Remember those crap essays your teacher made you write after a holiday break? They weren’t really interested in what you did, it was a desperate smokescreen while they panicked about how to spend the next term trying to make you care about algebra.
From your perspective, the assignment was bittersweet. You recalled a few glorious weeks of freedom in faltering sentences, imagining them projected onto the musty walls of your classroom prison compound.
After killing this blog in March, then hinting in April I might start again, I get to today and find that I don’t know where to begin. It’s nothing like riding a bike. So, this scattered summary of the last four months is my best attempt.
I lost another close family member and came close to suicide (again). I cried alone, and in the comforting rooms of a psychologist.
I fell in love and tried desperately to claw myself out of the pit when I finally realised it wasn’t going to happen. I discovered what it meant to be single again after 17 years of marriage. I’m still finding the footholds.
I lost confidence in my ability to do just about everything, and in the things that have driven me for most of my life.
These are the first real words I’ve written in months (I don’t count copy for new housing developments or promotional material about asthma that never saw the light of day).
After vowing in an entire indignant blog post never to go near it, I fell in love with AFL, picked a team and became a member. I went to matches on my own, and despite the loneliness and confusion happening elsewhere in my daily life, felt more of a sense of inclusion and belonging in a crowd of 60,000 tribal strangers than I’ve felt at any other time this year.
I’ve sat on the couch and screamed at the television when my team got a run on the ball, realised I’d turned into my granddad, and that after fourteen years I still wish he was here to share my life.
I thought long and hard about starting to write for this blog again. I recently told my parents I probably wouldn’t because I didn’t think I had anything left to say.
Every time I enter my bedroom, I’m confronted by my computer and its stack of accompanying hard drives, on which sit pieces of three unfinished feature documentaries. Why can’t I finish them?
Needled by the uncertainty I carry with me every day, sometimes it feels like I’ve spent my whole life trying to reach the finish line, and ultimately bailing out. Maybe I should’ve run harder. Maybe I shouldn’t have been in some of those races to start with. It doesn’t matter now.
What it comes down to is this: I write and create things because I don’t know how to do anything else. There is no grand plan, and there doesn’t need to be.
Thoughts of the future, and plans that stretch more than a month ahead frighten me. But daily happiness helps me sleep at night and wake in the morning with the thought that life is still worth living.
This article previously appeared on Christopher’s own blog bipolarbear here.