Astrological influences in road to recovery from severe bipolar disorder: cynics take a deep breath!
Updated: Jan 28
I didn’t write yesterday as I decided to give myself a rare day off from the blog to take advantage of the beautiful early autumn weather - which is obviously so welcome after the rather disappointing summer we’ve had.
I’ve been so drawn to being in nature alone, reconnecting myself with the environment, and with my former passions recently, because (as I’ve been trying to explain in previous posts) this process of recovery from severe and prolonged illness has prompted such a profound and almost inexplicable change.
So, rather than spend hours of my time gratuitously crafting out another insightful blog post, I decided to go to my friend’s house for a ride.
Riding is good for the soul – hang on - did I just write that?
For so many years of my illness I didn’t go near any of my former passions - including riding - even though it is in my blood, my soul, and has always featured so heavily as an integral part of who I fundamentally am.
This is what non-sufferers don’t understand because for them, engaging in their passions is something that makes them feel better when they feel down or dejected –
BUT it’s just NOT LIKE THAT WHEN YOU HAVE DEPRESSION!
This is because the illness rips away everything you've ever known about yourself and takes with it every scrap of energy and interest that you ever had in the life you previously inhabited.
It’s so incomprehensibly cruel that only another sufferer could ever really relate, but this is why I didn’t go near a horse for decades – I couldn’t be ‘Tom Robinson the eventer’ anymore, so instead I rejected, resented, hated, and didn't go near it.
I will even go as far as saying that being around horses made me feel sick – (it wasn’t the horses, it was the mind distorting depression) but this is what people who are in the thick of the illness don’t (and can’t really) understand – it’s not the circumstances of your life that are the problem – it’s the illness twisting, distorting, and skewing you against everything and everyone around you.
The confirmation of this philosophical depression conundrum comes from the fact that I have now reconnected and reclaimed all of my former passions, including riding which, having hated participating in for so long, I now really love doing again!
Cantering around the park yesterday in the early autumn sunshine made me think back to when my friend Lucy suggested I go for a ride with her one morning in the early autumn of last year.
I really wasn’t sure that I was going to like it (I think some of this comes from forcing myself to compete while depressed, so as not to ‘lose face’ etc), but I went anyway and came away pleasantly surprised.
Since then, I have ridden several times with friends (I have to borrow horses now as I had to give all of mine away due to illness and extortionate medical bills – reconciled with now – not a problem don’t worry)!
I even got a little job riding-out race horses in South Oxfordshire last winter – quite a turn around from the person who was paralysed and stuck in bed, without one iota of interest in anything, who could not engage with his own life on any level whatsoever –
So, the important message to come out of this story is that there is hope of a miraculous turnaround even in the severest of cases – in the words of Winston Churchill ‘NEVER, never, NEVER give up!
A holistic and spiritual road to recovery
Some people won’t 'get' my recent offerings at all, but the truth is that it's only by factoring in a spiritual dimension into this ‘holistic’ or 'all-around' approach to full healing that I’ve been able to finally get to this point of 'wholeness' in my recovery.
I think those who’ve been on this journey from the beginning would understand all of this, but for those who haven't a clue what I'm talking about: as I said in my previous post -
‘Any transformational change has to be inherently spiritual.’
For any cynics out there, (I don’t mind at all because I WAS one); please be assured that there is absolutely no way that I would have understood any of the things that I do now if it hadn’t been for the deep and prolonged suffering that I endured at the hands of severe bipolar disorder.
This kind of ‘awakening’ (again I hear the cynics screaming ‘woo-woo’) or ‘self-development’ (for the less accepting), doesn’t really happen without either, or all of the following:
1. Committing to a lifetime of meditation and mindfulness
2. After experiencing deep and/or prolonged suffering or,
3. Surviving any other kind of near-death experience.
This is why I’m so glad that I’ve written all of this important stuff down, because now that I am where I am in this journey, I can’t really tell you how I’ve got here!
– We need an editor, confessional memoir/ MBS expert (and fast) to go through this blog & book and transform it into a publishable and comprehensible version of itself, so that it can help everyone else too!
Discerning the best course of action
The fact that it’s been almost exactly a year since I fully stabilised (in reality, a year post treatment to regain my confidence and another year to get to this point), I strongly feel that now is the time to get this story noticed.
