Friday, March 6, 2009

Phony (Originally published on 11.03.2008)

Sometimes I feel like a phony when reading other peoples bipolar blogs. I never actually carried out my thoughts of suicide and was never hospitalized. I honestly should have been at a couple of points but when I was living with my family they’d just say I was going through a “dark phase” and nicknamed me Poe. It just hit me recently how cruel that was. I have hundreds of pages in my journals begging for help knowing that my mother was reading them. When I confronted her about it she laughed in my face claiming that I was just being dramatic. How could you ever tell someone who is asking for help that? How? I learned from a young age to keep everything in, to never show someone that they’ve hurt you. I can hear the most hurtful things and not bat an eye but on the inside I crumble. If your 19 year old daughter hasn’t left her room in 3 days, wouldn’t you be concerned? But then again how could I expect much else from her. She’s in complete denial about being mentally ill. She doesn’t comprehend that when she lost her job, it was due to the fact that she is mentally ill. She’d tell her patients all about her life and end up talking with them for HOURS. She’d show up for work hours late and the deeper she delved into oxycotin she’d slump over in the middle of appointments. She wouldn’t sleep for days on end and lash out at anyone near her.

I feel like a phony because I just kept everything inside. No one knew I was a cutter because I only cut deep on my hips and lower stomach. I’d only scratch my nails down my arms and it was easy to claim I had a mishap with a bush due to my oh so graceful nature. Then one of my good friend’s brother committed suicide and I watched her family fall apart. I promised myself I would never put my family or friends through that. So I would just hide how I felt, everyday and would only let go in room. Usually I’d hide in the closet and just sob uncontrollably rocking back and forth chanting, this will stop, this will stop.

But in the last two years I wasn’t able to hide it anymore. It started seeping though my cracks and the panic attacks started. Then the days where I’d be totally unresponsive and call in sick and just lay in bed all day, not eating, not sleeping… just sitting there staring. I finally tried to seek help but the therapist I went to basically told me she didn’t have time to see me after 2 sessions. She said I needed to see someone 3 times a week and go on medication immediately. At that point I wasn’t ready to consider medication for whatever was wrong with me.

Then it got worse. After a very public panic attack on muni I sought out help again. This time I lucked out and found a great woman who has helped me in so many ways. The person I am now is the real me. I try and not hold everything inside (something I’m still working on) and I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I’m not feeling well I will let people know. It’s still hard because not many people understand why I can’t just snap out of a depression and just be happy. They’ll tell me it could be worse. Hell, I say that all the time. But my switches are broken. I can’t just turn things on and off.

On my good days I manage to convince myself that I’m just fine, that I don’t need medication. That I’m not bipolar. But then a mood hits and I’m back where I started from. I’m on a medication now that has seemed to stabilize me and it’s amazing how clear I can think now that I’m not hiding everything. I deal with things as they come and don’t push it away to deal with later. I know that people could see through my fa├žade before but even then it was misinterpreted as something deliberate because they didn’t understand and at that time neither did I. I never want to use bipolar as a scapegoat for my actions so I will take responsibly for everything I’ve done whether or not it was intentional. I also don’t want to apologize for being bipolar. This is something I’m just recently getting over. I apologize for things I can not control not matter HOW MUCH I wish I could. I just still carry around that idea what I can control my own brain but I have to accept that I really can’t (ugh that still feels like a cop out). Also, just because it seems that I’m dealing with it remarkably well, please keep in mind that it is sheer stubbornness that has gotten me this far.

So yo, I’m bipolar and I’m trying, tis all I can do.WOO WOO!


Mace Elaine said...

Dork. I give you a hundred digital hugs and kisses. I'm so proud of your progress, and I love reading your blog.

+/- said...

you've always been able to differentiate between blaming things on being bipolar, and explaining what's happening to you. the only people that see it as an excuse, are the people that don't understand bipolar disorder.

i like the term "disorder" by the way. it makes me see your brain like a tangled ball of string. so it makes sense when things don't come out the way you'd like, or that things come out when they shouldn't.

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