Written by Davs
I’ve been ashamed of myself, for months, maybe longer. Ashamed because I have not lived up to the person I thought I was going to be by this time, after making some life changes a little over a year ago.
It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and not find everything wrong, when you are disappointed in yourself. Guilt, I have too much. Emotional issues I believed had been laid to rest, reawakened, unexpected, like fast zombies, because we all know zombies are supposed to be slow.
I am okay though. I am managing. I’m not on top of the world. But I am not at the bottom. I guess being bipolar for over twenty years has left me confused as to what it is to be okay. Before the medication, before the therapist, before the psychiatrist, before I began seeking help for my mood swings, it was either or and no in-betweens. Either singing from proverbial hilltops, or swinging from a metaphorical noose.
What it is to be OK, I am learning only now. Learning to be OK with being OK? That’s where I fall. I’m supposed to be this great mom, artist, friend, writer – an individual who breaks glass ceilings. I’m supposed to have an active social life, always adding to my contacts, painting soup bowls for charity. Never sweat pants, never three days with no shower, never sitting alone in a stairwell crying because I can’t come to terms with just being OK. Just here, living, breathing.
But here, this is the thing, I am here, I’m alive, I’m breathing and I’ve got to learn to be OK with not always being on top of my game. What good does it do me to pick myself apart? So what? So what if my art isn’t selling right now? So what if I didn’t take an extra two minutes to apply mascara today? So yeah, maybe I’m not wearing a cape and scaling buildings. But why did I ever think I was supposed to be a superhero? This isn’t a movie. Nobody can be great all the time. I catch a voice inside me saying “At least you knew how you felt before. Not like this, where nothing is extreme” I admit, being medicated has been a journey. Nobody wants to want to die, but when you find yourself always at the extreme end of a feeling there is some comfort in knowing exactly how you feel. Not having that intense emotion all the time leaves me confused, to be honest. Am I happy? I’m not laughing hysterically. Am I sad? I’m not making plans to kill myself. I mean, that is strange, right? That I don’t know that I’m OK. That I have to remind myself that I’m OK.
Please don’t misunderstand this: I’m glad I got help. I’m glad for this. This new reality of being OK. But it’s new to me, and alarming at times. It confuses me, it leaves me a lot of room for thought. Before I got help, very little thought was put into some of my biggest life decisions. And I paid dearly for that. I was so fervent in whatever opinion, or feeling, or belief I had, before I got help, that I missed out on a valid reality; just breathing, just being alive, just being here. My dreams come from that time in my life, I like to call it the ‘Hot Air Balloon Era’ and they are so big, I’m embarrassed to tell you. And maybe a big part of what makes this new reality of simply being OK, so hard. Because the urgency of my emotions did not have time to just be OK.
Yes, I am not winning any marathons. But I’m not burning any bridges either, and I need to appreciate it.
I am here, I’m alive, I’m breathing.
I’m here, I’m alive, I’m breathing.
I’m here, I’m alive, I’m breathing.
You have to admit, there’s something very beautiful about that.