Let Me Ride

Flying to yet another location to rant crazily about multiple projects to concerned lookin’ white people (totes going on the CV) I wake up to the feeling of descending. I’d fallen asleep listening to Parliament, so I came to feeling like I’d been on a spaceship full of weed smoke and bassists wearing wedding dresses. I look around, surrounded by red-eye travelers and notice that people have their phones out taking pictures out the window. Mostly they have huge smiles on their faces, some pointing happily at what they see outside.

I look out the window and see the Washington Monument, White House and US Capitol building coming into view. I’m used to seeing them from all different angles from living here for years, traveling around and out of the country multiple times a week for much of that time as an adult. I felt guilty, knowing that for most of the people on board this is something they just don’t see all the time and here I am, jaded as fuck thinking “meh.” I give myself five minutes to look out at them without my usual cynicism and instead marvel at the river and bridge. The monuments? Nice looking buildings, current (and previous) politics notwithstanding. I take no pictures because nah, bruh.

Plane lands, I exit, first meeting at 8 AM. I’m happier and (slightly) more awake than when I first woke up.

 

We Need Rainbows

28235399_10160043042040181_7385112932183556581_o.jpgToday, a quick one:

Breathe deep and take in something beautiful. It doesn’t need to be something new. It could be something that you see all the time but just never take any time with.

Today, take that time.

Breathe deep.

A while back, after MLK day, I saw a construction paper quilt on the wall next to J’s classroom. The quilt was made up of the kids’ dreams, which was enough to stop me dead in my tracks anyway. The stuff on the wall, their literal dreams, were pretty amazing. Justice’s dream was to make rainbows.🌈 I took a picture, made a mental note to ask him about it when I picked him up, and proceeded into my day with a literal earpiece in my ear and brass knuckles on my figurative hand.

5 PM came. I took out my literal earpiece and wiped the blood off my figurative brass knuckles before sliding them back into my figurative pocket (it was a full day.) Shoes back on, into the car, off to the day care. Once I got him from the room he was in, I was reminded of his quilt on the wall.

Me: Hey buddy! I saw the quilt on the wall at school. Did you make something for it?
J: <quiet, shy smile>
Me: Well?
J: <nods head>
Me: You want to make rainbows?
J: <nods head> Uh huh!
Me: Why?
J: I dunno…
Me: What do you me–
J: BLAZE OF LANGUAGE ABOUT PRETTY THINGS, FRIENDS, TOYS, AND FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: 😮🤐😲🙃
J: CONTINUING WILDFIRE OF LANGUAGE then pause as he pants, trying to catch his breath…
Me: …
J: WE NEED RAINBOWS DADDY! YOU DO, I DO, MOMMY — WE ALL NEED THEM AND I’M GOING TO MAKE THEM FOR US!
Me: 😁 Thanks, dude!

I think the kids are gonna be okay. You, me and the rest of us would do well to be quiet and see what we can do to fan the flames. If they need us, they’ll call us I’m sure.

 

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Humanistic Geography

In the current environment, two weeks feels like an eternity so looking at a post from two years ago feels really weird. So much can happen that you can sometimes forget where you are.

Yi-Fu Tuan, geographer that is pointed to as the father of humanistic geography, said:

“People think that geography is about capitals, land forms, and so on. But it is also about place — its emotional tone, social meaning, and generative potential.”

Sense of place is fantastically important for human beings, yet often left unmentioned in social justice directly. In my own work both on my mind (trips to dark places) and my 9-5 (lol for a second at the concept of this job ever being in that range of hours on a regular basis) I have been taking time to explore the connection between myself and where I live. Many therapy sessions talk about memories and seeing patterns and I, much more lately, have seen that new patterns have developed here in KY. Those memories are creating new ways for move toward my goal: being a whole person. I like that.

45’s rise to power and the wielding of that power have come right as we made a transition to a new place. A lot of this past year and a half has been defined by a very negative relationship to power on a mile-high political level but something interesting has also filled that space. The indefatigable human beings around me, within and without movement work, have prevented this move from being defined by this rise of darkness and I’m struck by how if I wasn’t personally experiencing it I would never think it to be so.

Community is so often slighted, particularly with regard to the state that I live in. People who don’t live here refuse to believe that this place can be thriving, complex, and politically rich while at the same time governed by snake-oil salesmen and human cardboard cutouts like Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin. So much of Kentucky is not definable by books like Hillbilly Elegy and even the stuff that is mentioned is only part of the story. People aren’t cartoons and as Ash-Lee often says “the South has something to say.” The key to shaping places, I’m starting to think, can’t just be “let’s do political education” but “let’s be educated by each other.” It’s a concept that is widening not just my work but my life.

