Friends, Family and Lydia
Last night I received the sweetest phone call from an old friend of mine. I attended Shrewsbury Boro Grammar School with Barbara McNeal (Speece) in the late 70’s. After a few interactions on Facebook, she called to tell me how much she appreciated our friendship. Barb, who lives in Michigan, is also my female Rottweiler Lydia’s Vet … always quick to give much needed advice and loving care to my beloved canine. During the call, we reminisced about growing up in New Jersey and all the fond memories we had in our adolescent years. I can’t tell you how much it moved me that she took the time to drop me a line. The timing was perfect.
Over the holidays, I've received many kind texts and emails from those that are truly concerned about my journey. Many mentioned how I've touched their lives in one way or another. These are the times I cherish. Once again realizing that my I'm making a difference. It would be easy to throw in the towel. But the restructuring of my life is starting to pay dividends. I’m so thankful for those that have stuck by my side.
I’m coming up on one (1) year of recovery since my last manic episode. I've been battling depression and anxiety since January of last year. Sobriety, active recovery, meditation, working out and a good diet have all contributed to my spiritual growth over the last 12 months. I’m reading a lot and have been actively blogging again…which is a good sign. But the work is never done. Recovery will always be a constant in my life.
Probably the most satisfying aspect to this chapter of my life has been the new relationships as well as rekindled old ones. My new friends I've made through recovery groups, my family’s love that never wanes and my true friends that never stopped believing in me.
When we go through tough times, it’s easy for people to put us in a box and write us off. It is these times that we really find out who our true friends are. I’ll be the first to admit that those of up from both poles need to avoid giving Bipolar and depression a bad name. If we slip into our old ways and fade into darkness, we usually have had a hand in the drama. Our Ego takes over; self-pity and righteousness run rampant.
When manic, we can become frustrated when friends and family can’t ‘keep up’. Usually we have some valid points that we incessantly want to get across. But the tact, or lack thereof, could have been adjusted in one way or another. Even though we think we’re telling the truth, we must remember that the ‘truth without Love is just mean’.
Most people with ‘unquiet minds’ can’t seem to turn off the ‘ass-kickin’ machine. When manic, the assault is on others. When depressed, the assault is on us. And as I've said before, the subsequent clean up is never pretty.
Why do we find it necessary to dig up the past and figure out ‘what happened’ to us? And when our mania subsides, why do we find it necessary to beat ourselves up to the brink of suicide? Why do we always have the urge to dole out unsolicited advice; pointing out the faults in others when in reality when should be cherishing our many similarities?
These are questions that are answered when we come back down to earth. When we realize we’re all doing the best we can on our quest for happiness. Granted, some people are a little further along their path to enlightenment. And others show us signs that they have some things to work on or work out. But I now know that it’s not my job to play God and push them along their path. God has his/her plan for all and it’s up to me to let people evolve at their own pace. Acceptance, support and the showing of unconditional Love will not only contribute to my sanity, but to the harmony of all those I come in contact with on this planet.
The moral to the story is that the human interaction that we experience with our friends and family is indispensable. The support and Love we share will not only change our lives, but all those that we coexist with in the universe. We’re all in this together. And the sooner we take the necessary steps to unite and experience unity-consciousness, the more fulfilling our lives will be.
Thank God for Friends, Family and Lydia.
Posted by Gregory Montgomery, Jr.