it was..

  4. Hi Sarah, I know you wrote this ‘years ago but has this gotten any better for you? This is exactly how I feel, even down to the OCD. It’s so bad that I find myself neglecting holding my son bc I’m too busy cleaning. It’s like my mind won’t allow itself to relax until I’ve completed whatever task there is to be done. When it comes to relationships I’m extremely inconsistent. I can be furious at someone and two days later find myself wondering why I was ever mad. It’s so confusing to feel this way. I’m currently taking buspar and celexa (I’m still breastfeeding my son so I’m trying to steer clear of any additional medications) but do you have any suggestions on what can help my issues? Is there anything that has worked for you? Thanks!

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