I had someone tell me once, “Fitness isn’t all there is to the world.” And, although, I knew that, I didn’t comprehend what that looked like or how does one practice that kind of lifestyle, until life told me to take a seat with a cast on. It was during this time I learned fitness wasn’t everything in life. Fitness no longer always became the focus for which I identified with. That changed my perspective on everything else, and it also made room for everything else I had to deal with.
I believe fitness has helped me to manage my bipolar for over a decade. The first time I was diagnosed I didn’t want to believe it. I think it’s not uncommon to say that before I was diagnosed, life was better. But, that isn’t necessarily true. I want it to be. However, I understand that the notion of my life being better in the past is most likely stemming from not having the diagnosis in the first place since I can’t unknow what I know. Nevertheless, the moment when fitness became unavailable for me, it was easier to see how difficult it became to stabilize my mood swings and irritability in general.
I used fitness as a crutch for many things like anger, depression and the void. There were times I genuinely enjoyed gym-hopping because I naturally thought it was healthier than barhopping. But, those hourly long sessions five or six times a week at the gym were where I chose to avoid certain life reflections. So, rather than cut myself with a blade or fracture my hand on a solid wall, I would train to injury repeatedly. I was using a different method to continue to hurt myself.
When I couldn’t train for a period, I had to learn to sit with my passions. I had to observe my pain and find times for when I could adjust in healthier ways. I had to find new ways to regulate my recurring moods, triggers and symptoms. This was one of the most difficult things I had to do, despite allowing myself to feel what I feel when they arise. It took a long time for me to realize that not every feeling will remain and not every thought was something I had to believe in. I also didn’t realize in the way I trained my mind and body reflected my pain, avoidance, passion, anger, sadness and loneliness.
I’ve been a queen of silent pain, abuse and trauma. I’ve been cold and brutal many times, not only to myself, but to others as well. Once I started to transition from a masculine approach to more of a feminine one, I learned how to become softer and not have a meltdown. With changing my mindset, from being open to change and flow while being less critical, clarity came along with ease and it reflected in my training styles as a form of better awareness, in and out my fitness, and life itself.
I haven’t been in the best state of mind. Lately, I’ve been trying to adopt different approaches such as talking gentler to myself. My therapist says, “Try coddling yourself as you would do a young child that you actually like.”
I’m up with the moon throughout the month and down in the soil all the other times. Occasionally, I wake up passive and on other days I wake up aggressive as fuck. I’ve come to terms with my mood disorder. It’s behavioral, it’s learned, it runs in the family. A few years ago, I’ve become aware of many effects and suspected my actions may or may not have been completely me. Things have gotten to the point where even the most basic functions of existence do not seem basic anymore.
I lost who I was. I think this is the way it goes, right? Aging. I’m not sure who I am anymore, aside from a maturing woman who’s both lovely and extreme. I must admit loudly how I’ve been working on how to manage my mood swings for years and for a good part of my life, exercise and writing have kept a slight handle on the swings, but every day the things that used to work then haven’t been working now. I’m puzzled.
So, I’m older and in some ways, I absolutely adore it and in other ways, I don’t think I enjoy it because the short-term memory keeps failing me. It dissolves. I think because there’s something in the water, something in the air, you know, there are things in our food we can’t pronounce, and that shit doesn’t allow our minds, bodies or spirit to function at an elevated level. It’s like people hit a certain age and they flatline. I feel there’s so much working against me in general, and this goes back to how I’m not in the best state of mind.
Over the years my discipline and motivation have taken a dive, so much so, it frightens me. There are plenty of details in between, some you guys know and others I won’t bother getting into at this time. Still, I’ve been trying to find my new normal concerning everyday life. I’m going back to the basics on everything and am currently on a search to reestablish some things I used to love about myself, that now feels like the vanishing of a short-term memory.
I feel like there’s a sport psychology book calling my name out there somewhere.
i don’t pay attention to the weather forecast
for its broadcast with the same gas I pass from my ass
on a perilous day my awareness grew vast
like dead hands of the past
immeasurable as the ethereal dimension
i can feel its attendance traveling on my skin
directing connection perplexing affection
i can feel the invisible ones watching on
in the shadows of dawn
and when I wake from a slumber grave
and when I lay to sleep off consciousness
i can feel the various factors of providence
i can feel the different ghosts from every consequence of yesterday
i can feel the young man’s murder on Sixth Street
when I heard the gunshots that night
and how I read about his death from a corner away
from where it happened with lack of astonishment
and yes, he may be gone in a physical sense
but he’s not forgotten
i can smell the hot blood of the junkie
the authorities in blue left on my doorstep
and I’ve never felt so powerless;
veracity can be so flowerless
i can feel the edges of supernatural empowerment
aerial contact prose
i can feel the rush of the present
a spiritual meadow under my perceptive nose
a subtle pulse of anything goes
echoes of unapproachable distance
feelings of insurmountable brilliance
i undergo glimpses and experiences of a concluding death
i hope won’t arrive catastrophic
and it makes me cold
there’s a blinding light bulb out in the crossroads
it shines and speaks of all the lives I owe
how time is loan
and I must return to where it’s infinite on each of its matchless codes
revisiting a question mark, a veil I failed to recall
This title will be deceiving to some as there are types of professions that’ll give you the girlfriend experience automatically for their own reasons, but I picked this title because it describes my experience perfectly. See, when your own therapist is trying to give you the girlfriend experience and it doesn’t involve great conversation, an evening gown, a sugar daddy or walking away with an orgasm – you have to question what is going on because some people like myself actually want real therapy.
