Sunday was a day I reserved for taking up space, so I started by cleaning up my loaned lodgings and putting away what I’d taken out. I locked up, left and set out for breakfast.
I must admit that it’s here where I leave the account of my time because, and I mean this with love, some space I’m not allowing you into. Sunday was a glorious day that just belonged to me. I did what I wanted with my phone off and my mind and heart open. There may have also been pancakes with Pappy Van Winkle bourbon maple syrup, but a gentleman never tells.
Writing Bipolar Dispatches in this phase of my life has often proven difficult. When I was struggling with depression, my mind was effortlessly generative about the depths of that darkness. There was a lot of angst and pain, subjects that provide images quickly for me. At one point I thought it was because those feelings were more interesting, but I know better. Illness, as it is defined by medical professionals, is more easily dealt with by those same professionals. In the same way, living a life defined so much by tinkering with my own neurochemistry, I do well thinking about the broken spaces and writing about what I think about.
But what do I do when things go well?
The weekend I spent away was a great time for all kinds of reasons. I ate well and wrote about my life, true, and that stuff is loads of fun. But I also had some time to just look at my own future within this new way of being tied to the old way. I wanted to know what the fuck I actually want.
Not tied to Justice, who is amazing and my heart. I’m his father (in all ways and parts) but I’m more than that.
Not tied to Anice, who is so my opposite that I fell in love with her. I’m her husband (in all ways and parts) but I’m more than that.
So after my spent time, I came to some conclusions:
- I like the mental health space just the way I’ve made it and there’s not more that I want out of it right now.
- I love organizing work more than sharks love blood. The more trouble it makes, the angrier people get, the more I enjoy it. Probably want to keep that up, if I can.
- If I could organize in any space, it would be around mental health. I don’t want advocacy, though. I want to build power with other people like me.
- I like who I am when I’m stable, but I recognize being bipolar as something more than illness. I’m determined to better figure out why it exists within me and further, why it exists at all. I want to look beyond illness paradigms. How can I use what I am given? How can I benefit?
On Sunday I made myself a deal.
I’m going to spend a year sitting in this space twice a week. On Mondays I’ll post my meditation routine for that day and talk about myself. I haven’t done that enough lately and I want to work in the more difficult space of talking about myself, family, and blackness through this new lens I’ve spent a year or so carefully polishing. Thursdays will be a day where I talk about other stuff, issues that I like, or just having fun with my overactive mind.
I also decided that I was going to start thinking about Bipolar Dispatches as a larger thing I’m calling Bipolar Futures (yes, I bought the domain name, homie) so I can dream out loud in a space that centers my particular brand of neurodiversity. I’ll put this together slowly and maybe in a year, I’ll have something to show you.
Sometimes I’ll make this schedule happen.
Sometimes I won’t.
Life is what it is and I have a kid and new work situations and… all that.
But I want people who read this to know that I’m committed to being myself, even as I’m figuring a lot of it out as I lay the track. Figuring out myself as I lay that track too, for real, and that may not look pretty. I realize that more and more this might be a place that isn’t appealing to other people as it grows and I’m feeling better about that all the time.
There’s a lot about the current political moment that is worth talking about and in terms of mental health, I might just do that. But I’m staying away from it because there are better voices that see with a clearer lens. I’m getting to know what I’m good at and that’s just not something I share well in this medium right now if it isn’t related to my own mind.
People don’t like words from those who have been in crisis. They’re viewed as untrustworthy, and that’s become synonymous with forever sick. But I’m going to take that a step further and say that I think the real reason people get scared when those they view as “sick” or “mentally ill” speak with power and dignity is because they see themselves in the same place in a future not far away and wonder if they’ll have the strength. They wonder if they’ll have courage enough to still love themselves if their mind breaks in half and falls on the floor, clattering over judgment and fear left by others carelessly. They worry and you worry and I worry.
But after the worry, there really is something else. You’ll love yourself there.
This is a place for that something else. I’m gonna keep communicating from there, one missive at a time. Feel free to stay.
I love and appreciate each and every one of you.