I’m a newcomer, and likely will be long after Justice has left the house in search of new wonders, but I’m trying my best to let my sense of place be defined by the emotions I feel and the potential I see in Justice’s classmates as they explore the world they live in. I can feel a lot of the things that I remember from life in DC starting to become old parts of myself that have sloughed off like skin because of this refocusing.

These are hard times. It is helping me to remember not just the Earth in a scientific way (that I truly love) or a spiritual way (another love) but in way that honors that sense of place. The fascists are working hard (and winning on occasion) to rob us blind, but they can’t take memories or emotional connection despite all efforts to snap them in half and throw them away. We do well to hold onto each other, and our sacred places, in the dark.

Thanks to Kentucky for gifting me with a wonderful sense of place. The years have gone by quickly.

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Shockingly Normal

#bipolardispatches

This morning let’s take advantage of living on Earth.

Earth, as a planetary body, has existed for about 4 billion years. It knows things, so much more than our brains and our bodies. It has learned those things through experimentation and pain. Take a minute to dwell on the fact that all the parts of your day, including you, were once and still remain star stuff. As you grapple with that complexity and history, breathe.

With each breath in, take in and feel the wisdom of a planet in your (relatively) young body while admiring the stability of it all.

With each breath out, allow the insecurity that comes with not knowing what is ahead move away from your brain and be reabsorbed by an atmosphere that was eons in the making.

Repeat, rinse with clean water and food, then check in while remembering that the same Earth that produced Prince also made Jeff Sessions.

Think about that shit for a while.

I have a lot to say but also a lot to do, so I’m going to make this one brief.

I am more than one thing. I might organize, but I also fart. I have string memory in my fingers but I also have Latuda in my bloodstream. I am a strange being that does shockingly normal things.

I am complex and so are you. Human beings are just that way. So we need to hold complexity and surprise ourselves (and each other) if we’re going to win. It doesn’t mean we give up every political position or hold no ground, but it also doesn’t mean that we should wait for the perfect ally or ideological position. In doing so, we might be clipping the wings of our own movements.

This is a thing that I am learning and have already learned all at the same time. See? More than one thing.

Take care and take it easy on yourself today and this week. Complexity is worth it.

 

The Other Dude

Author’s note:  I do not, nor have I ever, experienced voices as a form of psychosis.  I’m well, safe, and pretty happy right now.  Thanks for asking.

—-

There’s some shit I regularly just don’t understand.

I don’t get people who are the same every day.  I continue to struggle to understand people who aren’t, at any given moment, found talking to themselves.  In fact, I’d take it step further and say that if you don’t recall a time where your conversation with yourself wasn’t heated, passionate, and/or filled with expletives I’m wondering how you’ve made it all this time.

Some people talk about consciousness as a separate voice that is often confused or conflated with psychosis.  I’ve attributed my experience as similar in other posts.  He tends to be this beast, and as I’ve said before, I’m learning not to hate him.  The Other Dude AKA Merged Hulk can stay as long as he doesn’t get out and ruin my life or kill me.

I am still afraid of him.

But he has some great ideas.

Ideation is typically associated with negative things, like self-harm or paranoia. But it also is connected to the creative process, specifically the ‘aha’ moment when you come up with something new.  The part of your brain that does this magical thing is called the superior temporal gyrus, but really just the right side.  On the left, your brain has dendroids that can grab information but they’re really short.  The right side?  They stretch longer, expanding into areas that are distant and unrelated.  Intelligence, while giving you more info to work with, doesn’t mean you’ll be creative but it does allow you more opportunities for greatness.

There’s a lot of derision about the association between the two meanings, but I actually think there’s something interesting about the accidental relationship our language forms between the moment of discovery and the swirling blast furnace that is madness.  I also think it is profound that we’ve lost that relationship almost completely and now have just attached it to the darkness of a mind that sees only harm.

Mental illness, as a term, gives me hives.  It seems like the same problem as the one we have with ideation, but stickier.  There’s other labels out there that are better for this work, I believe, but the point isn’t the word.  The point is that there seems to be something underlying within these choices.  It reminds me of a kind of etymological depression.  Not all of my ideations are suicidal, obviously, but they’re not normal either.  They feel wild, like flowers that push out of kudzu.

