I am going through a ‘disenchanted with the world’ phase. There is a build up to them, one thing will tip me over and I try sever my connection with the world. Please note that I am not talking about suicide, being disenchanted is not about depression.

Within bipolar disorder ultradian cycling is one or more mood swings within 24 hours and it is thought that there is a genetic factor that particularly effects women. The ultradian cycling I am experiencing is low to medium mood levels. 

The amount of refined sugar I’ve been eating – though inhaling may be a better term – hasn’t helped. Sugar rushes and crashes aid rapid cycling.

My social media presence is posting newspaper articles and photos I’ve taken. There are few people of late with whom I tweet with and those exchanges are becoming less frequent.

A few days ago I was at the bottom of a vicious celebrity pile-on and, despite the fact that I was polite and didn’t sling unnecessary insults, I was accused of exhibiting faux outrage and behaving like a troll. I gave up responding because it is too exhausting to reason with people who hear what they want to hear.

Yesterday was the start of five days of protest in Bristol by Extinction Rebellion. The main protest was on a bridge going in and out of the city and the police had to close surrounding streets and redirect traffic. The diverted routes took longer than the usual ones and caused  an increase in toxic emissions.

Some of them were handing out leaflets and one was putting stickers on street furniture.  Both the backing paper from the stickers and the leaflets will end up in landfill. Policing the protests and dealing with the people who are desperate to be arrested takes resources from elsewhere and the communities in and around Bristol suffer.

All of these things lend to my disenchantment with the world. It will pass and I will re-enter the world but in the meantime I feel as though I’m suffering from the consequences of other people’s actions.

On the pursuit of happiness

Is there such a thing as happiness or is it an illusion and does aiming for it leave us disillusioned? 

Almost all of us have had those flashing moments of joy that temporarily blind us; weddings, the birth of children, welcoming new friends into our lives, that holiday and the many things that remove us from our world for minutes, hours or days before the ordinariness of life steps in again.

Does happiness or unhappiness exist between these periods of brightness or is the absence of joy similar to shadows that are in reality the absence of light?

Unless there is a genuine reason for lack of contentment for example homelessness, poverty or discrimination discontentment is derived from a sense of entitlement. “I should have that.” “That should be mine.” It is a phenomena in a world that is overloaded with ‘celebrity’ lifestyles and the obnoxious amount of spending that seems to be compulsive by these so-called celebrities.

How are we supposed to be content when X has a mansion filled with objects that are tacky but also expensive and exclusive? We cannot live within their means but some people feel a need to try and max out credit cards by buying cheap and worthless imitations of expensive tat.

Contentment is a companion that wavers with the ups and downs of life and our moods and emotions. It is attainable and can be sustainable for some people and can exist whether it is punctuated by blinding flashes of joy or not..

We seem to have forgotten – or perhaps we have no memory – of simple and non-competitive lifestyles. We know that money doesn’t buy happiness but who hasn’t been tempted by the idea of shelling out some cash to rent some for a while?