When I first began going to quaker meeting, a friend of mine was also new to quakerism. I came from Unitarianism and the theology-- the lack of creed-- was not a problem for me.
My friend grew up catholic and had a brother in the priesthood.
She struggled with what it meant to be quaker.
Over coffee one day she asked me, "What do quakers believe about the afterlife?"
"Ask ten quakers, and you'll get ten answers."
I wondered how someone could ever change their beliefs about the afterlife or the lack of afterlife to suit a particular religious community. If I told her "what quakers believe" would her own beliefs magically shift?
It was amusing and a little bit disturbing to me that someone should look to others for what to believe so that they could belong.
What do I have to believe to be really quaker. Nothing.
There is no particular way to be quaker. Everyone has their own way of practicing. Their own place in the community. Their own beliefs. Their own hierarchy of what is important.
(Tangent: the quaker "testimonies" which are tennants typically held in common by quakers across the board are frequently remembered with the acronym SPICE: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community and Equality. I always forget what the I in SPICE stands for. At one point I replaced it with "In Your Face," which can be another quality of many quakers.)
Now I find myself in a similarly uncomfortable situation.
But, what do bipolar people do? Now that I am a "convinced bipolar" what do I believe about myself? In this state of aspotstasy-- having abandoned Depressionism I feel at loose ends.
How should I act? Are there things I should be doing or not doing that I have neglected during my many years of apostasy when I believed in Depressionism?
I am still the same person.
But I don't know what it means to me to be bipolar.
I will tell you that it is somewhat of a relief to discover that the reason I was not getting relief from my Depression is that it was not being treated correctly.
I was worried that every week was going to be a struggle to remain unDepressed.
Bipolar requires a different protocol. A different regimen of drugs. Different behavior management.
Grateful Crap: Discovering my bipolarness even if I don't know what that means.
cleaned in manageable 15 minute chunks
blogged before bedtime
Quaker, teacher, parent,