Making something as supernormal as having moods that run in the night like werewolves or a mindscape that occasionally slides into universes of numbers made of grass and concrete a thing I should fear feels so insufficient.  While terrifying sometimes, they might contain the mysteries just beyond the beyond.  Current systems are seen as the answer but I’m often left wondering if they are the problem.  What if we built our world around honoring our minds as things that can produce as miracles?  What if mental health was as relevant as heart health?

Merged Hulk often looks like my best self when I feel weak or rudderless.  He seems so sure of everything and appears to have all the answers.  But when I’m healthy he’s just a frustrated writer who is witty at parties, occasionally coming up with a good idea or two when he takes his meds on time.  He has his space, I have mine, and neither of us is moving out.  I can’t kill him because I know I’ll just be killing myself.  He’s unconvinced of this, so I’m the one that needs to put the work in.  Otherwise, we both lose even if he wins.

So we need to be steady and be clear.  Wild ideations aren’t just flights of fancy, probably.  They’re maybe the star stuff that the Gods gave us to bridge the gap between the impossible and the real.  Looking at it harder, we might not like madness (for good reason) but we need to accept it as part of the package.  Without it, our world wouldn’t be what it is.  Mad people have been the spark of every industrial revolution, the penstroke that has done or undone blouses and boots, and provided the backbeat to rhythms that may have caused (or at least kept time during) your conception.

From what you drive to what you wear, your world has been shaped by crazies.  Unlike you, mine will never go away.  So I do what I know how to do.  We sit and we work it out at the table as equals.  Some days I win, some days I lose.

Negotiations start at 6 AM.

 

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2018

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I’ve got some Christmas posts in the hopper so I don’t have to work on stuff over the holiday.  This’ll be my last somewhat current post though I hope they’ll all be coherent.  Even if the sky falls, I’m sticking to my long neglected to-do list and the kitchen for a good while.  I might even finally beat Turtle at Candy Land.

I mean, first of all, fuck 2017.  This year has been a terrible year pretty much from start to finish.

First there was the inaugural garbage that ate our souls with bloody, plaque-ridden teeth.  We unwillingly watched as a guy who can’t even run a business with a million dollar head start, white skin, and a penis got crowned pumpkin king of America.

Then, he proceeded to ban a bunch of people and trash relationships with foreign governments and hire the villains from the last season of Justice League Unlimited to run everything and encourage the worst of us to lead all of us and make nice nice with the white supremacists.

I mean… what?  I’d say more but you were there and this whole thing is starting to depress me (not literally so don’t call me about it.)

This year has been the source of a great deal of grief for a lot of us.  A lesson from previous forays into grief have taught me that this time period doesn’t leave space for much.  In fact, in times where grief threw me into depression I found myself using the slowed time and inward turn to focus on letting things go.  I am amazed at how this time seems to consistently coincide with winter for me.  This year I feel so grateful for it because unlike previous years where I felt like I was saying goodbye to old lovers or giving away that one thing that has stayed with me for so long but outlived its usefulness, I feel like there has been a stinking bag of trash that I’ve just been too lazy to throw away sitting inside me.  I’m happy to put these things away, knowing that they’ve been here far past expiration and need to be turned into something else.

I’m making 2018 the year I take out the trash.

I’m leaving behind cynicism and poisonous hot takes.  I’ve been trying this out a bit, staying away from academically-disguised takedowns as much as I can and trying my hardest to hear my own feelings on things.  In their place, I’m going all in on a commitment to pushing us to be honest, clear and willing to show up for one another even as the politics get more complex.

No more middle-school dance conference calls where people act too cool to speak.  I have no patience for that bullshit.  My introversion does not support this course of action as I get nervous and have to push through oceans of anxiety just to have a conversation on the phone.  I’m going all in on bringing trust into the room everywhere I go because we need each other.

What trash are you trying to clear out in 2018?  What will you put in its place?

Be safe, drink clean water, and take care of your heart.

 

 

 

If You Can ‘Huh’ You Can Hear

 
Monday came quick, right? Some folks may still be off and that’s just fine. I hope you feel as lucky as you are. For the rest of us, we’re back on it and the demands feel heavy, I bet.
 
My inbox… ewww.
 
I felt the urge to charge into everything and do all the stuff I have in my mind all at once. But uhhh… nah. It doesn’t all need to be done at once. It does need to be done right though. For me to do it right, I need to get right.
 
So I tune out.
 
Breathe in, breathe out. Let that sound in. Just focus on that.
 
With the rhythm of your breath as a four four time, cut time, waltz… check in.
 
