I invite you to walk through the maze of Bipolar Disorder. We will encounter tangled cobwebs to brush aside. We will come to dead ends of frustration and confusion. Walk closely beside me. I am not infectious. You will only catch a glean of insight. Any questions are welcome. I will answer them honestly. You may not be comfortable with my answers. Turn back if you need.
No sympathy is wanted. My only desire is that you open your mind and hear my words with an understanding heart.
There will be no reason for me to use medical terminology. I am not qualified in that arena. I can only explain from first hand knowledge of this disorder that I live with on a daily basis not for a week or a month, but for my entire life. It will not disappear. It cannot be cured.
As with grief, there are defined stages one must traverse.
Realization is the first stage, after one in the medical field has made the diagnosis. Red flags are signals of severe depression and agitated manic episodes. Depressive symptoms include: feelings of helplessness, feeling of worthlessness, confusion, erratic thought processing, suicidal ideations and desperation. Razors blades and guns become my best friends.
Manic swings give a sense of euphoria and grandiose ideas. I can do anything! I will explain some of my actions when I am on this end of the spectrum. I will go into a store to purchas one item and leave having charged $ 500.00 in goods never even being taking out of the bags. I become reckless driving in excess of 90 mile per hour. I have quite a few tickets to back up that example. Inappropriate behavior is a biggy! A common acronym, used by doctors is FFFF…translates: find me, feed me, fuck me, forget me. Sorry, my friend, I warned you that some things I would tell you might not be in your comfort zone.
Depressive/Manic episodes are tricky. Many of the same characteristics are common to both. They catch me off guard, thus, leaving cobwebs of confusion. Misuse of legal and illegal drugs is prevalent; one’s attempt to stop the pain.
Denial rears its head. I continually berate myself with questions. Why has this happened to me? What have I done wrong ? Why can I not just stop being this way? When asking a doctor, can you imagine how damned tired I get of hearing that this is genetic: your chemistry is whacked out? I become angry and resentful. It’s not fair! I don’t need medicine! Doctor care is a waste! Hospitalization is for “ CRAZIES”. I have lost ME!
Bear with me for just a short time longer. The opening end of the maze is nearly in sight.
Acceptance is the turn I had to make, enabling me to walk into the light of my reality and scatter the cobwebs to blow with the breezes. I said out loud “I am Bipolar.”
Thank you for joining me today and listening to this rather simplistic explanation of a complicated condition. If you ever find yourself fighting or forced to try and wend through a maze; I love to travel and will only bring a minimum of baggage.
Next time let’s do something fun! We’ll take a picnic lunch to the park and just enjoy the peace surrounding us.
ABOUT SUSAN CLAY BALDWIN
STORIES BY SUSAN CLAY BALDWIN
POEMS BY SUSAN CLAY BALDWIN
ESSAYS BY SUSAN CLAY BALDWIN
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