I belong to a lineage of suffering. It stretches far, far back into pre-history.

This lineage is defined by depression, anxiety, obsessions, delusions, and hallucinations. It’s a lineage of mental illness. It’s passed down through families, and actualized through experiences.

I have cyclothymia, also called Bipolar Disorder III. Well, that’s the diagnosis anyway and it fits rather well for the most part. Basically, this means I’m always on the upswing or the downswing with short stops as “normal” in between.

The lows are marked by drowsiness and fatigue that, if I overthink them, can turn into depression and hypochondria. The highs are simply awesome, but so short-lived. When I’m manic, I feel so John. When I walk into a room, I’m all there. When I’m having a conversation, I’m all-in with that conversation.

I’m man of cycles, of seasons. These cycles are usually moderate and short. But sometimes… sometimes they’re a little more extreme and take their time.

I’d probably be dead if wasn’t for 1) mindfulness  and 2) the people who love me.

One stat I learned in school said that over 50% of everyone living right now has, or will, develop a mental illness. 50%! So, this definitely isn’t a lonely lineage.

(To Be Continued)

 

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