Please Tell Me that I am Crazy-Diagnosis

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How did you feel when the doctor looked at you and said “Bipolar” for the first time?

Stamped

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This month marks my five year diagnosis anniversary.

Five years

My Bipolar dx and I now have five years under our belts

together

Diagnosis is a complex thing and impacts everyone differently

some people rail against it…denying denying going years without taking it

some people embrace it fully…relieved…

some people (like me) do both alternatively and concurrently

there is a lot of fuss and turmoil about “labels”

people hate to be “labeled”

The actual definition of label is fairly benign, mostly just talking about the descriptive and/or categorical attempt

maybe that is what bothers people But I think it is more the societal use of the word.  It has taken on more meaning.  And definitely negative meaning.

When people use the word label as in

“don’t label me”

or

“I am not a label”

or

“Labels are for cans not people”

They seem to be implying that the label somehow DEFINES us

that the label becomes who we are

that it takes over something somehow

.

To me the term Bipolar and the dx Bipolar is more of a

handle

a way to approach this “thing”

a way to hOLD it

a way to learn about it

manage it

and find others with similar struggles

.

Without this term/label Bipolar you wouldn’t be here reading this..

none of us would ever find each other

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Now none of that is to say that the word has not caused me a lot of…. ummm…. emotions?

because it has

I wasn’t expecting it that day five years ago

even though I was expecting it

well I was expecting cyclothymia

or I was expecting “there is nothing wrong with you except that you have created this huge problem out of nothing that is nothing and you are just weird as hell and there is nothing I can do with you”

but when she said

“This definitely sounds like Bipolar.  Probably Bipolar 2″…head tilt eye narrow… “but possibly Bipolar 1″…head straighten lips purse…

she coded me Bipolar 1

and she handed me a sample pack of an antipsychotic

that is what probably got me more than anything

because I thought

“antiPSYCHOTIC??????”

now that sounded pretty intense (I wasn’t psychotic by the way)

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as an antipsychotic until that moment

But I remember walking home…

and rolling these new words that applied to me….all around in my head…trying them out on my lips

And I thought…

“Is this it then?…

“Am I Bipolar now?”

“That quick?”

“Was THAT my world changing diagnosis?”

“my ‘dx’?”

because I had dabbled around on the internet and was introduced to the language of “pdocs” and “hypo” and “pre dx” and “post dx” and “my dx” and “official dx”

and I really believed that there was some sort of PROCESS involved in the diagnosis

that there was SOME kind of SOME thing …

I don’t know

perhaps even something as simple as a QUESTIONNAIRE

so it struck me as anticlimactic and just weird that this mystical dx was nothing more than some unthorough talk and a lackluster weak assertion

.

But even though I feared the diagnosis

I equally feared NO diagnosis

like when someone is suffering from a mysterious disease…they pray that the doctors can name it..identify it..put a label on it and TREAT IT

make it better

at least try

because otherwise

you’re just left alone with shrugs and the pain

a diagnosis offers a path

a path to feeling better

a path to not feeling like I felt in that mixed episode

I didn’t want to be told that I was fine

that what I was feeling was a “normal” thing that just happens

I didn’t want to be told that it was “okay” or that it was “just me”

or that some people are just like this

I didn’t want to be told that it isn’t a big deal

I didn’t want someone to say everyone goes through this

I didn’t want to be left in it alone

to figure it out (although that is kind of what happened anyway)

I didn’t want them to say…

you’re just fucked up

just run along and talk about your childhood in therapy

like all of that would somehow make me feel better about myself

no

What I wanted was for someone to say….

This IS NOT NORMAL

You “should” Not have to deal with this

Most people will never have to go through this

this is crazy

this is a disorder

this is a problem

this IS Bipolar

I didn’t want to hear…

Don’t worry, You are NOT crazy

I wanted to hear

Don’t worry, You ARE crazy

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I am being a bit flip with the language here because I know we also sometimes fear that we are “just crazy” and are relieved to learn that we are not crazy…just Bipolar.  But I’m playing with the word.  I like to.

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But anyway

I wanted The diagnosis even though I didn’t want A diagnosis

Because then at least I had a handle

a path

a treatment

however faulty and flawed the system has turned out to be…

we have one

and considering what the system was like 30 or so years ago….

we are lucky to have what we have

and

with the diagnosis and the labels we can find a community

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I don’t want the world to to try to make me feel better by telling me that I am not crazy

I want the world to stop acting like my kind of crazy is a bad thing

and I don’t want the world to tell me that I should rail against my descriptive categorizing label/dx of Bipolar

I want the world to stop viewing Bipolar as a bad thing

because Labels don’t define us

but they can save us

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And so today…I fist bump my dx and we congratulate ourselves on creating a good relationship in spite of our tumultuous history.

I’m stuck with this bitch till the end. I may as well make her a cup of tea and pick her brain rather than hurl dirty laundry at her…(although it remains my prerogative to do so when I see fit)

After all.  It isn’t my Diagnosis’s fault that I am Bipolar.

And she doesn’t want to BE me

She is just here to help.

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Peace Love and Labels that save us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 comments

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  1. lolabipola

    I was expecting my diagnosis. I went to my GP saying, “I think I’m bipolar” – I was also expecting my diagnosis to be a relief, and in some ways it has been, but in others it has muddied things up for me. Sometimes I wonder if how I feel (unhappy) is “just bipolar”, or “am I just unhappy”? The meds help with depression, but they don’t help with being unhappy (if that makes sense?). So I guess what I’m saying is that now, post dx, I find it difficult to differentiate between just not being happy with some aspects of my life and bipolar “depression”.

    The label is mostly useful for appropriate treatment, which obviously is a GOOD thing, but it becomes less beneficial when there is a lack of understanding of the disorder – even our own understanding of it can be a bit sketchy – well, for me anyway, and I’m studying this stuff! And of course stigma, which also stems from a severe lack of understanding (for which I blame the media!).

    Anyhoooooo – I’m so happy to see you back! I’ve missed your posts!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jess Melancholia

    CLAYA IS BACK!!!!! YEAH!!!

    Oh and that comment about you being weird as hell and there is nothing we can do with you is basically what my parents told me all the time growing up so that wouldn’t have been so weird for me😧

    Liked by 1 person

  3. darie73

    Great post everything I’ve ever wanted to say but my brain couldn’t put together. There is nothing worse than knowing there is something wrong and being told you’re just “dramatic” or “too emotional” for years.

    Like

  4. M.J.Neely

    Your relationship with your dx is something quite remarkable to aim for. You’ve aced it, I’m trying to view it like this but instead I tend to throw dirty laundry at all dx and experiences, then wish I’d get a,one better with them. Makes no sense I know.

    I also hate it when people say, oh people all go through this, really? Let me walk on the street and find someone to moan about this without them thinking im crazy in a bad way because they don’t understand. It’s like the biggest misunderstanding that can be uttered, and annoying. (This conversation is fresh for me atm) x

    Like

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