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An Introduction to Cyclothymia

What's cyclothymia? It's a mild form of the docs used to call "manic-depression," but which they re-name periodically. Cyclothymics can actually function decently well, and as such often don't know they've got it. If you cycle through highs and lows, are particularly artistic, or that describes someone you love, then read this post in full and please comment with your own experience. I'm still learning, myself.


Knowing the term "Cyclothymia" would have been very helpful to me a few years ago. This essay is plain English and, if I've done a good job, might help people who associate with a cyclothymic relate better to them, and might help a cyclothymic manage themselves better and produce better.

I'm against the "medical-ization" of life. We need medical terms, but we need to be able to explain things in plain English without labeling. Labeling, by definition, drastically simplifies.

Cyclothymia is simple at its roots, simple enough for a plain discussion without medicalization. Here's how it works for me -

How to Empty a Life

On The Slowing

I feel like I began my blog in medias res. I want to backtrack and talk about the process of slowing one's life. I know my last few posts have been about overshooting slow and landing on stop, but I must say that I prefer my empty, minimalist, calm - if sometimes boring - life to the hectic, weight-on-my-chest, unconscious one that I have led at times before.

First, I want to focus on the technology we allow into our lives. I've written about deleting Facebook, but I want to talk more broadly about how we communicate with one another. There are 1001 articles talking about the paradox of being simultaneously more and less connected than ever before. And while, yes, I agree, this post isn't about that. I want to charge each of us to think about the value of different kinds of communication. I deleted Facebook largely because I felt that even when I was connecting with people I normally wouldn't, the value of that connection wasn't very high. A comment left on someone's wall is quickly written, quickly appreciated, and quickly forgotten. There is a direct correlation between how much effort is put into an interaction and how much value it adds to a relationship. When you have to reach out to someone directly by making a telephone call, writing an email/handwritten letter, or even visiting in order to connect, your relationship deepens and matures accordingly. Meanwhile, a text or "like" is a forgettable action, one that doesn't make any significant impact, and yet we spend huge portions of our day dedicated to such actions.

To meditate on this idea, I want you to join me for a challenge. For two days, let's refuse to text or connect through Facebook. More importantly, when we are in another's company, let's relish it. That means no cell phone usage while we are spending time with someone else. Let's look each other in the eye. Recognize life as the present moment right in front of us.

If we can, let's move to thinking about our everyday activities. How do you spend your day? Where do the hours go? I know before I decluttered my life, I spent a couple hours a day on Facebook, several hours watching HGTV, and probably an hour checking email. None of these things is inherently bad, I want to make clear. However, when we are thinking about "Our Life" (dun dun duuuuun), we simply mean the way we spend the hours of our days. And if we allow it, our days - and life - will slip through our fingers as we are numbing our minds with unnecessary and distracting activities. So let's bring light and brightness and clarity back to our minds. Let's examine our lives by examining our small, everyday activities.

So, ask yourself, what do I do everyday that brings me energy? What do I do everyday that tires me? How can you maximize those energizing activities and eliminate the tiring ones?

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