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Mental Illness in the Summer

Posted Oct 23 2008 6:05pm

There is a sunrise at the edge of my skin praising me.~ AliceWalker

My best times in my journey with bipolar have come during the summer season.  Eleven years ago in the summer, I was diagnosed.  I know this seems like an oxymoron.   The first analysis I received wasMajor Depressive Disorderwith general anxiety.  My diagnosis ofBipolar Disorderwould come a couple of pdocs later.  The summer of my firstpsychotic breakwas bad, yet it was not the worse.  My most destructivepsychosisbrought me to my current diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.  I was seriously ill.  The devastation from that time remains with me today.  It is something I daily work to overcome.  When the summer comes I always feel connection to my beginning days of my affliction.  I feel a certain alliance with the frightened, hopeless woman who eventually found relief through cognitive and behavioral therapy, medication, and writing.  Thepanic attacks mixed with anxiety and depression were relentless in their pursuit of my soul.  In order to find additional relief, my therapist suggested that I try walking. One day that summer in mid June weather, I set off walking.  My walk turned into a run.  With the sun beaming on my face, no wind blowing my hair, and the stillness the heat brought, I ran.  I did this every morning until one day I suddenly ran into myself.  Then I walked.  As I walked in the summer sun, I noticed the surroundings and I noticed me.  As I walked, the trees, birds, grass, plants, and all the bright sky praised me.  I felt one with God and began to find peace with myself.  Every summer I take extra time to walk.  It still affects me.  This summer, I am fortunate that my illness is remiss.  The symptoms are quiet and controlled.  Now as I walk, I take in the healing I need, am grateful for the hope I have been given, and just enjoy the summer day.


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