Do you hurt physically? Where is your body in this moment? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?
 
Do you hurt mentally? What is on your mind? How are your thoughts organized? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?
 
Do you hurt spiritually? How are you taking care of your spirit? What is on your soul? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?
 
Have you slept recently? If not, sometimes answers can be found in our dreams and rest. Rest if you can.
 
Have you eaten recently? If not, sometimes answers can be found in the solace of a nourished belly. Eat well, sitting down and focused on your food, if you can.
 
Have you had a glass of water? If not, sometimes answers can be found in this basic liquid. Drink a decent amount of water (I’d go with a pint this week, if you can handle it) and feel the feeling of it going down. This one is a little non-negotiable.
 
Check in again and if all is well, take care to let the world in at your pace. Remember yourself. Get right.
 
 
A while ago I wrote a pretty bitter post about some time I spent in Atlanta while a small band of young people fought white supremacists in Charlottesville. But something else happened there that has sat with me this weekend and will follow me into 2018.
 
During the Q and A, our panel got a question on political education. A young white guy stood up and said that he’s tried to tell people about the numerous atrocities committed by the United States ad wondered if he wasn’t saying the right thing. His description of the interactions were really difficult for me to fully understand because the people were so monochromatic and detached from him. Another disaffected white dude shouted agreement with him.
 
“No one listens to us!”
 
Another panelist pointed out that the starting point for these discussions is important. The young man who asked the question, for example, was trying to tell people about the US role in Latin America and while what has happened is important, it might not be the best angle of approach. He posited that maybe the answer to getting someone to listen is to do some listening.
 
They didn’t hear it, I recall. I felt bad for them as I knew it was only going to get worse.
 
Sometimes I do interviews or talk to media people and they talk about the labor movement in this really strange way similar to the way the young man talked about the people he was trying to influence. I used to think it was because they didn’t like decisions made by union leadership or the bizarre way labor is forced to interact with the economy. But this last year has really educated me as to the central reason why he and they struggle with you, me and us.
 
I want to talk about imperialism all the time. I want to rail about Nigeria (I mean wtf) and Yemen (OMFG) and Palestine (holy shit) but I also recognize that I can’t start where I want to start because I want other participants in the conversation. If I want to talk to anyone, I need to recognize where they are because I want something from them. Truthfully, no one is out there looking for my hot take on anything and that’s true for most of us (laugh if you want but it is true.) All this “educating” is really just “signifying” otherwise and no one has time for that shit. I’d say its especially important now but fuck that… we should have been listening a long time ago.
 
Folks in the labor movement, in the classroom, on the street or anywhere else want to hear all kinds of things from us. But they’d love it if we at least pretended like we care what they think. They’d love it if we stretched a little and showed some concern for their lives and their ears. They’d love it if we at least listened to them for a while before we opened our mouths after rolling our eyes at the thing they said that we think is uninformed, dumb, bizarre… And before you get all upset, I’m saying “we” because I’m watching my back (and mouth, and keyboard) on this first. It’s gonna be frustrating and more than a little slow but it’s damn sure better than fascists in the White House (again) and watching your comrades drown because of climate change.
 
Let’s do a lot of listening. We can start now but it’ll take us a while to figure out what it means to listen to each other. Let’s make 2018 the year that we heard women. Let’s make 2018 the year that we heard people of color. Let’s make 2018 the year that we heard the neurodivergent. Let’s make 2018 the year that we heard across class lines. We don’t have to like it. Let’s just listen and see what happens to what we say to someone that we’ve heard for the first time in a long time. Let’s see what their reaction is when they realize that someone actually gave a fuck about whatever they said instead of waiting for their turn to speak.
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Defrag

Hey!

I want you, today or tomorrow, to find some sacred silence and be there.  Do whatever you want in that space.  You can scream and cry, laugh your ass off, or just sit and think.  Give yourself anywhere from five minutes to whenever you think you can’t take it anymore.

Give yourself the time.

Breathe.

Drink water.

Eat something that tastes good AND is good for you, even if it takes some work.

But before everything, give yourself the time.

2017 has brutalized us, that much is clear.

When January was on us, I remember how afraid I felt along with everyone else.  I wondered what cruelty would come from our government and how vicious they would be.  The speech that Trump gave at his inauguration was a horrible reminder of what we’re capable of as human beings, fulfilling my nightmares about what would emerge from his orange maw in the weeks and months ahead.

