Monday, May 28, 2012

The Five Keys to Mental Health: Someone to Love

Now this may seem like an easy one....But if you are alive and breathing, and have a sentient brain (one that's working at least at some level) you have loved and been loved, if by no one else then your mom, at least.  If you had problems there, with mom, then things were probably tough, but you are reading this so you survived.

When you're dealing with mental illness, yours, not anyone else's in the family, you have to begin to by showing compassion.. for yourself.  Compassion can be defined as: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering (  Look at the person in the mirror, yeah, I'm talking to you.  Go look now.  Then come back.  That person you just looked at is dealing with an incredible challenge that other people do not understand, and the media either ignores or places this challenge into a slot that they can easily referred ("the person displayed bipolar tendencies" said the guy on the six o'clock news, nudge wink you know what I mean).

So you will go through your life and you will love some people, be rejected by some you hoped would love you, and reject others who would like to love you.  No matter how you look at it, its you loving people, people loving you.  You putting up with their crap, them putting up with yours.

Okay, now add in a mental illness component, for you or other person.  Maybe you don't notice their's, and maybe they don't notice yours, at first, but it will get noticed. Not right now, but that first time you obsess on something, or neglect something, or just have a day where you sit on the couch and watch the Price is Right and do not move even when the soaps come on, and you have no idea who Victor Newman is, someone will notice, unless they have their own issues. 

Tolstoy was right, sort of:

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 
― Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina

If Mr. Tolstoy doesn't mind, I'll amend it by saying that each dysfunctional family should have their own reality show, even though they don't live in reality.  A roomful of manic depressives could yell, scream, cry, curl up in a corner, know that everyone in the room is out to get him or her (because they are) and do this all in the length of an hour show, with the promise that next week's show may move everything around.  Who needs reruns?

Put my mother and I in the same room for more than 20 minutes and you'd see anger, frustration, slamming of various objects, possible tears, and that's before I even said anything other than "Hi."

But the title of this blog is "Someone to Love" and it seems more like I'm encouraging running to the nearest exit, but in essence that is love.  The courage to not run.  Sometimes its best to let go, but even then you do not run. You stand with open arms and let the person go, but be sure your arms are ready to hug again, if the other person is ready.   They have to be ready as well.

Somewhere else I noted my psychologist said that codependent bipolar individuals perpetually destroy each other.  There's always some crumbs that gather together even after a real bashing, and those crumbs reassemble as some form of human being that will try and function in the world, until the next thing.

Until it ends, as the great philosopher Cindy Lauper said, there is no end.

You've found some centering, let's say, talking to medical professionals, and taking a pill or two to help you through the day.  There's someone waiting at home for you.  That person knows your faults, and has their own.  There is acceptance. And that is love.  You are a human being, and you have something to offer the world and me.  I'm here for you. Hug?

Okay, next scenario.  You've found some centering, let's say, talking to medical professionals, and taking a pill or two to help you through the day.  Maybe some meditation.  And there's no one at home  to greet you. Maybe a goldfish.  Back to the top of the blog where you need to welcome yourself home.     You are a human being and you have something to offer the world.  The rest is up to you.

Last scenario.  You've found no centering, let's say, you're not talking to medical professionals, and taking either no or the wrong supports for your condition.  You're screwed.  But one person believes in you, and you therefore have no excuse not to return that love by improving yourself.  There are things that can be done.

If no one believes in you, then its harder than all hell, but that's when you need to find that golden Nature within you.  I'm not going to get all Buddhist on you, and these are just words on blog paper, I can't reach you.  But the Love you need is always there, and if you want to find it, you can.  The love may be hidden by years of crap upon crap, fermented by lousy treatment by others, and a dash of a binge of your-favorite-pastime-here, but you can find it.

Look, it took a suicide attempt and a lot of tears for me to realize how screwed up I was and all the time my hand was held by one extraordinary woman - my wife (who never realized the ride she'd be in for, and she stays, dear God, she stays).  And now I can smile, even at the seriously messed up brain I wake up with each day, because there is love within.  It's there.  It's the main key to health, mental and physical.  You are here for others, for the billions, for the one before you, for the one within you.


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