Late Sunday Night Musings

October 12, 2009 at 2:44 am | Posted in My Fascinating Mood, Philosophical Problems, Work Life | Leave a comment

Last night I wrote the following, which I’ve edited slightly for clarity:

Tonight, being bipolar feels like a curse. I think of how I must seem to my coworkers, what with my occasional disappearances, hiding out in my office during the wee hours, having that black scribble cloud over my head for months at a time — and I just feel cursed.

Strangely, as I wrote that I realized — or, rather, brought to consciousness — the fact that I have always believed on some level that I’m not bipolar, that perhaps I could just return to my self, that I’m really just putting on airs to be interesting. I think, If only I could go off of all of my medication, I bet that underneath is a totally mormal woman with a husband and two kids who play soccer for a local league.

I wish I were more articulate, more honest about the disease. I feel totally unable to approach my supervisor and explain what happened last week when I took FMLA. Mental illness scares people, and rightfully so. To say, “I wasn’t in my right mind — I was having peculiar thoughts” understates the case, but is still pretty creepy.

Tonight I wish that I could set down the burden for awhile: that I could go for a day without a pastel rainbow of medication, a week without this penetrating sense of shame, a month without a mood swing that feels like it might destabilize this fragile life that I’ve built. I would treasure a year of being able to make plans and carry them out in a linear, sensible fashion. I get so tired of suffering with days when I struggle to get out of bed, or when my mind flutters brightly and can’t touch down.

Right now, I want to plead with God.

As I was writing this, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord” was going through my head, so I took down the complete works and read several poems aloud. He based “Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord” on a psalm, and it is, for Hopkins, straightforward:

“Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
Wert thou my enemy, oh thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now leaved how thick! laced they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build — but not I build; no, but strain
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one word that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.

Of course, being a Jesuit priest, Hopkins came considerably closer than I to spending life upon God’s cause. But last night I felt, as I sometimes do, that I am GMH, my beloved companion manic depressive comrade.

Love to all.

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