This post was written after I spoke to a friend who has Type II Bipolar Disorder. She’s had it for about two and a half years.
She didn’t want to write it herself, but she wanted to get her thoughts out there. This post is a mix of her thoughts on the illness and what I felt when I listened. She has also given me permission to use this post in any of my other pieces.
Here’s what she said, after days of talking and three thousand cups of Earl Grey.
I didn’t want to do it. I really didn’t. It’s got hormonal, teenage type whiny angst written all over it. I didn’t want to talk about it; even with P (her therapist) and certainly not with myself. Certainly not with the other two girls either.
But it all came rushing in to my head at the same time, like a sudden rush of blood as though I’d been hanging upside down on monkey bars or every time I remember the last words my grandfather ever spoke to me.
Why do I have Bipolar Disorder?
Why do I need to throw back 9 pills every day and talk to someone about my feelings every Friday, when it rained just a little- not enough to give me an excuse to go home, but enough to drop in your little paper cup of cheap milky tea and annoy the hell out of you. Some people say it’s beautiful.
I don’t see it.
So yes, why me? Why do I have to be stuck with this?
Of course the answer is “nobody knows.” Cause they really don’t and neither do I. I can’t blame em. I understand it logically. But I can’t reconcile with it emotionally. Perhaps if they removed that part of my brain- the amygdala, probably- i’d be fine. No more breaking things when you get angry and no more shutting yourself in your room for 3 weeks and switching off your phone.
No having people look at you strangely when you sit in a long corridor waiting for the nice psychiatrist with the big bag of pills to call you in. No more waking up everyday and wondering if how I feel is going to change, and how much it’s going to change. No more taking extra meds to make it through class or work, no more falling asleep early because of the meds and not handing in papers. No more wondering if I’ll have to quit another job.
No more of ‘no warning signs.’ I don’t want a warning sign. I don’t want any sign at all.
I just want to be…normal? Is that what it is? Am I not normal because I’m Bipolar?
Me: This brings to mind a number of cultural and historical references of two opposites of the same coin, two polarities of the same person or the same entity. The Roman god Janus, Jekyll and Hyde even counts in my opinion and I’m sure you will agree once you look at it through the lens of bipolarity. Even in things like Harry Potter, although once you want to see something you see it whether or not it is there. I’m stepping on the toes of Oscar Wilde’s speech when he was convicted of indecency under the 1890 Labouchere amendment.
For some reason I need no excuse to bring up Oscar Wilde’s indictment. Or the Marquess of Queensbury’s infamous libellous note that he sent to Oscar Wilde, that had a very famous spelling error in it. Look it up.
“You just have a- a problem.” said Harry.
“I do not forget- professor Snape made me the wolfsbane potion every month. I could curl up in my office, harmless, while not in my human state. I was just a harmless werewolf.” said Lupin.
HIs other side, yes. HIs other side that often put himself and those around him in danger. Sounds a lot like the confidentiality clause in the agreement between mental health care providers and patients.
One of three circumstances in which psychiatrists can or are obligated to reveal the nature or existence of a mental illness is when the patient puts either his or her life in danger, or endangers someone around them. I’ve signed many of those babies. Can do it with my eyes closed.
On one hand I know I shouldn’t be complaining. I know I’m better off than a lot of people out there. People who share my condition but are in worse health, people who share my condition and cannot access healthcare, and people who don’t share my condition but aren’t as fortunate as I am. The law of large numbers or a chance occurrence with no meaning attached to it, those are the circumstances of my birth. That sounds like I’m an important person, you know, globally. ‘Course I’m not. I’m happy with that.
Anyway, I digress.
I hate saying these things. I’ll deal with it. Course I will. Then why am I so angry…sometimes?
Everyone is, right? Everyone should be I suppose. I don’t want to ask them…and I don’t want to tell.
Me: I don’t see this as a test obviously. Atheist. Don’t see this as an evolutionary landmark. Genetic predisposition to mental illness is definitely something that homo sapiens sapiens needs to weed out. It just doesn’t make sense, evolutionary.
So there’s going to be a point of time in human evolution where there won’t be people like me at all. That’s a good thing I guess.
Is that supposed to make me feel better? Is that supposed to make me feel special now?
I’ll tell you why I’m angry. And why my train of thought is so disconnected.
I’m angry because it’s the natural response to something like this.
That makes me normal in a way… doesn’t it?
Image credited to: iesnoth on Deviant Art