Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blogging Therapy Version 2

Photo by dedde`

I know how this dude feels.

Having successfully lost my mind (again) on Monday, I frantically packed my things and decided to fly home. It was about time I headed back to see the family anyway; it has been over a year since I went back to Port Douglas. No wonder I was feeling jaded and stressed. I felt so consumed by my passions that I have not the time or space to simply 'be', or even if I did, a tinge of guilt always presided. Why aren't you taking action, Eddie? Why aren't completing your actions and moving towards your goals? What are my goals? Why such this strong desire to utilise my intelligence to the fullest? Is this life - a never-ending self improvement exercise? Why do we have to progress all the time? What is driving me? Please excuse this rant. And do not take these words as the whole 'me', as even our thoughts are biased and are not a complete reflection of who we are and what are core actually is about.

Onto with the exercise.

For a long time, I have been fighting an inner battle in my head. For a period there I was doing fine, largely thanks to the efforx and doses of cognitive behaviour therapy that I was doing. I was on track. But, over the last six months or so, 'it' reappeared, whatever 'it' is. My mental illness. My sporadic lows that leave me delibated and incapable of doing anything. They appear swiftly and suddenly. The triggers vary: sometimes work-related, others times existential related, and, more often than not though, are completely arbitrary. When asked, "What causes them?” I am left dumbfounded and cluelessly , which only adds to the frustration of the whole situation. In most cases when the black dog does disappear (Always follow the MIM (Mental Illness Mantra): IT WILL PASS) I fall back into my old routines. I move as quickly as the dog appeared - I work hard, I engage in awesome conversation, I strive towards my dreams. Which does not address the problem, I know; but when you have an illness, especially one as elusive and fleeting as mine, you revere back to what you are good at. In my instance, it is using my brain. Picking up the pieces after each fall is difficult but necessary, a sense of confidence returns, then a few weeks later, it is shattered, torn to pieces by the black dog, the world crumbles on the floor. This recurring pattern is not healthy, I know; but, let me tell you, when you get out of a downer, the first thing you want to do is to feel good. Plain and simple.

Frankly this condition I have - whatever it is: bipolar: Cyclothymia , depression - is tiring. I am sick of dealing with it. So hard to articulate what 'it' is. I don't want talk about it. I dont want this to be the basis of my friendships. I feel guilty when my mates help me get back up. I hate it. I just want things to be stable and good. I tend to think I am reasonably self-aware and spiritually mature , so why does this happen again and again? I don't want self-pity. I just want to beat it. To overcome. To defeat it. I am tired of lying to people. I am tired of letting people down, although I understand it is a good exercise in letting go of your ego. I am tired of not being able to utilise my inherent goodness and positivity. Frankly, I hate not being able to trust myself. That truly sucks. I am decent person. I honestly care a lot about people and the world. Sure, I have fawls, as does every person on this planet. Perhaps that is what frustrates me the most - that this conditions gets in the way of me being the best that I can be. I just want to be positive, but positivity is hard to generate when you are not yourself. Then emerges the questions of identity that any personal hardship starts: who am I? Which one is me? What am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me? Am I am going too fast? Should I slow down? If so, how? Is my passion (or is it obsession) for everything digitalforgood related healthy? In pursuing my dreams (which I will I will label as ' career' but semantically I do not agree with), am I not agreeing other needs: family, friends, spiritual and personal needs? The questions continue. The answers remain out of reach, teasing me ever so slightly.

So, as I sit here at home, away from the frantic hustle of Brisbane, away from the twittering, the emailing, the calls, and all the insecurity I have over my freelance business, I take stride. I stand back. I look at things from a distance. This illness has gotten in the way of a lot of things. I have fucked up numerous career opportunities. But, without trying, have formed new ones. I have fucked up relationships. But, organically, have found new ones and gotten closer to others. I have fucked up again. And again. And again. But I have persisted. Again. Again. And again.

Maybe, the answer is rather simple: get off my fat ass, go see a psychiatrist (even if it does take a few weeks), and get a trial of new drugs. Break the pattern. Do what you must, rather than what feels good. Leave your passion aside and look after yourself. (Reminder to me: This time over a year ago, you were sitting in your room, a recovering traveller suffering from reverse-culture shock and career insecurity. Now, look where you are and where you have gone to. Literally. God, Eddie, you fundraised your way through Twitter and when to San Fran for NTEN. You don't get yourself enough credit Ed. What are you fucking whinging about? Get on with it. ). Reassess. Look at your long-term goals and what you what to do. Breathe. 1,2,3. Get medical help, Eddie. After all, this is an illness, not a reflection on your character and your fundamental self; people who do judge you for it, well, fuck 'em, you didn't want to know them anyway.

As Buddha says, “Enlightment is within. All you need to know, any your talents/skills and goodness are not things to obtain, rather are things you have within yourself. It is just a matter of slowly discovering them."

No comments: