The Things We ‘Need’ Are Always So Attractive
There’s a reason why we think we ‘need’ lots of things: we’re seemingly forever unsatisfied. It’s part of the human psyche; bigger, better, stronger, more. It’s how we survive. Our real needs are simple but our perceived needs can make us careen through life like a bulldozer in an English garden.
Everybody thinks they need things. They may not know what it is they need, but they need it bad. They have to have it, whatever ‘it’ may be, and standing in the way of a person infected by what he ‘needs’ is a very bad idea. Think about it. Every unfounded, ill-thought desire, every blown-out perceived false ‘need’ is something to live for, something to lie for, or something to die for.
And this idea is prevalent among the sane, among the reasonable, rational men and women who don’t understand what to strive for let alone what they ‘need’.
I’ll tell you what I ‘need’: four walls of my own, my cat Hercules and a piano. That’s about it. Oh, and my medication, almost forgot about that. But it might be good to ask yourself: what is it that I truly ‘need’? Put aside the things that attract you, the people that attract you. Focus instead on what you need to survive.
Meet Mr. Happy Molecule
It’s funny but I never wanted more medication. I take plenty enough of important meds, meds that don’t have anything to do with being bipolar. It’s an endless litany. Getting old has a lot to do with it and some of the medications I take are important.
But this medication, this molecule? Critical. Not a need. Not a want. Critical to my survival.
This is our friend Oxcarbazepine or as I call him, Mr. Happy Molecule. In conjunction with plenty of talk therapy and work to change myself, this little molecule did something nearly impossible for me to imagine: it effectively stopped my brain from going overboard into the desperate needs I didn’t even realize were killing me.
I needed to commit suicide. I needed love and acceptance from a partner. I needed back all the things I lost, all the people, all the stuff, all the madness. And wouldn’t you know, it turned out that I didn’t need any of those things.
I want to be accepting of myself. Other than food, clothing and a roof over my head that, friends, is my only real and true ‘need’. And Mr. Happy Molecule helped point that out in a real way; it helped me see clearly enough to know that there were places, people and things I certainly didn’t need in my life. Not at all.
That’s What You Get When You Lie To Yourself
Personally, there’s a hell for each of us. And I don’t mean ‘Devil, pitchfork, Lake of Fire’ kind of hell. I mean the kind of hell that you create for yourself, that you allow, that you live in and the hell in which you insist you belong. Believing that you belong in a hell of any kind is a great big lie.
The job of resisting hell, of resisting pain, self-doubt and self-imposed torture is a lifelong job, a job in which you must prepare yourself for the long haul, the big slog through emotional peril. No one likes to slog. No one wants to keep going through the same kinds of hell all the time.
But think of it this way: you have a deadly disease that requires you to take a pill at the same time each day, and it is a pill that makes you sick to your stomach, tastes vile and gives you the shakes. Each and every single day for the rest of your life you must swallow that pill.
While at first you may feel compelled and required to take that evil pill, there’s a strange effect to this medication: you come to want it even more than you need it. You want the pill because in your very being you understand that without it you are doomed, without it you will die. Wanting the pill changes your attitude from something necessary to something hopeful.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it?
I look at taking medication each and every day without fail as something I want to do. Those medications are keeping me out of harm. Oh, they’re bitter, or they rattle my stomach and make me queasy. But those medications help me in ways that allow me the pleasure of moving forward with life; they give me something I wouldn’t have otherwise, and that something is time; that something is clarity when it’s most important.
Money Can’t Buy Me Love
Love is nice. Nice. Scary, too. Love drives us to do insane things. It changes the way we think right down to our brain chemistry. Suddenly we are flooded with chemicals that make us feel good and some that make us ‘lovesick’. Love makes us forget ourselves. It is distraction, pure and simple, a distraction that evolved to ensure the species get continued into the future.
But this is the same thing that medication does for me. Not that it makes me feel good as in Oooh, I feel good, but rather it makes me able to move forward with life. It perpetuates me. It gives me the opportunity to do something I want to do, and that is to love myself in the ‘I’m going to take care of myself’ kind of way.
Money can’t do that. In fact, money often is a bane for those with bipolar disorder; when you’re manic you’ll spend it like there’s no tomorrow because in your manic brain it’s making you feel really good to do it. When you’re depressed it becomes a stone of guilt around your neck. I’m one of the lucky ones in that for me there’s no money to go crazy with and even if I had any I wouldn’t be irresponsible in that way. But for some, money can’t do anything for them except make them miserable once they come down from the high of spending.
And then, speaking of misery, there’s ‘love’. There’s where I have plenty of issues, big ones, too. After therapy, after medication, and after taking a good, long and painful look at myself, I don’t need romantic love right now. It would be nice but I don’t need it in the way I need to breathe or sleep. I want it but that doesn’t mean I must have it in my life. Sharing an ice cream soda with that special someone might be dreamy but for me it’s not enough. I’d rather work on myself so that I will attract someone that’s real and with integrity rather than someone that ‘needs’ to feel good.
Just What Is It Money Can Buy You?
Money can buy you therapy and among the very few wealthy people I have encountered, therapy seems to be much in demand. I personally never had any money but I’ve seen what the drive for more of it has done to some people. Those people need therapy, I can tell you. But it wouldn’t matter what it was, money, love, drugs, gambling, whatever it was. These are addictions. Addicted to Love. The Gambler. Money. There’s a song for every occasion.
So in fairness I must ask: am I addicted to therapy, to medication, to my want to being healthy?
Oh, yes, well, if it’s addiction, I’ll pay that price. I’ll pay whatever price it has to be to make myself all right. I’ll work like crazy, do anything my therapist wants and I’ll beg for more, thank you.
That’s what I want.
If I wanted things that were bad for me, well, that’s what happened in my past. I wanted bad things because I had no idea what good things were. Couldn’t recognize them at all. Love is good, money is good, right? Wrong. Money and relationships can be enablers in both good and in bad ways. The can enable us to do things that make us feel great or they make us feel shame and regret. They can dictate to us what we perceive to be our needs.
Just enough money to make it is just fine with me. Just enough love and respect to make my life worthwhile is enough for me. Those things come in time if we work toward them. But gambling? Did that with my very life. No thanks, the dealer passes. I’d rather take the sure bet of therapy and positive results than bet on the dark horse on which I’ve lost money and love before. All those bets are off.