What does it mean to be bipolar?
That’s a question I’ve been trying to answer for at least 13 years. Not the scientific approach (Wikipedia is there for that), but the reality of myself living as a bipolar.
What I found out is it sucks, and a lot. I still wonder every single day what’s worse, being a bipolar or the way most people deal with individuals with a mental illness.
“Sometimes life just seems to shatter
Like we’re made of glass”
– ATB – Made Of Glass –
The reality is people feel extremely compassionate about those who have cancer or any other kind of killer disease, but when it comes to mental illnesses the most common action is labeling us as “crazy”, “weirdos “, “strange” and so on.
I’m not anything near crazy, I assure you. I don’t run naked on the street screaming “I’m Napoleon!” nor think I’m some kind of reincarnation of Jesus Christ. No, I simply can’t control my mood shifts.
Maybe the problem is that no one wants to be near someone who’s depressed, and unfortunately, lately my depressive episodes are far longer than the maniac ones.
People just avoid the depressed, basically because they’re not interesting and the paranoia and aggressiveness scares the hell out of them. Yeah, even I get a bit scared of me when depression comes.
The fact is that even my best friends ran away when I was depressed and I don’t blame them. It must be difficult not to know what to do or say. Not that it’s a pleasant excuse for running away from a friend in need though.
If you are not bipolar or don’t have any kind of depression you might not understand or relate to what I’m saying, so let me try to clarify what it feels like to have depression.
It feels like “nothing”.
Yes, nothing. You feel empty, hollow. It comes with sadness as well, but a different kind; it’s a sadness without tangible reasons to exist; it simply exists. Depression is not sadness, it is emptiness. I cry because I feel empty, nothing feels good, nothing seems right, I don’t want to eat, smile, not even live.
The people I know can’t handle the maniac episodes as well, because instead of looking uninteresting apparently I look insane. The euphoria (also for no apparent reason) is overwhelming to them as well.
It’s been three days I don’t eat neither lunch nor dinner and no one knows about it (well, now you do). And it sucks because as much as I want to eat my body refuses to cope with me.
In the end it’s me, Mr. Bipolar and Lady Depression who walk together every minute, every day.