Saying Yes

Coming of AgeThe last couple of weeks created a lot of thrashing around for me.  In IPR, I was required to recount my history—something I’m loathe to do as it is only painful and seems to trigger the dark side of my bipolarity.  At the same time, I cast off my life-long dream of ever controlling my compulsive eating enough to lose weight and started seriously working on accepting myself as I am.   Self-love and PTSD may be strange bedfellows, but they seem to be making progress together.

I had a Bathroom Revelation—you know, when you’re in the shower or on the pot, your mind blissfully drifting, and BLAM! the Next Great Idea materializes out of the ethers (so to speak).  E=mc2 came to Einstein this way, so who am I to question a loo’s creative holiness?

Anyway, this simple thought came:

Mindfulness is Not Enough.

And from that, I understood that nothing would ever be enough.  Nothing I do will ever cure me of this mental illness.

Of course not, right?  Everyone knows there’s no cure.  But everyone isn’t me, and I was sure I could crack this nut.  I would find the Key—my own, personal Incantation—that would unlock this prison.  If I worked hard enough.  If I followed every lead.  If I…

But, suddenly, I understood what Luke Skywalker tried to tell me this summer about striving, how there was no way to win that game.  Working hard at managing my bipolar disorder became another club to bludgeon myself over the head.

What happens when I let go of that dream as well?  What happens if I really accept all of who I am—obese and bipolar, creative and destructive, intelligent and compulsive, single and romantic, mindful and delusional?  What happens when I relax into all of that?  Allow all of that?  Say, “Yes” to it all?

So far, it means pulling back from the rigidity of my routine, from documenting every gnat’s ass detail of my brain flatulence.  It means trusting myself a little bit more, following my instincts a little.  And crying a lot.

This is new territory for me, this saying “yes” business.  It’s different than galloping after compulsions or riding a manic wave.  Saying “yes” comes from a loving place, a place of plenty and safety.  When the depression was darkest last week, it meant holding myself and saying, “Yes, this is part of me, too.  I’m not broken or wrong.  I am simply this, too.”

There is benefit from a Plan when the illness is raging at either end of the spectrum or when I’m sliding into those two extremes.  That’s when I forget what helps.  That’s when I can’t remember “yes,” and a Plan is needed to wade through to the other side.  But I’m trying to live looser in the between times.  Instead of scribbling out a Daily Plan, I look at this on my way out of the door.





And maybe that’s enough.  We’ll see.

Because I’m still On an Adventure.

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 06:21:08

    I love the notion of loosening the reigns a bit, Sandy. Bipolarity is a bitch! I know. I live it every day. Hang in there, my friend. You strategy seems sound to me.

    I’m trying to get my butt back in the saddle. I did manage to post something a month ago, but have been busy teaching workshops, looking at self-hosting my blog and writing my memoir (yes, I’ve been doing that), but I will make an effort to get something new out this week, including photos of our new home. Sorry to have been absent of late.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


    • Sandy Sue
      Nov 10, 2014 @ 16:24:55

      I appreciate you reading even when you have so much on your plate. Don’t post until you have something to share that feels like it needs to float to the top of the pile.


  2. jinjerstanton
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 10:55:01

    Learning to say “yes” instead of “no” was powerful for me. Saying, “no,” kept me in a box too short to stand in, too narrow to lie straight in. Change didn’t happen overnight (the destruction of the box’s remnants took 3 years as mg), but it was the first step. You have different steps, but maybe this is one. Go, Sandy, go!


    • Sandy Sue
      Nov 10, 2014 @ 16:23:43

      Thank you for sharing this, Jinj. I only wish I could come over for tea and talk about this some more.


    • LindaNoel
      Nov 21, 2014 @ 21:42:57

      My small alone (somewhat lonely) world has opened up this last year because I noticed all my “No’s” and just went forward with YES! I found atheist & secular peeps I love to be around, I’m Secretary of the Atheists Agnostics Alcoholics Anonymous meeting which has given me self-esteem of being there for the others while not attempting to fix ’em. I’m once again getting super-high dancing/dribbling with a basketball and free weights, and finding delicious mostly healthy $10 ethnic meals around town ! It is helpful for me to say to myself: “Well, I figure I have 1 to 20 years left to live, so why not?”


  3. minlit
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 11:34:27

    I think you are cracking this nut. It’s just that the nut has its own ideas 🙂


  4. Kitt O'Malley
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 12:23:36

    I absolutely love your concluding thoughts:
    And maybe that’s enough. We’ll see.
    Because I’m still On an Adventure.

    I know it seems silly to quote an author back to herself, but I wanted to let you know the words that I found beautiful and most meaningful. Thank you.


  5. Servetus
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 20:03:35

    I can’t say anything about bipolarity. I can say something about eating — for me it’s about trying to do even the least little bit and speaking to myself positively about whatever I do, whatever I choose. If what I want for lunch is the big macaroni and cheese, and I can talk myself into the medium one, then I won’t beat myself up for not eating the salad. And if it has to be the big macaroni and cheese, I tell myself the day will come when the small one is enough. Beating up on myself over calories? No more. I am worth more than the calories I eat or skip.


  6. pegoleg
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 11:57:25

    It’s hard to find that balance between healthy self-discipline and love and acceptance of self, even without the bipolar icing on the cake. We shouldn’t always love EVERYthing we do – some of it is self-destructive. On the other hand, you can’t go through life beating yourself up everyday about everything.

    I struggle to find this balance all the time. Maybe that’s the human condition.


  7. the secret keeper
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 16:56:38

    Magic words, everyone. I feel them touching my mind with such gentle force. Thank you.


  8. Littlesundog
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 20:35:57

    It has been difficult for me to let go of rigid practices and to loosen up on my rules system and expectations of self. I still try to keep some things in check, but I’m not beating myself up anymore when I backslide or take a break. It’s all part of understanding who we are and who we are not. There is balance out there… I just don’t think it is ever constant. We do what we have to on those days that we’re just getting by… surviving.


  9. Trackback: What Speaks to Me | attentionanonymous

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