At age 35 I found someone who was more afraid of closeness than I was. I understood him almost from day one. This understanding came out of years of therapy that followed my breakdown at age 28. Before the breakdown, I didn’t know that I was depressed. Before the breakdown, I didn’t know that my failed relationships were due to my fear of closeness. Before the breakdown, I didn’t know I was Bipolar. I learned a lot of things in therapy that helped to change the direction of my life.
And then one day Thomas walked into the library where I had been working for 10 years. He got a job as a library assistant. He was a graduate student and wanted to work part-time. I took the first steps towards asking him out because it was obvious he never would. I had learned a thing or two after a stint at being gay. We bumbled our way into a relationship and, after 4 years, into marriage. We didn’t know that either one of us had Asperger’s Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder on the Autism Spectrum, until much, much later. We just thought we were very, very shy.
After some 33 years of marriage we are still shy with each other. Our instincts are still to run away from closeness, but now we are able to override the first gut feeling. We have grown together, becoming very, very close. So close that now my biggest fear is of losing Thomas. So close that sometimes we communicate without talking, as if we are on the same radio frequency. In fact talking often confuses things.
We have pushed each other along life’s path. Tom became a clinical social worker and I became a writer and artist. The road has been bumpy in spots. My being Bipolar has been hard for Tom at times. Many times. But there have been many more moments of joy that make it all worthwhile. We both feel the other is the best thing that happened to us, and the journey continues. New lessons are learned. There are still new magical moments and new epiphanies.
It is 3A.M. I lay beside Thomas in bed listening to his breathing as I watch a silent light show outside our bedroom windows. This is not a 3A.M. awakening born of despair as some are. At the moment I feel the Presence and that Presence fills me with love.
The moonlight beckons to me, and I respond by getting up and gazing at the twinkling stars and the hushed light of flickering fireflies. In the quiet stillness of a country night I am stirred by the music of the silence. My ears hum, the sound of the nervous system according to my husband.
The cool air is intoxicating. I go to the den to write and sit in a moonlit cathedral, watching the seemingly random flashing flames of fireflies flying in a frenzy of love. The madness of desire. Well do I know how love possesses one’s spirit and makes one fly through life, manic with emotion.
Yet sometimes, beneath the energy that stirs one’s blood, lies a silent union—a momentary glimpse of eternity in a loved-locked gaze into the eyes of one’s beloved. It is fleeting, at least for me. Gone in a flash, and yet it leaves me wondering just whom I am seeing. The inner voice says that God has touched my soul through Thomas, for the best of human love is merely a sampling of the Divine. Eye contact, so problematic for both my husband and me, is wondrous in this context. For a second, eternity beckons like the moonlight, whispering of another life, another world, something beyond the here and now.
(Click http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html for information on, and to purchase my Bipolar/Asperger’s memoir.)
(Continuation of exhibit from previous post.)
“Rose Hills, Blue Trees”
“Water in its natural state shows us how it wants to flow, and we must obey its wishes.”
Water is the medium. Water is my brush. Using watercolors on wet paper, I allow the water’s capillary action to “suggest” an image from the natural world and then work with it, using a variety of methods. I have sought to capture scenes from nature with dazzling, bleeding color. The paintings are an exercise in “letting go” and allowing the creative energies to flow, after preparing the mind through meditation.
As abstractions, the paintings are personal visions—the impressions of light and color and thus do not always appear as they exist in the natural world. However, since landscapes are my passion, the results most often appear within the realm of that genre.
Finally these paintings, as renditions of nature, are reflections of the magnificence of the shimmering wilderness and thus, in some small measure, are my own awestruck reflections on the majesty of creation.
Kitt O’Malley over at kittomalley.com posted the following information, along with her wonderfully done video in which she discusses her own battle with Bipolar Disorder and offers encouragement to those newly diagnosed. Watch her excellent video!
Kitt writes: “Healthline launched a video campaign called “You’ve Got This” where we who live with bipolar disorder can make a short video offering hope and inspiration to those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.” Healthline also makes a contribution to charity for each video submitted.
This is my contribution. It is an effort to show one possible “gift” Bipolar Disorder gives– the gift of creativity. And though it sometimes seems as if the medications for BPD cut down on our creativity, actually they make it possible for us Bipolars to organize our thoughts and execute whatever creative works we are inspired to do. You may just have to listen a little harder to the quiet voice within. Don’t worry. It is there. And with medication you actually have a chance of following through on your ideas.
The video at top is a small sampling of my work that would not have been born without my being Bipolar.
No words today…
soothes the beast
My husband pronounces this a cow
standing among greens
well if it is a cow
don’t eat him
he is a sacred cow
as we all are sacred
I see him standing among the brush triumphant
for no one has turned him into hamburger
I say they are blue trees
filled with white blossoms
well if they are blossoms
don’t pick them
and extinguish their life of beauty
as if She were our own
meant to serve us
when She is there to teach us
about the Great Being
benevolent with His gifts
such as blue cows
or blue trees with white flowers
as Nature whispers in our ears
as She manifests the gifts of the Great Being
and we boorishly
cut them down
and put them in vases
(if I am right and they are blue trees with white flowers)
where in a day or so they die
having given their lives
for the mundane, bourgeois folly
of decorating our homes
(if my husband is right and they are cows)
we boorishly eat them
despite the disgust of eating flesh
at the expense of deaths by extreme cruelty
a travesty of justice
crimes against Nature
when She is to be untouched
just as She is
for She is the perfect
creation of our Heavenly Father.
shoving my precious blues and violets
down the black hole of depression.
I no longer remember
how to smile
I wish to disappear
into the darkness
until the light returns.
8×12 Watercolor for sale
The descent into darkness
after the blinding bliss of mania
is as inevitable as the fall of night
after the blissful bright of day.