So, here I sit in my mother and father’s living room. We drove up on Sunday after the risk from Hurricane Matthew had finally passed our area, and we were sure everything was going to be ok at our house.
Before coming here, some of you may remember that I was going to write and post an entry on how to explain bipolar. Some of you may even realize that I never posted anything like that. I started that post. I haven’t finished it. It got complicated and I got stuck. I am still working on it, but it was supposed to be something for me to use to help my parents understand what’s going on with me. With it not being done, it’s not really of any use to me now.
Which is a shame.
Because the subject came up briefly this morning. And it got messy almost immediately. Because my mother’s opinion (my father was conspicuously quiet) is that I just think about it too much. If I would stop reading blogs, and considering my health, I would feel better. After all, she doesn’t read about her physical ailments much, so that means she can just live her life and not worry about it too much.
The problem is that she’s so sure of what she’s saying and so insistent that I’m wrong, that I lose any thoughts of what I should be saying to defend myself. It’s just gone. Which, of course, is typical for me, and I’m sure many of you. And is why I was writing the other post. I wanted to have all of my thoughts organized for this exact situation.
I shouldn’t be researching my medications. I shouldn’t be reading blogs about bipolar. I shouldn’t be thinking about bipolar at all, unless I’m at therapy.
But that is just not possible. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to not think about bipolar. It would free up a lot of brain space. But, I can’t help it. Even if I’m not reading blogs, and sometimes I go a couple of days, I’m still thinking about it. My brain never shuts off. I drug the hell out of myself (with pdoc approval) to even sleep at night. And my brain goes and goes and goes until the pills just finally take over. And, on occasion, even they don’t work.
I don’t want to think about bipolar all the time. But my brain does. I’m working on retraining my behavior through Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I take my meds. I go to therapy twice a week. But, most importantly, I’m always using energy to act like I’m fine. But I’m not such a great actress that I can even convince myself. None of us can.
There’s a big part of bipolar that we just have to sit back and say “It is what it is”. The meds, the therapy, the acting. But just because we are saying that “It is what it is” doesn’t mean that we aren’t thinking about it. All. The. Time.
Reading your blogs gives me something that I wouldn’t have otherwise. A community. A tribe. People who understand me and what I’m going through. I don’t have to explain to you that it takes a lot of energy to act like I’m ok. You know that. I don’t have to explain racing thoughts to you. You know. Bipolar depression? You get it. You understand it and you support me, just as I support you.
So my friends, my support, my tribe I really want to thank you. Because no matter what my mother may say about not reading about bipolar, reading these blogs are crucial to my understanding of what the malfunction in my brain is doing. Your stories teach me, as I hope mine teach you. The writing is cathartic, but the understanding brings peace.