Once again, I write with the joy of knowing that nobody is going to read this (hence I can be completely unedited and uncensored). That’s not strictly true, because the Featured posts on this blog are automatically cross-posted to the footers of my other sites [my conflicted feelings about visibility, of course]. But this post is not “Featured” so you have to really hunt to find it. Thank God 🙂 .
As I think on what I want to say, I harken back to how this blog started. It happened on a manic, coffee-powered, writing trip last December, almost a year ago. In addition to this blog, I launched (or re-launched) my author blog and the manifesting community blog. I wrote about 15 articles, one every two days on average (this one still my favorite: coffee-addicted writer jokes). I also started leading Authentic Relating professionally, initiating two committed Circling groups that ran very successfully in the spring of this year (2021). I also wrote the About page of this blog, in which I told the non-vanilla version of my story (the bipolar story), and stated my desire to have a blog that would be hidden from search-engine queries under my name (but still searchable under bipolar topics).
That month was an intense experience. I crashed about half-way through, but made a quick recovery. When it was all over I moved in with my sister in Boston and stayed there for 4 months. My manic periods are often demarcated by geographic moves. I say more about this on my upcoming memoir. [If you do happen to read this post, please please say that you will read my fucking memoir too, and give me an Amazon review when it gets published].
Anyway: to my surprise, as I read what I wrote a year ago in a bipolar state, I am not cringing. The About page, in particular, is rather good. As predicted, nobody has found me (well.. maybe one person I care about, and another who subscribed to me, can you believe it). As such — I am realizing this now — all that I intentioned and imagined a year ago is happening. Just not quite as fast as I would like. [Oh, that is SO profound… seriously 🙂 ]
Last on this topic before I get to the “meat” of this post, and please forgive me for stream-of-consciousness writing (if Proust and Henry Miller can do it, why not me) … [oh wait, there is nothing to forgive here as you, the reader, don’t exist] … what I want to say is that I am lying here in terms of my joy at your non-existence. I am a writer and hence I don’t really live my life, exactly. I live in service to my writing. In essence, my writing lives me. I don’t have relationships, exactly, I have subjects for me to write about, or maybe studies. This is not the whole truth, but it’s part of the truth. Erica Jong incidentally, my new spiritual guide, writes about this phenomenon very eloquently in both her Henry Miller book and Fear of Flying, both of which are utterly brilliant. She also says that her subjects (i.e. her husband) improved through the writing, so its not completely a narcissistic exercise. Anyway: while I can brag that I am happy that I have no readers, this is only true in this moment, as this exposé will, in my mind at least, find its way into a book, eventually. Or some other public writing, we shall see.
Yesterday I had a serious physical crash. Note, not an emotional crash with physical side-effects, a real physical crash. In the night I had terror-dreams, other than that I slept as well as might be expected of a bipolar in a manic phase. I woke feeling that I had been hit by a truck. I muddled through the morning as best I could, with the help of coffee (which always makes life wonderful, for a while), and was able to do a little work (the result was this and other things related to the re-launch of my Authentic Relating platform). But by early afternoon I was seriously kaput. I could do nothing but lie in bed, deeply tired and yet unable to rest, unable to read, practically unable to watch netflix (for chrissake), with all kinds of hopeless and depressive thoughts going through my head. I chalked it up to my physical state, and after 4 hours I felt better again. Today I am mostly (not totally) recovered, and today has been one of the best days of recent memory. Absolutely brilliant day, including a full work-out (first full workout in months or years), leading a very successful group, a construction party at the commune, some great networking in my A/R community, and a fuck-ton of writing, of which this here is only a part. In other words I am on something of a full-blown writer’s manic trip.
