Friday, February 6, 2015

Gambling

I've taken a gamble, made myself vulnerable and come out of the "mental illness" closet. Gambling isn't a first for me. I've frequently put myself in the position of being exposed, whether as an artist's model in my early twenties, to opening myself to the judgment that sometimes comes with admitting that I've converted to four major religions in my life. When I'm not depressed, I make things happen, usually quite quickly. Perhaps there is a manic drive behind the ambition or, possibly, that's my personality.

Being bipolar has a confusing effect on me and I think it may confuse the people in my life. At times I can be exuberant, silly, and full of personality. Is everyone wondering if I'm manic again? Even I, at times, wonder and begin to question my sanity. Or, is my natural personality exuberant, silly, and expansive, but frequently hidden due to intense depressive episodes?

It's quite strange to sit at a table with lovely people, people who I adore and cherish, watching them joyfully down shots of tequila, growing tipsier with shots, while I sit sober and feeling like I have been branded as the crazy one. In that moment I may have been transparent, but completely sane.

I'm not always crazy and I'm not always depressed, I have moments of sanity. Subsequent to receiving the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, hospitalization, and numerous med changes, there is a part of me at my core that is more grounded and stable than I've ever been. People notice this. I've noticed this.

The illness does not define me, however, it would be foolish for me to say that it's not part of who I am, because it is. It's part of my identity and yet I am so much more, and I am so much more because of my illness.

Bipolar is confusing, frustrating, and at times awe inspiring as I watch the amazing things that my mind is capable of doing. I am finishing this post at the same time that I am listening to an online meditation. My mind and body too antsy to sit still and meditate without doing something else at the same time. This is my bipolar life.

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