Except maybe Patty Duke. She seems to be.
Another title of this was going to be
“Get Your DSM Off my Bipolar”
and another one was going to be
“What is REAL Bipolar..the threads that join us all”
But there are a couple of things in this one that all deserve a title….
- The question so many of us ask ourselves……”Am I making it up?”
- No one is textbook Bipolar. It is OUR Bipolar NOT theirs.
- If #2 is true then what is it that we share?
Wow that sounds so organized.
Don’t worry. It is still me.
Does it help if I confess that I already wrote this and added that number bit in now?
Many of us ask this…think this…
At some point or another in the whole journey after diagnosis…
or maybe at a lot of points.
because it feels so fucking weird
and to place
over all of those feelings and behaviors and pains
that you thought
Bipolar is a physical illness the symptoms of which mascarade as psychological issues.
So it is hard to get it through anybody’s head…including ours….
that what is happening is NOT a psychological problem…NOT a character defect
And I think it is Bipolar’s impersonation of psychological problems that breeds such doubt within us.
Because Bipolar just feels so wrong
It makes no sense
it can’t be described (though we sure try)
and therefore it is so slippery and so hard to really catch
to grab and hold it in your hands and get a good look at it….
at your own Bipolar
and that makes it
Many of us enjoy the relief of hanging your hat on the diagnosis.
But first for many there seems to be a period of time in which there is A lot of questioning and searching and pondering and wondering and doubting and…..
Because it seems like some of us very much want to join the club. Want to grab a handbook and a cookie (sugarless for those of us who go cray on sugar) and find a seat on the floor in the “No Normies Allowed” clubhouse……
we think…okay well maybe these are my people…maybe this is actually where I belong…
But we hesitate…
“what if I’m
And whenever that thought hits… it spirals around to all of your crazy shit…and you start thinking well hmmmmm
“If I’m not Bipolar……..
then WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?”
And there is this icky little fear that we may not be Bipolar and if we are not Bipolar……..
then we must be one sick twisted little nutcase.
Because WHO would CHOOSE this shit?
You’d have to be INSANE
And so we whisper in our heads…
maybe we ask…
Am I making it all up?
What if I am making it all up?
I think this is such a deep rooted question.
I see it coming from the very most suckiest part of Bipolar (one of them)…
This is the part that makes the absolute understanding of the disorder…the understanding of what is wrong…the understanding of what is happening in your own brain….
the understanding of WHY
All of the Whys and Hows
it makes them………
it makes them
Bipolar doesn’t let us understand it
Which is perfect because that allows it to destroy our self esteem.
And since Bipolar is nebulous and endlessly confusing and then you add low self esteem….
you are perfectly set up to think
“Am I making it up?”
I am going to try to say this nicely….gently….
if you went to a Psychiatrist and told them stuff and they stamped
on your forehead
then you can be pretty sure that there is something…
And also if there is something so different about you that you spend a lot of time wondering if the doc was right and you “might” be Bipolar….
Then there is something so different about you that you might as well just call it Bipolar and come on into the clubhouse.
And at that point you can start all of the….
“but I’ve never been grandiose(this is sad to me btw) or spent all my money so I can’t have been manic….I must not be Bipolar”
“But i’ve never wanted to kill myself……”
“But those people sound way crazier than I am….
I just CAN’T be Bipolar!”
blah blah blah blah
this is where I’m going to do the rules thing….
Who the Fuck CARES
They are making this shit up
You may not feel like you “fit” the diagnosis perfectly……
Most of us DON’T
and you may not feel like your “episodes” “fit” the criteria perfectly……
most of us are not textbook Bipolar
Most of us are some swirling conglomeration of symptoms…traits…manifestations…things….
and somehow “fit” under this BIG broad heading of “Bipolar.”
It is our Bipolar.
They can’t tell us what we can and cannot be and feel and have and still be Bipolar….
We tell them that Bipolar consists of this and that and the other thing….
WE are the ones who KNOW Bipolar
They will keep changing the DSM again and again
Our Bipolar will never change
And yes…we all have different Bipolar
some of us don’t have much mania
some of us never get psychotic
some of us have never been suicidal
Some of us hear voices…
some of us dissociate
etc etc etc etc
you get it
there are these strong tiny invisible threads
that seem to weave through all of our experience
and hold us together
these we feel and see in each other’s writing
this is when we read someone’s words and we
We all do this for each other.
People read this blog and say the most amazing stuff to me about how they relate….
I read other people’s posts and words….
and I feel like their writing….
We don’t need to all have the same DSMable checklisted symptoms to get to claim our place among each other ……
The way we know each other’s pain…
THAT is the REAL Bipolar
So are you making it up?
If you read this blog and relate….
If you read other Bipolar blogs and posts and threads and words and relate….
Either we are all making it up or no one is.
Let’s stick together.