Questioning a relationship to risk never goes out of style. A perennial question.
I have gambled with my own sanity in ways that led to a years-long professional and financial recovery that is still underway.
The self is a continuous process, emerging moment to moment from decisions made, actions taken, interactions with one’s environment and all the other selves. These events can be destructive and creative to the conception of self.
I believe that self-preservation is inherently additive across time. We accumulate wisdom, knowledge, possessions, stability, relationships.
Of course this involves the grief work of integrating losses. Grief and forgiveness reconcile these inevitable losses with the possibilities of the future self, future relationships, future events. I am healing my relationship with loss so that, even though I anticipate it and even expect it, I can still enjoy the accumulation of lived experience without fear or anxiety of its inevitable loss. So that I may again enjoy the possibility of possibility. Anything less than this is an unhealed trauma response.
Tolerating the creative destruction of the self is exactly the same subject as the decision to take medication for bipolar disorder. I rely on pharmaceuticals to maintain emotional steadiness, and my choice to continue to take them is a commitment to avoiding the fire hazard of madness.
Madness is a simmering flame that, over time, burns through the web of interconnections that make up my life. All relationships, bank accounts, careers, homes big or small are subject to this burning destruction. And of course substance addiction is the gasoline to this fire.
I have become intolerant to the risk of wiping myself to zero. This is inherently game selection, vis a vis poker, in which I am choosing to play a less-risky game, albeit possibly less shimmering with creativity during the good moments.