Don’t know how politic it is to have that out there. But it should be no more or less stigmatized than having cancer or diabetes or arrhythmia or needing to wear glasses because your parents left you genes for eyes which really don’t want to settle down or stop getting more terrible.
It is, though. And I hate that, and I hate that I have internalized it so well that I have been so scared of saying it for so long that I planned to build up to it over time, and then when failing to keep a journal online, never did.
This is the first time I’m saying it directly, in public, on the internet. After a very stressful morning, Dad suggested I write about it, and about what happened to me, because every time I describe it to him he learns something new. I held off for about two and a half weeks, partly due to a suddenly busy schedule and partly because, again, the prospect of actually saying this out loud, to the internet, including to people who do not know me and for whom this may be their first exposure to me–especially as I am job hunting–is a really scary endeavor. But it shouldn’t be scary, so I am going to put that out there.
I suppose I won’t talk about it much in this post–it really is quite late, there are other things I want to write for fun tonight, and I have serious work to do tomorrow before another installment in “the endless rehearsals that make up this month.”
But for now, we’ll start here: I’m bipolar.
It’s not the only problem, of course. I had various psycho-social traumas which kept building for years, one after another, approximately any time I was close to healing from the last one and the various bipolar episodes they set off. But shortly before I first posted to this again after two years, something just clicked into place.
It’s strange, now, because I woke up metaphorically one day–I had been Not Sleeping for some hours before that–and realized I had… basically no idea where or when I was. I was confused, because it was 2008 or 2009, right? I was 18, 19. I had options and a future. And then suddenly here I am, 26, many good things about my life change but also many things that I am just confused about because I… can match dates to events, because I am good at memories like that, but I honestly can’t even tell how time passed in large chunks of that. It’s a grey blank.
Hypomanic episodes do not last a month–and that is what it is nearing–and I am learning to balance things, and how to de-stress after a crazy week, and how to say no and how to let go. And I have been absurdly productive at times.
And there are ways in which I am simply not hurting anymore. For the first time in years, I actually have hope that the future will not be The Worst Thing. I have hope that I can take actions to make my life better; I have reason to believe my brain is actively trying to make me happy, not drowning in an endless quagmire of despair.
Nothing will ever really change that I am ill, and that it will need to be managed, and maybe one day if trauma happens yet again it will spiral out of control. But I can well and truly hope it won’t. Being safe and loved and supported really helps with that, and not feeling alone, and knowing maybe in the future I really won’t be alone. We’ll see.
I am still not doing everything I’d like to, and putting things off, and indulging in silliness. But even so, I am hacking away at real life plots and may be solving them at something like a steady pace. That is a relief unlike any I can describe.
But for the first time in seven years, maybe more like ten or twelve, I have some kind of hope for a day when I am secure, happy, and no longer in pain.
I had trauma, and I am bipolar.
I can hope it will get better.