I have Bi-Polar II Disorder… I am not BiPolar.

Honesty is important to me. I want to be as honest with all of you as possible. To hide any part of me would not be honest with myself either. I can handle anything, but don’t lie to me. Trust should be the foundation of every relationship. In my life, I’ve had many people who I thought were close friends and family take that thing called trust and not only did they stomp on it, they spit on that bitch, threw it in the garbage and lit the garbage on fire. (Did you see the visual there?) I mean seriously, I’m an intelligent person and if you’re going to lie to me, at least make it something I won’t be able to figure out. If I do find out… all you’ve done is really piss me off to a point you’ve left me with no choice but to confront you with the lie. I’m sure you’re all familiar with this scenario. It doesn’t end well for anyone involved. Hurt feelings, pants on fire, blah blah blah. Who needs it? Besides, it takes too damn much brain power to remember the lies.  Who the hell has that much brain power? Not me. And if you do have the brain power, for Goddess’s sake, use it for good reasons. If you can’t remember the lies, just give it up. There’s nothing to remember if you just tell the truth.

I have bipolar II disorder, but let me state this as loud and clear as possible: IT DOES NOT DEFINE WHO I AM. *I* define who I am. Bipolar II is a condition I have, it doesn’t have me. This is a very serious condition which can cause a living, breathing, valuable human being to be suicidal or to actually commit suicide. It completely wreaks havoc on your daily thought process and changes how you view the world. There are days you wish you hadn’t been born because you’re just so damn tired of feeling <insert any negative word you want here because I usually did>. Using the word bipolar as an adjective for the weather or for your boss you don’t like is insulting to those of us who struggle minute by minute or day by day with this condition. Rather than mocking it, why don’t you try to educate yourself. And don’t give me this “Oh you’re just one of those politically correct people.” Wrong. Words are not just words. They are a manifestation of what you really think and feel. Intention is everything.

For many years I was on a high dose of Seroquel. It helped me to maintain a sense of being on an even keel. I didn’t want to haul off and knock someone’s head off because I was in a fit of rage and I also was no longer suicidal. That was the good news. The bad news is that my creativity was G O N E. I was just a blur of who I knew I should be. MANY of us diagnosed with bipolar II disorder are highly creative and taking the very foundation of who we are away from us changes how we see ourselves. It’s one of the biggest reasons we absolutely do not like to take meds. My poor husband… he watched me like a hawk for months even a few years after being diagnosed. He had to walk on egg shells with me and I don’t know how he did it, but he did. He was careful in how he asked me if I was taking my meds. I mean looking back at it, it was pretty obvious. If I told you to go fuck yourself when you asked me how my day was, that was a pretty good sign I hadn’t been taking my meds.

I am not embarrassed or ashamed to have this condition. It is a fact about me. Here are some other facts: my name is Maria, I prefer to be called Shelley. I have gray hair, a kick ass personality and bipolar II disorder. See? Just a fact.  I am learning to embrace every single facet of my being, including what I used to see as weaknesses.

I am far from weak. I am a survivor and so are you. If you are reading this you have survived life thus far and I’m proud of you. If no one else has told you that today, I will. I am proud of you. If you found this blog, it wasn’t by accident. Something led you here and that means you’ve survived some shit, too. We can do this thing called life.

(I am searching for a catchy phrase as a parting before my name…I will find one eventually, but until then…)

Shelley

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