31 days of bipolar|day 17

If bipolar disorder was a real thing or being, what would it look, sound and behave like?

Bipolar disorder is a real thing.

It’s something that’s a part of me. It exists. It looks like me. It sounds like me. It behaves like me.

This is an interesting prompt. I’m really enjoying doing this list of prompts because it’s forcing me to think of my mental illness in a different way. In my mind, bipolar disorder is real and it exists. It exists in how I’m perceived.  Most of the time, it controls me. It’s a part of me. It is ingrained in who I am and how I behave. It lives in my brain, and thus in my body. My brain chemicals, misfiring or not, influence how I present to the world.

But I am more than my diagnosis.

Bipolar disorder looks, sounds, and acts like the person living with it. For me, it makes me an artist and is part of my humanity and existence. It influences how I create and the ways I perform. The contrast between my music and art while manic, depressed, or (the rare) in between is stark. I guess that makes for variety and that can be a benefit… but it can also be seen as inconsistency and lack of focus. As being too crashed to show up and on time. As being too in the sky to sit still and be present. It looks and sounds like chaos often. I guess I’m a slave to whatever way my brain chemicals decide to act on any given day. Thankfully, I’m not so ultra-rapid cycling that I sit in the extremes for weeks and months most of the time. I’ve yet to have a considerable time in the middle, where I hope to be one day. But will that lead me down the path of Diana Goodman in next to normal when she muses on missing the mountains? Where everything’s perfect, nothing’s real? The mountains and roller coaster of bipolar disorder are a part of me. Medication has generally dulled the absolute extremes so I’m not so depressed that I’m completely suicidal or so manic that I don’t even know my own name. But I still live with psychosis, especially when my mood cycle is shifting in either direction. It’s scary, but I’m somehow morbidly accustomed to this chaos. It helps me know that I exist in a weird co-dependant way.

I know that I will never be cured, and I guess I’m at peace with that life fact.

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