I was born at an early age and I found it to be a bewildering experience. Now, 58 years later, I'm still working at getting over the confusion. I suppose that's part of what I'm up to in this blog. Sometimes I'm not sure what I think until I write it out. Sometimes I feel the need to sort out and resolve incomplete processes from the past. Sometimes I just want to have fun though.
There's all kinds of reasons to write, but why make the process public?
Besides sorting things out or having fun, there's another, bigger reason why I've decided to start blogging. I want other people like me to know they are not alone. I've realized that people like me form a larger audience than I thought. We all seem to exist on a set of continuums and can relate to each other on at least some of them.
One continuum that we share is our degree of mental wellness. Where we are on that continuum varies with time and circumstance but there is a range that we find ourselves existing in most of the time. For some, that range includes mental illness. In that territory it is hugely important to know that others are there and that others have been there and found their way through. Suffering is worse when one suffers alone. It's easier to get lost in it and stay there when you feel alone.
What I've realized is that from time to time most of us can relate to having difficult or depressing thoughts and suffering even if it isn't to the degree that would be called mental illness. The skills and understanding that will help deal with mental illness are applicable to all of us for maintaining wellness. I think I have learned things that can help just about anyone.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995 but as I've learned and grown, I recognize the traces of that illness back to my early teen years. The nature of bipolar disorder is that it is cyclical and chronic. In other words, there's ups and downs that keep coming back. But sometimes there is a lull, a stable period, between the highs and lows. In these times of relative wellness I function well enough to say that I've come through and to share how I did it. It doesn't matter if it comes again, I still got through it and can do it again.
Something that I have learned how to come through again and again is the low, the period of suicidal thinking. I know that others struggle with such times as well and that even now lives are on the line. I also know that people who care often feel helpless when wanting to help someone who is struggling mentally. Because of that, I feel a sense of mission and purpose to offer what I can when I can.
At the same time, I feel fears and reluctance to be this public with my inner life. I've tried this before and have ended up erasing my efforts and gone back into hiding. This time I've resolved to face my darkness and those fears to let my efforts stand. But that's another blog entry.
In the meantime, until next time, I wish you wellness.