I knew this was going to be a difficult project in the middle of a festival run but I thought I would get past day 3. Here we go.
Sometimes you start out with something and you think it is going to go in one direction and it decides to take you through a much different path. That is what is happening with this gratitude challenge. Today’s topic is a bit nebulous. The idea that came to mind as I was scrolling through social media, getting caught up on that world was simple, this entry is life.
Having bipolar disorder changes your life. Actually, that isn’t an accurate statement. Having bipolar disorder creates in you a life that is not what one would expect. The symptoms and sub diagnosis that go along with this shape your life in ways that test you on a daily basis. One of the things that is ever present is what has sometimes been called suicidal ideation. A video I just watched by Neil Hilborn explained it pretty well. He described this feeling as an exit sign that is there to let you know you can leave if the movie gets to bad. That is an excellent description. It’s not a “i feel like killing myself. Here is the plan. Lets go do this”. It is more of a little voice or a sign that simply tells you, “hey, this is always a viable option”. And it makes sense. It is an option that can seem pretty rational when things are out on the edges.
The other thing Neil talked about was why he didn’t act on it. He said on the manic side there was too much to do and on the depressive side, it would wipe out the sadness that is part of him. Sometimes my decisions to not listen to that sign is my wife, or my children, but sometimes it is, “I have too much to do”. I don’t think it is ever his depressive reasoning, but perhaps.
I do know that life is beautiful and one of the main reasons that I haven’t died yet is that I don’t want to die. When I am in the bottom basement of lows or in the screaming crazy, buy all new furniture for the house (that was a thing actually) highs, Life is beautiful and I am not ready to go.
I have a weird bucket list of things, a good portion of which are probably delusional and will never happen, because one of the joys about being me is the crazy ideas that pop into my head and then grow like ivy. I want to be in a music act, there are character troupes I want to create and direct, I want to be the Mayor of our ren fest. There are creative projects that I want to make happen. There are places to visit and there are social events that I have wanted to do for so long.
I am not ready. I have stuff to do. I don’t want to be without the important people in my life and I don’t want them to be away from me. I have met some pretty amazing people that I haven’t really had a chance to talk to or perform with. There are things I want to accomplish with my wife.
Sometimes that sign is itty bitty and sometimes it’s a Times Square billboard, but today I am grateful that it is only an option. Today I am grateful that I have a choice and that I get to choose life, every day.
There is no usher and the theater doesn’t close. Sometimes the movie sucks but it’s got all my favorite people in it.
Today I am grateful for life.