So, I’ve been hiding from the world for a little while now, I crashed into self-pity and depression, logged out of social media, turned off the computer and avoided real life as much as I could. But I survived it. I have been doing a lot of soul searching and a lot of self-discovery lately in an attempt to rise from the ashes of my unforgiving mind and understand the reason that this was so hard for me on a deeper and more spiritual level. I have been spending a lot of my days working on understanding the importance of and absorbing lessons that the universe has really been throwing at me repeatedly in different ways for years but I was blind to them and now perhaps I am more willing to see and even finally start learning from some of them.
No, I won’t pretend that I have found all the answers, I haven’t, nobody has all the answers anyway, that would be impossible because the questions are different for each of us and generally speaking the more we know, the more we know we don’t know. I estimate that I have found around 14% of my own answers surrounding the meaning of life and my purpose. I am, like all humans, still very much a work in progress, although perhaps I am a little less lost than I was prior to my break and now I at least feel like I have found a map.
I have been becoming more and more willing to change my thinking over the last few years and through acceptance and growth I have made some great strides forward. Unfortunately, I also have some deeply ingrained methods of dealing with things, particularly situations that I feel are out of my control, my go to being running away from them, (which I have blogged about before) and that is exactly what I did yet again when I left. I got upset and scared and so I ran away from one of the most important things in my life (my blog) before it could run away from me. Of course, that doesn’t do anything but illicit a false sense of control. Ultimately, I had still lost the thing I cared about and I that left me miserable.
Having locked myself away from all of you and laying hidden under the dark covers of my bed sobbing and feeling sorry for myself for driving away all of my friends for a few weeks I finally realised that really, I hadn’t driven all of my friends away at all. Yes I had upset a few people, and they were people I really cared about, but then I had chosen to drive myself away from everyone else as well in a paradoxical effort to prevent myself from feeling the abandonment and fear of potentially driving everyone else away too. At least then I was alone on my terms and still retained some semblance of control over the situation. So yeah, it was still my fault, but in a different way to what I had believed and I had the power to do something about it.
My psychiatrist M asked me how long I was planning on punishing myself by not blogging the first week that I stopped, and I couldn’t answer her, my depression was bottoming out at that stage and I was deeply unsure if I would be alive much longer anyway. I felt like I had said goodbye and that was it, it was silly for me to return now if I was just going to disappear again. I had not only stopped writing on the blog, but I had stopped writing in general – I had banished myself from the one thing that I knew had the ability to pull me out of the hole because although I hated feeling that way, I also subconsciously desperately craved the uncomfortable comfort and paradoxically safe familiarity of being suicidal.
M told me that I could make the decision to write again any time that I liked and that the only person stopping me, was me. I intellectually knew she was right, my writing fills such a huge part of my soul and so punishing myself by withholding it seemed appropriate. But of course, that doesn’t serve to benefit me at all long term, it’s simply denying me from being my authentic self which has been something I have spent a decent amount of time preaching about the importance of nurturing.
I woke up one morning and the depression veil had lifted, yesterday’s earnest reasons to die seemed suddenly less important, and as depression gave way once again to a rather somber but unmistakable hypomania I let myself spill the words that were now rushing around and overtaking my frenzied mind out into the notes section of my phone writing endless streams of poetry and general garble.
Despite allowing myself to write again, I wasn’t ready to share again until now. I needed a bit longer to think and grow. My bipolar was still as volatile as a brown snake in the summer sun and I knew that if I did come back to the blog, I wanted to return with a deeper sense of self and clearer sense of purpose so that I could avoid repeating the same mistakes again.
Over the years I have been writing I have slowly but surely gained a tremendous amount of wisdom and insight into how people think, but somehow avoided applying it to my own self. Perhaps my Ego thought it was above it, perhaps I didn’t think I deserved the clarity, perhaps a little of both. But recently I actually started challenging my own destructive habits and patterns of thinking and questioned how and why those unhelpful thoughts and behaviours had actually somehow served to subconsciously benefit parts of me over the years and how and why awareness of the reasons behind those patterns of thinking meant that they could now be healed and changed rather than continuing to take the easy route of simply blaming all my feelings and mood swings on childhood traumas, other people or my Bipolar diagnosis.
Yes, my moods are more difficult to control and fluctuate more wildly due to my Bipolar Disorder, however, I also have far more power over myself than I have given myself credit for and I feel that the more I work on healing my old wounds and nurturing myself, the more tools I will have available to me in times of crisis and therefore my mood swings will hopefully begin to have a less detrimental effect on my life.
Now I am ready to write publicly again, I even have created some goals around it, I have some new areas of my website that are a bit different from the usual journal style nature of my blogging, if you are interested then you can check them out by navigating in and around the links at the top of the page. These are static information pages, basic things about Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, Self-care tips and so forth. There is information content about things such as Therapy as well as links to better information content on other sites, some personal experience stories, a few funny bits like ‘How to speak Aussie‘ as well as some Resources that I have generally found helpful. I obviously have a lot more I want to do here but there are only so many hours in a day.
I am also looking into / thinking about maybe developing a YouTube channel and putting a bit of information content and humorous content on that, because I am trying to be more authentically me and as much as I hate to admit it, the authentic me is an extraverted attention seeker, so this will allow me to develop more ways to fulfil my narcissistic desire for attention and approval on a whole new platform! 😉 What do you guys think of that? Is it something you would be interested in?
Lastly, I wasn’t reading blogs while I was gone so I can only imagine how much has happened for all of you, I apologise if I have missed something significant, but as you may imagine I had a ridiculous amount of blog post notifications in my e-mail when I finally re-opened my computer and sifting through each one was too overwhelming so I deleted the whole folder and will attempt to catch up with individual blogs best that I can over time. I Love you guys and thanks so much for all the messages and comments of love and support, I appreciate you all for sticking with me while I have been working on becoming a Phoenix, now hopefully we can all learn to fly together!