State: The Balance
When was the last time I felt this way? I think back and, frankly, I can’t remember. If I don’t count the little speed bump I hit last Wednesday, I’ve been stuck in The Balance since. . . woah. . . I’m starting to forget. If I look at my blog, it says Friday, January 27 — a little more than 2 weeks.
The last week has been, well, something just a notch short of amazing. I’ve been feeling good, but not hypomanic good, and best of all, I’ve finally found the focus that has led me to rediscover things about myself that I’d forgotten.
I Am Here
“Tadaima! (ただいま)” The Japanese expression meaning “I’m home” or “I’m here” is what I feel best expresses the point in life I find myself in right now. I can feel it in me, the happy, cheerful, bright, and curious boy that I used to be, the personality I hid, is greeting the me of today with that expression. . . “Tadaima!” with tears in his eyes.
Lately, I’ve been feeling as if a new person is living my life. I made a complete one-eighty sometime, somewhere, and now I’m seeing life through different eyes. And those eyes have been welling up with tears no matter what I’m doing — tears not of sadness but of joy at the awe of feeling as if I’m doing things for the first time again. I strain so the tears do not roll out but I can always feel them pushing, and I feel the euphoria that accompanies them.
I’m still on medications, but it looks like my psychiatrist and I have found the right mix for my meds. The zombie-like feeling has slowly disappeared and has been replaced by, well, I don’t know what it is. . . normality, maybe? I hope so. I still wish I wasn’t on meds, but I haven’t felt more hope for my situation than I do now, on them.
I can wake up and not feel like I’m just somewhere along the spectrum of bipolar disorder again. Life has stability now, the sands of emotion are no longer shifting beneath my feet. And because of this, I have finally begun to find things that I thought I lost.
In the last week, I rediscovered how I love helping my mom in the kitchen when we fried bananas wrapped in spring roll wrappers. I remembered my love for cooking — something I haven’t done in a long time. In a house where Mama is the only female, I can still remember how I, and my brother, had to learn how to cook at an early age to help her; and when I look back, I can still remember how equally proud and fascinated I was to be working in the kitchen.
I finally also look back at things I used to do with a greater sense of longing again. I used to love inline skating, and although it’s been more than 10 years since I last skated regularly, a desire is growing in me to pick it up again. And I’m making it a goal, despite the fact that good inline skates are impossible to find here in the Philippines and getting them online will be expensive, I’m going to take up this hobby again!
The urge to be curious also grows, and with it, so does the urge to want to try new ways to be productive. I really want to work now not because I have to, but because I just really want to! Because I find interest in the things I find myself doing.
I have found that during the years I’ve been living with bipolar disorder, I have been destroying myself, even with my occasional monumental successes. Just like a seed that waits for favorable conditions before it germinates, now that I can glimpse success, I want to grow, because I can finally see that I can grow.
The last week has not been free of its share of life’s heartbreaks, but I’ve been able to survive the pain with my sense of reason intact, my rationality whole, and my confidence undamaged.
I let go of someone, someone inexplicably important to me, this last week. I was hurting her and I was hurting because of her, and so it was time for her to find her freedom and for her to discover for herself if happiness will last her until the end of the path she has taken. And though she has been a great source of happiness for me, I no longer want her to look back without sufficient reason. I want her to walk forward with her head held high but know that she can still call on me at anytime for help.
I let her go toward the end of and as a result of the speed bump, and in the process, I’ve learned something about the sad side of me — the side that has been weathering the storm of bipolar disorder for the last nine years. These last nine years I have been wounding myself for the sake of the people around me, without caring that I have been wounding them deeply in the process, too.
In letting her go, I found myself pushing her away with words that can hurt a heart deeply — words I used so that in her ignorance of what I really want and by the strength of the emotions it can stir in her, she might walk the road away from me without taking a moment’s notice to look back until enough space has been made between us to see things more objectively.
These renewed eyes have seen it, not liked it, and will change it. But now, with the rationality to think that what’s done is done and can’t be undone, I want to continue to fight forward, not look backward; win this most decisive battle of my life, finish this most crucial journey, triumph against Bipolar Disorder; and seize the prize of a life finally marked with successes no longer momentary but sustained.
I cannot look back. I must not look back. The boy who represents the part of me I lost so long ago is already greeting me, “Tadaima!” If I look back now, I’ll be betraying myself. I am here! I am here! Though I have only reached Camp 1, I proved that this mountain is climbable — and the sense of destiny that keeps telling me that I was meant to be here makes me feel like I am finally home, I am finally at home here, right here, where I am.