Comrades started their fighting, building new structures and campaigns to take things on.  I myself started working on a thing I continue to have fun with and we’re going to win.  But getting to the win will require much more than what we have constructed to date and that’s true for all of us.  January passed by so quickly that I can really only think about life in seasons when looking back.

Winter and Spring was amazing as people started turning airports into arenas.  Summer pushed us into thinking deeply about our own security and what we’d do when our families were threatened.  Charlottesville made a lot us, myself included, re-examine relationships and really take a hard look at what these times mean for us in terms of who our friends are.  A lot of people that were in my life tangentially just aren’t anymore.  Summer changed to Fall and we’re still hurting.  The fascists might have been sent slinking back into slimy corners, but their damage remains with us.

So why be amazed when Fall turned Winter and we all feel like we’ve been sitting in a blender for months, ready to be poured into holiday-themed containers and served?  It’s been really hard and we’re not dealing with it very well.

I’m not dealing with it very well.

Particularly as the days get ever darker and the light hits my face that much less, I find myself getting existential about it.  Why now?  “I’ve got so much to do!  I don’t have time for this,” I say as I struggle to get out of bed.  I’m longing for holidays just so I can do nothing and, dare I say it, ignore even the people I really like.  I can feel myself slowing and seeking trusted warmth, like a bear during a harsh winter.  I’m a lot more introspective and generative in this space and it’s translating into some fun (if not fucking weird) stuff.  Why?

Because I’m a computer nerd, the metaphor I’m starting to work with is a hard drive that needs to defragment.

Fragmentation occurs when the file system cannot or will not allocate enough contiguous space to store a complete file as a unit, but instead puts parts of it in gaps between existing files (usually those gaps exist because they formerly held a file that the file system has subsequently deleted or because the file system allocated excess space for the file in the first place). Files that are often appended to (as with log files) as well as the frequent adding and deleting of files (as with emails and web browser cache), larger files (as with videos) and greater numbers of files contribute to fragmentation and consequent performance loss. Defragmentation attempts to alleviate these problems.

–  Wikipedia “Defragmentation”

Over the course of a year, I’ve done a lot of amazing things that are fun to remember, especially as many of them are fresh (Turkey!  South Korea!  Halloween!) and feel so new.  Those things take up space, just like the horrible things, and they’re all mixed up together.  Some stuff I can try to forget but can’t completely let go.  Other things I don’t want to forget but they slip my mind.  It’s a jumble and I’m lucky to get out what I can, in retrospect.  My file system is like anyone else’s:  it has its hiccups and places where it is less than perfect.  It makes mistakes.  But I think, also, I got lucky in that I got a high-performing hybrid drive in my skull that – like most high-performance things – requires a little extra care.  It’s not that it’s better… it’s just intended for different uses.  Emotional processes need a little more love.  Decisions?  Extra processing time.  But if I keep things going well enough, my platters will keep spinning.

I’m starting to think, having no idea if its even the right direction to be thinking in, that part of this turn inward is my brain’s chance to reorganize.  Depression is still pretty mysterious (hard drive errors stacking up?  platters that won’t spin?  too MUCH introspection?) but it feels like this turn downward and inward has a purpose and a point.  So I’m going to roll with it, I think.  I’m going to make some pies and mac n’ cheese casseroles and read a few books.  I’m going to knock things off the Wunderlist (I swear!) and spend more time playing with Justice in front of the fireplace.  Maybe it’s just time for all of us to take the time to reorganize our minds in preparation for what is to come, trusting that we’ll have the space we need for the lives we want.

Eat well, get some rest and I’ll see you after the break.

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Fall Feels

Sometimes it helps to close your eyes, sometimes it helps to keep them focused on a blank space on a wall or a picture you like. Do what you need to do. But I want you to imagine a dot. Let that dot be any color you (or it) want that dot to be. Keep that dot in the center of your eye/mind and start to work on your breathing. Start by just breathing in and out regularly. Feel the air enter on the breath in, then feel it pass on the way out. Repeat but with each passing breath, let the air flow a little deeper. With each breath, keep your eye on that dot. Try to make more and more space in your mind for the air and the dot. Focus. Repeat this for a while.
After you’ve taken some time with your breathing and Dot, assess your situation as always but let’s add some additional areas to consider.

Do you hurt physically? Where is your body in this moment? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?

Do you hurt mentally? What is on your mind? How are your thoughts organized? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?

Do you hurt spiritually? How are you taking care of your spirit? What is on your soul? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?

Have you slept recently? If not, sometimes answers can be found in our dreams and rest. Rest if you can.

