June will be here in a few hours. 2021 is fading, fast. No more foul weather. The sun is finally out. Mother Earth is breathing. The universe is wondrous; we must be so blessed to still be here experiencing its richness.
But there is a crippling sadness that has settled in my bones. How do we forgive ourselves for all the things we did not become?
How do we teach our hearts to feign hope? How do we cloth our sadness in grace? When does ‘you’ll get over it’ begin? What do we do when the tears and the words are woefully inadequate?
Something about this pandemic is hitting hard. I feel like the lack of common sense and absence of empathy can be found in the vast population nowadays. Moral bankruptcy is now competing with economic bankruptcy. The news are mostly depressing. Statistics confirm that 1 in every 4 Kenyans has some kind of a mental illness. On Saturday on one of the segments on a local news channel, a woman politician, revered and reviled in equal measure, came up. She was opening up about her struggle with Bipolar Disorder. Her candid confession, her remarkable resolve and incredible courage ripped my heart apart but also handed it back to me carefully, repairing me stitch by stitch, as if to say,” It’s okay. You can be just as great.”
If you have kept up with my blog posts from the time I started publishing, you must already know that I’m a Bipolar Type 2 Disorder Survivor. I was on prescription psychotropics for years, got sorely addicted to them, up until I decided to have myself weaned off them in the August of 2019. Upon which I struggled with withdrawal syndrome for several weeks. But it is speculative to say that I recovered. For I did not recover; recovery is not entirely possible with mental illness. Even remotely in some cases. I would describe my journey as a new lease on life. It is one that is characterised by hope, mindfulness, pain, and radical change. All bundled up with a ribbon of love and resilience. It involves a lot of learning, unlearning and relearning. A lot of patience and being kind to myself. A lot of recognising that I’m special, that I’m not your common human, therefore my path will be unique. Yet just as worthy of every damned chance.
I have continuously learnt that when you’re a soulful person, you’ll always feel more: you’ll feel colours, see love, hear a smile, and smell achievements. You’ll grieve longer, rejoice louder, sulk miserably, laugh harder.. Every emotion will be immense, more. But just how much is more? Could it be really true that life has always been tinged with an inert kind of sadness? Or am I just more pensive in these historical times?
I have been doing a lot of recreational reading. One thing about me, I will always love words, those things saved my life. Words are eternal. The tomb of a writer is great but his grave is never in soil. It is evergreen in his work. In his book. In his legacy. Art is more powerful than destiny. More powerful than death itself. It penetrates time.
I have also developed a lot of what feel like migraines, again. My specs are no longer servicing me purposefully. The hospital visits are slowly reclaiming their spot in my roller coaster of a life.
Being Bipolar is a job in itself, except you never retire or go on leave. And I have mastered it. Last week I got the golden chance with this therapist. Not owing to illness but just as a recommended routine. Some of my favourite people in this world are therapists. The kind who breathe life to weary bones. At some point during our session, her face lit up, she adjusted her seat and suddenly decided to thank me for “bravely transforming my unspeakable personal pain to power.” I thanked her instead, “for acknowledging that I have long gone past throwing little pity parties.” That was one of the most wholesome, powerful sessions I have ever been to. The other was when this kind lady just collected her cheque for watching me go to pieces, tearfully, painstakingly handing me serviettes and rubbing my back sensationally. Till the sadness in my soul had been validated.
As I walked out the gate, an African monarch butterfly lit on the ground in front of me, flexing its wings as I approached. When I slowly bypassed it, it stayed put. As I got on the bus to town, it remained in inertia. Like a soldier, saluting greatness. I felt the universe rallying behind me. S/O!!!