I haven’t written for a while. Things have been going okay, quite good in fact. I just haven’t had the desire.
I enjoy reading blogs. Some blogs, anyway, and truly to all my fellow bloggers who are reading this (thank you by the way), I don’t get the impression that other people, other bloggers, are self-absorbed. But I really did start to wonder, am I?
Do I really think there is anything particularly interesting about my story? Is there a reason to tell it? Is it any different from anyone else’s? Does anybody actually care? Do I even care?
These are the thoughts that were clambering around inside my head. Knocking on the walls of mind, and harassing me for answers.
But those thoughts were not the real problem, so I discovered. The real issue is that this blogging about Bipolar business requires a lot of focusing on that one aspect of my life. Not only am I much more than just Bipolar, but writing requires processing, and thinking, and remembering the unpleasant.
I found this issue was painfully obvious when I was beginning to write Early-Onset Bipolar: Making Meaning out of Chaos for Mental Health Talk. To put it simply, it was hard, and at many times it was tedious. I wrote a draft, and then another, and then another; multiple, totally separate, completely distinct drafts. Most of it was utter crap. My heart wasn’t in it, and I had to ask myself why.
Why? Because I had to step back in time and relive those years, relive those memories, and those emotions again. It was uncomfortable and unpleasant. It was painful.
And at the same time as this, I was once again living in my hometown, in my parent’s house. The place where all of those memories live, lurking in every corner, under every pile of books, at the back of my wardrobe I can see them. Behind every lamppost, at the end of every street, I can see a shadow of a memory. Some are happy, some are funny, and some are so deeply shaming and painful that I do not want to know. Sometimes they are all three at the same time.
Two weeks ago, I stood outside the university library, the home of my mania, and around me walked the ghosts of 2008. The men, the women, the memories; swirling around me, as if it were still the same, and totally different, all at once. As if nothing had changed, and yet everything had. Me, still the same vessel, looking slightly more worn. My mind something new, haunted by a shameful past.
I didn’t realise until I came back that when I moved away, I left all of those small reminders behind, and it was away from the shadows of my past that I began to heal. Would I have healed had I never left? Would everything still be the same? Would me, the real me, still be trapped within the confines of a disordered mind?
And that is why I have not written. I do not want to go back. I want to be here in the now, and I want to be moving forward, moving on.
It was okay when I was not here, when those reminders were 1000 miles away. They were so far, and the memories so vague, it was as if they were memories from someone else’s life.
But now, they are all around me. They are all the more real, this other person’s memories, when their ghosts walk in front me.
And now, my writing requires reliving, real reliving, and I do not know if that is something that I am ready to do.