Trees Make the Wind

Disclaimer: this post is not meant to say that I have no respect for psychologists, doctors and other mental health professionals. I have the upmost respect and appreciate all that my doctors have done to save me from myself and keep me alive all these years. This is a speculative post, a run of the imagination and in no way intended to say that I dismiss my diagnosis. What I am questioning is how much control do I have and how much do/did I contribute to them happening. 

grayscale photography of trees and house
Photo by Harrison Haines on

When I really small, I would look out the window on windy days and watch the trees sway to and fro, whipping their tops and flinging their branches out and around. I believed that they were moving and by their movement, created the wind. I don’t know when I stopped believing this; probably when someone told me it was the other way around and I accepted that as truth.

Remembering this has brought me to question what other beliefs I had held but changed to comply with the masses or to fall into the “normal” category of thoughts and actions?

Well, for one thing, I believed that God made me completely full and perfect me, no faults or errors or mistakes involved. Every single feature, aspect of my personality and even the slight imperfections of one eyebrow slightly higher than the other, was by design. Perhaps He wanted me to have a quizzical look, which would pair nicely with the endless need to learn, to consume information like air or water, thirsty for the knowing, an insatiable appetite to understand, to capture that most elusive and highly valued treasure; true and pure knowledge.

But then someone told me my brain was damaged, that my mind didn’t work right and the chemicals in my brain were imbalanced. I thought they had done me a favor, giving me what I always craved; information in the form of facts. It came with solid and researchable terms like manic-depressive, or bipolar and treatment resistant depression, dual-diagnosis. Even better – there were treatments and ways to manage this dysfunction! Pills and talk therapy and shock therapy and more pills to balance out the side effects of the first pills. More therapy, cognitive distortions, black and white thinking; all the ways the mind works against  you when you’re damaged, broken and barely operational.

Days of euphoria, weeks of mania and the bitter transition from higher than high to lower than low. The shock of feeling the color flee and the gray slowing filling its space; dark and quiet, cold and yet full of heavy sadness, like a wet wool blanket.

The rushing river of thoughts turning to a slowly meandering stream of blackness, of nothingness but the void where feeling used to reside. Days in bed, flat and colorless and without any emotion I could name, just empty.

People I love seemed so far away, the effort to move, Herculean. Days walking through mud, thinking through a thick veil of confusion, trying so hard to appear perfectly fine, while my mind is screaming, screaming, screaming loudly


This is how the years, then the decades passed. I accepted this as my lot in life until one day I let myself question everything.

What if this isn’t just a brain chemistry thing?

What is this isn’t just a medical thing?

What if this is a spiritual thing?

What if this is simply part of what makes you you?

What if the highs and the lows were your soul’s way of aligning itself, of resetting?

What if the valleys and the peaks are the landscapes created in the mind?

What if I can change those landscapes?

What if I am the cause of those disruptions because I’m not taking care of myself?

What if what I think becomes what I feel?

(Maybe the trees do make the wind!)

close up of tree against sky
Photo by Pixabay on


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