March 21, 2022

The Ecstasy & Excruciation of having a Mood Disorder.


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Living inside a brain with the sharpest of switches is ecstatic and excruciating.

It creates this intense ability to see with such polarity, so much depth, constantly being ripped open to the truth behind all veils. At the same time, it’s the most destructive place I have ever been.

I wasn’t diagnosed with a mood disorder until I was 30 years old.

I had been around the world and back again, falling into the depths of my humanity only to run away as fiercely and intensely as humanly possible. Over and over again. I’ve been moving for as long as I can remember. Moving through life and relationships like they weren’t “really” meant to stay, because I convinced myself I was going to die by 30. Nothing seemed real and yet everything was so, potently, dangerously visceral—to the point I was faced with the impending possibility of death and absolute fullness of life in every moment.

I genuinely thought this was just how I was. In a way, I thought it was how everybody was. Yet I knew for sure, this was how I was meant to function, how I was meant to be in the world because it was the only way I knew how. In a way, it’s true. I am an overwhelmingly feeling human, with a tendency to fall into the depths of all aspects of life. I love hard and fall harder. I continuously get back up again because I know there is more on the other side.

Yet, it would only be so long until I’d crumble and fall, in a way that I never knew was possible but always anticipated since I was 12. I found myself walking over a bridge, with an intense, overwhelming need to fly. To fall, and shatter into oblivion.

I walked around with yearning for months, convincing myself I’d find my way back up for air, that I’d feel the sunlight on my skin once again. I had been here before, after all. It just had never been this intense and this long-lasting and it had come to the point I knew I was in actual danger. I finally began to seek help.

It was then that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, put onto multiple medications, and finally started to come to terms with the way my brain has formed and developed over time. So many feelings arose. Shame, confusion, anger, guilt. Alongside: validation, love for myself, compassion, and serious, serious acceptance. I had been avoiding pharmaceuticals for my entire life, for reasons that are too intensely personal and also wildly universal to really be able to name here. Yet, I knew deep down that eventually I was going to have to surrender. I was going to have to ask for help. I was going to have to realize that I couldn’t do all of this on my own even though that’s where I had been for the entirety of my life up until this point.

I look back now on this time with intense sadness and simultaneously such devastating, miraculous, wonder. It seems I can never have one without the other. Perhaps that’s my diagnosed “mood disorder” or my intense fascination and love for human existence.

This wonder makes sense of everything in a weirdly-penetrative way. It allows me to see the world through unfathomable pain and deeply-sensual curiosity that have followed me for as long as I can remember. The wonder reminds me; reality is a great and beautiful mystery. I am in awe of it constantly. I am in awe of the beauty within pain, the language of God within longing, the art within sadness. Simultaneously, the ecstasy within joy, the fascination within bodies and nature, the love and compassion within all beings. The goodness of it all, coexisting within the darkness to create the Whole.

This wonder takes such hold of me. In certain moments, all I can think about is how miraculous it is that we live in a world where the trees are dancing. Moments that remind me why I am alive at that moment. Why any of us are alive, at any moment. Of why we come into existence and continue to live and die and die and live. The moments where it’s so clear to me, how we all need each other.

How we all need to be here, in order to uphold the existence where the trees dance with the wind.


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