Once again, I am reminded that the little things matter: as I was seated upon the porcelain throne last night, I was literally thanking God for whoever invented Milk of Magnesia. For some reason, as I’ve aged I have developed a propensity for the occasional bout of, shall we say, irregularity; and let me tell you, it can be excruciating. I get irritable and shaky, and the pressure just builds up and up until I feel like I’m about to give birth. Then out of desperation I bolt down 60 ml of MOM, and within hours I have complete relief. Just like that. So simple, and yet I never even think about it between episodes.
It really IS the little things that make life bearable, even pleasurable. Almost every night when I settle down under my soft blankets, I pray for the homeless and remember how privileged I am to be safe and warm. I look at the vase of roses and carnations Ben and Clint bought me for Valentine’s Day and think how lucky I am to have these guys. I’ll sneeze a couple of times and take a moment to appreciate the fact that I haven’t been sick in well over two years, when I used to get bronchitis at least once every winter. And even in the mornings when I wake up depressed, I’m grateful because I know it will go away once I start my day.
This is something I work on constantly. If you look at my lifestyle and compare it with the one I had before it all came crashing down in 2014, it’s kind of pathetic—no husband, no job, no car, can’t afford my own place. I’m dependent on others for food, utilities, transportation, and companionship. As used to it as I am now, however, I still wish I had the ability to conquer, once and for all, the monster that ate my life and spit it out just for the hell of it…namely, bipolar 1 disorder.
But then, I have learned how to tame it. Medication has made a world of difference, of course, and so has the work I’ve been doing on myself. I’m grown-up enough now to know what I DON’T know, and I accept the fact that I will spend the rest of my days reaching for more knowledge and more wisdom. I’ve come to value those things more than almost anything else, maybe because they are so elusive and it’s so easy to miss opportunities to expand them. And you know, I wonder if I would have gotten this far if bipolar hadn’t intervened. It’s been only eight years, but I feel like I’ve learned more about life since I was diagnosed than I did in all the 53 years before it.
And yeah, I’m thankful for that too.