Take Your Place In Line Like Everyone Else
I’m not doing too well today. Sometimes being bipolar is a lot like waiting in a line for a soup kitchen: you’ll wait until you get to the front of the line and you’ll take whatever’s being dished out.
It’s human nature to want more, to want better, to be the best. We’re built that way, hardwired to excel over others so that we get the best food, the best mates. We’re that way so that we can propagate our genes forward into the future and secure our ‘immortality’.
I find it exhausting and infuriating to say the least. I have no intention of passing my genes on, thank you very much. The result is far too much effort and it’s effort just to get out of my bed each morning. It’s enough effort to look in the mirror.
When I’m tired of the constant work I must do to prevent myself from descending into a pit of despair, that’s when I have to be extra careful. While most people just say oh, I’m having a bad day, I have to wrestle with all the negativity my brain can produce. Not to mention guilt. Shame. Fear and disgust, sadness and futility, overwhelming ennui. Blah, blah. Blah.
It’s at this point I say SO WHAT. LEAVE ME ALONE. I’ve been down this road before and I know every single rock, tree and bush on this trail. Don’t look at me. Don’t talk to me. Don’t make me any unhappier than I already am.
Except you can’t do that. Only I can decide how I feel. Only I can prevent this from happening to myself. And at times that’s a hell of a mountain to climb.
But I assure you, you have absolutely nothing to do with it.
Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
Most people just go about their business. They’re not concerned about some things, they’re upset about others, excited, perhaps. They’re experiencing life in its immediate form, the way life is meant to be lived. And I envy the ease with which many do it. Everyone can’t be at the top of their game, of course. But they’re not standing still inside.
I, on the other hand, am fixated and frozen by the tiger that is fear. I take one look into my own eyes and see him instead of me. I know that at some point he’s going to pounce and rip me to shreds. But there’s really no tiger. It’s only me. It’s only fear, fear that is unformed, unneeded, uninvited and most importantly unnecessary.
Mmmm. You Taste Pretty Good From Here
Fear seeks me out like a snake can taste from a distance; that snake has sensors to feel our body heat, a forked tongue to ‘taste’ us stereoscopically, eyes that track our every movement and plenty of venom tucked away that has our name on it.
It strikes so fast you can’t see it and with remarkably deadly accuracy.
That’s because we own our fears. Our fears are ours. They know everything about us because our fears are us. We own our fears, and sometimes, they own us.
Everyone has them. Everyone hates it. If fear has any purpose it is to prevent you from making mistakes that will cost you dearly in the hardwired, genetic and species-specific sense, Alas, there is a conundrum in that fear costs you dearly. Either way, whether we accept or reject fear, there’s a cost we are forced to pay.
I rather prefer to pay the cost of resisting my fear. Overcoming my fear. By taking away fear’s power over me and my actions I refuse to be frozen in place by fear’s effects.
You Might Have Big Teeth But You’re Just A Glorified Mouse
So comes a day when I just can’t seem to fight the fight. Not everyone can be ‘on’ every moment of every day. Sometimes one has to stop looking at the teeth and start looking at the mouse behind those teeth.
Today is the sort of day that I have to remind myself that it’s just a goddamn mouse.
Evil Scary Spider Or Funny Dancing Bug?
Once again, it all comes down to perspective. If I am not generous with myself at times, then I’m not moving forward in a natural way. I’m a jitterbug, fodder for my fears, captivated by the hypnotic, unable to break away from fear’s face. I need to be a little better to myself.
So forget the fact that yes, this spider might be scary, but he’s also beautiful, cute, silly. He could be happy, if in fact spiders experience being happy. They may not, but I can. I can do my very best to change my perception of the spider but I am not stupid enough to think this change of perspective lessens that spider’s venomous bite nor does it diminish my great respect for the spider.
The Salamander Is Born Of Fire And Flame
I must attempt to be like the classic myth of a salamander; I must endure and even thrive in the flames of life. I must regenerate myself in the same way that salamanders regenerate their limbs when they have been lost. I have to endure.
But today, it’s no small job to endure. It’s no easy task to be strong. It isn’t that I am unwilling, rather, it is I think time for me to spend a little love on myself so that when I jump into the flames again I am unscathed.
Let’s End It All On A High Note
So, finally, for this day please forgive me in advance if I make some mistakes, if I am a little more difficult that usual, if I am a little short-tempered. Forgive me if I do not meet your expectations or your ideal. Forgive me if I need some time to relax my guard.
I know how dangerous letting your guard down can be. But for today I will have to trust that I can make it through my day without taking that demon in my head seriously. In fact, I think I’ll try to have a laugh at his expense.
Sometimes it’s better to laugh it off, get on your space dragon and fly into orbit. At least there you can watch the world turn beneath you instead of twirling along with it. Maybe even get in a good, long nap.