You know, when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I thought my world was over. Total annihilation. These ideas and investments of who I was, supported by all these qualifications, reputation, merit, my social and professional society, opinions of self and others came crashing down.
And you know what? I just didn’t know how to sit in the rubble. I could not sit with the discomfort. I couldn’t manipulate the situation to work in my favour, I couldn’t hide and I couldn’t fix it.
The idea of this person that I was, that I convinced and built for myself, fell apart in a rude, confronting, embarrassing and undignified way. Much like discovering that you have a bit of your dress accidentally tucked up in your knickers and your arse has been on show the entire time. Yep, my limitations and self deceptions were broadcasted via satellite for all the world to see, in HD and surround sound. There was no exit from this. No way baby.
My first strategy, being the over thinker was to re-build. Yes! Create a ‘bigger, better, brighter version’ of myself, a-la Nina from the t.v show Offspring. You know, ‘getting my life back’ because the one I have now? Im going to get myself a refund, faster than the unwanted Christmas gifts on Boxing Day.
So I built. Went to art school, created a new life, threw away the old one and compartmentalised. Soon enough, successes, awards, accolades, grants came back thick and fast and I was back on track baby!
I soon realised that all I did was change the job description.
This disguised gift of Bipolar disorder wasn’t about building myself, trading myself for a better model – this was about dismantling.
You know, instead of spraying deodorant on body odour, I needed to take a shower.
Diismanteling is opening up, our hearts, our minds – because like I mentioned, it’s not about creating a ‘new me’ or ‘getting my life back’, those notions involve comparisons and value judgements. You were bad then, but you are good now. Self kindness and dismanteling is acknowledging that we are all doing the best we can, every single one of us, even though it may feel that we are not at any given time.
And we are enough. Now.
Dismantling is about revealing and it’s about sitting. Unwrapping and sitting in all the fears, the dreams, the hopes, the experiences, the beliefs, until all we are left with – is. No magic pill, no smoothing it over, no sweetening it up.
Dismantling has also piqued my curiousity. I’ve developed a curiosity for self doubt and our fears. Not the survival, instinct related fear, but the ones we attach ourselves. When did we believe that we needed to start wrapping up all our ” is-ness” if you like, in all these layers because who we really were wasn’t good enough? When did we believe, that we as ourselves can be measured and quantified by scales or salary, by fame or by ‘success’?
So I’m going to fall apart for a bit.
I’m going to sit with my rumbling tummy, the feeling of wanting to fix, to stick my fingers in my mind and have a good poke and rummage at my anxieties and I am going to quietly observe what happens, listening to my own reactions and embracing them with real loving-kindness. Maitri Maree.
That, my dear, is my yoga on the inside.