Seeing beyond black and white… finding hope that the opposites exist when they can’t be seen.

I am looking at the upcoming week with both dread and relief. Not so long ago it would have been on or the other.

It is yet another soft marker as to how I am feeling mentally. When I’m at my worst mentally I fit the typical BPD trait of seeing things in black or white. When I’m doing better I can see the shades of grey in between.

This week is going to be busy. There is no two ways about that. I have four meetings in three days, and unfortunately two of them are in Stettler on different days.

The good; it’s going to be great getting off the bench and back to doing some work. Having next to nothing going on over the last few days has been starting to wear on me a bit, although I have been getting some more time into RDR 2. Getting back to work, and some resemblance of routine, is definitely where the relief is coming from.

The bad; four meetings and the associated driving to them is not going to be fun. Two of the meetings are within five minutes of home so they won’t be a problem, but the 120 round trip for each of the other two is not going to be pleasant. Hence the dread. I don’t usually mind driving, but with the wounded wing, and the ultrasound being over a week out, driving long distances are not fun at the moment. But, I’m willing to put up with some discomfort to work on my craft of writing.

In between times, I’m still working on the lights and sound for our theatre production, and I’ve been asked to cover a mental health in agriculture dinner and panel in Stettler on Friday. I’m actually eager to check out what the panels have to say about the topic.

Relief and dread. Light and dark. Two sides of the same coin. Polar opposites, yet indelibly link.

Speaking for myself, when I am at my worst I find it hard to see one or the other. The all or nothing thinking has been a hard perspective to shake, and I still fall into it’s trap. It’s a very BPD trait. Something I am starting to realise though is that just because I can’t see both perspectives through the emotional cloud when I am at my worst, it doesn’t mean that the other perspective ceases to exist.

I’ve bordered on mania before. I’ve also sunk to the lowest depths that the human psyche can sink to. I’ve wandered in the dark ready to give up the fight, believing that the sun had set for the final time and that I would never see the lights again. As low as I’ve been, I’ve reached out for help, I’ve been kept safe, and much to my surprise dawn broke again. The light hadn’t vanished from the world, it had just moved to a different part of it.

Mental illness can play tricks on the sufferer, rob them of joy, of vibrance, of life. Mental illness can lie to someone, make them think that the light is gone, when in fact they have been blindfolded to it by their emotions.

I say this to give hope. Hope to someone barely hanging on, losing hope in finding a better day. Hope that the light is still in the world even if it can be seen. Hope that those who continue to struggle with mental disease will find the right medication, the right therapy, the right anything, to help them live another day.

I don’t have all the answers, we all live and fight in our own versions of hell. I can’t lead you out of your hell, I’m trying to find my own way out of mine. I’m not going to follow you, because your end point is going to be different than mine. We are all different in that regard. I will walk beside you on this journey, share my knowledge, and hopefully learn from yours.

Kevin

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