Friday, March 6, 2009

Balance (Originally published on 12.11.08)

I think I am beginning to understand part of the reason bipolar people are so different from the greater part of society. When we feel an emotion, we feel it to the extreme. We can’t just feel a small part of it. It actually becomes quite primal. We revert to a state where emotion is the only thing that envelops us and logic withers away. If you look into our eyes when we’re having a panic attack or just breaking down, you’ll find a look akin to a frightened animal - we revert back to our “lizard brain” or the “id”. Everything we feel is all encompassing. Nothing else really matters at that given moment. Then the super ego kicks in with anxiety riding on it's shirt tails. We need to find the ego. We need to find a balance. People just don’t understand that. They just figure that we’re being overly dramatic.

I so wish that was the case.

It has been so incredibly hard for me to accept that this is real. That bipolar is actually a very real disorder or (the most dreaded d word) a disease. There really is no way to go into the brain, study the chemical make up of it and have the Doctor tell you “Um yeah, you are genuinely fucked up.” My whole life I was told that this was normal so I wrapped a cord around my emotions until they built up and snapped it. When I lost that control I had been so carefully honing, I, in all honestly, freaked the fucked out. I had learned to control every aspect of my life for fear of that happening and to hide as much as I could. So much so that when people would will me to “take a chance” or “let go” I just couldn’t. I was terrified of the consequences, because I don’t do things halfway. I live in extremes. That’s what this disorder is all about. We are trying to learn what the elusive “middle ground” is. It’s almost impossible for us to comprehend. I wish that I could just shove someone inside my head and have them understand.

The hardest part about all of this was deciding whether or not I should go on meds. So many people were telling me not to but my mental state was rapidly deteriorating to a point where I almost walked out in front of a speeding car. I know I repeat a lot of things in my blog. It’s because I honestly can’t remember if I typed it or not. My thoughts constantly loop. It’s a circle I need to learn how to break out of.

I haven’t posted on here in awhile because when I came back to San Fran I was greeted with an e-mail from my estranged mother. I have not responded yet, nor will I until I talk to my therapist. My first reaction was pure rage. No amount of medication could stop the feeling from flowing through me. When I got home I used my bare hands to dismantle a metal cross she had given me years before while my roommate looked on, worry etched upon her face. It felt so good to twist and contort the metal until it broke apart in my hands. The entire time I felt like it was her words that I was breaking apart; destroying the emotions the letter had evoked. After all the pieces had been pried apart, I noticed the blood on my hands. My roommate hurried to her room for band aids and I just sat and stared at them. My blood, her blood that runs through my veins had destroyed a symbol of a belief that she hides behind. That so many people hide behind.

That cross carried a certain symbolism with it.

Right before I began peaking on a molli with a friend of mine, the cross fell to the floor. This immediately sent my mind spiraling in to a terrifying direction and I began having an internal panic attack. I thought that I was going to die because the falling cross meant that “god” was no longer with me. My friend who was with me had no notion of what was going on in my head. When I finally hit the point of no return, my head went silent and I just FELT. I believe this was the first string I plucked that led me to slowly pull the wool mask off my face. After that experience I began seeing who I was, who I had become. I couldn’t go back to my comforting ignorance that I lived in for so long. I still can’t. I am disgusted with what I find facing me in the mirror. I am disgusted with my lack of courage to step outside what is comfortable. I detest the fact that I value myself so little that I will sleep with the gilded boys who want nothing more than a fuck. But after they get what they want, they curl up next to me and I feel wanted. But really, I’m just there. There is no attachment or acknowledgment that I am anything special.

Destroying that cross marks another fork in my road that I have turned upon. I will no longer let the beliefs of others come before my own. I will stop listening to people that tell me I must do something a certain way or in a certain order. I will stop my mind from whispering poison in my ear about how it’s too late to truly get into anything that interests me. That I need to be taught everything a certain way. That’s not how life is. You learn from experience. Nothing else. I will not hide behind a symbol or a religion that restricts me or other people. The god that the bible speaks of or any other text does not exist to me. The only thing I will follow is my belief of being nice and that love is the most important thing to believe in. I am still struggling with the idea that I will one day find it. Part of me longs for it now; another part is too terrified to comprehend the actions that must come with it. That I have to cast aside my masks, I have to believe someone when they say they love me. That I have to let go and believe that someone else will catch me. That love isn’t all me, it isn’t all them, that love is a place in the middle. That love is a balance.

I will find a middle ground. I have to. I refuse to live like this any longer.

1 comment:

alice said...

Heather. Very lucid and powerful post. Typing on iPhone will write more later but you nailed it; the very thoughts I've been running through my head all the way down to the mom reaction. We need to talk.

xo yes, your friend, alice ( hahaha )

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