Have you eaten recently? If not, sometimes answers can be found in the solace of a nourished belly. Eat well, sitting down and focused on your food, if you can.

Have you had a glass of water? If not, sometimes answers can be found in this basic liquid. Drink a decent amount of water (I’d go with a pint this week, if you can handle it) and feel the feeling of it going down. This one is a little non-negotiable.  

Now, check in again. How are you? Do you have access to a range of emotions? Are you feeling them? Do you need more assistance than what this list can provide? If so, take a minute to think about where that assistance is located. If you can’t find anyone close to you, feel free to FB message me. From there you can call me. I’ll listen to you.  

My vitamin D count is low, so output gets higher for a while I think.  Supplements are amazing for this so it looks like I’m back on my weekly sunshine pills.  Being seasonally affected means being aware of the pull sooner rather than later, but I didn’t “feel it” till this weekend.

It’s getting closer to a year’s end and I’m ready for all of that.  2017 has been one long relentless blister on my foot and I’m ready for that sumbitch to heal already.  I can see the need for a kitchen filled with good smells and I’m anxious to bring it into being.  I might get started waaayyyy before and try some experiments as takeout menus have been my drug of choice for too many months.  

I was talking about organizing, hands flailing as I talked about the need for a good narrative (particularly with Americans,) and Doc asked me an interesting question: when you are creating these stories, how do people feel?  I explained that it is sometimes important for people to feel like the hero in their own story and I play with that a lot.  He then asked:

When is it not the case?  Meaning, when should they not feel that way?  Shouldn’t people always feel important even when it’s  dull or you don’t think what is happening is important?

Things really suck and hopelessness is a headline away. It’s enough to make you sick (and a lot of us are.)  We are often looking for someone to save us and truth is, when we are looking for justice we often get mad when all we find is just us.  But that’s the way it is and if we get over the disappointment that comes with responsibility we might find some power underneath it.

I am sitting with that as I look at what comes next.  We all need, especially now, to feel like we are going to win and that we are all part of that victory.  Monday emails need to be full of life and sunshine because that’s what I need.   

Posting something important in a separate post and it’s gonna be NSFW.  

Madman’s Odds

Today, I’m sitting with contemplation. 

Sometimes it helps to close your eyes, sometimes it helps to keep them focused on a blank space on a wall or a picture you like. Do what you need to do. But I want you to imagine a dot. Let that dot be any color you (or it) want that dot to be. Keep that dot in the center of your eye/mind and start to work on your breathing. Start by just breathing in and out regularly. Feel the air enter on the breath in, then feel it pass on the way out. Repeat but with each passing breath, let the air flow a little deeper. With each breath, keep your eye on that dot. Try to make more and more space in your mind for the air and the dot. Focus. Repeat this for a while.

Now, make some space for your inner monologue.  Ask yourself:

What’s troubling you this week?

What are you looking forward to?

Sit with these questions, remembering that there is no right way to answer anything in this space.  Trust your inner monologue’s voice, but remember it doesn’t necessarily need to be right. 

Today marks a milestone I didn’t think I would reach.  I’m three years from a difficult 30 day period where I publicly wrestled with being Bipolar II.  I’m in love with this period of my life and I mean that sincerely because it is a sincere love.  This love is truthful, shot full of holes and complex.  I struggle with this period because it is such a great and worry-filled time.  I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of.  My attitude changed toward uncomfortable things.  I sit with a lot more than I used to because of that time and space, making my non-contemplative time useful and stiletto sharp.  

Three years later, I’m doing shit that I could have never done in 2014.  I live in a place that I like.  My child knows who I am and we have a friendship that is full of mirth and secrets.  I am still married to the same person and we like seeing each other.  I travel the planet, unlocking doors and seeing dangerous things.

But I know the real deal.

73 percent of us have a relapse in a five year period.

90 percent of people who are Bipolar 2 get hospitalized at one point.

Comorbid substance abuse is common, occurring in 50 percent of us.

So I’m constantly standing on the cliff with my other mind, wondering who will make the first move.  Will I notice a slight change and transform into a different person?  Will I just fall off?

Research says that the best way to prevent relapse is to be ruthless about your symptoms.  Even the slightest change is to be met with vigor and challenged without mercy.

So I talk to my doctor.

So I talk to my wife.

So I play with my son.

We don’t wait.  And we reserve all mercy and forgiveness for my real self.  The symptoms, while a part of me, ain’t me.

Unlike Rakim, I know that I know the ledge.

This space will get more regular.