Kay Redfield Jamison entitled her biographical account of living with bipolar ‘An Unquiet Mind’. An apt descriptor if ever there was one.
Over the last year or more, I have experienced the unquietness of a devastating depression and the euphoria of hypomania, cycling rapidly and unpredictably, competing with each other for pre-eminence. Finally, my regime of medication is working well, and for the first time in what seems like an eternity, my mind is relatively quiet. There is no suffocating negativity; there are no rapid thoughts and a torrent of cascading ideas that absolutely have to be acted upon.
I love silence; I love gentle contemplation. I can now experience the bliss of calm once again………..although I am not naive enough to think that this is a permanent state; my experience of bipolar has taught me to expect unpredictability and embrace uncertainty.
R.S. Thomas spoke so beautifully of silence in his poem entitled ‘But the silence in the mind‘:
But the silence in the mind
is when we live best, within
listening distance of the silence
we call God. This is the deep
calling to deep of the psalm-
writer, the bottomless ocean
We launch the armada of
our thoughts on, never arriving.
It is a presence , then,
Whose margins are our margins;
that calls us out over our
own fathoms. What to do
but draw a little nearer to
such ubiquity by remaining still?