Deep End – II

As a part of being bipolar, I’ve found I react more fully, more emphatically to events and experiences than others. I won’t say I “overreact” because honestly, who’s to gauge what’s over or under? I look at it like I’m just at a more intense level of feeling and responding than others – no judgement, no value, it just is the way I am. I’m not alone, either, but I’m probably more comfortable with it (usually) than most people around me.
I recently had a conversation with my therapist, Renee, whom I love because she’s so real and down to earth and she seems to come upon these bursts of conscious understanding that she’ll blurt out and they almost always take my breath away. It’s like a lightning bolt to the heart of what I’ve been struggling with. The one last week was, “Jen, do you think maybe you struggle with people because they’re not as honest with themselves as you are with yourself?” Oh shit – well, yeah. I guess I’m Judgey McJudge because you know, I’ve really HAD to (or I feel I’ve had to) be honest and upfront with myself because I’m mentally ill and to lie to myself …it’s like taking drugs for me. It would only make me crazier, keep me from sanity, play into the bipolarity that, over and over again, has lead to some serious wreck and ruin of life and relationships. Ultimately, lying to myself, hiding from the truth, not being honest about my choices, my motivations, my wants, needs, & desires, is like setting myself adrift in a sea of confusion and darkness, when I’ve spent the past 20 years looking for clarity & light.
So I’ve been sort of letting Renee’s insight percolate, and then I had a bad day. I lost sight of who I am and what I want. And you know what? That’s ok. We all get lost sometimes. Luckily, we can always look for landmarks, pull up directions, or ask for help. I asked, indirectly, for help, and another friend, Mara, who’s known me since 9th grade (and all its horrific fashion faux pas) asked me, “Are you upset over a specific person or any person?” The lightning bolt was more of a slow rising sizzle, but it finally hit me – its more loneliness than one man, it’s more my judgement of me than his potential rejection, it’s more realizing that I have to love and value myself FIRST than seeking validation any-fucking-where (or from any-fucking-one) else.
And I don’t like it. I want it to be simple – like diving into a pool or jumping off a cliff. But building that strong oak tree within my own Self – a living rising thing to strengthen my spine and my heart, my spirit and my soul, takes conscious and unconscious work and deliberate choices. It doesn’t mean not feeling strongly that lonely ache for a fellow lover of laughing and stupid movies, art and food, travel and sunshine, dogs and digging in the dirt… but it means, maybe, reminding myself that settling is NOT what I want and is NOT honest. Love is worth fighting for – even with yourself.


4 thoughts on “Deep End – II

  1. wow! You are a brilliant writer and a remarkable woman. It is wonderful to see how you reflect about yourself and your situation, without being to hard on yourself. Keep thinking, living and loving life. You will get places and fulfill your dreams, I`m sure of it!

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