Maybe that title is a bit dramatic but that day was the end of my life as I knew it. The picture above is the chemistry building at my university. That is where it first started or at least that’s where I first noticed it. The mania quickly crept up. I had months of depression and thought that was just part of the uni life.
But that was over a decade ago yet I still write about that incident. Why? Well, funny thing is that I started noticing this yearly trend in my life. Every time March 1st rolls around, I feel off, malaise and don’t know why. Everything seems fine but then all of a sudden I feel as if there are crows cawing outside my house, warning me of an impending storm.
One year, I shared this with my therapist and she said that people who go through trauma often unconsciously remember the anniversary of the event. Well, my “Bipolar Anniversary” around the corner. Over a decade ago, I had my first full-blown manic episode. It took me over two years to get a proper diagnosis of bipolar 1.
Even when Allah takes away health, He is giving something, something better.
Others tell me, “Well at least you didn’t get diagnosed when you were 50 and have your whole life ruined with this illness.” Damn it! My life was ruined. I won’t sugar coat it anymore.
Grief can’t be hurried just like a rose blossoms on its own time. I say this because each year, I try to make myself feel better, you know see all the good that came out of having bipolar and postpartum depression (more posts about that here). But you know what that does? It completely invalidates all the tough, ugly and suicidal garbage I went through!
But I “shouldn’t” dwell on that, right?
I “should” look at all the good I have in my life?
I mean, why am I being so ungrateful?
And therein lies the rub. People of trauma and illness have valued experience. To try to brush over that with some rose paint completely dismisses all the storms they went through. Moreover, just because having a manic or depressive episode is hard and crushing doesn’t make it *negative.* Even when Allah takes away health, He is giving something, something better.
So, on this 15th anniversary of my bipolar marriage, I am very comfortable, actually, I welcome the feeling of being off, malaise, dozing off into space and not answering when someone calls my name. There were moments in my day today when time froze and I with it. I was doing laundry and I sat in front of the washer, just watching the water go round and round. Then, I caught my reflection in the glass door and felt as if I was looking at an alien creature. It was an out-of-body experience.
Normally in the past, I freaked out at moments like these. Yet, for the first time, I allowed myself to mourn the end of that life and when I did that, I was able to move on with my day and actually write this post for you.
It feels scary when the ground beneath you shakes and everyone stares at you and a thousand shrills are storming in your head when you are just trying to understand what the cashier is saying. It’s very frightening. I know. I visit that land more often than I wish to.
And, not but because that negates all the trauma, overtime the storms are not as scary because you learn about the terrain. You learn where the land mines are and where the oases are. More importantly, you learn about the Maker of all this. The Sustainer of the storms and the sun. The Provider of pleasure and pain, the One Who made nothing and no one in vain.
Allah ends one life, one moment, one experience, one person only to give you a better one.
And If you feel my words and you feel you belong here, I hope you share this post. Who knows what suffering soul you might help just with your one click…
See you in my next post!