Catherine’s Table stories explore the heart of a family, the soul in quiet living, and the power of love. I also write about living with mental illness because sharing stories opens minds.
Catherine’s Table is named in honor of my Aunt Kay who is my second mom. She taught me how to find joy and comfort in everything we did. I spent countless summer nights at her table where I learned what it means to be a family.
Finding Your Place To Thrive With Bipolar IllnessMaureen Goldman
With every endeavor you need a special place where you can be you. A nook suited to your temperament so you can thrive. Your mission control. My special space for writing includes a room with pin-drop silence, sunlight, and a view of our garden. Otherwise, I can’t do my best or sometimes even do at all. I had a terrifying dry spell this year. Couldn’t finish writing anything for eleven months. I wrote and wrote and got nowhere.
Unable to write for most of this year, I discovered a need for more than quiet and sunlight when I got a concussion and head wound. That experience stopped me completely for months and simultaneously freed my mind to write again. It’s how I discovered that a quiet mind is as important as a quiet place for writing.
Sitting around for months with ice on my head and touching the scalp wound to measure my progress, I realized there was a storm in my mind last winter that I didn’t know was brewing. After applying to graduate school, being rejected and applying again, I started classes in the fall. I believed that along with writing, being a mental health counselor was the fulfillment of a life-long dream. That wasn’t true. My North Star was clouded by my perpetual need to achieve and do something validating instead of living the life of my soul. That life includes writing and helping others in a way I can control because I can’t always control my mind.
This year I finally realized that there are limits to living with bipolar illness. Having bipolar disorder is not a crisis or life sentence, but it is an illness that needs to be heard and tended to. I want to devote more time on Planet Earth to respecting my mental illness and serving people within my need for a slow and quiet life.
I’m not completely washed of the need to achieve. I’ll admit wishing to turn this blog into a published book for the dribble of cash that might come and the validation. Fortunately it’s not a burning desire. Other people might judge, but I won’t think any less of myself if I stick to blog writing exclusively. I really enjoy it, and so many of you send me kind notes that lift the day. Thank you!
2020 will be busy with the stuff I’ve been doing all along at Hospice Atlanta, NAMI and the Atlanta Humane Society. Plus those five perfect young humans I tutor and love so much. I am not slowing down because I am bipolar. I am adjusting my flight plan so I can soar by being true to my heart and mind. Merry Christmas and Happy 2020! xoxo, Maureen