One never knows when the answers to those inponderable questions in life are going to come to you. Well some of those questions were answered when I was driving my truck listening to an interview of an author, Nassir Ghaemi, who wrote a book titled "A First-Rate Madness", "Uncovering the links between Leadership and Mental Illness."
For so long I have not understood why I have made decisions to do what I did when I did them. Confused? So was I!
Have you ever wondered after the fact why you responded the way you did to a certain situation or reacted to something author described these traits in more detail all I could do was say to myself aha!!!
He describes what mental illness is. It doesn't mean that I'm insane (phew!!!)
"It has nothing to do with my thinking at all, but rather my adnormal moods. These moods aren't constant. People with manic-depressive illness aren't always manic or depressed. The illness is the susceptability to these illnesses, not the fact that of actually being manic or depressed.
The most popular psychological model is the "Cognitive-Behavioural Model". In fact overwhelming clinical evidence supports the "Depressive-Realism Model" which argues that depressed people aren't depressed because of a distorted reality; ther're depressed because they see reality more clearly than other people do."
That piece of information helped me heaps when I have tried to understand what happenned to my marriage to Mary-Anne. The book goes into some detail about things like that. I have drawn from what I have read in the book that my perception of what was happenning has been a little more accurate that I realised, especially with the breakdown of my marriage to Mary-Anne. Her response to where I was at was one of survival not "I don't like you anymore". I can remember Mary-Anne saying to frequently and often "I just want my man back" but sadly thatw as not to be and neither she nor I had the ???? to endure the storm that raged in me and consequently around me. Sadly the people I loved the most and wanted so much to stay close to were pushed away and the outcome we have today is the result. What I believed was happenning was acually happenning, a major realisation when everything I think and hear I doubt because of where I'm at. The tragedy is that I was powerless to act and respond appropriately to bridge the gap between mayself and my loved ones.
The author goes on to talk about basic personality traits that are set by the time we go to kindergarten. Like height and shape define our bodies three basic traits define our personalities; neuroticism (anxiety), extraversion (sociability) and our openness to experience (curiousity and risk taking). These traits form the basis of specific personality types; dysthymia, hyperthymia and cyclothymia. I am hypothymic, always upbeat, need less that 8 hours sleep a night, and a reasonably strong libido. These abnormal temperaments are mild versions of depression, maia, and bi-polar which we have all the time, not mood episodes that come and go.
That may sound a little convoluted, but it made sense to me and explained a lot of what I have done in the past such as risk taking, persuit of women, business decisions, and general decisions throughout my life. A real aha moment.
My drive to sculpt, draw, and seek a creative solution to a problem or situation. My drive to find a beautiful photograph. What is beauty and what isn't together who I'm attracted to in a woman all seem to make sense somehow.
There is much more in the book that has helped but that is a segment that I read in the introduction titled "The Inverse Law of Sanity".
Somehow I know that I'm in a much better space that I have been in many many years. The most significant sign is that I dream differently. My dreams are less turbulent and scary. They are just dreams, some peaceful, but mostly they are nice dreams that don't shake me awake at 2.00am in the morning. The second sign is that I think differently. I think more about the now, how I can create a piece of art, how nice it was to meet a person I've just met, what a wonderful time I had being married to Mary-Anne but now that short story has ended and I'm free to be, do and have what inspires me and rests in my heart.
The future has yet to come and I worry less and less about what the future may hold. Instead I dream/think about pleasant things, the home I would like to own, where that could be, a picture I would ike to draw and how I could draw it, where I could travel to and what sort of work I could do there to earn some money. These ideas are not frought with anxiety as they used to be. They are peaceful and pleasant ideas.
It feels to me as if I am back from some place that held me for sooo long I can't remember not being there. This is new and exciting territory for me but hopefully it's more of the real me, the person I am not the person I thought I needed to be.
Only time will tell.
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