I have developed a distaste and recoiling from the use and abused word “Bipolar”. The word itself very rarely leaves my lips. I’ve written more about it here than I have ever, ever spoken about it out loud. An undercurrent, an unspoken knowledge in the therapist’s office, but we never really talk about “it”. Not since I was diagnosed three years ago. I did get a second opinion because I thought it was absolutely absurd that “it”could be applied to me. So later, after I went back to the first therapist, we talked about “it” only enough to understand the impact on my life, more the medication’s impact really. But “it” is a subject I like to avoid facing head on. “It” is not in therapy, I am in therapy to understand myself so I can be a better person. That’s literally why I even started going to therapy in the first place! The first words out of my mouth when I walked through her doors were I am unhappy and I apparently don’t know myself well enough to make the choices in my life that will lead me to the happiness I desire. I want to be happy with me so I can make others happy. Never in a million years did I expect ‘getting to know myself’ would come with a clinical definition.
The fact is, I was – and still am – completely furious that I battle with a mental illness. And sometimes I don’t know if I am more pissed at the fact that I went so long without knowing it and went through many years of the warzone called my life without help, or the fact that I know now and recognize when it has its hold on me and I have to say to myself, You have “it” remember? Medicine isn’t a cure-all.
I think my body was so happy having help the first couple of years and everything was really grand. I felt relief, like myself finally, although truth be told I greived the loss of my mania. But this year so far, I seem to just be struggling with the highs – and more and more of the lows than I care to admit, even here. “It” says I still have you in my grips, I still call the shots. We’ll I’ll be damned, I’m going to persevere in spite of it. That’s great thinking girl, but exactly how? One foot in front of the other I suppose.
A dear friend asked me to speak at a NAMI class and tell my story. The before diagnosis, dealing with it, and how I “cope” with it. How I live life and have life success in spite of “it” – that it is possible for folks like me. I definitely am excited about really putting to pen my story, not sure if I’ve ever looked at it from this perspective before. Maybe because a part of me has still been in a wee state of denial about me having “it” at all. Deny it all I want it is what it is. Some days I win the battle, some days I don’t.
Whether you have an illness, there’s some “it” in your life that you struggle with. With or without help, you’re coping with an “it”. We can choose to succome to “it” and allow it to drag us around like a bull-wrangling clown, or we can get up, dust ourselves off, and face that damn bull with red determination in our eyes to beat it today.
So I’m calling a stare down pronto. Must. Get out. Of this funk. Weight on my shoulders be damned!
Amanda, deal with your shtuff!
Be well my blog friends. Thanks for lending an ear.