being bipolar

Some of you know of the illness that defines me at time. Bipolar Disorder. Dealing with depression, in any form, is a constant struggle. It can be an explainable chemical imbalance treated with antidepressants. Or it can be completely unexplainable and treated with a number of medications and therapy.

Bipolar disorder means depression and mania.

Bipolar disorder means OCD.

Bipolar disorder means insomnia and fatigue.

Bipolar disorder means Lithium.

Bipolar disorder means self mutilation.

Bipolar disorder means mood swings.

Bipolar disorder means psychiatric evaluations and therapy.

Bipolar disorder means medications.

Bipolar disorder means blood tests.

Bipolar disorder means hospitalization.

Hospitalization is a difficult thing for people to deal with and understand. The number one reason for hospitalization is for saftey reasons. And, generally speaking, I needed saftey the past few days. Safety from myself. Safety from the darkness. Saturday night to Tuesday afternoon I spent my time attending individual therapy, group therapy, psychiatric evaluations, giving blood, wandering aimlessly up and down the East wing, and putting a puzzle, (of an English garden), together.

No shoes with laces. Rubber soled hopsital socks.

Menus. Circle your choice with an eraserless pencil.

Twin size hospital bed with threadbare blankets.

No drawstrings in your clothes.

Daily Lithium level tests.

A piano that hasn’t been tuned in years.

Missing caps to watercolor markers.

Conference rooms.

Crying to the sound of Scout asking, “Mom, you OK?”

Cheetos and blue Gatorade.

Talking to my mom again.

And now? I’m home. I find it hard to adjust to my large bed. I find it hard to get comfortable on our soft couch. I find it hard to be in such a different situation. The past two days I’ve kept my days busy: washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, reading stories, swimming with Scout…

I need to readjust to the regular me. The one that isn’t put away, safely kept away from the world. I am the woman who wants to learn how to paint. I am the woman who could eat an entire jar of homemade strawberry jam without bread. I am the woman who prefers the cold to the heat. I am the woman who has a color coordinated closet. I am the woman who can appreciate a good wool. I am the woman who has an endless list of things to do.

But most of all, I want to be me. I don’t want to be defined by being Bipolar. I don’t want to be defined by the symptoms. I just want to be myself.


11 thoughts on “being bipolar

  1. I hope that you feel better soon – you are an incredibly lucid writer, and I hope that the process of writing helps you heal.

  2. You sound like an incredibly strong person who can find their way back to themselves. Wishing you a speedy journey back to where you feel you again.

  3. I’m so blown away by all your posts AJ. You seem to have had so much heartache in your life yet write so eloquently and movingly about your experiences. I hope you find the energy to regain your strength and find balance.

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