“No one can understand my Mystery. The best you can do is to get immersed in it. It is no use your arguing about pros and cons; dive and know the depth; eat and know the taste.”
~o~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba ~o~
I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to update this blog when I had intended to at least 3 times a week. I have beat myself up over it, felt guilty about it, tried to hide from it, and finally kind of sat on the edge of the pool dangling my toes in the water and thought, "I'll never be able to go in." So today I just decided to dive in and I have no idea what I'm going to write about. The words, "just dive in" came to me and I sat down to write.
I was talking to my best friend about this and he said, "Honey, I know you better than you know yourself. You get like this every single summer. The heat is so hard on you that you literally just curl up in a ball and wait until summer has passed." And he's right. I have never liked the heat since I was a little girl. Now I have to take medicine every day that makes me more heat sensitive, and just going in and out with the dogs several times a day sometimes almost moves me to tears. I have actually wanted to scream (not at the dogs!), just that pure agonizing scream that says, "I can't take this, please, let this be over."
Now, I know that everyone is suffering in the heat and it is a perfectly ridiculous thing to say, but when I'm in my body in the heat that is how I feel. And I feel that I can't get anything at all done so I don't even try, or rather I sit piddling at the computer with a tiny blind pug in my lap and the others sleeping around me and a grey parrot behind me singing and talking and I realize that we are all just doing what we do, what we can do, we are living our lives as best we can. For animals it is so natural. Humans berate themselves and each other exacerbating whatever problem is at hand. I am trying to be kinder to myself. I am telling myself to just dive in and do what I can. Anything at all. Take out the trash and the recycling. Wow, look what I just did! Start a load of laundry. Gee willikers. Drag the hose around and water the garden in spurts as late in the day as possible and it gives me such a feeling of pleasure, enormous pleasure. Have I done anything to save the planet? Help the starving? Changed the world in some amazing way? Not in the world's terms, but I have in my own.
This summer I am working on the book that I have tried to write for years and this time I am doing it, because I have done the most wonderful thing for myself. I have entered a writing program with the marvelous writer SARK and she is mentoring me as she does a small group of people each 3 month period. I shall continue on in 3 month spurts. This Friday I will be sending the first section of my book to her which she will read and send a 15 minute recording back to me to help me along the path. This is something concrete and amazing for me. Just this forward movement is diving in in a big way, but the book is about a woman, me, living with Bi-Polar disorder, the whole picture, at least my picture as a woman living with this curious imbalance in the brain. I am reading books and writing copious notes and falling back in my chair in tears, and then lunging ahead with excitement. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life because I am telling the truth, the deep truth, in hopes that it will help others.
Bi-Polar Disorder runs a wide spectrum and is categorized in several different ways depending on where you are on that spectrum. I can only write about my own experience as a 58 year old woman who has lived her whole adult life with this disorder, and finally, writing about it, I have let my guard down, that part of me that tried to fit in and be different than who I was so people around me wouldn't be disappointed or angry with me. I have told many truths here, and never lied, but I have never told the whole truth. I want to talk about the radiant joyful moments and days and how they are possible, but they run right along with the days when I am paralyzed with fear and depression. I am Bi-Polar Type 2 which is the depressive side of the disorder, Bi-Polar Type 1 being the manic side, and this is a vast over-simplification of this dis-ease. The medications help enormously. I am no longer suicidal, and I am up most of the time, and when I am down I know that it will pass even if it feels like a long road to get to that place. It may be hours or a day or even the next morning, but I can hold on and do the things that I know that I can do to hold on until the shadow passes. And it always does. And I go on.
So I am at the time of the year that is hardest for me, when my whole body seems to melt in a pool on the floor, and I am facing my deepest darkest demons and secrets at the same time and so I have faced this blog and thought, Huh-uh, no, not today, but then days turn into weeks and here I am.
I am bumbling about and I don't think that I am making enough sense to even publish this on the blog but I will because it is true and real and present, this moment, this sacred moment, as they all are, when I have had a day of just hanging on and I think that if I can only get the words out and maybe help one person in the whole world that is going through the same thing so that they know they are not alone, that the dark does indeed come before the dawn and that the dawn is coming, then it will have been worth it.
I just had to laugh because this naked grey parrot who plucks but is otherwise a joyful little soul said something she has said since I adopted her just over 2 months ago. She said, "It's okay, don't be afraid," and those few words make me keep typing and I know in just a few minutes I will hit publish and then probably run and hide behind a door. Now she just said, "Hi Sugar," and then quacked like a duck and barked like a dog. Life goes on, even when I am a pool on the floor wondering when the morning will come. I thank God every single day for the animals I share my life with. They make me laugh, they make me feel loved, they are my precious little friends, and Lord help me, they see me through. I do indeed have so much to be thankful for.
And so I can add actually writing a new post and getting it up to the little list of things that I have done today. It's not a big list, but it's a list. All of the animals are fed and have fresh water, changed twice today, and are well cared for, and they have been kissed a lot, and my what a wonderful thing that is.
I don't know if any of this will have made any sense to you at all, but if you are having a hard time, in any way, I urge you to "just dive in" and do what you can do. What if you just emptied one wastebasket? What a wonder? Applaud yourself for every step and never think, "Well that sure wasn't much." If you are having a day like I've been having that might be like climbing Mount Everest! Dance around the room in a silly way and sing, "I emptied the wastebasket, I emptied the wastebasket, wheeeeee...." and by gosh and by golly you might just get on to doing something else. Like making a cup of tea. (I'm not pushing, I'm just saying...) Or pick up a book. What if you read one page, one paragraph, the next thing you know you might have read a whole chapter in amazement without even realizing what you are doing. That happens to me.
My bird has just "passed gas" (a sound she loves to make) very loudly and then said, "Excuse me," in the most contrite manner and she has me laughing again. I think she is trying to make me laugh and celebrate this moment, this crazy moment when I got to the bottom of the page even if I don't know if I've said anything that makes any sense at all. I "emptied the wastebasket," and it feels good.