Since I was 12 years old, I have been gifted with the full-spectrum experience of Bipolar Disorder Type One (formerly known as Manic Depression).
For many people, including myself, this disorder can be very disruptive thanks to the extreme imbalance of the opposing cycles. I have learned to maintain a delicate stability through regular sessions of meditation and practiced empathy, but this balance has been difficult to secure, requiring many failures along the way. The slightest disruption can cause a cycle to spin out of control, bringing me along with it. As such, the best way to maintain stability is to practice deep self-awareness. Through self-awareness, I closely observe the flows of each cycle, understanding their unique behaviors and identities.
Over time, as I learned more about the two cycles, I noticed that there was a separate, unique quality that I could not account for: a consistent vibration of anxiety that stayed present during each cycle—and even during those few moments of complete balance.
Though I practiced deep meditation and honest self-reflection, I was having an impossible time identifying the source of my disruptive anxiety. Then, in 2016, my wife sent me a link to The Minimalists 2014 talk at TEDxWhitefish, which I had seen before. After watching their presentation again, I had an epiphany.
I realized that my continual anxiety was not a response to internal stressors; rather, it was a response to external variables that I had been blind to.
By adding minimalism to my practices of meditation and empathy, I have been able to heal my continual anxiety, allowing for a more enduing lucidity throughout each Bipolar cycle.
Guided by The Minimalists’ advice and experiences, as well as those of other experts, I have been able to ask myself the following question: Does this thing bring me balance?
Through minimalism, I have been able to release from my life those things that would have otherwise caused me unnecessary anxiety, a misbalance that would make my symptoms of Bipolar Disorder that much more challenging.
Most importantly, I have come to learn that minimalism is not about what we can take away—but we we can add to our lives.