“When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.”
I have experienced the reality behind this metaphor in a very powerful way.
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with Bipolar Disorder, though I didn’t know what it was for many years. Impulsivity, distorted thinking, obsessions, ruminations, compulsions, mania, depression, addictions, self-harm, and a potent dose of toxic shame injected by my family of origin left me feeling unmoored to anything of lasting meaning, internal or external.
For 26 years I was psychologically vulnerable to the howling winds of “life on life’s terms,” as my roots we’re so shallow that I was perpetually being blown about like a tumble weed.
My life was chaotic, unstable, and unpredictable. I almost never knew where or when the wind was going to drop me. Then, no sooner did it drop me and I had I started a semblance of a stable life, I would find myself swept away once again. At the utter mercy of the vagaries of life.
This traumatic and unsustainable pattern went on far too long. But in 1993, I finally got a diagnosis, started therapy, and got prescribed medication.
Over the last 25 years of hard work in Recovery, and particularly over the last 8 years bolstered by the spiritual piece of my recovery through AA, I have established roots. And by the sweat of my brow and God’s grace, those have grown to a depth I never could have imagined.
Today, one day at a time, this tumble weed has morphed into a tree.
And the wind that used to terrify me rarely causes me fear anymore.