My last post was over two years ago and since so much time and life has passed it all just seemed irrelevant. Now those posts read more like memories from journals I found shoved in a box in the attic. As I glanced through old posts, I realized that the life I once wrote about didn't seem like my own. Much has changed but mostly I have.
Perhaps you remember me but probably not. I stopped writing. Life made me stop and life made me uninspired. Life happens.
I cleaned up my space, tried to clear my head and I am giving a crash course of my brain, my life. My life with this stupid, creative, aggravating, wonderful brain.
Crazy. Nuts. Bonkers. Loon. Insane. Cuckoo. Delusional. Psycho. Bipolar. Fruitcake. Cracked. Lunatic. Whack. Bananas.
All of these words have been used at one time or another to describe me. Sometimes I am offended and sometimes I am not. Heck, I even use these same words about myself but I try to use them to describe my actions not my being. I am not Bipolar. I have Bipolar Disorder. There is a difference. The English language is a funny thing. Words have become so interchangeable and depending on the situation or person you are describing and your intent some of these same harsh words could even be used as a compliment. That girl is crazy;She just cracks me up!
Most people do not really understand Bipolar Disorder. They believe it is a character flaw. It is a medical condition. It is a chemical imbalance. If you have no problem calling a diabetic a fatass then you probably have no problem calling a person with BP a nutjob. That would make you a bigot. Bipolar Disorder, on the other hand, does not discriminate. It does not care who you are or where you come from. It does not care if you are man or woman, rich or poor, smart or dumb, ugly or pretty, interesting or boring. It does not give a damn if you have a lofty career with fabulous benefits or if you work a shit job with shit insurance. It does not care. It mostly does what it wants, when it wants to whom it wants with no regard for consequences. It really is rather selfish.
There is no cure for Bipolar Disorder. However, there are all types of treatments that can help manage the symptoms and there are new ones being developed every day. You are born with the disorder but it’s nothing like being born white or black or short or tall. There is nothing you can do to change that about yourself. BP is more like being born a brunette and bleaching your hair blonde. There are things you can do to “cover it up” but you can’t change it and eventually your hair will grow and your roots will show. It is like that extra fifteen pounds you have been carrying since Thanksgiving, you really just want to wish it away but you know that you have to eat lettuce and run yourself ragged on a treadmill to make it happen. Managing BP symptoms takes the same hard work. It is exhausting. There are days that you look in the mirror and hardly recognize yourself and wonder is it even worth all of the hassle.
Bipolar Disorder is unpredictable and extreme. It takes you from happy to sad and everywhere in between with or without warning. It makes you angry and agitated. It makes you say and do things that are irrational and mean. It makes you say inappropriate things at inappropriate times. Sometimes it even makes you say things that make absolutely no sense to the “normal” people and when you get stable sometimes you will reflect and realize it does not even make sense to you. It makes your brain think way too much about way too many things. It is like trying to watch TV whilst some asshole flips through the 900 cable channels that you subscribe to. It makes you spend your last twenty bucks on brightly colored ink pens and a journal that will surely be tossed into the drawer with all the others as soon as the manic episode passes. It makes you paranoid. It makes you question everything and everyone. There is an ulterior motive for everyone’s actions. Even a good deed done for you is cause for suspicion. Your mind can turn a benign noise like a creaky floor board into a ninja burglar on your roof and he will be inside your home in minutes to kill you and steal your fancy, new pens. And, you just know that everyone that knows you will be talking about how stupid you were for leaving such a valuable treasure just lying around before your body is even cold.
Bipolar Disorder makes you cry. It makes you cry until you can not cry anymore. It takes you so far past sad that you become almost numb. Numb, if it weren't for the nagging feeling that you are such a worthless, hopeless, unfixable mess and you and everyone that you care about would be better off if you were dead. It makes you want to be dead and it has an uncanny ability to make dead seem like a glorious thing. Certainly, whatever is waiting on the other side has to be better than what I am feeling right now on this side. It makes you feel and it makes you want to never feel again.
Bipolar has a good side too. It makes you happy. Happier than the happiest person in the history of happiness. No one has ever felt this wonderful. You are smarter, faster, prettier, funnier and better than. Better than anyone and better than yourself. You can accomplish things that “normal” people cannot. It makes you the fastest hands on the assembly line. You are the go-to person when someone needs something done in a snap. You are the one in the circle of friends that has the hilarious one-liners and the quick-witted responses. You are the life of the party. You are talented. You can sing and dance. You are an artist and a poet. There’s really nothing that you cannot do. The sky’s the limit!
Most importantly, Bipolar is a liar. It tells you things about yourself, other people and your surroundings and it is so convincing in its deception that you will believe it every time. BP is a big, fat, ugly liar and you cannot believe a word it says or it will destroy you.