I just can’t seem to stop fighting this episode.  I have things to do, chapters to write, events to attend, but the depression, agitation and convoluted thinking keep getting in my way.  It’s like wearing a hair shirt on the inside of my body—the itch and irritation only compound my already-agitated state.  I’m not helping myself much lately.

I lose myself in fantasy for comfort and distraction, but that’s a treacherous path.  What I need to do is pay attention, not drift off into Star Trek-land where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average” (thank you, Garrison Keillor).

This is a very old trope, almost as old as compulsive eating.  I leave the sadness and despair of my real life to create a fictional crisis where a hero Saves the Day.  Sometimes, I imagine a line up of potential heroic figures (Indiana Jones, Picard, Batman, Wolverine, etc.), and circle around each one like a fish monger, picking the Catch of the Day.  The winner gets to star in my mental melodrama.  I remember when Clark Gable was part of this line up back when we used to see Gone With the Wind in theaters every year.  I was in junior high.  That’s how old this form of distraction is.

But, like compulsive eating, it just doesn’t seem like a healthy or useful activity anymore.  It smudges the boundary between mental illness and creative storytelling.  It keeps me numb and blind.  And ultimately, it makes me even more sad, because there’s no finding those heroes in real life.

Today, as I churned up white water during my aerobics class, a tiny voice behind all that fantasy said:

You are your own Hero.  

My life gets interrupted all the time by this illness.  Projects have to wait.  Events get cancelled.  The “To Do” list gets thrown away.  Attention must turn away from those things and gaze upon the illness with compassion.  No need to fight.  No need to escape.  No need to be anywhere but here, treating myself the way I deserve to be treated.  Only I can do that for me.  I’m the only one who can save me.  I am the Hero.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. carlarenee45
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 16:47:10

    yes I agree. With all of the mental torment we have to endure and always having to stifle our thoughts, we need to have our times to daydream and take care of our need for surreality.


  2. Rev Marshall Wright
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:04:49

    I gladly add my voice to the “tiny voice’ . . . . that and I imagine lots of others make that voice a ‘roaring voice’. HO TO THE FLOW . . . . Love is . . .


  3. pegoleg
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:31:17

    That’s both a sad and a self-affirming realization. Although I bet you could rock a cape, stay away from trying to leap tall buildings.


  4. strugglingwithbipolar
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:45:54

    I think that people forget that they have control and can become their own heroes. I am impressed that you are able to recognize that now. I am also struggling and doing the same thing you are doing: avoiding through escapism. It seems to be the best that I have got now so I’m just going with it (for now).


  5. Kathryn McCullough
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 14:55:51

    A brilliant truth, my friend! You are, indeed, the hero. It’s wonderful to realize that.

    Sorry to have almost missed this post. I have been busy all week with a visitor from Vietnam. Glad I snagged this one. Better late than never.

    Sounds like a mixed state to me. Does it feel that way to you?



    • Sandy Sue
      Feb 25, 2012 @ 16:23:37

      Yes, mixed state, that’s me.
      It’s hard to go back and read posts we miss. Too many blogs, not enough time.
      I can’t wait to hear about your visit with Minh.


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