They Reach into My head to Steal the Glory of My Story

Newspapers (doctors) ask intimate questions
Want confessions
They reach into my head
To steal the glory of my story

Natalie Merchant

Yes we suffer

yes it is hard

yes our beautiful atypical brains birth symptoms that look like disorders…illnesses..

but we are not disorders and illnesses

sometimes a label works to our advantage in a given situation

but that doesn’t mean it is our truth

the world isn’t ready

baby steps

different words for different people

one end goal


but we know the truth


But most people do not have eyes to see it

Do not have ears to hear it

Do not have minds to understand it

Do not have hearts to hold it.


And we are stuck in this imperfect unevolved world that can’t assimilate and accommodate the truth and beauty of us into its constructions of thought

We are trapped butterflies in a box…

beautiful and in danger

but labeled as bugs


They are afraid of us

the heart fears what it cannot understand

we are the ultimate not understandable…..

It is easier to hold down and control

easier to make a show of power

to scare us

into hiding

into silence

into not questioning


so they reach into our heads to

steal the glory

of our story


And they do…


By lowering us to the level of






by setting up a system in which we must over and over

share ourselves

our trauma

our inner spaces

with people whose word for us is

“mentally ill”


They take all of who we are and turn it into…

an illness…


I use the language of the system on this blog because that IS the language right now and in order to reach people you have to START at a certain level…

and sometimes in order to get people to give you what your atypical brain needs to keep from faltering you need to use the word “ill”

because they don’t respect or understand the truth


and other times I reveal my true feelings about these words…


I am comfortable saying

I AM Bipolar

because it doesn’t threaten me

because Bipolar is NOT a bad thing

because it is just a word

it doesn’t touch my truth

I can’t help how the world is going to receive that

I know how many will receive that…

but I know my truth…


Saying I have Bipolar Disorder bothers me a little more…

because it is saying I have something wrong with me


Nothing is wrong with me


My brain is different


Gloriously different


For whatever reason…

the mismatch of our being with the modern world

the mismatch of spiritual being with the physical world

the price of the gifts

the mere physical uniqueness of the organ that is the brain


the differences in our brains….the differences in our consciousness can


a lot

for a long time

and managing that

is a full time job

and most of us have other jobs as well…

but for us…being alive itself requires an extra amount of work


they steal the glory of my story by reducing me to an illness

by reducing my best memories to mere symptoms of faulty brain chemistry

they take my personality and pass it through a mesh filtering out all of the parts that are “just the Bipolar”

That is why I say “I AM Bipolar”

and it is NOT an illness

it is an adjective

just an adjective

that describes something

and yes I KNOW what the world thinks it means

I know what they think it means


it isn’t actually what they think it is

now is it

I know that

you know that

they don’t know that


We are over their heads


I don’t know how to get them to know the truth

I don’t know how this stigma fighting thing is ever going to work

it feels like a mountain that cannot be moved

but I DO believe

that we change the way that


we can fight our OWN stigma

the stigma we place on ourselves….

and on each other


Bipolar is an adjective…just a word that describes a unique and varied set of characteristics of a diverse group of people

Things have power because you believe in them.

Words have power because we give it to them…

you can fear them as can own them…you can eschew them…you can create different ones.

our truth is our truth is our truth


the truth

doesn’t change

the truth

never falters

the truth never ends


They can refuse to see our magic

invalidate our beliefs

lower our height

question our reality

steal our glory

deny our power


they can’t touch our truth


I am Bipolar to the world

I’m not “Bipolar” in my truth

but that is the word

to use

to convey

pieces of it

small pieces

we don’t have another word right now

and we need a word

without the word


we would not have found each other





Add Yours
  1. Andrew

    I’m with you. I say “I’m bipolar.” You made a woman analogy once and that’s how I feel too. Saying “I’m bipolar” is like saying “I’m a dude”. Too inexplicably intertwined with everything to bother with any finer parsing. Takes up enough of my life as it is! I’m bipolar shrug 😳

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Screaming Jean

    Couldn’t agree more, since I was hospitalised in August I have had the words ‘illness’ and ‘unwell’ rammed down my throat nearly on a daily basis, I’m not ill, WE ARE NOT ILL. This is who we are, and the worst part is only NOW I am realising how offended I am at being called ‘ill’, no I’m not ill my brain is just giving me an exceptionally hard time at the moment. But try and tell any doctor otherwise that you’re not ill and they don’t take you seriously, we have to speak their language to get them to understand.

    Which reminds me, I have an appointment tomorrow with my new psychologist, wonder what joys await me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarfirst

      we have to speak their language to get them to understand


      oh god…good luck with the new Tdoc…

      just remember to keep your mouth shut, don’t ask any questions, and spill all of your most personal information without hesitation, be really HONEST, so they can HELP you.


      Seriously though, maybe you will get a good one.

      Wouldn’t that be nice.

      I’ll hope for ya

      Liked by 2 people

      • Screaming Jean

        Well I had a pre meeting with her last week and I think she seems OK but it was very brief so we’ll see tomorrow, I can usually tell right off the bat if I can trust someone or not.

        And yeah I’ll absolutely spill my guts, that’s gotten me so far already!! Not. LOL.


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