Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Touched with Fire

I came to a realization about myself yesterday, which probably surprised me a lot more than it may surprise those of you who know me. I wasn't actually certain about it until today, but I realize, now, that I am best described as being manic-depressive.

Like I said, those of you who know me are probably not surprised by this (what was to me a) revelation.

I don't care for the term bipolar; I never have, because the term itself is nonsensical. The prefix "bi" means "two", and the term "polar" comes from the term "pole" which, in this sort of usage, presupposes the existence of "two" (or "bi") "poles" (right?). So the term "bipolar" actually means: "two two poles", which is just dumb. The term "manic-depression", on the other hand, more accurately describes the "condition". The terms "manic" and "depression" describe what the two poles are, and the term "manic-depression" itself describes a "condition" that exhibits the two extremes of what would otherwise be considered a "normal" (balanced) psyche.

Anyway, I decided yesterday, once I realized what was going on, that I would not seek "treatment" for my "condition". I figure I am who I am and I don't want to change who I am. I do, however, want to be a better person, and I think that if I continue striving to be more like Christ that I will do so. Thanks to his grace and mercy. I would much rather reread Stott's book on The Sermon on the Mount again, which I am doing and I will do again and again if I have to, than to be medicated for the rest of my life. I think such medication would destroy my creativity, meaning me.

According to my research today, I have concluded that I have what is called Bipolar I, which is the worst kind and, to boot, I appear to have it in spades (i.e., with what is known as "multiple episodes", which is what's been happening lately, especially yesterday). Have I mentioned that I hate the term "bipolar"?

So I'm going to buy a book that I've known about for years but have never read, because I wasn't manic-depressive; or so I thought: Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, by Kay Redfield Jamison.

I guess I really do need to read it after all.

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