Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From Me to You

After a month of agonizing about what I want to write about, I finally realized I've known it all along. I'll continue to write about what interests me. In fact, that's what this blog has always been about.

When I started it in February 2007, I was interested in writing about bipolar wellness, and illness to some degree. When my mother was so sick, I wrote about her, and about aging. When relationships with people confuse or hurt me, I write about them. When my behavior has embarrassed me, I've shared that as well. I also write about books I read, and an array of other topics and interests.

For years, I considered my eclectic outlook on life as a strength. I've never liked being pigeonholed. I've always pursued what interests me. I find new areas, become impassioned; some stick and some don't.

Once I was diagnosed as bipolar, I began to feel that my changing passions were problematic, that pursuing things with gusto and then abandoning them was a sign of illness, and that finding a niche and specializing in it would have been a better use of my time.

In the last few days, everything changed for me. As I focused on reading garden blogs, green blogs, and back to nature blogs, I finally realized that while I found them interesting, I also found them limiting. The fact is that all this green stuff is just one area of interest--among many.

I think it's great that people are passionate about gardening, but I've decided it's even better to be passionate about a range of activities.

And that's the answer in a nutshell. I am who I always have been. While my interests may change, what I never lose--no matter how confused I may seem--is my desire to share what I'm learning, to make sense of it, and to write about it.

Perhaps, the only limitation to this blog is the URL--bipolar wellness. Maybe, I just need to write under my own name, or maybe I keep the Wellness Writer moniker (with a different URL) and realize that most of what I write about probably fits under the wellness umbrella. And, it could be that Blogger is the best place to host this blog, but maybe Wordpress is. I'm not sure.

What I am sure about is this: writing is what defines me.

For a long time, I let people define me by bipolarity, but I no longer do. And perhaps in my haste to break free of this label--I threw out the baby with the bathwater.

In anticipation of my birthday, I felt this great need to clarify my life, to finally figure things out once and for all. And, in fact, that will never happen. And I've decided it's a good thing because it means I'm evolving rather than remaining stuck.

So...I've finally realized--after a period of feeling like I was totally lost, and very confused--that I'm not any longer. My great concern was that as I approached my 59th birthday, I wasn't where I want to be. I worried that I'd been wasting my time and talent, and hadn't made the contribution I had hope to--at this stage of my life.

But...the truth is that I've been writing for the last 20 years, and I've been perfecting my skills. I've been blogging for the last 26 months, and I feel good about what I've written.

Whether I write under the moniker of Wellness Writer or under my own name, people will either read me or they won't because of what I have to say. So...until I figure it all out, I'll continue blogging here, and perhaps on the Wordpress blog as well.

When I discussed my confusion and alarm about my behavior with my therapist, he said that many people who aren't bipolar vacillate. Few are as honest about it as I am.

So, perhaps, rather than feeling apologetic about my public display of confusion, I can view it as a strength. Unless we remain static, life is truly about transition. In my experience, most people hide their confusion. They are unwilling to disclose their unhappiness. They pretend everything is okay--even when it's not.

So, maybe sharing a bit of a "messy process" in a public venue is a good thing. Perhaps, it truly is a strength to be able to say, "I've been depressed, and confused. It was painful and difficult. I been working with a therapist to make sense of things. I've been reading books to gain different perspectives . I've gotten some great advice and support from some of you. And now I feel much better."

That said, see you tomorrow!

15 comments:

Gianna said...

everyone vacillates sometime...

anyway...I've got both your blogs in my google reader...I'm good to go..I'll find you wherever you decide to write.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Gianna,
You are so dear to me!

Love,
Susan

marja said...

Personally, although I'm bipolar, I have a big range of interests like you do. However, I like to keep my bipolarism within my blog picture (if you want to call it that) because I so often go up and down and it's good to have a place where I can talk about it, and in the process do some educating. Educating those who may have the diagnosis or those who don't. And it's great to know that in sharing, other bipolars who visit my site will see that they're not alone.

But on top of talking about my disorder I can talk about photography, my faith, philosophy, personal issues that are difficult, things happening in my life, Living Room, and so on.

We can write as people with bipolar disorder, but people with a whole range of interests and ways of living.

Just write about whatever is in your heart each day, Susan, and don't worry so much. We're interested in a-l-l of you.

Love, marja

Emma said...

Susan,
You are strong, brave, honest, and fabulously human!! Be kind to yourself. Will continue to look forward to reading your thoughts on ....whatever! Keep us posted on any change of address. If big hugs are possible to send, one is headed your way! Every good wish Emma

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
I know you blog about a range of topics, and I always enjoy reading about them.

And clearly I need to write about what I want to in order to write as much as I do. But, as we both know, this has been a constant issue for me that I can't seem to resolve although I'm trying.

