Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly Meaningless!
I figured out a few things since that last post. Still crying. Fifth day of this ridiculousness. I'm making light. It's not ridiculous at all. I am, however, running out of Kleenex. Perhaps my brain will tell me that's enough on the tears, because very shortly, I've nothing left to catch them with. That would be a good thing.
I'm grieving, my counselor confirms. Three things in the last couple weeks. I reported the date rape in 2018. Trevor stood me up, and Josh told me he needed space. None of those things alone would have done it, but the three in quick succession, the crying jag was likely inevitable.
"Don't talk yourself out of feeling your grief," my counselor urged. "A lot of people will say you don't deserve to feel bad. You're dating a nice fellow, you have a tremendous support system, and enough Kleenex to get you through five days of sobbing!" (OK I just made up that last part, but he is a funny guy and he might well have said that.)
"I know," I responded. "It's not a competition. I have permission to feel as bad as I feel, regardless of how inconsequential my issues may appear to others."
People with bipolar and BPD experience emotions x 1000. It's called emotional dysregulation. I have always been hard on myself for having what I perceive as inordinately extreme emotional responses in relation to relatively innocuous triggers. But to self-shame over my Big Emotions is counter-productive. I have learned it is OK to feel what I feel, it's my behavior that must remain in check.
Emotional dysregulation isn't an all bad thing. I may suffer deeply, over things that others with more resilient personalities may take in stride, but I also acutely experience the richness of life, sometimes with a childlike wonder that brings such euphoria, I am enveloped with a feeling of such peace and well being all seems possible. Of course, that could simply be the upside of mania. Regardless, having mental illness, falling into the deepest dark, and experiencing the most transcendent highs, I would almost say it's worth it. Almost. What I'd love best is "even". I seek "even". Yet, "even" eludes.
So, I'm trying my best to embrace it all, all of it, the good the bad and everything in between, and simply push on through. Which I know how to do and have become quite expert at doing. I was doing well, very very well. I am getting better. But healing is iterative. Setbacks are inevitable. And they aren't setbacks at all, truly. They're part of the journey.
I must once again reference Rob Bell's An Introduction to Joy. He covers this poem from Ecclesiastes, and he covers it in a way that helped me see how truly fleeting life is, and how nothing lasts forever.
It's right and good to desire to make a difference in our world, to use our talents, to leave a legacy. The desire to achieve meaningful things is born with us. Yet seasons give way to new seasons, and generations are birthed and then die, and nothing stays the same but there is never anything new. Constant change in an endless repeating pattern.
This season is a season that will give way to a new season. And my suffering will lessen, and there will be new happiness and new joy, and then there will inevitably be suffering again. But none of it will last. Thankfully. The bad things make me better. And I've an eternity to put it all to rights.
I'm doing the work. I'm showing up. I'm putting one foot in front of the other.
I Persevere. And life goes on.
Everything Is Meaningless
says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.
Wisdom Is Meaningless
I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.”
Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
[Initial publication date: 3/22/2022]