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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

I Persevere. And life goes on.

February 17, 2022 Journal Entry

My goodness, the date almost passed me by! I committed to celebrating every month, and doing a wellness check on how I’m coming along, dealing with the herpes diagnosis I received five months ago today.

I’m doing well, overall. I fall into self-shaming, and my niece calls me out on my shit. Thank God for her. Most of the time, it’s just no big deal. As I’ve said time and again, herpes, which I’ve repeatedly dubbed a nuisance skin condition, is nothing compared to managing all the other massive complexities that make up my life right now.

Intellectually, I so get it. But it’s not entirely written on my soul that I’m not less for having herpes. But it is part of my truth. Reinforcement, having people I love and respect call me on my bullshit self-shaming habits, which takes me down the path of victim mentality which I abhor, that’s what will get me to well.

Through introspection, writing, reading, researching, and having the support of my incredible, ever patient, ever loving friends, I’m convinced I’ll push through to complete self-acceptance. I am convinced beyond a doubt nothing I do, nothing that is done to me, and no internal or external event can ever take away the fact that I am enough. I am my own perfect me. And I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

So, on the herpes front, I’m doing quite well. Plus, I met someone, who has herpes, and we’re forming a lovely friendship. We’ll see how it goes with the whole sex thing. Still trying to figure things out there. I was ready for a redirect in my sexual choices. But I’m not at all ready to write off the possibility of more sex! Lots of sex! I’m not quitting sex. Sex and connection and passion just aren’t things I’m willing to forego. Sex and connection and passion are the precious experiences that make life worthwhile.

I recognize things will play out as they will. And as always, I will be exactly where I’m supposed to be in each and every moment ahead. I trust in me, I trust in Spirit, I’m on my way to well. Making some pretty significant progress, actually. I am very pleased.

The mom thing is a morass of complexity, frustration, and my tendency to become irritated with her, but actually not her, irritated at the situation, is something I’m desperately trying to get ahead of. It’s not good, and each week that passes, she deteriorates further. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever witnessed. Now, she points at things because she can’t find her words, and the yells at me when I don’t immediately figure it out. I mean, for goodness sake, I’m trying! But she’s not her, not all of her anymore. And I’m still all of me, and she pushes my buttons and triggers me all over the place just as she always did. I try, but sometimes my mind’s most solid reasoning can’t override an angry outburst. Alas. It’s infrequent. I’m doing better now at controlling my temper than ever before. I take great comfort in that. The bad things make me better!

I’m coming out of a low-grade manic phase that lasted for weeks. Not being able to sleep more than a few hours a night exacerbated everything. I had a few good days earlier in the week, but I’m back to slump and dark. The only encouraging thing, which I cling to with my life moment by moment, is what goes down must come up. This down can’t last forever, doesn’t last forever, won’t last forever. I smile saying that. Just knowing the truth about this cyclical phenomenon that governs my mind gives me power. But does the power of knowing give me control? Not really. I can't control my bipolar brain. I can control my behavior. I can get hold of the bipolar untruths that flood my self talk. I see them now; those lies and manipulations. Most often, I choose not to act on what I know to be false constructs. However, just like it's impossible to discern a person's motives all of the time, it's impossible to discern a bipolar falsehood all of the time. I miss some. And I act on bad information. And there is a consequence to that.

So sad, just to write that last paragraph. I try so very hard. I chase "well" with all of my being. But it becomes more and more clear, as I daily renew my commitment to deliberately walk this path to wholeness, total dominion over the effects of mental illness is not possible. To recognize this truth is very freeing, but not an excuse to give up the fight. I'll never stop fighting for my quality of life. It's all just too fucking important.

I really do want to make it to the finish line, persevere through to my appointed time. I may be missing a limb or two, bloodied, battered, hopefully not psychotic, but I have no idea what the future of this disease may have in store. I just don't want to give up on my life. I want to live. Even if I never find happy, I'm committed to seeking the peace of "even".

I have herpes. And that’s OK. It becomes more insignificant each passing day. I suffer bipolar, and I relentlessly pursue “even”. That’s the big stuff.

The path to "well" is iterative, not at all linear. But if I’m anything, I’m consistent. And persistent. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some whacked brain chemistry steal my life. Not anymore, anyway. And that commitment has made all the difference.

I Persevere. And life goes on.

"When peace like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know

It is well, it is well, with my soul."

-Horatio Stafford and Phillip Bliss, It Is Well With My Soul



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