Shawshank ( Bipolar ) Redemption – ‘Get busy living or get busy dying’

One of the great films!

It has many echoes for me. Not least that it was a flop at the box office, and then through word of mouth became the all time video best seller. Prove positive that my book, form modest beginnings, might sell by the shed load, once word gets out. Well that’s the fantasy element dealt with!

But a better echo is the poignant dialogue between Andy Dufrane and ‘Red’ about life on the outside. Andy is innocent and refuses to give in to his position, whereas ‘Red’ has become institutionalised to the point that he not only discounts the notion, but moreover, it frightens him to death.

I hope if you have Bipolar you can see the parallels. It’s a struggle and no mistake. One instinctively wants to align with Andy and when one is in the Euphoric phase its easy to be positive. The problem is that the positive feelings are not so much directed at a brighter future, but they tell you that you are in fact not ill, and that you’re fine and it’s everyone else who has an issue. Whereas in the Dysthymic phase you feel just like ‘Red’, unable to see a way out of the misery, and just plain scared.

Well for me coping is now distilled into those iconic words ‘Get busy living or get busy dying’.

I aim to get busy living. I tried the dying and don’t recommend it. Hope you escape too.

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