The Best Version of Me

Maybe I’m manic.

That’s always the first thing that comes to mind when this much joy bubbles up—which reminds me to hold the glee as lightly as the depression, without grasping or identifying with either.  So, with caution in the back of my mind, I can enjoy this delight.

The source, of course, is the story.  I’ve been working on a rewrite of my novel, Callinda, for a year now, and as I get closer to the climax, it has picked me up and carried me.  Every day, I’m surprised by what the characters do, the turns in plot, the places they are required to go.  Even though I have the whole story outlined with detailed notes, they break through those fences and find new ways to tell their tale.  I’m awestruck.

When I am writing, I am the best version of me.  The Creative Energy moves through me like water, raising me up and floating me out to where the ideas drift across my skin like lotus blossoms.  I can feel my mind open like a bud in the way it unfurls and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s toward the sun.  There’s a peace that settles in and a knowing—I am doing what I was made to do.

Even during the worst bipolar episode, part of me can still write.  Callinda taught me that when I wrote the first draft during the darkest of my dark days.  I was sick with relief that the ECT, the drugs, and the trauma didn’t take that from me, too.  I was changed in fundamental ways, but I was still ME.  I was still a writer.

And, wonder of wonders, I became a better writer.  No more writer’s block, no more fear of failure or of not being a good enough story-teller.  All those obstacles dropped away after I survived my suicide attempt.  I’m alive, so I write.  It became as simple as that.

There are still days when I futz about my contribution to society, my purpose, my reason for being.  Those are the days when the depression comes and yanks my thoughts off true.  I know why I’m here.  I know what my work is.  I’m doing it.

And it gives me joy.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katarina
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 09:14:42

    Thank you for a powerful post Sandi Sue. I have a similar experience with the Bipolar mess as I call it. After two suicide attempts and a lot of meds and therapy…no more creative blocks…I`m a photographer who also enjoys writing. Working on a new website to get it all together:) Keep up your good work.


  2. Deb
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 11:55:28

    I LOVE this post! Manic or not, you bring dark truths to the light. “Speaking the unspeakable” is what we used to call it in my Tavistock Group Dynamics course that I TA’ed for several years. As one who still wrestles with the blocks and fears around writing, I’m slowly learning to just relax and write. Thank you!


  3. littlesundog
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 14:08:58

    What an inspiration you are to me! I love the title, and content of this post. Your expression of Bipolar life is honest and spiritual, if that can be said. I love following your story, your truths. I struggle with writing and fear of not being good enough. You inspire me to overcome my own life obstacles.


    • Sandy Sue
      Feb 18, 2012 @ 20:55:21

      Bless your heart (as my grandma used to say). I do consider living with bipolar disorder a spiritual practice. If I hadn’t started working with meditation and mindfulness before my life fell apart, I’d probably be dead.


  4. carlarenee45
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 14:24:09

    What a wonderful thing. your illness can’t crush your creativity! keep up the good work.


  5. Kathryn McCullough
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 15:58:55

    I know a bit about how you feel. I still have some writer’s block, but I think I’m a better writer than I was before the illness. It’s my purpose.

    Your writing is powerful and moving–electric, even. Thanks for sharing your words, my friend.



  6. Fiddle gal
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 00:32:06

    I am so glad you write, what a gift to the world!


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