Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.
Last week I was asked by Maria.A.Abanga from over at http://marieabanga.com/ if I minded if she passed the torch forward on a blog hop about the writing process. I’ve decided to not get involved any more in the awards that blow through occasionally. This post is the exception to my reluctance to get stuck into chain posts because firstly of when Maria asked me to join in and secondly because she has been such a strong supporter for this blog.
Right now, I write almost exclusively here. It keeps me busy as I am focused on expanding my readership and making this website more and more useful and entertaining to you all. I’m very new to writing for an audience like this and, thanks to my meds, I cannot always come up with content that I feel is worthy of being published. I have to make hay when the sun shines. Perhaps when I’ve been further down the Bipolar Rabbit hole and know more I’ll write a book about my experiences if I have enough to say. Certainly they don’t fit the standard model thusfar, if such a thing can really be said to exist.
Something that takes quite a lot of writing time is also the stream of e-mails that I receive through the blog. Thankfully there have been some people who have taken me up on my offer of being something of a confidant and I try to never be tardy or short in my replies to these. My ultimate mission here is to help others in the way that my dear friend helped me. Wading through the confusion in the early days of coming to terms with an illness like Bipolarity is exhausting. I get a huge kick out of making it easier in some small way.
I’m not a medical professional and I have nothing to sell. Nor am I part of the cult of positive thinking or someone who is going to speak to you about Chakras or the healing power of believing in God. I call them how I see them and I’m not afraid to tell a hard truth. I’m trying to learn about the brain illnesses, primarily Bipolarity, but I honestly don’t believe that we’re anywhere near understanding them well. My spider sense tingles when reading 50% of the ‘facts’ about the illnesses as to their accuracy. I think that in a hundred years or less mankind will look back at the psychology of today in the same way we currently look at mysticism and alchemy. That being said – I don’t have an overly scientific approach to my healing right now. I read as much as I can from the scientific community but holding the belief that I do – that they don’t know enough to answer all my questions – leaves me willing to trust my gut on a lot of things, because I don’t believe that I’ll be around by the time they figure out the finer points of how mood disorders work. I believe that we are all in charge of our own rehabilitation and health, nomatter what.
My observations and ‘advice’ such as it is are COMPLETELY coloured by my own personal experiences. This is why my work truly is my own. I follow Andrew Solomon’s opinion:
“It is my absolute belief that in the field of depression, there is no such thing as a placebo. If you have cancer and try an exotic treatment and then you think you are better, you may well be wrong. If you have depression and try an exotic treatment and think you are better, then you are better. Depression is a disease of thought processes and emotions, and if something chnages your thought processes and emotions in the correct direction, that qualifies as a recovery.
Ultimately I write to explore ideas, to record them (time stamped) and to better learn about how to make myself well. The incentive running alongside that has become the desire to help other’s who are perhaps more confused than I am on certain issues. I needed a guiding hand in those anarchic early days of grieving for my old life, resenting the life I instead had and wondering how I would ever be anything other than at the mercy of Bipolarity. I have had the example of how crucial and inspiring the right words and ideas can be at the right moment. I search for the opportunity to do for someone what my friend did for me all those months ago.
A lot of the blog posts here are quite poorly organised as pieces of writing. The nature of writing to work through ideas means that it would defeat the point if I elected to write contrived posts where I knew exactly where they were going all the time. Still – I do on occasion begin with a standfirst and try to apply rigorous standards to what I produce. The guest article I did for Trish at http://www.mentalhealthtalk.info is an example of this. Sometimes I’ll be scribbling a doodle and that will inspire me – more often than not I write about the confluence of multiple ideas that I have been plagued or encouraged by for a few days. I’m a thinker. Always have been. Even without any brain illnesses it is in my nature to think very deeply about things, almost anything.
I decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to resort to populist content. “The top 5 Bipolar mistakes”, “CAUTION : Medication and over-medication” , “My top 10 rules for living with Bipolar Disorder”. Plenty of bloggers out there will scoff at me for this and, since they’re the experts, I’ll let them have the scoff. I’ve recognised, however, the utterly homogenised and bland content that is shat out by every copywriter in the land when they follow populist writing conventions. I don’t intend to go the same way.
If ANYONE wants to take up the torch and continue this blog-hop – Please do so and reference my open invitation to you here. Four questions, they’re not that hard 🙂
All the best,