I’m not looking to sit in somebody’s office and talk about what’s happening throughout my week on a weekly basis. I don’t want to gossip about my life so the therapist could live vicariously through me. I don’t want a girlfriend to laugh with that’s presented as a therapist to have offset conversations about my future with. I don’t want to sit under jarring lights and speak about my opinions or views about my relationship and how does it feel to live with my partner and his two kids.
I don’t want to wait outside the therapist office only to hear loud laughs coming from behind closed doors because I want to KNOW and I want to SEE and I want to HEAR real therapy happen. You know – the kind of therapy that leaves you crying, reflecting and even feeling lost in your own world by the thought-provoking questions and thoughts that should occur.
The truth is I don’t need to share my present or future plans with this therapist. I don’t need the option to have a family therapy session. I don’t need to replace a girl who is a friend because I don’t have any current (real life) girls who are friends anyway. I don’t need my therapy session to be fun or lighthearted. I don’t want to be in a niche I believe my therapist has – some kind of Women’s Club.
So the question is: What do I want from therapy?
I want to stay stuck. I want to stumble. I want my thoughts to dig in their own graves if it means I’ll find a better understanding of myself. I want to cry (if it goes there). I want the therapist to do their job. I want a therapist to put in time and effort by taking real opportunities to intentionally ruin my day with childhood trauma and life-altering questions. I want a therapist who wants to make a difference in every client’s life. I want to walk away from the therapist appointment feeling like I had a great therapy session and not like I had a fucking girlfriend experience. I’m not there to be coddled. I’m there for serious matters.
What I want from therapy is very specific and it has to be because there isn’t any other way to go about it. I have a family history of mental illness. Some behavior is learned, while others are given to me directly by blood. I notice sometimes I’m managing okay, and other times I have to accept that I’m not. I was diagnosed as a twelve year old kid with Depression. Now it seems I graduated to being Bipolar. It is important for me to understand my illness, my blessing and my curse. And it’s super important for me to understand my behaviors and tics and why I switch into two different types of people without any awareness as to when it’s happening.
The point to all this is: I remember clearly telling the lady who performed my evaluation exactly what I want(ed) as well as the first time I met and spoke with my therapist.
My therapist has a good nature about her (at times) despite being very different from me and my own life. Still, I want a good therapist. And I will get a good therapist because I’m not settling for less and because I’m not going to stop searching for one. And as I walk away from the therapist office once again thoughts start to balloon collectively but singularly at once: Why is it every time I’m early to my appointment and lounging in the waiting room I see the same aged clients (late 20’s- early 50’s) strolling out of my therapist’s office? Why are all these women – whether they’re young or old laughing every time they leave the therapist office? And why are all the therapists’ clients’ women?
Now the time has come where I believe I’ve fully given this woman enough of my time. I’m never getting those months back. Of course this is a learning experience for future therapists and future standards I’m going to set right in the beginning of my first therapy session which takes place next week because this bitch doesn’t play. I did my goal: I stuck with a therapist for about 6 months because I’m like most men in the world – I have commitment issues. Nevertheless I learned a lot. Therefore this is where I break up with the girlfriend experience who is my therapist.
Some Final Notes
Some people have a problem with breaking up with people. Fortunately and luckily, I do not. I enjoy it, and frankly – welcome it! I think about how my life has been about one big confrontation. And luckily for me I love confrontations because it says a lot about the kind of person you are (or not). I go on and think about the bases I have to cover in case this therapist decides to fire away questions because she doesn’t like my basic answer which is: There’s something missing in our therapy sessions.
Along with confrontation I think about liberation. Breaking up with a partner, wife, husband, business partner and such can be a fantastic release, even if it hurts initially. I think about the freedom to speaking your mind and expressing what it is you really feel and think about right after moving on and never looking back because if it was good for you, you’ll still be in the relationship or in my case – sitting in a seat across from my therapist who wants to get paid to do half ass work. I’m not wasting my time to get half ass results. If a person isn’t driven for success by giving out quality work then why should I (or any other client) be around?
If the other clients don’t understand this, that’s not my problem, and as is, not every client wants what I want. Some actually want to be coddled. However, I’m leaving this therapist because I have self-love. I wish she understood what it is she’s currently providing by not providing. As a therapist, she should put in time and effort into improving and evolving her client’s lives unless they specified to have a girlfriend experience.