There has been quite a bit of professional interest that's come my way, but I still haven’t quite decided how I’m going to proceed!
I spent hours and hours of last week filling in ‘backstory & gravitas’ after an editor/publisher made me realise that perhaps those elements were lacking in the original manuscript.
I really thought that I was being provided with a ‘confessional memoir expert editor’ but this hasn’t happened (yet anyway), so having been quite hopeful of that, I am now back to the debate over how to proceed.
There are options of self-publishing, crowdfunding and/or going with an agent/publisher who has very kindly offered to help for a vastly reduced sum, but which is the right route for ‘Dying to Stay Alive!’?
I’m still waiting for this to become clear!
A writer/editor did suggest a company called ‘Unbound’ recently which I looked up online, quite liked the concept at first (based on the ‘Dickensian approach’ of writing to meet demand), spent hours crafting a submission last Friday, then woke up on Saturday thinking:
‘This is a stupid idea!’
The amount that this company want you to crowdfund to publish is in the region of £15,000 – I do like the idea of my supporters getting their names in the back of the book etc, (collaboration & inclusivity), but that amount does seem rather excessive, plus I’ve spent HOURS of my time gratuitously on this venture already – surely I deserve someone to want to do this at the very least for free?!
That £15,000 could go towards raising money for ‘Tom’s Place’ (the charity I want to set up in my friend’s name) to pay guest speakers, host events, and help to finance unique & severe cases of mental illness for private treatment (until we get the thyroid treatment onto the NHS) NOT to publish the bloody book!
The aspect of ‘giving back’ is also very important to me, so I’ve decided that even if this company says yes - I’m not going to do it!
The conclusion I finally came to on Monday was that I would commit to the mission of getting an agent and give it one last push; I’ve now polished the query, synopsis, proposal, changed tact by pushing this blog as a suggestion for publication first as a collection of interesting mental well-being, health, illness, remission, recovery & MBS (mind, body, spirit) posts, and resubmitted to another batch of agents….
Fingers, toes, legs, and arms all firmly crossed!!!!!
Kari Samuels reading
This all fits so perfectly with the ‘discernment’ dilemma and decision making that I’m currently deliberating over re publishing.
Since I'm adding astrological influences to the importance of holistic healing, I've added the following from intuitive counsellor Kari Samuels.
This is what she has to say about it all!
We're in the shadow period of Mercury Retrograde.
The trickster planet's official backspin begins on September 27th. Yet, you can start tuning into your life's lessons now.
Mercury will retrograde in Libra - the sign of relationships.
Libra's qualities are fairness, balance, justice, and equality. Mercury governs the mind and communication.
If you know (and love) a Libra (or are one), you might already be aware that Libra's are not known for swift decision making.
With Mercury retrograde in Libra, you will find yourself going back and forth, weighing your pros and cons before discerning what is right for you (and our Sun is in Virgo, the sign of discernment!).
It's okay not to know all the answers now. This is a period of discovery. Tune into your heart to know what's right.
Take your time and don't do anything hasty!
Enjoy the journey.
Applying this to my own journey
As usual, all of this 'discernment' fits in perfectly with the current astrological patterns...(cynics I know you don’t get this but it’s important – warning: do not read on unless you’re going to be at least slightly open-minded to possibility)!!
The truth is that there is more to this story than even I appreciated because I now believe that there has been some other aspects of mind, body, spirit going on in tandem with bipolar over the years – make of this next bit what you will - but remember I’m done with stigma & shame because I’ve been putting up with it all my life, so other people’s opinions don’t bother me.
The point is that:
Bipolar disorder is a kind of heightened sensitivity
Most people would agree with this because it’s very obvious that our brains react completely differently to the norm in response to alcohol, caffeine, all recreational drugs, most psychiatric drugs, hurtful people, harmful people, relationship break-ups, trauma, general upset, etc, etc – even the weather can be enough to set off a bipolar episode and in extreme cases we’re even sensitive to other ‘supernatural’ forces too.
[This is what most of medicine would describe as ‘pseudoscience’ but I know its important because it’s mind, body, spirit and its all related whatever anyone thinks!
- Science cannot explain everything]!
The truth is (and I am slightly cringing as I write this, but I know it’s a vital part of the holistic recovery 'jigsaw') that some people have bipolar disorder running in tandem with being a sort of ‘empath’ – they take on other people’s emotions, and can feel pain in a different & more intense way. They are also highly sensitive to what’s going on astrologically.
