Daily Archives: April 10, 2017
Just read an interesting essay about a writer couple where the man gets terribly successful (Jonathan Franzen) and she doesn’t (Kathryn Chenkovitch). It was about how much she envied his success and finally got over it and is pressing on with her own work. Very much hit home in some ways, especially her despair at being unable to write as well as he did and be that kind of success.
I have despair too that I’m not good enough at this to continue on with it. Every time I log on to this blog and see how few people are reading me in real time, I get a little despairing about whether my story matters to anybody but myself.
Then I remember that every time I talk to someone about bipolar disorder that I educate at least that one person. And that my remission can give others hope that they too can be well again. I hope to be a modest success in at least that fashion and help other people with my story. That’s all I really want. The rest will either happen or take care of itself.
As I watch this astonishing circus act–one woman’s virtuosic dance with one fabulously flexible body, four limbs, twenty digits, and five juggling balls–several feelings cycle through me.
The first, of course, is wonderment and admiration. What pure joyful dedication! You have to see this.
The second is sadness, for myself and everyone else who once knew the joy of a body that did pretty much whatever we needed or wanted it to do for us, but are now struggling to come to terms with some kind of wreck.
The third is fear. I fear for this circus performer. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now, what will her life be like? Will her joints and muscles and nerves continue to serve her faithfully? Or will she, too, face the late consequences of connective tissue that behaves like a new rubber band in youth….and an old worn-out rubber band in middle age and beyond?
Will she sail into her old age like Martha Graham, the dancer and choreographer who performed her final ballet at age 75? I hope so, for that is the dream of every dancer, every artist whose body is the medium for not only the expression of life, but the medium for experiencing life itself.
Martha Graham wrote about what happened when she retired from the stage in her memoir, Blood Memory:
I have barely looked at another blog, have stopped interacting with nearly everyone I follow on FaceBook, have ceased communications with the small handful of people that I had usually communicated with on a semi-regular basis, and I went underground. My friend Marilyn had talked to me previously about hunkering down and waiting for the storms to pass, and I guess maybe I took that to extremes a bit.
The positive news about my (relatively) short hiatus from all others in my world is that:
- I have been smoke-free since January 3rd. Parts of it were hard, parts of it were nearly impossible, but I have made it this far and I don’t plan on turning back. As a bonus to this accomplishment, I did this without totally wearing out my (now) miniaturized support system. (as in, no dogs or boyfriends or close family members were harmed in the obtaining of over three months smoke free…yay!)
- I have lost 67ish pounds since December, thanks to a healthy eating plan (that is sustainable in the long-run) and almost-daily aerobic exercise. It turns out that “those people” were actually right about exercise being good for your mood, body, and overall well-being.
- I have become “more social.” That doesn’t mean I am hitting up the grocery store or going to parties or any such nonsense. It means that, at the YMCA where I exercise every day, it is kind of similar to how it was on the long-ago “Cheers” sitcom, where everyone really DOES know my name. I must say, it does make exercising easier, to have all of those supportive people around.
- I have more “stuff” figured out in my life. Although therapy has been helpful, I have mostly grown in life because I am learning what makes me happy and I am learning to say “no” when something doesn’t feel good and I am (constantly) trying something new every day to grow myself.
I have missed blogging pretty terribly, and have missed some of my blog friends even more, but my hopes is that I can reconnect with people easier now that I am a bit more stable. I would love to start writing in this thing again. I don’t know if anyone really cares about that, save for me, but I do miss writing things out. I have been keeping an altered art journal, and writing pretty regularly in that by hand, and I plan to keep that up, but again, am hoping to maybe throw a few words up in this space every now and again.
If there is a thought in your head that I have forgotten about you, chances are pretty much 99% that this is not the case, that I just needed to disappear for awhile. I am not going to do a bunch of shout-outs right here and now, just know I have missed you and I hope we can catch up soon. I am bringing a happier, calmer, and healthier Rosa to the table, and I hope you stop by and say hi soon!
Filed under: Life Worth Living Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, blogging, borderline personality disorder, BPD, change, coming back, community, depression, exercise, friends, lifestyle change, mental health, mental illness, mental wellness, PTSD