Fresh smell of dawn greets me as I walk out to my balcony to take the morning in. The sun is about to rise. Since the arrival of my baby, I have been a late starter. For the last two years, I have missed this crisp, brand-new beginning that was so opposite of my gloom, depressive ending of the night before. When my bipolar disorder was in full charge, catching up with my mood was a daunting task. There was no way to tell. I would go to sleep feeling like ending my life, and then would wake up feeling like I have finally died and reached heaven. My mood shifted throughout the day unexpectedly. Later I would learn that this was a signature characteristic of the rapid-cycling state of bipolar disorder, only one of many faces of this complicated disease. I seldom made plans with friends ahead of time because I never knew what type of mood I would fall into when the moment for socializing comes. But when I was euphorically happy during my hypomania, nothing could stop me from all the exciting activities and a busy social life. I was fully booked throughout the day. Most of all, I was busy writing up something. I would wake up at three in the morning typing on my computer releasing my pent up energy. It was an activity that would save my day, my life, my sanity. I do not know how else I could have coped with my bipolar episodes if not for the quiet peace writing gave me.
To get back to my writing habit- I have lost most of my good habits during my pregnancy and child-rearing- I set my alarm at five to spend a few hours before my child wakes up. Before my inspiration dries and falls off like the Kadupul Flower that blooms just before midnight and dies before the morning, I sit here on my desk before the dawn. I have a flower to discover. I have missed this quiet peace. I have missed this sacred ritual that held me up throughout my years fighting against bipolar disorder.
What is it about writing that heals a person in her deepest places? Therapeutic writing not only cultivates the ability to observe and track our thoughts and feelings but also creates a powerful mind-body-spirit connection. You gradually learn to communicate what’s in your mind and what’s in your heart and know the difference between the two. Eventually, the healing takes place as the two merge into one finding a perfect unity from which forgiveness, integration, patience, and compassion are born. From this perfection, spirit is formed- that undeniably resilient, everlasting quality that can break through any obstacles, hardships, and adversities that life has to offer. This is the true journey of writing as a therapy.
So this magical experience is what I am going back to. This is a grand idea after all, to wake up early again to find that connection that made me whole from my bipolar disorder, from many broken, shattered pieces. Writing healed me from my sufferings of mental illness. I know writing can help me find the way once again from here on. As a starter, writing helped me put aside the anxiety that has been accumulating silently for the last month or so. Anxiety is a silent enemy that creeps up on you. It’s a silent killer that gives you a slow death in chronic agony. You must catch it before it gains too much power on you. The anxiety about going back to the world after my decade was given to the bipolar disorder and then a couple of years to my new born child is shamefully affecting me. I can almost hear the clock ticking, thundering actually, signaling the end of my productive youth. I am no youth anymore. If I stay cocooned like this any longer without building up my work experience, I fear that I will deteriorate forever, and perish quickly before the whole world has seen its existence like the Kadupul Flower. So you see, my anxiety runs deep. It’s threatening my hard-worked spirit.
Writing for me this morning is all about remembering what it did for me years ago. It helped me defeat bipolar disorder. If it had power to sustain and heal me during my long ordeal with that monster, then what do I have to fear? Slow process it may be, but it’s going to be an on-going process, a wonderful journey through the inner world that is uniquely me. A journey that doesn’t cost me a dime, happening right here and right now, but it could take me far, so far… to a land that I never dreamed possible. So today, I put an end to my silent anxiety and start on a new journey of vast possibilities.