This is why I’m sat here in bed writing this at 05.34a.m because with the new moon on Monday, and today being the autumn equinox, there’s a lot of different energies going on (I don’t know enough about this yet I just go on what I ‘feel’ generally).
Anyway, this means that I don’t sleep on either a new moon, a cross-over, or any other significant spiritual and/or astrological time – I’ve looked back at blog posts and cross-referenced with patterns and shifts and it’s all true.
I always assumed that my non-sleeping patterns were mental illness but in fact, they weren’t (not all of them at least anyway) because there was something else going on too - now that I know this I don’t lie awake worrying about it anymore!
The cynics will say this is rubbish, call me ‘mad’ and dismiss me of course, but I’m so done with those people now and really couldn’t care less!
I’m here for everyone else!
Harvest Moon & autumn equinox
For those who are interested (or at least open to) astrological influences here’s a little bit of information about what’s been going on!
The Harvest Moon Monday 20th September 2021
The Harvest Moon is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox.
During this time, the angle of the moon relative to the Earth’s horizon is at its lowest, making it rise faster than usual for consecutive evenings. This occurrence offers enough bright moonlight for farmers to continue harvesting crops through the night.
Thus, it is called a "Harvest" Moon.
Typically, it happens in September - It lit up the night sky on Monday and will appear full for three days.
Farmers and astrologers consider the Harvest Moon an important event every year.
For astrologers, there is a spiritual meaning behind it.
According to spiritual adviser Cherokee Billie, the Harvest Moon brings people personal freedom and good luck. Let’s cross our fingers for this!
“After so much darkness this past year it’s like a light is coming on and shining down on us in a positive manner. So the spiritual meaning of full moon September 2021 is related to optimism, generosity, good fortune and good news.”
I don’t know if anyone saw the moon on Monday evening, but it was extraordinarily beautiful, and represented such positivity and renewal, especially for me right now, as I am reading a book about shamanism which tells us that everything is related to the ‘circle’ (the sun, moon, Earth, universe, circle of life, etc, etc) so this again, is ridiculously aligned to my ‘full circle’ back to the original & authentic version of myself once more…
You couldn’t write it – Oh but I have!
Full moon by Kari Samuels
Our Full Moon in Pisces is such a gift.
This is the most healing Full Moon of the year.
Full Moons occur when the Sun and Moon are opposite each other in the same degree.
Our Sun is in Virgo and the Moon is in Pisces. These are both signs of service. Perhaps you are re-evaluating how you want to be of service in the world. Or perhaps, you are finding ways that you can make your self-care a priority, recognizing that being of service doesn't always mean self-sacrifice.
You may have significant revelations about how you want to be of service in the world and what talents you want to share. You can feel restless if you are not expressing your soul’s true purpose.
Listen to the emotions stirring inside of you. You are being guided toward your calling.
Let go of your attachments to your security and set your sights toward your dreams.
During the light of this Full Moon, let go of: Martyrdom, escapism, over-giving, delusions, fear of being psychic, fear of your intuition.
Autumn’s first day can fall on two different dates, depending on whether you use the meteorological or the astronomical definition.
The meteorological system splits the year into four seasons of three full months each, based on the Gregorian calendar, which makes it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics.
Every year, autumn lasts from 1 September until 30 November, with winter then kicking off at the beginning of December.
Under the meteorological calendar, spring then always encompasses March to May, with summer lasting from the start of June until the end of August.
The astronomical season isn’t quite as straightforward, because it is based on the position of the autumnal equinox, which comes later in the month and doesn’t always fall on the same date.
This results in autumn having a different start date than under the meteorological system.
This year’s autumnal equinox is on Wednesday 22 September -TODAY! Which is the earliest date it can fall, with the latest being 24 September.
Avebury today with Max
So, in the ‘spirit’ of getting aligned with all of this, as well as reconnecting with nature, myself and my friend Max (also diagnosed with bipolar, gifted, open to astrological influences, spiritual, and generally amazing) are going to Avebury this morning to join in with the autumn equinox celebrations!
I am really looking forward to our day trip and will report back with any further revelations!
Happy autumn equinox everyone!
I will be back on Friday with more educational insights from #dyingtostayalive
Thanks for reading,
Speak to you soon,