Writing Prompt: A Letter to a Stranger

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Prompt: Type an anonymous letter to a stranger detailing what you have learned in life.  Leave a link to your post in the comments to share with others.  Here is my letter:

Dear Stranger,

I suppose I have learned a thing or two over my lifetime thus far.  I’ve learned that most people can’t be trusted but a few can.  I’ve learned that opposite phenomenons are going on all of the time.  For example, people are altruistic because it makes them feel better thus actually making them selfish not altruistic.  And parents hurt their children even though they love them intensely.  And churches lie to their followers while preaching the Truth.  I’ve learned to see the world in these grays, rather than in black and white.  It has been my biggest lesson. 

I’ve also learned that I can not like someone but still care about them.  That I welcome eccentricities, but not insincerity.  That someone’s ability to be open-minded shapes every facet of their being.  And that it is quite rare to change an adult’s mind on his or her core values.

I’ve learned that some people are actually capable of unconditional love.  That sunsets make the most beautiful photographs and children are the most difficult gift I have ever received.  That a clean house, flat stomach, or big bank account doesn’t make a person happy.  And that love and health are two of the most important things in life.  Most of all, I’ve learned that I don’t know much and that I’ve got a lot more to learn.

 

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What it is Like to Be Mentally Stable

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I was sitting here thinking about how I haven’t thought about the fact that I have bipolar disorder in a while.  About two weeks ago I had a day or two of feeling depressed and it reminded me of the “old days” of when I was in a true clinically depressed state of being unable to get out of bed or eat or shower for weeks on end; of when I didn’t know how I was going to make it through another day of living; of how I hoped I didn’t make it through alive.  I just wanted to die.

Thankfully, I don’t get that low for that long anymore.  I also don’t get high enough to be up until two or three (or four) in the morning writing or painting or working on any other various creative projects that always turned out to be a waste of time.  Many of the projects I start these days I finish, and they have some sort of functional goal or purpose to them as opposed to being just some sort of random jibberish.

Some major medication trials until the right combo was found and a complete overhaul in therapy to treat my childhood traumas both played a role in the stability I am enjoying today.  It takes work, effort, and the help of good and caring doctors and therapists, but mental stability can happen.

I am fully aware that one of these days I may wake up and find myself in a depressive or hypomanic state once again that lasts more than a day or two as they have been.  I dread the day if it ever comes.  However, luckily, my anxiety disorder is also under control enough that this thought is something I can let go of and simply go on living my life as is until further notice.  Thanks be to God!

Grief: A Meditation

For a time, sometimes a long time, grief can leave you in a fog.  Memories are all you have and the pain is gut wrenching as the sobs pull the breath from your lungs until they collapse in the dead weight of your chest.  

You don’t want to, but you get up everyday and you put one foot in front of the other and you move forward, resting often, sighing heavily, straining to act.

But, you are doing this a miniscule step at a time. Every inhale and exhale is a healing force. 

Where there’s breath there is hope. Where there is hope, I will create gratitude, for where there is gratitude, I will find peace.