So, I mentioned in a previous post that I am Bipolar, amongst other ‘disorders’.
Now, this post is not going to be entirely coherent in terms of what I actually want to do about this fact, so bear with me (I seem to ask this of you often).
I am a wildly esoteric person. I always have been- I remember thinking that I was in a fairy garden when I was 6; that there were mermaids in my pool when I was 9; and I started talking to celestial entities when I was 12. Please, don’t shrug esoterica off as hippie mumbo-jumbo. I am 6 exams away from a degree in Psychology, so I am not ignorant about the cognitive and subconscious layers of the mind. I also have a degree in Fashion (with majors in Buying, Business, and Media), thus I am not all about traveling on hills upon which mountain goats wander (although, this is a personal goal of mine). I am not irrational. In fact, I am extremely cynical about my belief system; it keeps me grounded whilst my soul wanders off into the cosmos.
How does this relate to my Bipolar? Directly.
An exquisite theory was explained to me by my wonderful psychologist: As a Bipolar person, the esoteric interpretation thereof is that I am in polarity to everything. This includes the Earth, and the Universe. I am stuck in limbo between the stars and the ground. So the highest point of the Universe (of which, as far as we know, is infinite), and the core point of the Earth (of which we know is finite), are the two places between which I am caught in a system of extremes.
If I am sad, I am extremely sad. In fact, I think the word ‘sad’ is of similar value to the word ‘nice’- it just doesn’t cut it as an appropriate adjective, and is jaded in its meaning. What I feel when I’m ‘sad’, is endless despair. Like I am stuck in a vortex of hopelessness; like the abyss couldn’t possibly get any bigger and deeper than it already is; like it couldn’t consume me any more than it already has. As though the light has been sucked out of everything and anything, and the world is playing a cruel joke on me. Hell, when I’m ‘sad’, is on Earth.
And then, there occurs the greatest juxtaposition possible: I experience euphoria (now isn’t that so much ‘nicer’ than ‘sad’? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink…). Euphoria is: Pure bliss that engulfs me like a cool wave on a boiling hot Summer’s day. It blankets me and shields me from feeling anything remotely negative. It makes me feel invincible; like I could be a prophet, or a magician, or an esteemed philosopher. Or perhaps even, as my greatest dream goes, a famous singer (albeit that fame scares the living daylights out of me). Ultimately, when I am manic, I can achieve anything (hypothetically).
Now, what scares me, is that I cannot trust either state of extremity. I cannot trust that either episode, be it depression or mania, will stay. I know that it will leave me. It’s almost as though I have abandonment issues with both of my episodes- as though they are a father figure to me, one that I know I cannot rely on to always be constant in my life; one whom I know will eventually leave me because there are more important people in his life (yes, I have daddy issues, but that is for another day). When I am manic, I don’t want it to go away. I am ecstatic when I am manic, as I know I will feel like I can conquer it all. When I am depressed, all I want for it is to go away. I feel like it detracts from my ‘true’ self; this ‘true’ self is best explained through my interpretation of who I actually believe this to be, and it is, quite simply, the person I am when I am manic. Happy, charming, the ‘life and soul’ of the party, effervescent, bubbly, and all-consuming of anyone and anything that journeys upon my path with me whilst I am in that state.
However- a psychiatrist explained to me that this is not who I really am: This is a state of being that contains characteristics of my disorder. This is not my personality; that my personality can only be established once the medication <immense amounts of> has stabilised me.
If there was ever a literal, yet metaphorical, feeling of an arrow to the heart, the aforementioned explanation was it.
I felt as though I had an existential crisis: Who I am at my best; who I am when I feel my best…this man was telling me it is not truly and authentically ME. Now, I had to ponder upon this notion for a while- after crying and having said crisis- but I have come to one steady conclusion: Who I am- the intrinsic ME- is who I am when I am at peace. The catch is, however, that I can be at peace when I am depressed, too. That I can be at peace when the agony takes over my soul; like a black, heavy, cloud has entered my body and I become nobody. This, shockingly, is a state of peace for me, as it is a zone of comfort; of familiarity.
I am who I am, when I am it. But I am not my thoughts, and I am not my emotions.
Perhaps this is an isolated experience; I would love to connect with more Bipolar people and find out if this applies to them, too.
My point is thus (apologies for the long and convoluted essay): Esoterica is saving me from the Western frame of mind that I am ‘incurable’; that there is no hope as far as my disorders are concerned; that I will have to rely on chemicals to just ‘be me’, for the rest of my life. Well, no. I refuse to accept that as an absolute truth. I refuse to let myself be defined by an academic’s limited definition of what MY personality is actually like. I know I am in limbo; I am well-aware and cognitive of the fact that I have a psychological problem, but I am more convinced by the notion that I am merely stuck between Heaven and Earth, as I experience both Heaven and Hell all the feckin’ time.
If you choose to be defined by someone else’s opinion of you, be prepared to truly lose your core self. If you choose, however, to be open to the levels that exist within a spiritual realm, you can be liberated from the mental ties that so emphatically keep you from reaching your true potential.
This is a mere opinion, I am not advocating that medical help should be avoided. In no way I am saying that there is no relief from psychiatric solutions. What I AM suggesting, is that there are alternative options. That we need to stop limiting ourselves to the culture we have been conditioned to trust and give ourselves to, because how can we trust a system, when we struggle to even trust ourselves?