Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pushing the Button.

You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand? ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Gratitude first: Thank You RLS for this clear call to action. And, high praise and gratitude to Helen Keller, Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, David Pelzer, Karla McLaren, Temple Grandin, Wilma Rudolph, and Nick Vujicic for being my teachers in how to fight it out with weaknesses.

It's been a year of daily fighting against a weakness for me.  

It all began with a swift and catastrophic mistake due to hypomania. Specifically, success-triggered mania. A unique form of mania that I didn't understand I suffered from until this loss. I called this manic aspect of my self Icarus after the Greek mythic figure. He was the son of Daedalus the Inventor. You may know the story: Icarus flew too close to the sun with wings made of wax and feathers and crashed to his death in the ocean.

My research led me to Stephen Fry's BBC documentary The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive. As he interviewed people experiencing bipolar episodes he asked them if they could push a button and forever fix their mood swings, meaning they would forego ever feeling those crystalline highs again, and also never feel the devastating lows again either, would they push it? All except one person said "no."

What if Fry has posed that question to me? I thought long and carefully: no emotional flying, no severe crashes, no tedious recovery, ever again? I decided I would push that button.

I lit a candle. I imagined a ceremony to bury Icarus on the beach on the Isle of Icarus. In attendance were a life coach, Daedalus, my recovery personalities, and several new traits to take his place. We each spoke of our love of Icarus and how we will miss him. We each laid a feather on his chest. I laid my feather last. I blew the candle out.

At the end of this ceremony, my image of Icarus, which had begun the ritual 'alive,' lay still and … dead.  I had pushed the button. I cried real tears. I'm tearful now.

To Icarus: the highs were the greatest, but the repair of wreckages tedious and long and sad.

Rest in Peace.

John
A Moodscope member.