Monday, July 20, 2009

Bad Pain, Good News

As you know, I spent the last week lying flat on my back on the couch, breathing through sciatic pain, looking up at the spinning ceiling fan. My one bright spot during the week was an email from a site called Online College informing me that “Knowledge is Necessity” was included in their 100 Powerful Blogs for Self-Improvement.

According to Online College, the blogs “can help you achieve your goals, learn new skills, become a better parent, and expand your knowledge of the world around you.”

The list include blogs from a wide array of categories, from Personal Development to Art and Culture to the Environment to Travel, plus more. “Knowledge is Necessity” is one of 10 health and wellness blogs on the list, and the only mental health blog.

Had I started this blog at the end of 2007 rather than 2008, I probably would have called it something like “McMan’s Depression and Bipolar Blog” as a companion to my “McMan’s Depression and Bipolar Report” and “McMan’s Depression and Bipolar Web,” which I had been doing since 1999 and 2002, respectively.

But over time, my quest for understanding my illness (bipolar) has morphed into a quest of rigorous self-enquiry that embraces all of mental health and the wider world around it. “Knowledge is Necessity,” is the name I came up with to best demonstrate this new outlook, oddly the tag line I had been using since I first got started in 1999.

Thus, I find it gratifying to receive a pat on the back for charting a new course, just seven months into the effort.

Nevertheless, my guiding principles are the same ones I started out with back in 1999, namely that everything I write is aimed at either providing insight into how we tick (and tock) or helping us manage the challenges that life happens to throw our way. In short, it’s all about YOU, the individual, and those who love you.

This applies even when I am recounting my own experiences.

Back to couches and ceiling fans. I was squinting at my laptop, which I was holding with two hands above my head. Ah! Good news. Glad tidings have the power to lift us above our pain. But - the pain always comes back, reminding us how truly mortal we are.

Wisdom transforms us, transcends us. But it is pain that makes us wiser. I’m flat on my back, yet moving forward. That’s the way it is, always was.

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