Yesterday afternoon in my depression, I started making lists of all the things that are going well in my life, all the things which give me hope for success and happiness in this lifetime (when, of course, such prospects occur as foolish, impossible and delusional in a true depressive state such as I experienced yesterday). It’s a rather impressive list and I want to share it here. It reflects the extraordinary transformation that has befallen me since the great writing trip of last December and all the events which followed, which include my moving to Wyoming, settling into a kind of communist commune, purchasing and renovating an RV, and finishing my third book. It’s been a very trippy time, pretty insane at some moments (I will spare you the details) and yet quite productive. And ultimately successful, go figure. I have been “surprised by Grace” [C.S. Lewis]
Anyway, the list of what’s happened this year:
- Stabilizing my living situation after 3 years of “wandering through the wilderness”. It is really extraordinarily trippy to be living in a wood-heated RV in this climate that I love. And communes are one of my great passions. Any other lifestyle is boring to me, or worse. It’s challenging here but very interesting
- Semi-retired and very close to stabilizing my financial situation. Even if the social security disability doesn’t take, I can still collect regular Social Security in March on my 62nd birthday. I am basically set. Not getting rich, but I never cared much for money (its taken me a while to see this, btw)
- Taking dramatic steps towards improving my nutrition and supplementation. I am actually gaining weight (I am ridiculously thin). I have been consistently taking my vitamins, my supplements including Lithium Orotate, EFA’s, Ashwagandha mix at bedtime (it knocks me out for 4 hours, a miracle), and morning green-shake. My staying on any nutritional program for more than 3 days is unheard of, impossible. And yet its happening.
- Working out every day in some fashion, at least to whatever degree I am capable of it. My commitment is to 10 minutes of aerobic workout, 10 minutes of stretching, and 10 minutes of weight training daily. Today I exceeded all those measures. My goal is to gain 40 pounds in the next 6 to 12 months. This will take more than 10 minutes of weight-lifting per day, yet “slow and steady wins the race”
- I have joined an intensive A/R training and certification program which is giving me extremely valuable experiences, training and relationships. Don’t ask me how I found the money — the answer is credit cards. The money is actually unimportant as this decision is probably at the root of my current happiness.
- Re-launching my A/R programs, which also involves intensive networking which will be useful and necessary when I get to book launch time
- Finished my third book, which is really my masterpiece, my magnum opus. Getting that done is the second root reason of my current happiness. It’s not certain that it has commercial value, but I am going to do my best. At worst, the marketing of it it will be a very interesting experience.
- There has been an explosion of my intellectual life after discovering a true spiritual mentor on sexual writing, Erica Jong. I was feeling a terrible aloneness prior to this, that nobody understood my social / political platform and what is fundamentally wrong with Western culture and why writing about sex is so important. I no longer feel this aloneness. There are others who believe that sexuality is life-force, pure and simple, and that we are all hopelessly fucked-up about it under patriarchy. As Erica Jong says, we think we are free (of sexual hang-ups), but we are actually more enslaved after the “sexual liberation” than we ever were.
- Increasing community engagements including Toastmasters group and a Writing group (they were actually instrumental in the completion of my book and the emotional / intellectual explosion that has followed that).
- I am FINALLY ready to start dating again. I had given up because I was having no success at all (except in attracting crazy chicks who ended up rejecting me anyway, can you believe it). It had become a losing game and I had to give it up. Just a few days ago I “channeled” my next dating profile, which is based on Authentic Relating. I am almost ready to post it and start that process — a huge process, the truth is that this is as important to me as anything else, including my success as an author and social/political analyst and commentator.
So I wonder (and ask you, dear non-existent reader): is this enough to get me out of my next funk?
Probably not, but I want to post it here for the record. Maybe to remind myself next time I feel low. I am fundamentally convinced that “slow and steady wins the race”. That if I can stay reasonably focused and productive most days (not every day!), the sky is the limit.
And also — maybe more important yet — that “success” is not exactly the goal. The obsession with “success” is what got me into the state I was in before all this came about, which wasn’t pretty. The goal is to move things forward, a little bit every day, and to be as sane, as happy, and as healthy as I can. Things seem to move forward more rapidly, and more consistently, when I surrender to “what is so”. Specifically, when I surrender to the limitations of my condition.
As I write, I am already surrendered to the idea that things could not possibly move forward at the “vertiginous” pace [is that an English word??] as they have for the last few weeks or months. So be it. I pray for a “soft landing”
To repeat: it’s all happening. Just not as fast as I would like.