Disordered or Differently ordered?

I use the language of disorder and illness a lot on the blog but not because I like them or because I feel like they are completely accurate….that they give the whole complete picture of Bipolar. Because while Bipolar is a physical thing similar to other “illnesses”….Bipolar just is and will always be in a class of its own. There are things about it that can’t be explained…that are just different.

So very very often I hear something like this….

“Are we just different? Why can’t society just accept us more? Why do we have to be medicated in order to fit in…to be accepted?….” Etc etc etc

First things first….

We should NOT be medicated in order to fit into societal boxes. We should not be medicated into “normal”. You should not have your true self taken from you by medication. Medication should not dull and dampen you…kill your creativity.

If this is happening to you I beg you to consider that perhaps there is a better med combo/lifestyle for you. Nothing is perfect but we have nothing if we can’t hope for better.

It IS true that Bipolars have lit up the world for all of time and I believe it IS a shame if our true ability to share our gifts is obliterated.

But don’t you dare flush your meds because I said this because I do think that for the vast majority of us meds may be essential in being  well enough to access our vast inner awesomeness.

We should NOT be taking meds because society wants to stifle us and force us to be normal.

We SHOULD be taking meds so that we don’t hurt ourselves and so we do not live a life full of long paragraphs of suffering.

Get it. The true goal of meds should be to allow you to BE YOURSELF.

Unfortunately, lots of Pdocs don’t see it this way. If they’ve gotten your cycles and psychosis and depressions and sleep pretty much under control then they dust off their hands and consider it a job well done.

That’s not entirely their fault because it is a nebulous vague thing for us to explain and for them to understand….

“I just feel so bored. …”

“I can’t write anymore…”

“Sure I’m not depressed but nothing is really enjoyable anymore…”

“My son said I seem different and he doesn’t like it….”

“I feel like something is gone….”
What is a Pdoc to do with that? Especially if they’ve just medicated you down off of the ceiling or out of the hospital.

“They may think…”Honey what do you want? A year ago you wanted to kill yourself can’t you just be happy with what you’ve got. So what if you feel dulled. You’re alive and functioning.”

But alive and functioning is not enough for me. We deserve happiness and well being and once again we only get it if WE fight for it. Nobody else is going to fight for you and you deserve to love your life.

But that whole bit was NOT what I was thinking of for this post.

The point of this post was to consider if there is something WRONG with us or if there is something DIFFERENT in us.

Can I be annoyingly comfortable with paradox and say I believe it is both?

Our brains are different. That we know. No argument there.

And our brains are different in a way that sometimes wreaks havoc on our lives and causes us to suffer.

But if we look at Bipolar as a phyiscal issue than we can apply what we know about the physical world.

The physical world is not perfect and while spectacularly miraculous in its functioning often lets us down in the worst of ways…

consider your digestive tract


the weather system

for starters.

Both are insanely well concocted…both are astoundingly useful and necessary.

But both are subject to the natural forces of the universe and can turn on us and cause great suffering.

See where I am going with that.

Any brain can crap on itself sometimes.  Normies have their little hiccups that cause them some trouble in ordinary ways

Our brains are different.  Beautifully, mysteriously, bizarrely, horrifyingly


So when they crap out they crap out in


That is us.

That is Bipolar.


Show of hands… how many of you have run across Sean Blackwell and his “Bipolar or Waking Up” stuff in your internet searching?

Of course some of you have if you have been interested at all in the idea of whether or not Bipolar is a real disorder that needs to be treated as such.  I confess that I have not looked at his stuff for a long time as my Bipolar searching the internet for answers days have sort of come to a close of sorts.

Because I obviously have all the answers now

ahahahahahahaha jkjkjk

BINFSS (If you’re new go here for an explanation of that)

Anyway! back to Blackwell

The basic thrust of his position is that Bipolar is not an illness but a spiritual emergency and that if it was treated as such Bipolars could heal and ya know be like really cool.

It is an interesting idea and I’m not sure it is entirely untrue because I can roll like that


yeah i don’t know.  I have a couple of issues with things like this.  But I don’t want to pull his thoughts apart too much since I haven’t refreshed myself with them and that would constitute for me what I consider to be one of the cardinal sins of life…

Acting like you know shit WHEN YOU DON’T

So I won’t poke too much but in case you do go Google him you can know that I am skeptical of ANYTHING that claims a cure or an end to Bipolar.  As I mentioned before on the blog.  I think it is dangerous, unfair, and ill-considered.

But I bring him up to give you an example of someone (or some people) who think we are really fucking special.

Apparently in Bali or some country the mentally ill are revered and seen as some sort of spiritual specialness.

You can also find info about the amazing similarities between the characteristics and definitions of mania and the characteristics and definitions of mystical experience.

I’m not going to find those links for you right now.  Sorry.  I care about you but I’ve got shit to do and my energy for this post is dipping.

Just know ideas like this do abound.

You can also find tons about creativity and Bipolar,  Read Kay Jamison’s book “Touched by Fire” for probably the most in depth look into this.

As I mentioned up above…the world has been full of Bipolars forever and it sounds cheesy but it is a better place because of them.  I think so anyway.

Unfortunately, most of those creative, genius, Bipolar souls suffered horribly and met not so nice ends because of that trapdoor of bipolar.

Let’s try to view our position now as a place where we can be ourselves, our special magical enigmatic gifted, selves and contribute our light to the world…..

BUT we can get treatment now so that we can do that…


NOT do shit like cut off our ears…crash our cars…put our heads in ovens…or flash our genitalia in public.

We are really super crazy lucky in that way.

So yes the true definition of a disorder is when something interferes with one’s ability to function.  Bipolar can sure as hell do that to us.

It also makes perfect total sense that there is something “unordered” about our brains.

But does dis/unordered equal broken?

Does broken equal wrong?

Does different equal illness?

Is imperfect and broken just the expected and normal arrangement of the physical natural world…which includes our organ, the brain?

In which case we cannot be considered “defective” anymore than the weather system….

and when there is a tornado we don’t bemoan the disordered nature of the physical world…we accept it as part of it….the other side….the other side of blue skies and cumulus clouds.

So when you have a gifted brain and are special…and you crash out into the Bipolar awfulness consider that it is perhaps just the other side of being freaking awesome.

And thank your lucky/blessed/too good to be true little stars for putting you down in a time in history when there is help for the awfulness.

and remember

“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen


Add Yours
  1. AndrewS

    Touched by Fire is a great book; all my friends. I’ve studied anthropology my whole life, and try to take a deep paleo perspective on this; you can get a glimpse of what I mean in my first post “Thoughts.” It’s tricky but I do definitely think what very much IS a disorder in our current civilization, was not at all in the deep past.


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