You Call it Bipolar-I Call it MSD
Summertime and the living is easy, or so the song goes. I find it fascinating that when the work increases, and there is too much on my plate, I seem to rise to the occasion, and even get a little giddy about the whole thing. Why is it that the more work there is to do, the less time there seems to be to worrying about mood spectrum disorder?
Is there a connection between what is going on around me, and my ability to control my illness? It would appear to be a circular process, but I have yet to determine cause and effect. What is evident, is that certain upcoming events create a level of tension, which can serve as a trigger for MSD. However, equally obvious is that when I am getting good sleep, and maintaining my exercise regimen, I am in infinitely better shape to meet the challenges of a busy summer season.
One thing I have steadfastly refused to do is berate myself for actions over which I had no control. Mostly I can rationally view past behavior and sort it all out sufficiently, because most of what occurred to rock our world, took place here on the mountain, and impacted no one outside of the immediate community.
There is one thing, though, that I continue to fixate on, because it feels as though there is unfinished business, and that is the circumstance of Jamal’s murder, which rocked our community last January. At the time, I was in full manic-mode, with my emotions swirling around in the vast, expansive vat which comprised my brain, and no recognition that I was on a spiraling downward slope, which was to end with me seeing everyone around me moving away from me on the Group W bench of life.
I wrote several pieces about the murder of Jamal in which I expressed outrage, and vowed to pursue the matter until its conclusion, whenever that took place, and whatever that result turned out to be. It turns out that I made promises that I couldn’t keep, because the nature of my illness is such that I can no longer involve myself in such volatile emotional quagmires, because it throws my life into turmoil, and consequently, the lives of those around me.
Something had to give, and now that I am on the road to recovery, I can see that for the time being at least, stabilization of my illness mandates that I avoid the political arena, even if the circumstances are what they are, and my commitment to the cause was unequivocal. Stuff happens, and paths change course. Annie and I have talked over the situation, until we have exhausted all avenues, and our conclusions remain the same. I can no more turn back the clock and undue Jamal’s killing, than I can turn back the clock to a time when I could commit to a cause, and follow through on it.
So, like many other things in life, I make a conscious decision to pursue one path, and avoid a second. I have to assume that the family and tight circle of friends that comprised the people around Jamal, read the words that I wrote originally, and accepted them as an offering of genuine support and assistance. When I wrote about putting my efforts into a college fund for Kaiden, I was operating out of a sincere desire to start a grass-roots effort to hook a little brother up.
Now I tend to view my attempts as part of the overall effects of my illness, a grandiose scheme to build up a coffer of hope and money, so as to make some sort of statement about the unfairness of it all. I had a vision about a little guy being able to grow up with a community as a father, with a war-chest of funds, to propel him through higher education. It sounded so good and it was good. But I am no longer possess the same abilities that I did in an earlier time, so I now must deal from the new deck of life, and anything that threatens to turn into a joker, has to be avoided.
Avoiding hard challenges has never set well with me, but beating myself over the head with a brick, doesn’t set well either. So, for the time being, I am going to set that brick aside, immerse myself in the frantic pace which makes up the summertime, and let the living be easy. That’s what the song says, and who am I to argue with the music of life? I’m sorry, Jamal. I tried, but I have to set it aside, and I just don’t feel that you’d want me to hide.