Monday, January 21, 2013

Bipolar Disorder, Spiritual Emergency and Awakening

It's 21 days into 2013.

I'm still trying to process what happened last year. I've found some definitions, videos, new ways of thinking that have helped or at least given me insights.

One of them is this one:

Stephen Fry shares about his thoughts on being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Personally, I kinda envy that he was diagnosed "Bipolar Lght/Positive", meaning he has more of a tendency to look at the bright side of things, I guess.

But what also helped me was stumbling on the term "Spiritual Emergency".

Here's a list of books about SPIRITUAL EMERGENCY.

A little background. I had a manic episode last year, was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and when I checked out the definition on Wikipedia HERE, sure enough, the symptoms I experienced matched what was described as a "manic episode".

Thing is, to reduce what happened to me to a "mere" nervous breakdown would be to trivialize and minimize the impact of what I went through.

I can only describe what I went through as an intense spiritual retreat, like the ones I used to go through as a student in an all-girls' Catholic school.

Thing is, Spiritual Emergency can also be characterized WITH a psychological condition like Bipolar Disorder.

So, yeah, maybe my quest for self-healing is sort of like walking into a bookstore and grabbing as many books as I can off the shelves of ANY topic that can help.

First, let me share the definition I found on what Spiritual Emergency is, also from Wikipedia HERE:

"Spiritual crisis (also called "spiritual emergency") is a form of identity crisis where an individual experiences drastic changes to their meaning system (i.e., their unique purposes, goals, values, attitude and beliefs, identity, and focus) typically because of a spontaneous spiritual experience. A spiritual crisis may cause significant disruption in psychological, social and occupational functioning. Among the spiritual experiences thought to lead to episodes of spiritual crisis or spiritual emergency are psychiatric complications related to existential crisis, mystical experience, near-death experiences, Kundalini syndrome, paranormal experiences, religious ecstasy and meditation or other spiritual practices (Grof & Grof, 1989; Turner, Lukoff, Barnhouse, & Lu, 1995)."

I could just dust off my hands and say "Okay, this is what happened to me. Eureka! I have found a 'label' or 'condition' I can work with and I'm okay now." But of course, life is rarely that simple.

I realize that there are still more questions that need to be answered, more issues to be tackled, and just trying to heal and how to proceed.

I've been trying to deal with this for a year now. I still hope to be able to write about it in order just to deal with it, but the writing comes in spurts and incremental bursts of inspiration and then nothing.

I'm publishing this on my blog in case someone needs the information and maybe find a kindred soul who is on the same path.

To anyone who has stumbled on this, and is going through some sort of similar crisis, I don't envy you. I've been there. But there's hope that this experience didn't happen for no reason whatsoever.

Maybe we're just trying to connect to our God/Higher Power by trying to figure out who we are.

Peace and blessings, kindred soul. You are not alone. You can get through this. Peace, love, and light.

As to some hope that it must mean something, watch this:

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