There’s something not quite right at the moment. A niggling feeling, something deep inside of my bones, making my teeth on edge and as I described to my therapist just yesterday – making me feel swampy (if you picture a swamp at this point I’m sure a whole host of feelings will come to mind, none of which would be particularly pleasant).
2016 was a big year for me and my mental health. It was a year I grew to understand myself, what I need, what Bipolar really means to me and it challenged me to ask what I really want from my life. As young as 7 I can remember feeling like I was destined for something greater than I could understand then but I wasn’t sure what (other than my desperation to become a Blue Peter presenter) and now that feeling is there again at the forefront of my mind, coming up from the deep swamp I’ve hidden it in for so long. I feel like I’m wasting my life on the mundanities of life and not really pursuing my full potential.
I know that there’s something missing and it’s driving me crazy. Feeling so disassociated from myself and my life yet grounded in the swamp not sure how to get out and once out, where to begin.
The poet Christopher Poindexter says it best:
you know what
all that you are?
having so much inside you
but not having the
how to pour it out.
As a teenager I had a huge faith in Christianity and I was involved in copious amounts of voluntary work, singing, youth work and the like and I remember in those moments how happy I was in them. And if truth be told I haven’t felt as happy in anything I’ve pursued as I did then. And it’s not the religion I miss, it’s the community. Helping others whether it’s through education, acts of kindness or just by being present. That is the feeling I know I am missing, it’s where I know I need to change my life, I don’t want to simply exist any more. I want to LIVE.
I appreciate how lucky I am to have a hold on my Bipolar, some sort of understanding that allows me to make tiny steps of recovery and progress and none more so than in my 30th year. I allowed myself the time to discover what is me and what isn’t, and what works and what doesn’t. I’ve allowed myself to be unhappy with the weight gain from medication and lack of motivation that has brought with it. But I’ve also allowed myself the time to work things out on my own, to discover what I need to change. I don’t need to go into them, I don’t need a public declaration of what I’m going to do – truth be told I’m not quite sure myself.
The thing that is missing in my life is a sense of belonging and community, I want to feel like I will leave something behind on this earth, that my existence matters. I want to utilise my strengths instead of constantly focusing on the negatives and the restrictions Bipolar brings with it, I want to help others, work with others, build a community that thrives on strengths not weaknesses.
And I’m going to do this. I’m just not quite sure how yet or in what form this might take.