There are many times when I find my self exhausted trying to exert some manner of control on this disease that afflicts me. More often than not it is in vain; my mood will be what it will be. I’m beginning to realize that ‘going with the flow’ is a more sensible approach at the moment than wrestling with either hypomania or depression, depending on which one wants to make its presence felt.
Thomas Merton got it about right when he wrote in his beautiful book, ‘No Man is an Island‘:
Anxiety usually comes from strain, and strain is caused by too complete a dependence on ourselves, on our own devices, our own plans, our own idea of what we are able to do (p.197).
Bipolar disorder, although very much a part of me, is also beyond me. I cannot change it, but I can learn to live with it, be present to the changes in mood by being fully cognizant of them, and making the necessary adjustments.
Interestingly, Merton also argues in ‘No Man is an Island‘ that ‘doing nothing’ can be a powerful strategy for self-preservation in some circumstances. He said:
There are times, then, when in order to keep ourselves in existence at all, we simply have to sit back for a while and do nothing (p.109).
Incredibly difficult to do, especially when dealing with a hypomanic phase, but I’m convinced of the logic and wisdom of the point Merton is making.
…and so, I’m off to do nothing……………………………..