If a "nomal" person encounters this they would simply hold and maybe get a little flustered. However, a person with Bipolar has a more extreme reaction.
If this happens:
”Thank you for your patience. Your call is very important to us. A representative will be on the line shortly to assist you.”
It immediately prompts thoughts like this:
I call bullshit! If you really thought MY call was important you would have bumped me up in your stupid call queue. Nasally recorded lady, you know your ass is lying! Move it along, Lady! I think we have a different definition of what important means! I have been on hold for five minutes now. That is five minutes that the idea has had to swim in my brain. Do you know the havoc that can reek upon a scattered brain? I have already thought of seven new different issues that I will be asking you to address and you will probably be met with a snide remark. I guess the joke’s on you, slow phone answerer!
If a "nomal" person encounters this they would simply hold and perhaps get a little flustered. However, a person with Bipolar has a more extreme reaction.
The impulsive aspect of the illness makes you stingy with your conversations. My Mama always taught me that it is rude to interrupt someone when they are talking but if you recall I have already mentioned that Bipolar does not give a crap about my Mama. Sitting around with your friends chatting the night away or even talking to just one friend on the phone presents a challenge. There only has to be one word in your friend’s last statement that triggers a thought and sends your brain and mouth off in another direction.
"So I was downtown the othe….." "Oh my God, let me tell you what happened to me the other day when I was downtown! I had to go down there to pick up some paperwork and so I was down on Main Street and this woman, I think it was a woman, anyway she was pushing this cart, it looked like a grocery cart but it had flowers all over it. Maybe she glued them on…I don’t know but anyway so when I was walking past her she… Oh shoot! I am so sorry, what were you saying?"
It’s not that I am not paying attention to you or that what I have to say is more important than what you have to say. On the contrary, your story is probably much more riveting than mine. It’s just that my brain does not have the capacity to keep the words from falling out of my mouth no matter how hard I try.
Babe, I am looking for oatmeal recipes, do you think you would like some muffins?" "I’m kinda busy here." "If you like oatmeal and you like raisins how is it that you don’t like oatmeal raisin cookies?" "This is for work." "Well, I am just trying to find something that you will like that will be healthy, what do you think you would like?" "I would like to get this done."
And here we go.
Tears pushed back and the words stifled. Now the thoughts are stuck in my head and spinning wildly. Sometimes it only takes a few seconds for the mood to flip to agitation. OK, fine. No fucking muffins for you! I sure hope your cholesterol doesn’t make your heart blow up. I thought I was doing something good but whatever. Buddy, I sure hope you don’t think you are getting any kind of love any time soon. My vagina just went on lockdown.
Sometimes, people with Bipolar Disorder just need to be told to simmer down and shut the hell up! It gives them that jolt back to reality….if only for a moment. If you know someone with Bipolar Disorder and you know them well enough and you are educated enough about the illness to recognize the signs you really do have the power to help them. You just have to know how and when to do it.