First, let’s start with what an MO is. MO is short for modus operandi. A phrase you may have heard thousands of times before if you watch any legal or crime series.
Something I hadn’t given much consideration to before.
Here’s what it means:
Personally, I think the “unvarying or habitual method or procedure” is the one that applies most to this post.
Why do I suddenly have an interest in this noun?
It’s a long story. I won’t bore you all with the details. I will get to the juicy part. The part where someone who I thought was a good friend (I will not provide any identifying details) told me what my MO is. In a very blunt way, I was told my MO is to be unreliable and flakey. What bothered me most is that I was informed that this was particularly true of the last few years, which have not been easy. It’s not like said person was unaware of what had transpired over this time period.
Some further comments were exchanged, and I now know what this person thinks of me. I appear to be stuck in my own head and don’t take other people into consideration.
I am not exaggerating when I say that the comments filled me with such rage that I was in tears. That blinding, hot rage. I wanted to throw my phone and smash it. I wanted to respond with “F*ck you” but I didn’t. I mean, what was the point? There was no use to furthering this dialogue.
Some people don’t realize the weight of their words (or maybe they do and they just don’t care). That’s no excuse for saying hurtful things of course.
I know when I am hypomanic and irritable, my tone might not be the nicest and the words may sound neutral enough in my head, but may come out in a sarcastic or rude tone. I try to warn those around me of my state of mind so they know that any “accidental rudeness” isn’t actually me being rude, it’s something I might not realize I am doing and it’s not always easy to stay ahead of the hypomania.
Okay back to the MO. No one wants to be told they are unreliable or the like. In particular, someone who experiences anxiety and depression and bipolar disorder does not want to be accused of it. It’s like committing a terrible crime. It really is.
Let me explain. Of course, these thoughts mostly relate to pre-pandemic life when there were more social events/socializing, but still apply today. When I am anxious, I might have to cancel or postpone plans because I can’t leave the house (thank you agoraphobia). I might decide to avoid making plans altogether because I am afraid of disappointing people if I have to cancel on them. I begin to worry that people will stop asking to get together. I worry I might be perceived as…flakey….Oh and I also might be late to things because of anxiety so add that to another social offense. Anxiety is constant worrying. CONSTANT.
Okay. Depression. Depression comes with the “everyone hates me” and “no one wants to hear it” and “I take up too much of their time” thoughts. Depression means doubt. A whole lot of it. You doubt yourself, you doubt your abilities, you doubt your relationships, things people say become suspect and you question the tone they said or wrote it in and so on. Depression is DOUBT.
So you can see why anxiety and depression make a perfect pairing, like wine and cheese. They can easily co-exist.
One thing I have to address, and it was almost the title of this post, is how I am not lazy, I just have motivational issues. Now, it is not as simple as it sounds. I’m not intentionally a procrastinator. I have severe difficulties focusing and concentrating. I almost considered going on another medication to address this issue but I am not prepared to change my cocktail because it works (for the most part). I have difficulties finding “the will” to do something, to get going. It’s called amotivation – or literally, the absence of motivation. Sorry, I just don’t have it when I am depressed and anxious. But it is not laziness. Please don’t confuse it with laziness. I make up for the lost productivity when I am in my neutral state and of course, when I am hypomanic. Do I ever!!! Seriously though, I do.
And this is why the unfortunate exchange I had enraged me. I’m calm about it now, because there’s no point in spending spoons on rage right? But I was angry because the comments touched on things I feared and a complete misunderstanding of how I work.
We know the bipolar brain (while beautiful in its own way) is different from the “normal brain”. Doesn’t mean it is defective. I am not defective. I am different and that’s okay. I work differently from other people but believe me, the last thing I am is lazy. If I am anything, I am open and honest. I am frank, I tell it like it is, I am the first to admit I have difficulties focusing and concentrating on the days that I do and the days that I don’t, I sail through my productive days, joyously checking off the things I have completed.
Writing this blog meant spending a spoon, but it was worth it. I chose how to spend it. Just like I should be the definer of my MO.
Mental health advocate. Blogger. Writer. Creative being. Sensitive soul.
(Also wife, law clerk, social media writer/marketer and book worm).