Monday, November 15, 2010

I believe that for the last four days in a row I have been experiencing a remission. My mood, for the first time in years, appears to be stable. My doctor and I have worked hard for this and, if she wasn't so against it, I would take her out for a celebratory drink.

Honestly, I don't know what to do with myself. this what being normal feels like? I wouldn't know. I can't recall the last time I felt....nothing. I don't feel sad or mad. I don't feel suicidal. I am not crying or yelling. My thoughts are not dark and obsessive. There is just a whole lot of nothing. I keep getting the image in my head of a long stretch of Nevada desert: no life, no water, just maybe a tumble weed rolling by and the sound of my heart beat.

I keep asking myself if this is what I have been working for. I am hesitant to receive this peace. I don't trust this quiet mind. It feels foreign and I am afraid it will go away without warning; it is a very real fact that it most likely will. Bipolar illness is chronic and remission is slippery. I can't say for certain, but it has been a good seven years since I've felt anything like it.

I have spent many an hour wishing for the freedom to simply BE. In that place I have felt guilt and shame for an illness that robs me of motivation and concentration. Now that I am not so "in" it, I see very plainly that I have not, in fact, been faking it. Nor have I just been sitting around feeling sorry for myself. It is so obvious to me now that only a mental illness could make me feel so low and abandoned.

I should enjoy it, I suppose; try not to wreck it, embrace it, use the time to try and get back to projects now abandoned for years, or better yet, maybe I will do nothing and just meditate on the feeling. I don't have to do anything and I think it is a trap to think I do.

I am not fooling myself here-I know this feeling won't last-but for today, I am going to get into the shower and then get dressed just like everyone else.

If you are reading this and find yourself really "in" it this week, remember that you DO have an illness. You are not a loser, and you will get better-on some level and in some way at some point. Keep doing the inner work so that when those moments do come you will be ready to notice and enjoy them. Be kind to yourself and NEVER GIVE UP!

much love,

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