“We always talk about your illness”, my husband said.
I don’t know if he’s being vindictive, or honest.
I can’t help but talk about living with bipolar disorder.
I don’t care how successful, beautiful, bright, or loving I am.
The reminder that I have bipolar disorder is always with me. Always.
It’s the anxiety I feel in the morning, the depression I feel during the day, the anger and restlessness I feel in the evening.
It is the medicine I take, the appointments I make, the time I go to bed and the amount of social interaction I can handle.
It is the loss I feel when I think about my past. The fear I feel when I think about my future.
The worry that my medication and my illness will cause me to die younger than my husband.
Am I dramatic, or haunted?
Do I talk about it because I am fixated, or because I am so eager to figure out ways to beat this thing?
It’s a puzzle and a mystery.
I can take thirty different medications in my lifetime. I can spend tens of thousands of dollars on therapy, exercise and eat right, and immerse myself in education.
I will still be susceptible to to mood swings, including severe depression and mania.
It is unnerving to know that preparation is needed in case of a depressed or manic “meltdown”.
Thinking about what I would do, should I need to enter a psychiatric hospital, is not something every person seriously considers.
Sometimes I think, “How dare you chide me for having to talk this illness out? Do you have something better to do than help me through something that affects me every single day? That will affect me for the rest of my life?”
I try to understand that others don’t understand.
I don’t know if it’s warranted, but I’m tired of feeling guilty for needing to talk about my chronic illness.
That’s what I do in life. I try to minimize my feelings because I think others are automatically right.
Do I inconvenience and bore my family? Is my thinking-out-loud bothering them?
Am I annoying them when I try to educate them about bipolar disorder?
It’s hard to live with an illness and feel so disconnected from others in its understanding and relevance.
That is why I write this blog, and why I find so much comfort in speaking with others who live with bipolar disorder.
It is a pressure and pain that not everyone understands. I have to remember that.
Sadly, not many people know what I go through.
I get discouraged by a lack of general empathy in modern society.
No one wants to hear about pain or feeling. Please, save me from having to hear about others’ plight.
Can we talk about the football game? How is work going? Who will be at the meeting next week?
Refrain from talking about the things that scare you.
I rather hear about your success. What you find interesting in the news.
You’ll be fine. Focus on other things.
Am I wishing for conversations and experiences that aren’t possible?
Am I living in a world that I’ve created for myself? Am I naive to think that people have the time or energy to hear about my problems?
What do you think?