Let's Fucking Talk About It

I wake up and stretch. I roll over in bed to snuggle with a fluffy cat and I wake the dog up as I step onto the floor and make my way to the bathroom. My days usually start with a cup of coffee and a nice wake and bake. Then I take the dog for a walk. I don't ever really eat breakfast so I suffice it with some weed and coffee. I check my e-mails, I check my social media, I check the news, then I log off. Music is playing since I open my eyes. Then I either get dressed and ready for work or I plan out what I would like to do that day. I make small goals so that I can obtain them, and each small goal helps my bigger goals which are in place for a month or so out.


This is the routine that has helped me maintain balance and control in my life. I know that when my days do not start like this, it will be that much harder for me to stay on track.


I was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder when I was a preteen. No one really understood it back then and it's still kind of a mystery today. If you are unfamiliar, here's a little run down on what it's like to have bipolar. Whenever you feel happy, it could be just genuine happiness or you could be on a mania spiral where you basically feel invincible and the thoughts of consequences to your actions and desires is back in your lizard brain and not in the forefront where it should be. Whenever you feel sad, you teeter between genuine sadness and absolute devastation. Once you fall more towards absolute devastation (which can happen in the blink of an eye) you can feel absolute despair and agony inside yourself. These episodes can last hours, days, weeks, and months. For a very long time I wasn't able to recognize the cycles or episodes so my deepest and most out of control emotions were running the show and causing a lot of issues for me. I was selfish and disrespectful and inconsiderate. I was never thinking of anyone else. And while I thought it was just because I was terrible person, it was because my core and raw emotions were controlling every thing I did and felt and they were the most extreme of these emotions. And when you feel everything so intensely so often and for so long, each day gets a little harder to fight to stay in control. So eventually you just let it take over.


And I did. For a long time. Until I couldn't allow it to destroy my life anymore. Yes, Bipolar is a part of my life, always has been, and always will be. Yes, I will always have episodes and will always feel things more intensely than most people. Yes, every day will always be a fight and every day I will ask myself this question numerous times throughout the day, "Am I happy or am I manic? Am I sad or am I depressed?" The thought of not knowing whether your emotions are your disease or your actual emotions is taxing at times. I get very frustrated with myself some days because I didn't realize it was my disease and now I have consequences to my actions. And it's also frustrating to feel genuinely happy and be terrified that it's the disease and I'm about to do something I'll regret.


Most people have a pretty solid sense of reality, unless you have bipolar. Especially during an episode. Whether manic or depressed, you can lose touch with reality. Several times my life plays out a bit like a movie and I'm no longer in control of what I'm doing. It's almost like I function straight on fight or flight and it's almost always fight. Nothing around me is real. Nothing I do will have any consequences. This is called psychosis and not everyone with bipolar has it, but lucky me, this is part of my bipolar. So, when that comes into play, things get much more difficult to control.


But there is one thing about bipolar that isn't so bad. There is a flow of wild ambitions and dreams and talent. You throw your heart into almost anything you decide to. There's always so many emotions that art and music and writing are essential outlets to get some of it out. And there's strength. There is so much strength in fighting, literally yourself, every single waking moment. Sometimes your skin can get so thick it's hard to let someone in. But your ability to fight through fucking anything is astounding. So many times in my life I feel like I've hit the lowest point I could possibly reach. And every single time I picked myself up out of the fire like a god damned phoenix and pushed my way through and forward.


I push through every day because if someone like me, with my struggles and my severity of this disease can figure this all out, maybe I can help someone else figure it out earlier. Maybe I can help someone else that hurts from this disease not hurt for the rest of their life; to find happiness and joy and peace with their illness instead of defeat. Because mental illnesses are the most misunderstood and under-treated terminal illness. Because mental illness kills and no one should be killed by their own mind.


Mental illness needs to be talked about. Things like suicide, self mutilation, hyper-sexuality, mania, schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, anxiety, and personality disorders should not be an awkward conversation. Talk about it. Learn about it. And help someone that needs it.