Friday, March 24, 2006

Slow vs Rapid Cycling

Raine made the point yesterday that she prefers rapid cycling, as the downs don't last so long. Fair comment. Personaly I'm not sure which one gets my vote. They both seem to have pros and cons.

The extended downs of the slow cyclist are a killer for sure. Especially if you haven't been diagnosed as BiPolar yet (which I hadn't when I used to slow cycle). You're left wondering if this thing will ever end (what the hell is causing it) or whether one day suicide will end it.

But don't forget the extended ups. These short-term ups are frustrating. It's like you're in an old jalopy that stops and starts, stops and starts. Not good for the engine mountings. And you can never quite get anything off the ground. Just as everything is set for launch, CRASH, "Got-a-Gun" rocks up.

It plays havoc with your decision making too. "In-the-Pink" will just have settled on some major decision and then "Pretty Shitty" wakes up the next day and says: "Jeez, you're mad man, what were you thinking?" Perfect stuff for a Cancerian - the crab scuttling from side to side.

The havoc spills over into your social life too. The only time I had a really good social life was on the slow curve extended ups. The rapid cyclist can never make social commitments. You just don't know where you're gonna be in a weeks time. I can promise you that even if I had been my best friend's Best Man on Wednesday two days ago - I wouldn't have pitched. Which makes you one heck of an unreliable mate.

And the channnel-hopping makes any notion of daily routine a real ball-ache. The one day you cruise through all the scheduled disciplines, the next, the whole damn schedule goes out the chimney.

So I suppose, at the end of the BiPolar day, it's the same old story: Slow curve cycling is way better on the Ups, but way worse on the Downs.

Couple days ago Mrs M and I went to 'The Tibetan Tea House" for, well, tea... I tried the salty butter tea which you picture wise old lamas sipping on snowy Himalayan mountain peaks. Yurrghh! Tastes like liquified porridge. Mrs M had a spicy tea which was actually quite tolerable.

Anyhow, here's a pic I took of the Tibetan Flag billowing in front of our table. Which goes perfectly with one of my favourite Zen koans:

Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said: "The flag moves".The other said: "The wind moves".They argued back and forth but could not agree. Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, said: "Gentlemen! It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves."


  1. Thanks for stopping in. Next time I'll put out tea and scones.

    I'd recommend thinking long and hard before ever leaving CT - upping roots can be a really cool or really destabilising experience, not just at the time, but for years after too, especially those lazy Sunday afternoons when the house is quiet, its freezing out and you havent seen the sun in days - simply thinking of the Drakensberg can make me cry.

    Once, I asked an interesting psychic lady in Melville "So where will I end up living?" after she had predicted much overseas travel in my future.

    "You are a tortoise." she says.

    I think to myself "Ok A leo-dog-tortoise, whatever"

    She says "Yes, a tortoise. Your home is on your back!"

    Cream and strawberry jam with the scones?

  2. hey bipolar guy
    thanx soo much 4 your blog
    im 43 in johannesburg,diagnosed 12 months ago,but managed 2 survive 4 so long ,being moody
    reading your words is like reading my life

  3. you have point there about missing the extended ups. I am disabled now and have given up trying to make a living so that is the difference. I am just greatful to not be stuck for years in that godawful depression. I can see where it would make trying to run a business nearly impossible tho (((((bi-polar Guy)))))) may your ups be longer than your downs

  4. I hope my mind stays put, but I catch the drift of that koan. I once tried to read Schopenhauer's World as Will and Representation. I was sixteen at the time and I think I got a lot more from just contemplating the title than I ever did poring my way through all that prose. As for slow cycling, I guess that's me. Extremely slow. Once per decade so far, but I might be slowing down. Perhaps that explains the attraction of Butoh for me. Have you considered adding a bit of movement to your meditation? There are many modern and traditional dance forms that might interest you. And there could be a connection with your daughter waiting to be made. My five year old is enraptured by ballet, but a teen might dig more modern stuff.

  5. I understand as a bi-polar how you feel. I am on my 4/5 marriage and have lived with 3 other women, all since age 21. Now at age 59, I've been taking meds for 4 years and not cycling as I once did, pretty well balanced. Lexapro FOREVER!!!

  6. So, here i am, smack dab in the middle of a low, found all of your comments above interesting, I have entertained this notion that I may be some for of Bi-polar for some time, in and out of therapy most of teen and twenties, self diagnosing in my thirties,anyone know if there is any validity to cycling becoming longer w age? Not sure if i am just becoming more aware of my habitsd as I grow older or the cycles becoming longer are making it more aparent? I have this constant battle with myself about how much I crave stability and then a year later i am changing jobs again saying of course it is not my fault they couldnt challenge me or my boss was an a-hole. Or was this just the peak of yet another high? getting ready for a crash.
    I dont seem to sit still enough to get into long term therapy and its even harder now that i live in Europe (as an American) anyone know any over the counter fixes? (besides smoking hash every day) haha.. my career path kind of frowns on it :( bastards


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