fairy lights and pixie dust 2

Bright Optimism
Bright Optimism (Photo credit: Theen ...)

Now that I’ve given you the sense of what a bad day feels like – black holes are no fun – I thought I should write about what a positive day should/could be like.

When I wake up, I keep my mind open to whatever positive thought first arises. Sometimes the word(s) become my mantra for the day. Since I have trouble concentrating, I keep things simple; one or two positive goals a day. Maybe it’s finally doing battle with those dust bunnies (who bred overnight). Finally answering an email, blog comments, or a letter; getting out of the house to go to ritzyville for groceries.

I imagine a world where pixie dust sparkles and fairy lights dance over wildflower meadows. I take pleasure in the small things: the persistent snow drops (even though, so far, there is no snow to poke their delicate white blossoms through ); I watch the birds in our yard, writing down the different kinds as well as keeping tracking the weather. To keep the squirrels happy, there is always a feeder full of fruit that they seem to enjoy more than the seeds. The antics of them trying to get at the chunks of pears and apples (bought from the discount cart) are amusing.

I try very hard to remain positive in my thoughts, my actions, my accomplishments. Some days this remaining positive for the entire day is harder, some days easier. I repeat my mantra, shut out the darkness and let in the light. It’s on days like these I can give out awards like the candle lighter (have a new one coming soon – an entertaining and inspiring pair of compadres), and not melt into tears.

I can write future blog posts, pose questions, look for direction and purpose. Imagine being in my favo(u)rite creative visualization place; leaning against a strong tree with deep roots. I transfer my pain to the tree, knowing that like sap, the pain will flow to the branches to be scattered in the wind, or deep into the roots to be dispersed into the soil. The sunshine is dabbled by the leaves; I watch the wildflowers dance with the soft breeze; smell the sweetness of fresh, outdoor air. Imagine fairies and think of pixie dust. These are the good days of sunshine, not shadow. These are the days I wish would last forever.

one for two

Image by Adnan Yahya via Flickr

The bipolar 2 diagnosis has made me face up to the fact that I’ve been two people or personalities for quite some time.

One tries to find the fairy lights over wildflower meadows. To follow paths that promise a forest clearing with the scent of pine trees on a warm afternoon; strong, tall, wise trees to lean against and listen to the music of bird song. Observe the wonders of the forest floor; multi-coloured mushrooms and unfurling ferns, vines and small shoots someday to be trees. To look past the shadows cast by the tall trees and see the pools of sunshine along the path. To let positivity in action, in thinking, in writing, in doing be the way that life is carried out.

The other personality is the opposite. Held down and back by deep depression (the deepest it’s been in a long while), this other struggles to get through every minute, every hour in every day. Beyond the bleakness; a bleakness that is more than “not good enough” or “good enough but not given the prize,” or even the sad, lonely little girl. This is a primal blackness; an emotional pain so deep that the sunlight gets lost, and the moon is never full. The rutted and up- heaved path runs under strangely bent and deformed trees whose black limbs overhang, touching each other like crooked fingers, creating an arbor of darkness that shuts out the stars.

No matter how strange it sounds, both are part of me. I think right now the negative version has the upper hand – even of days when I beat the depression back for a while, and take a positive approach, there is so much in the positive realm to be done, promises kept, dust bunnies* that stick their fuzzy tongues out at me. Even the fun things seem like too much work – the nice note written to accompany some pixie dust, making up the parcels with fairy wands and other magical elements. Or I forget those projects, in the rush to catch a train, or write a blog I never publish, or other blogs I’ve fallen behind reading, so I don’t get around to passing on the positive – to passing on the magic. I occasionally pass along instead, in my blog, awards of inspiration, blogs whose authors deal in hope and promise, folks who face chronic illness and chronic pain every day yet can inspire, and uplift. How they present beauty against the ugliness of chronic pain/chronic illness(es). My contribution to keeping a positive attitude, a positive approach.

Sometimes the days that start with me trying to take the positive attitude, in some wildflower meadow, but then hordes of locusts, or storm clouds with thunder, lightning and tornadoes, send me reeling back down the darker road with puddles so deep there is no reflection, rocky, narrow footings along barren, wind-carved mountains. Right now the bleakness is stronger; seeing past the shadows is a difficult chore. The words my dark side writes are brittle, hard, and knife-sharp; not inspirational or uplifting reading; just bleakness and sorrow.

Without a day program, without a focus, with only partially shaped self-designed plan, the positive is hard to hold onto. It slips away like tears down a cheek. I truly try to break the hold of depression – waiting desperately for the meds to kick in – but at a lost at what to do.

I appreciate all my virtual friends and their kindness and their encouragement. I know I don’t say that often enough. (Hence the pixie dust and magic wands when I have the positive energy needed for that project).

I want to do fun projects like pixie dolls, but I can’t get the pieces to work. It’s hard to stay positive when you’re alone (physically) all day – I realize that I’m never virtually alone – I mean having a real world someone to call and ask out for a coffee and help me get the d***n pixie dolls to work!, lol (Project is put out by Klutz afterall!)

But just like I need a day program for my mental illness, I need a real world friend for my positive outlook. Right now the odds of getting either are zilch. So, my battle continues – does healing mean I’ll be one person again, or does the bi (in bipolar 2) mean I’ll always have two paths; on to skip and dance down as tall as I want to be, the other to shuffle, and making myself as small as possible.

* I may have referred to dust bunnies sticking their tongues out before — my short term memory is just that — short term.