Madness Revisited
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Madness Revisited: Looking Back on Bipolar Disorder

By Sky W. | Date Submitted: 11/23/05

Keywords: bi-polar disorder, psychology, mental illness, suffering, manic depression, depression, self-help, bipolar
Summary: A provocative glimpse into the chaotic world of bipolar disorder.

Like your little brother invading your room, mental illness sneaks into your brain and rummages through all of your thoughts, no purpose other than to mess with your ďstuffĒ, like your paradigms, hopes and fears. When your theories about life are abruptly scattered, you walk into your room to find everything misplaced, broken or lost. The first time I was ravaged by insanity, everything was lost. It is only now, five years later that I truly understand the damage done.

Thereís a certain intensity to severe depression, but nothing tears at the soul like the recovery. The slow painful process of searching through the various drugs and other devastating treatments degrades even the most resilient minds. Itís like approaching a disaster area with a plastic fork.

The odd thing is, you want so much to get better, but itís tough to stay motivated when thereís no quick cure. The drugs take weeks, the hospitals hurt and the therapy is enough to drive anyone mad. By the time anything works, you never know if it was the treatment or your will to make it all stop. I think Iíve actually solved my own problems just so I wouldnít have to tell some stranger how it makes me ďfeelĒ.

The best part about therapy is when you finally do feel better, the mail comes, complete with a hefty fee for the doctorís magic touch. Insanity is expensive. If itís not the irresponsible spending of mania, itís the pharmacies and doctors all profiting from your despair, demise. Maybe itís a plot. Maybe Iím psychotic, but perhaps itís all a complex plot of a society who doesnít accept diversion. You canít function in a world of schedules and responsibilities, the everyday mundane existence so many people call a life. What else can they do but weed you out and medicate you until you fit their scheme. Itís tragic and scary. The world has benefited immensely from the creative, yet unbalanced individuals who choose to reject the ordinary and create a life extraordinary.

If thereís anything Iíve realized, itís that shit comes with the shine. When times are good, the inevitable crash looms on the horizon, but the sun will return more fervent than ever. With the decline comes the breakthrough, a greater understanding of yourself and the world. The blues are ephemeral, evanescent, but joy is eternal. Whether sooner or later, the joy of living is enduring. Only thirty seven percent of manic depressives commit suicide because the other sixty three refuse to release the idea of relishing life. Itís beautiful and unpredictable. The problem is it becomes simply existing, not worth the effort. Living with madness really does take effort. Itís a daily decision of making it work, whether it be your job, your family or your current place in the world. We choose to stick around. We choose to not give up. We choose to fucking be.

Caught between the diagnosis and your own personal reality, itís tough to draw the line as to who you really are. Itís easy for a doctor to say itís just a diseased mind that makes you that way, but what if that is all you know? I donít know what it feels like to be normal. Hell, Iím not sure normal even exists, except on some graph somewhere. The bell curve, the bell jar, itís all just a trick convincing us to feel bad about ourselves and our predicament. Why canít I just be myself? If ever before, this generation believes in pure individuality. Bullshit. The Gap ruined that one for me. Be yourself, just like everyone else. Has there ever been a time when eclectic mentalities were accepted? Post-mortem, maybe. Maybe thatís why we all cut our throats. Only then is our genius and joie de vivre appreciated. Picasso never had a dime. Hemingwayís family hated him. Weíre just cursed to be legends, I guess. Like a forgotten manuscript found dusty and torn years after itís written, a manic depressiveís soul is finally perused through their numerous journals, only to be lauded as truly magnificent, while a body rots quietly in a grave.

I am scared for the future. Iím scared of deterioration. Iím scared of atrophy. Every doctor Iíve talked to tells me Iím getting worse, Iíll get worse, I am worse. Arenít they supposed to help people? How does it help to foster self-fulfilling prophesies? Will I get worse simply because Iíve been told that I will? Will the younger sibling I earlier alluded to grow in rage? The concept of self-destruction is pervasive and encompassing. Perhaps Iím making myself worse. Isnít will the strongest force there is? If your will is intoxicated by the lure of the downward spiral, you slowly seep into the statistics.

I refuse to be a statistic. I refuse to give up on myself and my brilliant, yet plagued mind. Fighting the disease, I struggle to maintain some sense of normality. Iíll never be normal in the sense we all know it to mean, but alive is normal. Functioning is normal. Creatively expressing myself is normal. I will fight against the predictions. Iím still here, arenít I?

Iím still here.
Author's URL:
Sky is a bi-polar survivor eager to share her experience to help others cope with such challenges. She is currently working toward certification as a Chemical Dependency Counselor.

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