All my life I’ve been told that routines are essential. That they are what make it possible to hold a job or keep up a home. I never was much for routine, myself. While I suppose I did keep regular hours more or less, during my years of schooling and the thirty years that I worked before my retirement, even as a child it was never easy for me to keep a regular sleep schedule. I vividly remember in elementary school, sitting on the floor of my room in the wee hours reading Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys books by the nightlight.
Being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at age forty-seven has caused me to spend much time reflecting on all the years that came before. While I can hardly fault the psychiatrists who treated me in my youth for not making this diagnosis way back then (indeed, when I was a child the psychiatric profession did not believe that children could be what was then called “manic-depressive”) I have come to realize that what is wrong with me has always been what was wrong with me. And that much of the behavior I exhibited, which largely was regarded as defiance or wrong doing was in fact really just the exhibition of this disease.
A friend recently blogged about forgiveness, and I find that I disagree at least somewhat with her contention that it is wrong to press those who have suffered to forgive those who have transgressed against them. It seems to me at this far remove that it would be more than pointless to go on being angry about things that were done to me thirty or forty years ago. Much of what was done wrong was done that way not out of malice, but rather in ignorance. I know in my heart that I am far happier for having moved past and even, dare I say it, forgiven most everything I once suffered. I am grateful for the understanding I am still in the process of obtaining, of the psychiatric disorder I suffer from. And I am I do believe largely at peace with the life I have led. All in all, that seems to me a pretty fair accomplishment.