I was totally in love with Guatemalan worry dolls when I was a kid, it didn’t hurt that they were tiny (and I think many young girls have a fascination with miniature things) but I also appreciated the legend that went along with them.
The idea is that when you’re worrying too much to be able to sleep, you tell your worries to the doll and then put it under your pillow. The doll then continues to worry for you so you don’t have to, so you can go to sleep.
At this point, parents can pull a little Tooth-Fairy move and remove the dolls if they wish to simulate the disappearance of the worry, but I only had two or three of these at a time so I always held on to them.
In addition to Bipolar disorder, I was also recently diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve had issues with anxiety since childhood, and at that point every little bit helped. I don’t think I was aware of the therapeutic properties of worry dolls as a kid, just that they were small and colorful and fun.
It has been a long time since I’ve seen any of these dolls, but I still follow the same idea when I am having trouble sleeping because of anxiety. I write the worries in a journal, and somehow that makes it so I don’t have to worry them anymore.
I’ve been thinking about these little guys for a while now, but in the last few days my anxiety has really started escalating again which brought the idea to the forefront of my mind.
I’ve also recently been noticing how I’ve been using skills I learned as a child in my adult life, swapping out my playdough for pasta dough and my legos for Ikea bookshelves. It might have something to do with my close friends beginning to have children, kids are a total enigma to me so I’ve been having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of it all.
Anyway, increased anxiety the last few days, compounded intensely by the bizarre bipolar episodes I’ve been having. Mania beyond what is usual for me, bursts of hypomania, and then yesterday this nagging, dragging feeling. Despite the hypomania, I’m experiencing what feels like a dashed-line of depression as well, which must be the dreaded (yet elusive) third state: mixed.
I told my therapist that mixed states are like the Voldemort of bipolar episodes. Elusive, but carrying all the evil of both depression and mania in one fell swoop.
Voldemort is doing a jig in the corner of my peripheral vision and my anxiety is spiking because I can’t seem to shake him. I’m planning on keeping calm and relaxing today, he should dissipate on his own.
I hope so. He’s got that pale, awkward bumpy forehead and gives me the creeps.