View Full Version : Shedding the Ugly Duckling & Embracing The Swan

10-06-07, 07:08 PM
I am wondering how many of you, who have started your life over having success with treatment , ask yourself this question and feel the same way. I have been waiting for the moment to arrive when I was ready to write it down. I have felt this way for awhile now. I remember when it started was when I added this quote to my signature line;

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~Ana´s Nin~

I knew while there was still some pain ahead, it was more painful to stay where I was. So despite the fear, I pushed through the veil and went into the unknown anyway.

I wanted to write this, perhaps it wasn't time yet, I just didn't have the words to express it until now.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. ~Dr. Alexis Carrel ~

I spent years going from one personality to another. Most of it driven by my moods rather than
my core personality. It was often pushed to the side or reared it's ugly head in the most extreme versions.

Looking back I believe my onset was with puberty. I remember I went from being a pretty quiet well behaved kid, to Damion...I am sure my mother looked for the 666 on my head.

I remember going through stages of wanting to be someone great with a new fasination with something like the next tennis star, actress, singer, etc. Then heading the opposite direction and devoting my time to some pretty severe self destructive behaviors.

I remember saying many times my biggest problem was the inner struggle within myself.
Images of the little angel and devil sitting on your shoulder pulling you in both directions has been something very real in my life. I have been called Sybil more than once.

When I got diagnosed in 1994 with ADHD and then a year later with mild clinical depression I thought I finally knew why I felt different. However, years later faced with almost literal destruction of myself and my family. I realized it couldn't be just that. True enough the meds I was on for the ADD worked for the ADD, but there was something dark and ominous lurking there along with it.

The pull between the light and dark was always there. It just became overwhelming enough that I finally gave up and went to the doctor with my little journal of issues. That was when I finally realized I was Sybil. But it wasn't because of my personality. Well not all of it.

Since I have been on my medications the inner battles become farer and fewer between and less intense.

So I have been pondering this.

When I have days that I feel normal, and on an even keel. I watch myself and I think this is me? I have found that I am more outgoing than I thought. What I used to think was driven by the hypomania in the beginning of BP education, is actually my "core" personality.

I don't suffer from HUB a term I created to let my friends and family know why I didn't call back or show up for events. HUB is my personal descriptor of the fall out of depression. Translation : Head Up Butt!

I still have my moments but contact with the outside world is not as excruciating. I answer the phone when I normally wouldn't . I get out of my pajama's before Monday morning.

Now what? Finding this new me. I am not only pleasantly surprised, but I am a little scared?
It's like going on one of those reality shows as a ugly duckling and coming out as a swan.
It's a shock. I often wonder how those people really feel when the cameras are all gone.

When they look in the mirror how long do they see the ugly duckling. More importantly the "inside" duckling still exists inside of them and is figureing out how to except it and let it really emerge , well that is where I find myself now.

For me I am always afraid I will get used to being the Swan on a regular basis, that one day the duckling will just show up again to stay.

How do you begin to act like the swan you were always supposed to be?

How do you function as a "normal" person when you don't really know what that means?

I always laugh at people who say it must be terrible to be BP...of course it is. However, I don't know the difference. I have always been this way? It's like when a person is born blind or deaf and then one day they can see or hear. I have heard stories how horrible it can be at first, overwhelmed by all the sensory issues. Well?

I am not saying I regret one minute of finding out I have BP or knowing I have to take meds the rest of my life to keep it at bay. I just think it's literally like being born all over again. Learning how to walk and talk again. Always afraid I will revert back. Afraid the little angel and devil will appear and the battle will begin again.

The only regret I have, and it's one I have dealt with, but haunts me sometimes, is I wish I could have had the diagnoses so much earlier in my life. I wonder if some of the dreams I had, which weren't all a result of grandious symptoms, would have come to be?

This leads me to the question. Now that I started to realize the swan is not a figmant of my imagination or something that has to leave when I peel myself off the ceiling from yet another hypomanic episode.

Now that I possess the ability to not only start or pursue things that I love, but actually finish them. What am I going to do? I mean there are somethings I know I can never be now due to age, family, and lack of funds.

But when you wake up one day and you look in the mirror and really recognize the swan;

What do you do now?

No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. ~Antoine de Saint ~

Hope { Diagnosed Bipolar II Sept 2006 }
October 6, 2007

10-06-07, 09:20 PM
A guru once said, "The seeker becomes the sought."

For years I searched. Wondered who I was. What did I want. It changed from time to time depending upon my state. For the longest time I sought my salvation in women and recognition. Of course none of that could have done it. Then I discovered two truths the first was universal. The second was about what was going on within the machine known as my body.

Now I no longer wish to wonder about my dreams as I want peace and the ability to allow inspiration to come through me. Dreams, to me, are future events that I have chased after. Inspiration is always there and makes miraculous things happen. Dreams are about salvation, something that when we achieve it we think will make us happy. Inspiration is about the now, the only moment we will ever have.

Right now I am neither the swan or the ugly duckling. I am doing my best to be aware and vigilant. I know that I am not my disease. There are still a lot of days that I reign in hell, but knowing that it is not me is a huge relief. What I want to do now is to be present, to live in this moment. That is my goal. Everything else will happen as it is supposed to and I have no control over that. However, to live in acceptance of what is, that would be a blessing.

10-08-07, 08:06 AM

That is beautifully written.
Thanks for sharing this with me. :)