But I do appreciate your point of view on this.

And finally...after years of a drought, I'm working on a few book ideas, which are very exciting to me.

Again...I was so delighted when your new book came out because I haven't written one in years.

And I appreciate that you want to know about "all of me." I just go through stages where I'm so tired of thinking one more minute about bipolarity that it exhausts me.

But, you are an inspiration. I've told you before, I don't know how you do it with the Living Room. But I sure you admire you for your commitment to that group!

Anyway, thanks for all the support.

Love,
Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Emma,
Thanks for today's comment. I genuinely appreciate the lovely things you always say. They make me feel this is all worthwhile.

In fact, yesterday I thought, "If someone like Emma--with whom I have an affinity even though I don't know you very well--finds your blog to be helpful, then it's worth writing.

So, I hope you know what an impact your comments have!

And yes, I believe we can send hugs from afar, and I'm sending one back at you!

Susan

preciousrock said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I'm glad you have decided that you will continue to write about your life journey and what interests you. I really enjoyed this post and others I have read here. Hope to see more. This coming from a fellow blogger that has ever changing passions and who pursues things with gusto only to abandon them for another interest. I also have wondered throughout life if this habit is due to my Bipolar Disorder or if it is just my personality, my lot in life. Either way, I am what I am. Take Care!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear preciousrock,
Welcome! Like being an "all or nothing" person, this, too, can be exhausting. When I do it in moderation, it's manageable, and I'm able to add hobbies to my life that interest me.

When I do it with in a more frenetic way, I fear it is a Bipolar symptom and one I should truly work on eliminating--but that would be an "all or nothing" approach, wouldn't it?

Susan

Wendalyn Love said...

Susan,
Your post was, as always, interesting, challenging and heartfelt. One of your consistencies is your writing...you are good at it! It is truly a gift and you are using it well, applying it to something you experience yourself and sending it out to those of us who need to process what we are going through. Feel comforted that you are helping us all to process right along with you!
Wendy

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendalyn,
I thought I responded to this comment a few days ago, but I see I didn't. (I've been having a few problems remaining connected to the Internet.)

Once again, thank you so very much for your support and kindness. I was heartened when I first read it, and feel that way again.

Susan

Tamara (TC) said...

Susan,

Thank you for writing this! I do the same thing and I think it is my strength and my weakness. I change my mind almost as often as I change my clothes. I have so many interests that someone would think I was ADD. I pursue one with everything in me and then ditch it to pursue something else. Then I may come back to the original interest or move on yet again. I drive myself crazy at times but think I would be completely miserable if I tried to narrow down my focus. In fact I have tried and I was miserable!

Good for you that you are pursuing you interests with gusto!

Hugs,
Tamara

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Tamara,
Glad to hear from you. I've been checking your blog, and when I saw you haven't written, I was concerned.

And it's helpful for me to learn you struggle with this as well. I believe that when people we like share similar traits, it makes it easier for us.

When you write, "I've tried to narrow my focus and it made me miserable," I can certainly relate.

Then I thought, "Why should she have to narrow her focus? And, I wonder what her other interests are?"

And I find it validates my original premise, which is that I have wide ranging interests, and I tend to like people who do as well.

Susan

Tamara (TC) said...

Susan,

Oh my gosh, I have so many interests that I don't know if I can name them all! LOL! Let's see... all kinds of alternative healing but I am really fascinated with chinese medicine and herbology; energy work such as Reiki, EFT, Jin Shin Jyutsu and more recently Chakras; writing poetry and fiction; playing violin; painting and drawing (I'm not very good!); gourmet gluten free cooking; reading, reading, reading; jigsaw puzzles; studying all kinds of spirituality (I am working on my Theology degree); aromatherapy; yoga; Qi Gong; and videography. I know there are more but figure you are overwhelmed by now.

I used to hate myself for being so ADD about my interests but now figure I want to experience all of this life that I can. I am absolutely miserable within minutes of trying to limit myself. It does get overwhelming though and my friends just laugh at me. But, hey I stay busy! My parents have ZERO hobbies and interests and living like that TERRIFIES me!

I know some of your interests but wonder which ones you have that you haven't written about?

Hugs,
Tamara

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Tamara,
Wow! And I thought I had a lot of interests. But, to be friends with you, I'm going to have to have to plunge into a host of new activities.

I'll come up with my list of what I do later today and write a new comment. I'm rushing off, but I wanted to respond before I go.

Hugs,
Susan

Tamara (TC) said...

Susan,

No worries. I do very few of my activities well. LOL! I am jealous of the people who can maintain a lot of interests and be GOOD at all of them!

Hugs,
Tamara