the point of the exercise

I was diagnosed bipolar in July. Hence the genesis of this blog: my ambition was to chronicle my progression towards acceptance, stability, what-have-you. More for my own peace of mind than to break any kind of silence—the books suggest keeping a diary to track your oscillations, to get a sense of your triggers and pit-falls, build a better awareness of what you’re dealing with and how—and I missed writing, but it was perhaps a lofty goal. Being unstable and a little frightened of being diagnosed with a life-long illness does not a focused wordsmith make. For a long time I had a hard time attending to much besides the day to day business of making it through without my usual crutches, to say nothing of just keeping my head and my mood together.  So it lapsed before it even really started, and my perhaps slightly manic thought of writing a highly Googleable first-person narrative about struggling with the disorder came to a full, unrealized stop.

It’s for the best, really. There would have been a lot of whingeing.

question-markAnd who needs another petulant, heavy-hearted crazy person writing about their bloody feelings? Eight months after the fact, I have a little more perspective, a lot more balance in the brainpan, and a much more laissez-faire attitude towards mental illness than was present during the summer. Ah, time. Oh, medication. Take both in combination, top with a bit of therapy, and you have a remedy for a despondent mess. That mess was me.

So the autumn was full of working and school; and working towards a proper combination of pharmacology and habit management, as I tried to balance commitments with confusion, and still get shit done. And I did. I paid my bills, I made it to work and to class, and I lived soberly in my cozy, under-furnished apartment while the whole globe turned on its axis smoothly. Gravity, my favourite force, kept attracting. Ugliness, all over the world, kept repelling. Life went on, and I began to feel that I could manage my life without the danger of being pulled drastically off course, without warning, courtesy of brain chemistry; and despite the fact that the pills they were giving me were ruining my insides with pain as we tried one after the other, there was a modest bounce in my step and a quiet song in my heart….

I was starting to feel pretty good.

That was until I got diagnosed with HIV a week before Christmas, and then I suddenly got very, very ill.

The best work comes out of the intersection of ideas, two disparate trajectories crossing paths on a canvas. If I’m to trust psychiatry, I have two modes to travel between, while trying to move forward at the same time. And now, medicine affords me life as well, in spite of a life-consuming obstacle. My existence has become the theatre occurring between opposite but unequal extremes. So my wonder now, picked out of a multitude of wonders, is what divergent themes will crisscross here and give shape to this blog, as I turn to find an audience?


~ by A Mundi on February 27, 2009.

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