One of the things I feared most after I first got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 1999 was medicine that made me feel numb.
Even though feelings on the extremes when left unchecked can lead, and have led, to disaster, seeming to not be able to feel anything at all is a far worse fate. I don’t wish it on anyone.
I can’t even describe to you what it (doesn’t) feels like. The only way you can know is if you know.
“Mood stabilizer,” she said. “That’s what you need. You need a good ‘mood stabilizer.'”
I didn’t always understand my doctor’s accent, but we communicated perfectly.
“A ‘mood stabilizer’?” I said. “Listen, I’m totally fine with that. Just don’t let it suck my soul. Deal?”
“I can write you a prescription, but I cannot make deals.”
Sometimes I need a bit of literal. She was always very literal.
I’ve always known that I feel differently than most people. I don’t know what that means, except to say I have always been open to being *moved* in life-altering ways by experiences, and those experiences have never had any pre-requisites for being the ones that seem to have been singled out to make me feel so deeply.
The Celtic Christians had a name for moments when the apparent separation between human beings and the Divine seemed to become more and more transparent.
They called these moments “Thin Places.”
I am on the hunt for Thin Places.
I am Scott Langdon- Thin Places Hunter!
Feeling deeply doesn’t necessarily need to lead to upheaval, as my current life experience is showing me. And, as I said, Thin Places can show up anywhere at anytime. You don’t even need to know what you’re looking for.
That’s why I often go to Sarah Connelly’s performance of “Dido’s Lament” by Henry Purcell when I sometimes feel dull.
This particular rendition is so sad it makes me want to live.
I know that must sound so weird, but it’s true.
Every single time I listen to it, I am so inextricably connected to her sorrow, and there is instantly no room for any doubt about the fact that I can still feel.
*Feeling* is how we get to what really is the crux of this life, namely, recognizing our shared being.
Have a listen for yourself. You’ll see what I mean.