31 August 2013

Sunsets and Sunrises

Sometimes you glide so slowly from one chapter of your life into the next that you barely notice you've turned a page until the plot suddenly feels unfamiliar.

Other times the door slams.  So you shrug, slide the deadbolt, turn your back and then walk off into the sunset like the end of a spaghetti western.

After experiencing the former over the course of the past two or three years to the point that I barely recognize myself (which has its pros and cons), the latter came out of nowhere recently.  I do understand how difficult I am to care about, especially when I unexpectedly isolate people.  Sometimes it is out of depression; sometimes it's because my moods are cycling for weeks and I don't want other people to have to deal with that; sometimes I just want to be alone because I'm feeling good, doing well, like where I am at the moment, and feel like being around others will get me off-track.  But it's never personal and doesn't mean I don't care, although I can see why other people may take it that way when I don't communicate. 

At this point, it is what it is and I've already swiftly moved on because that's what I do.  This blew up?  Doesn't seem fixable?  Okay, what's next?

In other news I've been tiptoeing on the line between identifying myself as a Buddhist or a Buddhist leaning Agnostic.  That is an entirely different post for another day (which I will hopefully write in the few days if I can keep my writing momentum going).  Suffice to say that I've slipped pretty firmly back into Agnostic territory.  Partially because my views regarding food, specifically the karma of hunting animals for food and the act of eating animals in a more general sense.  This has been a source of conflict in my mind and heart for years now.  My views on the ethics, sustainability, and humane (or inhumane) nature of food sources haven't changed as much as sorted themselves out into a cohesive set of principles.  Perhaps this is a peripheral effect of sorting my brain out in the broader scheme of things.

On the topic of brains, mine has been doing pretty well even during the recent personal upheaval.  My Lamictal dosage was recently increased from 200mg to 300mg and although I am only on Day Seven of the transition I am already noticing a significant difference even with the accompanying side effects.  This is par for the course and most vanish or decrease within a week or so.  Now that it's been a week my constant fatigue is becoming sporadic, my energy is increasing, and my ability to focus has improved quite a bit. 

Another new development in the realm of mental health is that I've found an AMAZING online Bipolar Disorder support group which I am so extremely grateful for.  Being understood is important to everyone, but even more so for people who have Bipolar Disorder.  Unless you have experienced what this illness feels like firsthand there is really no way to understand completely what we go through no matter how much you read, research, try to understand and try to show compassion.  Believe me, we ALL appreciate when those around us do what they can to support us and really try.  I know that isn't remotely easy and most of the time there really isn't much you can do.  Finding a group of people where you have the safety to speak openly, vent, and express yourself without fear of judgment is without parallel.  The therapeutic benefit is enormous.

The title of one of my all-time favourite novels seems an appropriate phrase to conclude this post:
The Sun Also Rises

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