Don’t. Please…I don’t wanna do this.
We have to . It’s been too many years. It’s time you understood it’s not your fault you’re bipolar. It’s just something that “is.” It’s time we made peace with each other.
I can’t. There’s just too much I’ve done. I can’t let anyone know. They’ll hate me! They’ll tell me I’m crazy and should be locked up!
But…how do you tell someone how much it can hurt? How do you tell them about the years of not eating or scarf-and-barfing because you wanted to disappear?
You wanted to be thin?
It was never about being thin, it was about becoming someone else! I wanted to hide from the pain and from who I was. Then one day *poof* I‘d be gone and the pain would stop.
You tell them just like that. Then you can also tell them about how you realized one day that you were killing yourself.
I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to be happy.
That, my dear one, shows your strength. You reached out for help and you got better.
But there was the years of…the “other” thing.
Do you remember how hopeless you felt when you started branding yourself? Secrets and scars only hurt as much as you let them. Maybe...maybe there’s someone else you can save a little pain by telling them.
I didn’t mean to do it. I was just so sad. All I wanted was a distraction from the pain. I discovered the branding by accident. It just…worked. I’d never heard about cutting, but the branding worked so well because the real pain was in the healing. I had weeks of distraction.
But…I hated myself for doing it. The scars remind me of how big a failure I am. My fucking weakness.
No sweetie! They are nothing more than the reminders of the day you reached for the lighter and realized you were stronger than that. You put it down and cried and called your hubby instead. Remember?
What about the other times? The “up” times?
Sometimes those were almost as bad. I was so hyper, like the happiest form of happy you could ever imagine! My friends loved me when I was like that. EVERYONE loved me like that.
Did you love you like that?
NO! It was like the real me was trapped behind my eyes, watching as a giggling Tasmanian Devil took over and spazed around the room like an out of control maniac freak!
The vodka helped though.
That’s called self-medicating.
I know. And it’s bad. But…it worked. I could slow down to normal speed. I could quiet my head for a while and feel almost “normal.”
Most people would think you'd be way better off with the highs than the lows.
When you’re that “up” you’re out of control. Wired for sound times ten! I would do some of the stupidest stuff in the world you could ever imagine. I was just lucky I had REALLY good friends that kept a close eye on me.
I hated myself almost as much at those times as I did the other ones.
Why did you hate yourself so much? It wasn’t your fault. You’re just made this way.
I didn’t want to be! I wanted to be like everyone else! I wanted to be NORMAL!!!
What about now?
I’m the one you used to be. You tell me what about now.
I don’t…hate myself anymore. I don’t self medicate anymore. I don’t starve myself or hurt myself anymore. I’ve learned “tricks” to help control the ups and downs over the years. I’ve gotten better at recognizing their arrival and I know things that make it worse so I do my best to avoid them.
I write and listen to music to distract myself now. It's a LOT more productive than pain. I also have the people that love me, who know and understand my secret. When it gets “bad” one way or the other, I talk to them.
You told people!?!
Yeah. And you know what? They don’t hate me and they never threatened to lock me up. They love me just the way I am and they help me through the roughest parts of life.
Are you happy?
Yeah. Even though you never thought you would be, we are. And I figured out a long time ago that "normal"? It's just a setting on a dryer. This IS my normal.
And most days, I'm OK with that.