The Rest of the Story
It's interesting. It took me approximately seven years to write my personal memoir of bipolar mania, Deep Blue Calm, from 2005 to 2012. I agonized over getting it just right...finally, solving the big questions. And although I never achieved any sort of ultimate complete mastery over my life as a result of that project; it did clean things up for me a great deal. In comparison, those first two posts I made on this blog in the past week which summarized my recovery story, took me minutes, not years to write. I am comfortable with my story now, and things are in the proper place whereas I used to feel broken and lost. I am using the same premise with this RealitySeeker project. Getting everything out in the open and working through it can help.
Now, it's a question of what do I do next? I am making original songs, which is a great pastime but that's not enough to completely satisfy me. However, I always choose the subject matter for my songs based on what's going on in my life and what's on my mind. The new one: "Today," has a simple message. I'm 46 years old. There's no time to be laying around in bed mulling over things that I wish would be different. I'm a fighter. I have real skills, valuable skills. And I'm going to get busy bringing about what I want to give to the world.
But I still struggle. I'm more than 300 lbs, and I have a mood disorder. It's difficult to motivate myself at times. But other times I feel the excitement of what is possible take over. My biggest challenge has been to do more without de-compensating into bipolar mania. For more than 20 years, I could always depend on that cycle. I get really excited--it becomes too much--I either have to quit or worse yet spend time in the hospital.
So, I'm taking a different tact now. I'm not just caving. I'm trying to tolerate the discomfort without bubbling over. I'm working a little at a part-time job that keeps my mind active. I devoted five weeks to creating a proposal for Mission Daybreak. I'm not going to lie: I had some manic symptoms during that period. But I avoided the catastrophic symptoms and managed to keep going in a positive direction. Better yet, I've been sharing this work with Andy Labadie and Mary Bourgeois and others and I've expanded my social network as a result. Now five veterans are signed up to join me in this process of describing our passions and goals as well as challenges to help each other be the best we can be. I'm excited to see where it can go.