Saturday, December 12, 2009

High on life!

Many lifetimes ago when I was in the Coast Guard, I was diagnosed as bipolar or manic-depressive. For those of you who don't know, it's a disorder where a person goes from bouts of depression to bouts of extreme happiness (mania). Now mania might sound like a good thing, but it has serious problems. While a depressed person might curl up in a ball and cry for weeks on end, a manic, will go out and live. With no regard for personal safety. Or for the future. Manics are invincible. Only, you really aren't. You're a human being like everyone else, and living like your indestructible is a fast path to trouble.

For a while, I was on medication to even out my emotions. It didn't work. They usually managed to take care of the depression, but they just couldn't clip the highs. After years of fiddling with different dosages, I decided I was done with that, said a little prayer and threw the pills out the window. Well, in the garbage, but you get the point.

Today, I still struggle with bouts of depression and mania. I have it on good authority, from my friends, that they don't know anyone who gets as miserable or as happy as I do. That's fine. I pray about it, and I survive.

Right now, I am seriously high on life. It's been building for a few weeks. Thursday morning, in between teaching my kids, I was reading a book about a girl who committed suicide. I've been there, I understood what she was talking about, but with all the detachment of a reformed druggie. That's not me, I thought. I am happy. Life is beautiful.

I don't always need a reason to be happy. I just am. But there is a lot going well in my life of late. I've rediscovered my relationship with God, thanks to a Skype Bible Study, and I feel like God is working wonders for me. I've just completed another novel, this time inspired by my trip to India. I did a Japanese exam, and for the first time since I've been doing them, I feel relatively confident. I adapted Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" into simple English (with no past temse) and performed a play together with the other ALTs in my town. And I wrote a Japanese summary for it. After jumping through miles and miles of hoops, I finally obtained a Visa to visit Australia.

And of course, as with any good fairy tale, Prince Charming has made an appearance.

I've spent periods of the last few days, physically fighting not to break into a grin or worse, song and dance. Seriously!

And I woke up this morning thinking, well, it's a good thing you can't OD on life! :) Life is like the best drug ever. No exorbitant costs, no family problems, no need to take another hit.

Life is beautiful. Don't take yourself too seriously. Laugh once in a while. Get high on life!

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