I got diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder back when I was a precocious thirteen-year-old. And having the disease’s label affixed to my name didn’t make me any more prepared to deal with my nervous highs and lows. Nor did any of the expensive mood-stabilizers and anticonvulsants help – no matter how much my therapist insisted that they did.
At sixteen, my mental condition finally caused me to carry out my first suicide attempt – which was unsuccessful due to my father’s breaking-in through my locked bathroom door at the wrong (or right?) time.
In my mind, I have always been a failure. A thorough crybaby who feels everything way too much, and who appears like a needy wretch to others. And no matter how hard I try to pull off a visible show of confidence, my emotional state always seems to crumble on the inside. And when this happens, my fake exterior of stability gives way to the weak, despairing wreck within – sinking me into further depression.
And in this way, the cycle always continues. Uninterrupted. Exhausting. Utterly draining, and horribly soul-gutting.
At times, I become almost feverish with excitement.
A kind of chest-constricting energy that almost makes me wish to literally jump out of my seventh-story apartment window. And someday, I just might.
During these instances, my mind seems to explode with a dizzying range of ideas that are almost too numerous to count. I dream of launching the next Fortune 500 Company, or warmer still, a drug racketing empire in the Escobarian sense. I burn with a passionate inner flame to do five hundred squats in the gym and engage in unapologetic online Tinder flings through my Spectrum Internet Plans subscription.
And all this is not to say that I haven’t already done any of these things.
It was during one such one-night-stand encounters, in fact, that I made the complete transition to womanhood. And my clinging nature, which renders me totally unsatisfied after every climactic experience of physical intimacy ends, became exposed in full.
A realization that has so far prevented me from pursuing a meaningful relationship with any man. Let alone my childhood sweetheart, who could not bear to handle the ‘tangible’ part our friendship experience. And I don’t blame him – not even after he abruptly chose to cease all communication with me. Everyone has a right to live their life in the manner of their choosing; and paying too much heed to the wishes and whims of others does not need to factor into this contract.
My problem, to be credited in large part to my ailment, has always been that I understand way too much. And this leads the way to possessing an overabundance of empathy; which is a damaging issue all in itself. By automatically putting myself in my acquaintances’ shoes, I start to rationalize their motivations to deny me. I make mental apologies for them whenever they tend to verbally berate me, or harass me in more pointed terms. This further causes me to have no healthy psychological boundaries of my own, which means that I do not know how to properly react to defend myself.
And so I become a ‘sitting duck’ that is susceptible to suffering from all kinds of abuse in every social situation.
Abuse that would cause any normal person to lash out uncontrollably, and check the harasser well before the point when he/she has an opportunity to inflict too much harm.
My manic episodes also endow me with a great deal of unexplained creativity. Without thinking, I often start to scribble elaborate lines of emotive poetry about intense love and heart break. And all the nuanced emotional states that naturally fall (and make their appearance) between these two extremes. These aren’t any abstract or random ramblings. On the contrary, some are quite beautiful in their lyrical quality – and even get published (from time-to-time) on different online platforms. Both to my amazement, and the wonder of my parents!
Even today, my mother can’t exactly fathom why anyone would be interested in reading my work – which she considers to be very ‘heavy’ and ‘uncomfortable’ to contemplate over. ‘The ravings of an arrested-development lunatic’, she calls them. And I don’t think that she says this in any happy way.
During these periods of unrestrained emotional highs (which can last for more than a month), I also regularly become a passive victim to the darker side of my psyche. Shoplifting in the grocery store, and making too many purchases on credit, tend to become the usual expressions of this obsession. I once had to spend an entire night in the local police station after getting caught in one such excursion. But the experience did absolutely nothing to dampen my spirits. I have a way, it seems, of dismissing my legal convictions as a mental reassurance of my being ‘cooler’ and more daring than my peers.
Even though I know better during my soon-to-follow depressive states. When every slight that I commit during my manic episodes becomes exaggerated (in its negativity) a hundred-fold. And I always manage to think of a way to end my thought-to-be ‘sorry’ existence once and for all!
In my states of mind-numbing depression, I have (so far) tried to kill myself using fruit knives, my mother’s opioid prescription pills, as well as a plastic pencil-sharpener; funnily enough. And when I start exerting my mind further in this direction, I manage to think of many other ingenious ways to ‘burn out my flame’ in some profound – and utterly shocking – way. I often like to think that dramatics come easily to us bipolar people. As well as the courage to act on them; with no thought to spare for the consequences that might inevitably follow.
The only thing that I have found to be helpful during this phase is some light instrumental music – which I like to play on my Spectrum Cable Packages Spotify account. And a lot of deep, heart-to-heart, conversations with my therapist – who out of his paid obligation is forced to act like my ‘bosom’ friend. Or so I like to think.
The truth is that I will never know.
I would not know, because my mind then becomes victim to a suffocating kind of mental ‘haze’ – which completely leaves me confused and disoriented. And this confusion only causes me to fall prey to more mental anguish – which only becomes momentarily cured through a strong tranquilizer shot.
And to add further insult to injury, I don’t expect things to get better anytime soon.
Not at the rate at which I’m progressing – or degenerating.
It’s all amiss.