Growing up in the DFW Metroplex meant that my family normally had season passes to Six Flags Over Texas. It wasn’t exactly the cheapest indulgence, but my parents did try to spoil us rotten as best they could (to a degree — I had to bust my ass to earn money for most things I wanted in life!). Even now, I still remember with revulsion the first ride my parents took us on — it was one of those giant drop elevators that goes up a million stories, then the bottom falls out. I couldn’t understand the appeal and sort of resented them for inflicting that on me — why the hell would I want the bottom to drop out under me?! I certainly don’t want it metaphorically, and to this day, I cannot see the thrill of going for it literally.
Mind you, I didn’t avoid all the ‘thrills’ over the years, and I eventually even conceded to be inflicted with at least one case of upside-downitis. I still preferred the tamer rides, or the rides that got you wet; a Texas summer is a blistering thing. I didn’t trust to gravity to take care of me, I didn’t wave my hands in the air like I just didn’t care (’cause I did care). I already had enough tumult in me to desire any rush of endorphins or whoosh of air shaking up the already caustic mix. Mind, not that my emotional state was *quite* that wrecked as a kiddo, but it had to start somewhere — what spoons I could find for even mild thrills then are almost non-existent now.
Here as an adult, I definitely prefer to remain on terra firma in all aspects. Oh, it would be one thing if I had the power of flight (arguably the best superpower), but past that, I want to stay grounded. I’m an Earth sign astrologically, so whatever one may believe of magical stars, I certainly can smile and claim it as further proof of my need to stay grounded — it’s in me! Grounded is also synonymous with centered, balanced — it’s that highly desirable state wherein emotions are ‘normal’ and not haring up and down the spectrum, a place where functionality is more easily achieved.
Of course, I have no idea if I’ll ever truly reach the middle ground and stay there. I’m feeling pretty good right now, but I am certainly wary of it being sneaky hypomania. I certainly believe in and make use of mindfulness in my life, but even that can only go so far when the chemicals start a wide swing. That isn’t to say that I give into self-fulfilling prophecy though — I think it’s possible to be aware that up and down are likely to happen without feeding the cycle. And really, I do think I’ve made progress on learning how to relax. I do think that between meds and applying my own CBT, I’m holding up fairly well. There is definitely a measure of good and center right now.