Bipolar ThoughtsBlog

Campfire

‘It will always been right in the end’

It is something we hear all the time; something we say without thinking. It is meant to be supportive, but is actually terrifying.

It obviously holds little merit. The only definition of the phrase that could offer it meaning would be to say that God makes sure it always ends the way it is supposed to. But even if you were a strict adherent to fate and eschewed all of the tenants of free will, you could ask yourself if it ended well for murder victims, just as an example.

I hate to be so on the nose with the point, but why belabor it? It doesn’t end well for murder victims, no matter how you slice it. And it becomes difficult to justify the fate angle in a murder case as well. Did God plan the murder so it would end well for someone else? Yikes. The answer supplied to us by religion is free will, which seems to remedy this issue but also throws a lot of mud into the water of fate, and therefore meaningful endings.

So why do we say it? I think it comes out of experience and perspective. People are generally good at adapting to whatever comes at them in life, even if it is horrible. And so, by the ‘end’ of it, everything seems like it worked out fine. You can then point to myriad things that you like that supposedly wouldn’t have happened otherwise (impossible to know) and feel all tingly inside about how well they were looked out for.

It can feel like a warm blanket during a rough time. Just know that if you wait it out long enough, it will get better. And the truth is, most of the time they are right. You will either adapt, or things will improve. Things usually do end up just fine ‘in the end’, I often think of those terms in my own life, as surprising as that might seem.

But it isn’t just a warm blanket during a rough go of it. Often it resembles more of a campfire. People around you can throw logs of love and compassion onto the fire. You can fill it with your own passions. These logs can be stacked so high that the flames rage well into the dark sky, scaring off all of the cold that made you feel so terrible. But no matter how large that fire becomes, it will, inevitably, burn itself out come morning.

We constantly have to manicure the fire. We have to take in the logs that will maintain the fire the longest. We need to make sure that it burns both warm and long. We need to know how to poke and prod the fire, how to stoke the flames to make it as efficient as possible.

It is easy to take small twigs and throw them in. Things like compliments about your hairdo, or your new glasses. Those things require no effort to warm us with a bright light. But we forget them quickly, they burn out too fast to really matter. The large logs of unconditional love, of deep passions, or fondest memories, those are difficult to place into the fire. They require effort. But they burn for a long long time.

And some people feel like there will be no end to the amount of logs that they can place into their fire. For them, it always will be just fine in the end. But for a lot of people, for depressed people, we can feel the fire dimming down and we are desperately searching for the next log, often forgetting that we have a stack of logs beside ourselves.

I have woken to the cold fire pit before, the smell of the ash in the air and the hidden glow of what used to be a tremendous force still barely crackling amongst the cooling embers. And I know that it is only a matter of time before I awake to that again. That is the nature of being bipolar. That is the nature of how I build my relationships. That is the nature of how I have lived my life, raging fires and smoking coals.

Will it always be better for me in the end?

I guess that depends on how we define the endings.