Sometimes there are people who try to understand what it is like to have bipolar disorder. At least, they try to understand me. It's hard to explain it to them because it's typically asked between glasses of wine or over candlelight or between silk sheets during those hours of the night where people are the most honest and curious and sleepy drunk. And in those moments it doesn't really feel like they're asking the same person...
almost like they are asking the camera man how the actor was feeling.
But here I am sinking and I think this is the darkest place where I am the brightest I will ever be. bipolar feels like you found a thread on a piece of clothing you were wearing. And you start to pull at it to take it off- you know, so it looks nice again.But you realize it is still attached and it is now unravelling into a tiny little hole. You try to pull with a little momentum to get the string to break but the little hole just gets bigger. And as you go about your day you try to be discrete about it but it's all you can think about and no one notices it. And you think- how can no one notice this? Its just so clear... are they just not even looking?- They are never looking.
Bipolar feels like you took some type of pill that changes even the colors around you. Literally the colors. Looking at my tile today, etched by the stupid cleaners who were sure they could handle marble, I notice there are big yellow blotches on it. They look disgusting. Who wants yellow floors. I put a rug over them. But all day I know they are there. And I know no one else can see them. And I know that now that I've seen them they will always be there.
Bipolar feels like maybe if I can get this house under a tiny bit of control I could actually get some sleep. And not sleep like last night where, in my dreams, babies were getting killed by dogs and I had to chase them to pull them out of rabid mouths only to find moms engaging in laughter with their groups of friends. Only to say: be so so careful with them, it only takes one mistake. Like, you'll never know all the times you saved their lives but just one day you let them go to a party and baby girl almost gets dropped off at a gas station foaming at the mouth because her friends didn't want to get in trouble. Or maybe she never comes home that night at all.
Bipolar makes it harder when you hate everything about being a mother but love everything about your children- even the way they are so inconveniently stubborn. And you are so blatantly aware that everything you do in these moments is absolutely ruining them, and leaving them would ruin them even more. Then thinking they would really be much much better off if you stepped out of their lives.
Bipolar is all of the worst things anyone has ever thought about you, repeated over and over like a broken record in your head. Your mind becoming the very worst critic you could ever have, building upon the last insult to have a higher platform to point down at you from. Crumbling from your own chaos, into your own darkness.
Bipolar is knowing that people want to help you and that there is absolutely no help. Ever. And this is it, and in this moments you must sit here in it. And if someone cannot just sit. In silence. they cannot be welcomed here. You are not welcome here. You were never welcome here. Just like I never was.
Bipolar is a prisoner in a skin. A skin that never wanted this soul. Skin that never asked for hostages to hold and promises to keep. Bipolar is wanting to get out and knowing that was is broken inside of you isn't fixable by suicide- it is your soul that is broken. And you will take the bad days with the good even if there are many many more bad days or if the few that are bad feel worse than ever before.
No scotch tonight.
Just keyboards and deep breaths.