Crabs in the Bucket, a message for the naysayers

I remember talking to a friend of mine who encouraged me to write a book about my journey from fear, anger, and depression, to happiness after I had a fairly rough start to my life.

He said, “That’s a great idea. But who will read it? Nobody knows you,”

He was right, of course, and there was Youtube!

I opened an account, primarily to discuss problems in Social Work, Group Homes, Mental Hospitals, Public Education, and psychiatry in general. As well as to talk about meditation, alternative healing, tai chi chuan (taiji), child abuse advocacy, and other topics.

I built up a subscriber base, until I had one thousand subscribers. Then I started to write my book.

During the process of writing my book, and making videos discussing using meditation to deal with symptoms of all kinds of mental disorders such as, ADHD, Bipolar, PTSD, and schizophrenia. I received feedback.

More than a few people who commented were not very happy to hear me rail in anger and disgust about how horrible and anti-healing lithium and antipsychotics were for me, and how happy I was “maintaining” (to use pdoc-speak) using tai chi chuan.

Few could even grasp, that I wasn’t “maintaining” anything. I was changed. I did spiritual alchemy, and I became a person who was immune to depression, because I had a little light explode softly inside me, that illuminated my being from within.

A light of love. Acceptance. Surrender.

When I would tell people, over and over, on bipolar forums or amazon discussions, or youtube conversations, how many years I had been free of depression and mania, I would consistently get someone who, sooner or later, made comments like this,

“Well. You may feel fine now. But. Once bipolar, always bipolar. So, sooner or later, you are going to have a relapse. And it isn’t going to be pretty, because you refused to take your meds.”

This is called, The Bitter and Clueless Crabs in the Bucket mentality.

A fisherman places a bucket of caught crabs on the boat wharf. One or two crabs start to stand on the others and reach up and out of the bucket. Grasping the edge, they start to haul themselves out. Then, the crab underneath them, reaches up a claw, and grabs the escaping grab by one leg.

That is what so-called “bipolar people” think when they hear my story. Some of them anyway.

They think that way, because they have internalized biological psychiatry. Which is most unfortunate. For them.

I cured myself of depression by the time I was twenty-five. But I had been feeling better and better, and totally depression-free, within the first year of practicing either meditation, yoga, or tai chi chuan, daily. I didn’t self-diagnose myself “cured” until I had had three years of stability.

That was back between 1997-2000.

It is now 2015.

I have never relapsed. I remain depression free. I don’t get “mania”, and even if I somehow magically got either depression, or mania, I could,

A: Fake sanity. Fake not being depressed or manic, using mind-over-body training.

B: Heal myself, for real. All. Over. Again. Using the exact same methodology that worked the first time. Solitude. Relaxation. Zero stress. Followed by meditation, yoga, and tai chi chuan.

Within a few weeks, or months, I would stabilize. Again. And within a year, I would be largely okay.

The only reason that “bipolars” reached out to me, to tell me, I was doomed for a bipolar crash sooner or later for not taking my meds or for believing in the diagnosis of manic depression, is that they are utterly incapable of doing what I did, and they are bitter, jealous, and a little afraid. Afraid they are as doomed as my psychiatrist said I was, the summer of 1989.

It turned out, she was wrong. And so were all those bipolar crabs on the forums in the comments.

I can’t feel bad about that, at all.


About Jane

Ms. Alexander. author, activist, artist
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