When I think I feel normal I often joke “I feel so normal that I’M ECSTATIC!”
Bringing to mind the question of whether feeling normal can make a Bipolar so happy that plain old happiness triggers hypomania.
But seriously lets move on
That place. That normal stable place. I wrote this post on “baseline” once and some may argue that they are the same thing. To me they are two different things, baseline and the state of wellness. You may ask “How?” and I will say I don’t know that is just the way it seems to me.
There is that elusive baseline thing and then there is this place, state, of well being. That place within it all. That even more elusive state. The state that we forget exists. The state that we insist we never had. The state that we may have stopped even searching for in our great striving for mere relief and shelter from the storms.
And when we stumble upon it….like a clearing in the woods…we are a touch surprised….like oh yyyyyeaahhh.
What does it feel like to be in the place? What some people call their baseline. What others may call level, stable, balanced, normal.
Like broken glass melted down into a smooth flat surface
Like the raw red soreness of chapped winter hands healed into summer softness
Like regaining control of the volume button for your mind
Like making it past the breakers and floating in the calm
Like the roaring fires becoming flickering candlelight
It is calm
And the biggest thing about it is that it does not feel flimsy or brittle in any way.
It feels solid.
And it does not feel fast or slow
No urge to run forward
No fear of falling
There is no great striving
no need to grip
no need to cling
It is a place where we
It is possible that everyone has a place like this in there somewhere. Now I am aware that many of us had troubled childhoods. And I know that many of us were anxious, obsessive, depressed, highly sensitive children. But maybe there is still a moment back there, some little sliver of time where you felt like this. Where there was no effort in being. No trying or striving or worrying or thinking or feeling.
Maybe you were playing by yourself
working on a new Lego set
or kicking rocks around
maybe you were swinging with bare feet in the air
maybe you were kicking a ball at recess
maybe coloring with new markers
or walking to a friend’s house
or sitting in sunshine or white snow
or just riding along in your carseat
And maybe you felt like this. Nothing to call it. No word to put on it.
It just was. You just were.
To me that is the place. The place where it stops being so hard to be. Of course we cannot go back to the complete and miraculous ability children have to be in the moment. But we’re talking about this as it relates to Bipolar.
This is a place where Bipolar stops being so loud, so noticeable, so demanding.
A place where the effort lessens
The cloud in all of this is that once we get this place (back) we realize what we have lost…what we have been missing and we become obsessive about not losing it again….which is a great thing if it encourages you to take care of yourself and fight for your well being….and not a great thing if it causes you to miss out on the good that is happening…
Because the longer we live with Bipolar and the more times we ride it around the more accepting we can become of the fact that this state will come……and this state will go
but it will come
and that acceptance and faith are invaluable in living with Bipolar.
I feel the need to have a word for this feeling state. Even though words are meager handles for concepts such as this. This place that may be normal but when we use the word “normal” we often get pushback because “No one is really normal!” (Read this for my thoughts on that). So yes the word normal has too much attached to it in society and for us.
I am going to propose one that some may not like because it may seem to imply that it means higher than “normal” but I will argue that it does not.
For me I would like to call this state
As in “I feel good”
“I’m in the good state”
“Not up, not down, not anxious, not hyper, not obsessing, not agitated, not sensitive, not low. Just good”
It is a simple, solid, humble little word with a large definition, most of which can apply here and what it more is this word’s calm staid, unassuming reputation. It is not an exciting word. It draws no attention to itself. But it is a positive word, a refreshing, simple word. Like vanilla yogurt.
And after months or more of eating liver and/or Red Hots….some vanilla yogurt would be really