It’s not easy being beautifully bipolar. People do judge you, as much as you hope they don’t. Every emotion is questioned – “Elaina sure is happy today, I wonder if she is becoming manic?” “Elaina’s under a lot of stress. Is this going to lead to an episode?” For a “normal” person, if you’re happy you are having a good day. If you are crying, you are simply sad.
Sometimes I feel like my personality and moods are held under a microscope. Carefully examined. I feel like people don’t trust me. They don’t think I am strong enough to weather this world we live in.
Every time my mother has to tell me something especially stressful, like when my dad tore open his hand with an electric saw, she asks me where my boyfriend is or when he will be home. She doesn’t want me to be alone with the stress. And I understand, I do. Every psychotic break, manic episode, mixed episode – they’ve all been brought on by big stressors.
So what I get from people are the highlights. They don’t want to worry me with their problems or the world’s problems. They want me to continue to hum along stable at the same frequency.
Bipolar disorder is somewhat unpredictable. I can honestly say that I do not know who I will wake up to be every morning. Will I be perfectly-stable-Elaina or so-depressed-I-cannot-move-Elaina or I-have-the-energy-of-a-thousand-Red Bulls-manic-Elaina or anxiety-has-taken-over-my-mind-and-body-Elaina?
Sometimes my brain does funny things. It works differently than a “normal” brain. Sometimes it sees things that aren’t really there. There are large memory gaps. I get confused.
So. Should you trust someone with bipolar disorder? I think it depends on what you are trusting them with. Sure, a secret is safe. You can count on me to be a good friend. I’ll try not to burn dinner. You needn’t question my love. But should you trust me to drive when I am manic? No. Should there be a gun in the house when I am depressed? No. Because when I am in an episode, I can’t trust myself. Why should you?
I want to be clear. People with bipolar disorder are just as trustworthy as “normal” people, BUT, when our mind plays its tricks and we experience symptoms of our illness, that must be noted. During those times we aren’t thinking clearly (or most likely acting like ourselves). Maybe we will need a little help, a watchful eye, a caring heart.
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