Monday, 29 May 2017

"Mum ... can't you just poo your bipolar out?"

My youngest son asked me if I could just poo my bipolar out. I told him if only it were that easy .. because having manic depression is pretty shit. We'd just spent a while talking about our brains, our moods, depression, the vital importance of talking about how we feel to the people who love us. And bipolar - man did we talk about bipolar. As per usual, he had a lot of questions.

"So, it's a disease in your brain?"
"Does that mean I'll get it?"
"When will it stop?"
"But doesn't the tablets you take for it cure you?"
"Didn't hospital fix you?"
"Did Uncle Cam have it, is that why he killed his self?"
"Wow. Uncle Cam killed his self. I thought he was smart."
"Seriously mum when will you finish having the bipolar?"

So many beautifully innocent and curious questions. Such few proper answers. He asked to see the medications I take in the morning so I showed him. He asked if I'd had bipolar my whole life, I said I think so but big major sad things that happen in life can make bipolar worse. He asked if I could just poo it out, oh my god we laughed so hard. How cool would it be if we could just literally expel the shit parts of ourselves? Some people say that having bipolar is one of the best things about them and they wouldn't trade their bipolar even if they could.

I am not one of those people.

Having a diagnosis of bipolar was all, hooray, now we know what's wrong! But that was just the beginning of balancing the meds, mood stabilisers, putting on a shitload of weight, trying so hard to be as capable as what I used to be years ago. It was very, very hard. I don't like it. I don't like feeling the lows, much prefer the highs. When I'm "manic" I talk fast and have all these grandiose ideas - some of which even come to fruition. Bipolar depression is so fucked I can't even be bothered to explain it except for saying it's just fucked. Trying to work out which are my character traits, which are my mental health traits, which are all my other traits ... I can't. It's all mixed into one big trait under a big heading of LOONEY TUNE.

Holding down a job is nigh impossible. Some days I conquer the world, other days I have a shower and eat well and parent well and like Jack Nicholson says, this is as good as it gets.

People with Bipolar 2 have the largest suicide rate of all other mental illnesses. How can I talk about being and feeling suicidal most of my life without worrying that my children will think I don't love them? I can't. I just face each day as they come. They come thick and fast and some days I don't believe all the constant inspirational bullshit platitudes. Some days I just get by, pretending I'm part of the couch and if I don't move then I'm not doing anything bad or wrong I'm just existing and maybe that's good enough? I'm crying as I write this, I cry a lot. Watching people on tv and on social media living seemingly wonderful lives annoys the fucking crap out of me so badly. Tell me your dark, too. Balance it out, perfect people. It's dangerous for us sad and fucked up people to imagine everybody but them has their shit together.

Going in to a psych ward doesn't cut it for me anymore. It's just a daycare for crazy people. I have med check-ups and changes. I see a GP, a professor, a counsellor (sometimes). I've been in big trouble with the law this past few years .. still don't know if was due to bipolar rage or just dealing with shitty people around me who get away with being shitty people. Arseholes be arseholes, Eden. Live and let karma take care of the rest, amirite? So easy for me to not be taken seriously. I've had my mental health been used against me in court proceedings, custody issues - you name it. All of the things. Stigma is alive and well. I hear over 50 million dollars has been recently released to businesses and companies for the oft-spruiked SUICIDE AWARENESS. We're aware of it, so where to from here?

A dear friend of mine recently died and I was pallbearer at his funeral. Didn't even know chicks were allowed to be pallbearers, but we are. I did a magnificent job because I'm strong, inside and out. I carried him along a long driveway past all of the people. I had a straight back but now I want my friend back and life doesn't work that way. The inevitable crash and burn from that has arrived like I knew it would. Bunkering down for a while, taking it easy on myself, blah blah fucken blah. This shit just sucks. I'd pay to not have it but mental health fuckdom is prevalent on both sides of my family so I've won the genetic bonanza of being whatever the hell I am. I will always abhor labels but obviously we need to know what we got so we can work with it. People in developing countries don't have access to medications and help the way I do, guess that makes people like me lucky.

I hate this shit. I hate how it's affected my life so very much. I hate that I got it and most of the time I hate who I am. I'm also very empathetic and real and kind and smart so there's all that.

Here is a very apt and accurate re-enactment of what entering a psych ward is like .. I too have sat there with a doctor while he has literally googled me right there in his office and found my website and become engrossed in it while I'm sitting there all beige on his worn chair, waiting for him to come up with some answers to treat me. It's tricky to be so accomplished and so, so fucked at the same time but some of us have got to do it to make all you big achievers with great lives feel good! Ha. I'm an arsehole but at least I'm an HONEST arsehole.





Suffering from head problems is exactly that - suffering. When I'm good I'm good. When I'm not ... well, I'm not. I'm so very far not.

In conclusion, I will answer any question any of my kids ask me and I pull no punches in my replies because I will not pussyfoot around with such serious shit. And it's very serious. Which is why I do stupid things to make myself and others laugh because life is stupid and dumb and I'm just not that enamoured. I said something to my friend Dan a while back when he was going through a hard time with his chronic back pain. "Mate, one day we'll all be dead. And none of this stuff will matter."

We both agreed that it made us feel better. And it's true. And life is still hard and now Dan is not here but I am here. And so are you.


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