Depression Brings You Money
I'm gonna make a little confession to you. I'm moody. Really, really moody. I go up and I go down. While I have been asked in the past if I'm bipolar and/or manic-depressive, I'll say this: I come from a family where EVERYONE is/have/may battle mental illness to some degree. I am the most focused and chronically aware of anyone in my family (well, my sister, Ph.D., is pretty manic about being happy as well), so while I can't say I've been diagnosed as bipolar or manic-depressive, I go up and I go down, I cycle, so there are probably shades of it me and I'm finally becoming genuinely okay with that. Everyone talks about their depression nowadays and their anxiety, so why not really go for the fully monty and have both I say? If you're gonna do it when it comes to mood disorders, I say go all in.
I hesitated for a nanosecond about posting this bare confession. Not that I've been remotely shy about talking about my ribald emotional history. I wrote a book about it. I've got a new Broadway show coming out about it. Even a TV show. I mean, come on, why else would I do this work? Why do shrinks become shrinks? Gurus become gurus? But before I wrote all of this in such bare terms, I thought to myself, "Okay, so people are working with me to help them find balance in life. If I tell them that I came from a crazy family and that I've got this manageable, but undeniable, moody thing in me, they may not feel they can trust me to help them find balance if I, myself, spent so many years struggling to find it." Balance, that is. Not a good shrink with a legitimate sense of humor.
First, the key word there isn't balance. It's acceptance. Second, if I'm not fully honest with the people I work with, then how can I expect them to be honest with me? Unlike a shrink who must hide behind a veil so the transference mechanism can take place, I'm someone who is defined only by his own moral lines in the "coaching" arena. I decide how and in what way I'll help others, and if there is one thing I do know it's that because of my deepening acceptance that being super moody and having dealt with horrible depression and spiking anxiety attacks and some shades of manic-depression has made me super empathetic and the ONLY reason I'm the man who learned how to carry the torch out of the tunnel. Well, to be clear, I always had the torch in my hand, it's just that I finally lit the damn thing and can now see. That's what I do. I help people re-learn how to light their own torch which, really, they don't need me for, but it helps to have someone who understands what they're going through from the inside out. Friends used to be terrified to look at my Facebook and Instagram. It was living a living, breathing Pollack painting mixed with Salvidor Dali. Pretty and fascinating but like being on a beautiful cruise ship in a storm. I've finally found calm seas but I can truly appreciate those wild and crazy storms now.
I've learned over the years how to find the balance I need. What does that mean? It means that I won't ever, ever, ever go with you on a roller-coaster. I would rather have needles stuck in my eye. I can be hysterical and that is part of the manic side of my lovely (and mostly benign) emotional thang. I'll fly but I won't like it. It's just not logical to me to be shoved into a metal tube and pay thousands of dollars to taste my own death every few moments when we hit fucking turbulence. Is the joy of flying a better thing for me to focus on versus the idea that engine is gonna fall off because some guy was drunk during inspection and didn't tighten a bolt? Absolutely. Will my mind not go there despite my best efforts? Ah, that would be a big, fat no.
If I'm in a dark mood, I'll binge on the works of Chuck Lorre until my Amazon Fire TV device is smoking. Ask me to see Frances (woman gets famous then gets a lobotomy because, well, she's wacko) or Sophie's Choice (woman gets out of Hell and then kills herself because, well, her lover is wacko) or An Angel At My Table (woman gets out of poverty, and then is locked up in an asylum because, well, she's a little wacko) when I'm depressed and I'll politely say "Go play on the freeway, please" and resume lighting candles beneath my Chuck Lorre shrine. It's all about respecting and managing the moods when they come and not being an ass to myself when they do.
I know now how to not only honor my moods when they arrive, but finally (finally!) how to not give myself a bad time, how not to judge myself and how not to make fun of myself for the fact that after years upon years of yoga retreats, shrinks, meditation seminars, self-help books (we're talkin in the thousands), psychics (you get the deal)...I'm moody and that's just the way it is and probably will be to some degree...or not. Maybe I'll 'get it' like all the spiritual teachers say and I'll let out my natural state which is eternally joyful and skipping down the street and playing spiritual footsies with my Inner Being.
I do do that for much of my day, to be honest. I do see the future and I have made peace (mostly) with my present and I don't let my past define me. But I also know to make total peace with all of that and to be in this place where nothing affects me at all isn't how life is designed to work. We are meant to live with Mishigas (Yiddish for chaos, or, a Grandmother who likes to make problems where there aren't any) and if we would just accept that then we'd all get that elusive Golden Ticket.
Would I like to wake up every day and jump out of bed and know that when my feet hit the floor I was ready to take on the world? Um, YES. Does that happen about 70% of the time? Pretty much. Can't promise anything from mid-January to late March when I'm in NYC. It's like being in Mad Max 2: Frigid Fury Road Apocalypse in 3D and it's not remotely enjoyable. Yes, inside watching Netflix and yes, hot cocoa and yes, those weird Turkish steam baths in the east village are fun, but otherwise, give me Malibu anytime thanks so much. Yes, we mildly manic-depressives love a sunny day. Crazy, I know.
The bottom line is it's never a boring day when you're working some form of mood disorder, and that's why there has never been, nor will there ever be, a client in this "coaching" work that I won't be able to relate to. Stable and rich and want to get richer? I got ya. Ready to jump off the George Washington Bridge? Meet you there in a bit. Standing atop the Hollywood sign ready to end it all? Hang on and I'll bring you a non-fat soy latte and we can talk it out.
All of us are at where we're at. It's what we got to work with. I've got this pesky mood thing that may go away, but for now, it's here and I'm riding it for all it's worth. All I'm worth. Okay, sorry that was very coachy. But it's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?