bi-polar, bipolar, disease, journey, life, mental health, mental illness, truth
I have always believed in the balance this universe instinctively thrives within. I believe that there is good and evil, night and day, up and down. I believe that the worst comes with the best and that every action, whether it is a tree growing in a park or a mother feeding her child, is based on the balance that must exist in order for life to continue. I patently don’t believe in utopias or even perfect unions of seconds, moments, thoughts. Even in the amazing world of triplicates there is balance: look at the perfect triangle that the virgin, the mother and the crone create and you too will see a balance.
Beyond balance, there are other definitive rules of this vast universe we call home. I am still discovering many of them but seem to have stumbled on one that won’t let its talons free me. I am discovering that life revolves.
I am not altogether sure why life needs to revolve. Even the earth, a somewhat dangerous and obvious comparison to life in the revolving of a tangible thing, isn’t comparable to the lives in which we live. The revolving of our own lives doesn’t take the curvature of a pendulum nor the beauty of time and allow us to see what simply has come before in all that is coming soon.
I have been battling a series of diseases – including mental illnesses – for eighteen years now. I would even posit that based on what I remember of my diagnosis we may be suspiciously close to the actual anniversary date of the moment that with a few simple words from a doctor my life became at once extraordinarily harder and yet amazingly advantageous to the person I would become. Without those words, consigning me to a hell that few know, I would never have learned the definition of soothing darkness any more than I would understand the perils of light.
Those words eighteen years ago could not prepare me for the lessons that we must each learn and discover through growth, missteps, and even the death of our own pieces of self. Those words eighteen years ago could not have taught me about the absolution of balance in this existence any more than it could teach me of the revolving and compelling journey that defines not our existence, not our selves, but the choices that we will forever find as ours and ours alone.
I have spent the last year and half changing. I know, I feel it, I am compelled to try and understand it. It started with the acknowledgment that the path that I was traveling two years ago was simply not one I needed to be on and seems to be stopping on its journey each day for me to consider these paths and contemplate it. Eighteen months ago I changed the medications that I take, the doctors that I would see, and began taking a part of my life back in ways that I could not do eighteen years ago when I was so systematically broken by words that to this day define me. If you have never tried taking back the power in your own mentally ill and destructive life, I can assure you it is a combination of unholy understanding of the danger you are to the complete breakdown of why who and what you are exists.
And through all this change, despite all this change, there was always one constant – I wasn’t static. I wasn’t simply sitting still waiting for a manna from heaven to explain everything but rather was continually spinning on that ever present hamster wheel we all seem to fall victim to. I have been and will probably, long past my death, move in directions that both fate and my own free will has given me as choices in this small cage in which I was born and will ultimately discover the limitations of.
The idea that life revolves shouldn’t come as a surprise. We have all heard of the old adage about history repeating itself; philosophers from the Socrates era knew that time, while brought by the sun, was also a slow moving shadow from which we either run or learn to dance within. We know life moves. We know that it changes, that it repeats itself as if to remind us of the lesson we seem to keep missing; and it constantly grows and moves in directions that create a need for the speed in which to keep up with those very changes. We know this. I know this.
But there are problems with knowing not only that life balances but that life moves and revolves. For one, we simply can’t escape the very real knowledge that no matter what we do to prevent it, those demons that we slayed the last time through, will ride once more. We can’t stop the knowledge or even the actuality of the moving towards the patterns that subscribe itself to the mathematical and scientific world so easily. We can’t actually stop the darkness from once again descending any more than we can bring the sun out of the shadows and into the core of who and what we are. We are a set of emotions, actions and understandable consequences that move in patterns and return to us often when we need it and often when we don’t.
Through the last eighteen months as I have tried to understand this lesson among the many others that seem almost ordained for me to learn, I have realized that the balance of life, the fight for life, the continual need to further oneself and be what we are meant to be, is often derailed and even physically stopped by the revolving of our lives. The continual circles, ovals even misshaped octagons continually show us a path in which we are required to travel; and although we all wish to stop and smell the roses, the truth is there is so much truth in the movements of our life that getting close and understanding the one very real truth of its existence is difficult to say the least.
While I certainly can not condemn life in any way, it has given me too much, it has often and more frequently taken from me. The continually moving of my life even when I desperately need a quiet place to rest causes a resentment in me that I am not sure how to handle. There are parts of me that are so tired of the world that some supreme being has given me that the only way even my fingers move anymore is with the whispered knowledge that I have no choice. It is my lot in life to go this path and on this path it is required that I fulfill certain duties along the way. That is life. That is my life.
But when we look at the continued movements of our existence we must acknowledge that there is as much evil as there is good. As we look deep inside ourselves, and move not only with our feet but with every sense that is employed to us, we see not the sunshine but the darkness, the monsters, the secret worlds that were created only to destroy us. As life pushes on our resolutions and causes us to determine the purpose of our own journey it forces us to deal with the very real events that we would so much rather escape.
Today, for me, I know that my personal pot hole or even my own cave in, is like always, not easy to understand or define. I have not written a word on this website lately not because there is nothing to say, but because the events that my feet are determined for me to see over and over are simply too destructive to the world I am trying to build. The images that play over and over, each time I take a step, are images destined to haunt me until I have the courage to finally lay them to rest.
And the crux of the problem is I simply don’t have the courage to lay these demons to rest. They are as much a part of me as the blood that runs through my fingers and the only thing I can do is glance at them with the sorrow born strictly from my soul, and wait to visit them again. Because life balances, and there is good and evil, and because life revolves, and those good and evils must be acknowledged and ultimately put to rest, life continues marching forward even beyond our mortal existence. And until we are truly courageous and willing – not to slain our demons – but to understand how they became our own demons long ago, we can’t truly be free.
I know this too. But to acknowledge those demons means understanding the vital truth that so many things are lost when they don’t balance and so many things are forgotten when we forget to look where we are headed. And that is a curse, and a sadness, that drowns the need to learn more.