Bipolar freedom: click your heels three times

Last week, I was late for an appointment and couldn’t find the keys to my car. I realized they were in my pocket all along after searching my house frantically. I can be a bit absent minded sometimes.

Picture of Dorothy in Wizard of Oz wearing her Ruby Red Slippers

Closet doors

We all have closet doors that we believe we can’t open.  Behind these doors, we keep our painful, disturbing and shameful things locked away. Our behavior when our doors are close are to drug, to eat, to spend and to sex. We try hard to outrun our inner storm clouds in a misguided attempt to stay safely warm and dry.  We try to flee from ourselves but only end up addicted, overweight, poor and compulsively sexed.  Running, I have come to see, might be human but it is always a futile effort.

Enter Dorothy

I nailed by closet door shut for many years, ashamed that I had a psychiatric illness, running a marathon to nowhere.  I was trapped by my belief that external circumstances stood in the way of my freedom as if some unseen prison warden held the keys to my psychological freedom.  

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I was waiting around to be set free by the Wizard.  If my diagnosis became known, real life consequences would occur.  Professionally, I worried about collegial disapproval and the loss of my medical license.  I believed friends and family would be shattered. Though I was the ringmaster of this circus, I gave others the message that they were to play their part and view me as someone who didn’t need comfort or care.  This farce was all my doing.

Bipolar freedom

After far too many years elapsed, I hit rock bottom and finally had no choice but to realize that like Dorothy, I didn’t need the Wizard to bring me home.  It was my job to accept that I had bipolar disorder: I didn’t need anyone to parole me for a crime I didn’t commit.  It sounds obvious now but it was revelatory back then.  If we can shift our view inward and realize that we all hold the keys to the doors we nail shut, we can use them and liberate ourselves from the cells we construct.  All we need to do is click our heals three times and we’ll be free.  I’ve done it.  It works.

If you are living with a mental health condition, do you feel free?

3 thoughts on “Bipolar freedom: click your heels three times

  1. This is so trippy cuz I feel like we live identical lives. Everything you wrote I resonate with so much. It’s like—are u sure you aren’t wearing my ruby slippers lol?! They fit us the same!…and oh the hiding. Oh the pretending to have it all together and worried about my career to truly be open. Waiting to be free but it really just comes down to me since I craft my own key…Clicking those heels is what I need…I’ve done it…and the freedom lasts awhile…but then I find myself right back on that dumb yellow brick road trying to sort myself out again and frustrated I’m back there. It’s a process for sure. But I get better at rebounding…Anyway, love that I found this and thanks for writing this gem! I actually started a podcast that revolves around these concepts. Would love to have u as a guest someday if you’re interested! Name of podcast is Finding Freedom with Bipolar. Would love to hear more of your story! Best to you!!

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