Powerful, immersive and in complete control of my own feelings were what raced through me as I sat, in the crowd, watching a dance performance in our local high street.
Unaware that this production would move me (literally) to tears, I could not look away from the story that evolved through the art of dance.
I was under a spell.
I had to keep remembering myself that this production was in relation to a personal experience of living with Bipolar, the way in which both sides of the poles seemed disconnected with the other, but at the same time integrated into one human being. Imagine trying to pull yourself together to be one person and trying to find a balance where all can reside peacefully with other, within yourself. It is not like you can just take a piece of string and tie them together. It was, as if all of them had their own personality which would just take over the person, whenever they pleased.
The external force, the one who danced as the support, was struggling. This person needed help herself in order to try and support the one she cared for (the one who was suffering). Whenever she tried to help him out, it was met with exhaustion, with weakness, with pain. The pain of not wanting to carry on.
The reality of mental illness can not be swept under the carpet. Just because we can not see it, it does not mean that it is not real to that person.
Treating everyone with the same respect, dignity, love and support is what is needed. This one performance opened the mind in ways I didn’t for-see. In ways I thought was not possible.
My heart and thanks go out to those who performed. I doubt I will ever find something quite like this again.