I am feeling a general malaise today. I think I am having a slight mood swing to the depressive side of things.
I am generally pretty accepting of my disorder which causes moods to manifest for no environmental reason, but just the whims of my brain chemistry. I accept it, but today, I don’t like it.
I am bipolar and there is not much I can do to mitigate that. I have medication. I have my coping mechanisms honed over a lifetime of living with this illness.
I recently had a discussion with a friend if I ever wished I could have a brain that works in a healthy manner. I said that I did not, not really. Mostly because I do not want to wish for something that simply is not possible. I am resigned that my illness will be a lifelong condition, and there is no escape from it.
I cherish my periods of stability, but I know they will always be brief respites between the hills and valleys of my cyclical mood disorder.
If there was an escape where I could continue living I don’t know if I would take any cure. I mean practically, I probably would, but I have to wonder, if I lose my illness, would I also lose my creative fire? Because my illness is manifest in my very mind, any treatment, and if there is someday any cure, would alter who I am. And I generally like the man I am. I have done a lot of work on myself, and I continue to do so, to shape myself in the person I want to be. Well, that is, the person I want to be within the confines of my illness.
There is nowhere I can go, nothing I can do that will stop me from being ill. Part of my life philosophy is to not form attachment to the way I want things to be. I learn to recognize what is within my power to change, and what is not. There is not any benefit in giving time in my thoughts to ideas that begin with, “If only I were not mentally ill, I could…” so I do not give my own mental resources to such exercises. Rather I subscribe to a philosophy featured in one of my favorite Disney films, So Dear to My Heart. Namely, “Doing the best with what you got.”
Being mentally ill does prevent me from living the kind of life that many enjoy. But that being said, I strive to do the best I can, with what I got. Many times I fall short of what many people feel is “acceptable” yet with a at time debilitating illness many of my life activities are disrupted to the point of disability. That being said, when I do fall, I at times just let myself lie there for a while, but I always get up eventually. I keep moving forward. I strive for small forward progress. Because I know even the smallest of steps, over a long period of change can effect a profound change.