I've started this post three different ways already, and none of them have felt right to me. I've always found it hard to talk about this subject; it's always been my private shame, though I know there's nothing to be ashamed of.
I live with bipolar disorder. A lot of people refer to mental illnesses as something they suffer from, and more power to them if that's how they feel. For me, it's more like a constant companion - one that is always with me, whether I want it or not.
And that's the interesting thing - sometimes... sometimes, living with bipolar has its benefits. It doesn't take out the garbage or wash the dishes or laundry, but it's good for an unexpected energy burst every so often to get those oft-overlooked tasks done, and it certainly aids in my writing and other creative tasks on occasion.
There are downsides, too, as there are to everything in life. I haven't personally had to deal with crippling depression in many years now, but I am certainly familiar with a lack of interest in formerly enjoyable activities, an overpowering lack of motivation to do anything that is not absolutely necessary, and getting easily overwhelmed when a little bit of motivation is found, or when too much is asked of me.
I got into an argument once about whether I suffer from bipolar disorder. The other person seemed so wrapped up in their troubles that they absolutely could not take the time to see any of the small blessings that could potentially be hidden within the illness.
Bipolar and I have walked, arms linked together, for almost 30 years now. I look forward to more than 30 more.
(this whole thing is done kind of stream-of-consciousness...)
If they are to come up with a cure for bipolar disorder, be it a one-time pill, a course of medication, some other medical intervention, or something entirely different... I am not convinced that I would partake of the cure. My brain is a little skewed, but it's what makes me uniquely me. I don't think I'd like to change who I am after 40 or more years of developing this Me.
I interact with a lot of of fabulous mentally ill folks online. If you have a mental illness yourself, you should come check out our little community... it's at http://www.rollercoasterroom.com. Tell them caly sent you 😉
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