The 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.