Driving me crazy

There are two phrases that are increasing being used in my interaction with ordinary folk. And I’m starting to take offense. These are:

-We’re all crazy in our own way
-Nooooo, don’t think like that, we all feel…. [insert emotion/bipolar symptom]

We’re all crazy in our own way
Firstly, who mentioned ‘crazy’? Not me. But if we’re gonna go there I’ll take you there. Stop! And shut your mouth. You don’t know crazy. You don’t understand crazy. And you certainly don’t know my crazy. If you knew my crazy, you be lying on the floor in the corner curled up in the foetal postion crying for your mummsie.

I agree we can all be unconventional or unique in our own way -. individuals, eccentric, odd, strange or peculiar. But that by no means entitles you to take my crazy and assume to call it your own with reckless disregard. Don’t insult my intelligence. You have to earn this crazy the hard way like the rest of us have had to do – you have to be born with it, and then live with it EVERY . SINGLE . DAY.

My crazy comes at a costly price – my sanity. It makes me mentally and physically ill; there’s the daily swimming against the tide of shifting moods, symptoms and medication side effects; I’m the target of cruel jokes, ridiculed and ostracized; I’m judged to a different standard, seemingly a higher standard than the rest of you just to prove my worthiness; this illness carries a huge financial burden and it wages war against any type of relationship. My crazy is not an excuse for my behaviour. I own my crazy. I treat it and manage it and hold myself accountable.

This crazy of mine that you choose to be so flippant about? Its a mental illness, a mood disorder and a neurobiological disease that I was born with. Its not fun and cute and quirky. It can be fatal. Just ask my mother. Oh no wait, you can’t. See, she’s dead. She killed herself more than 20 years ago. Know what my future looks like? Possibility of dementia and a retirement plan of assisted suicide. Now, still want my ‘crazy’?

Nooooo, don’t think like that, we all feel…. [insert emotion/bipolar symptom]
No, you do not by any stretch of the imagination feel anything remotely similar to how I feel. By pure definition the word bipolar means a life of extremes. My responses and emotions are not relative to the situation. They are disproportionate and excessive. While sometime they may not be rational, at the time they are real and they take you down. You drown and suffocate under the immense weight of them. If just for one day, you could feel the limitless extent of my emotions, you would never again compare them. Why? For fear of being driven to edge of sanity. And too scared to have to go back there again.

So the moral of the story? This is an ugly illness that fights dirty. Go find something else to claim.

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13 comments

  1. Given that I am no bipolar, I don’t know what my wife is going through or how she feels emotionally. I can offer empathy, support and communication but I will never “know” what she is going through.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Vic you are the exception to the rule. I wish there were more people like you in the world. You don’t pretend to understand, but you try to. You make a huge effort. You approach the illness with compassion and kindness, yet you are reasonable and logical which is sometimes what we need. Its cost you a lot too. I can’t imagine what it must be like to love and support someone with bipolar. Confusing springs to mind, frustrating perhaps? Alienation, a sense of helplessness? And you’re human – you ride your own highs and lows as a victim of this storm. But you always remain a true supporter, not only to your wife, but to your fellow bipolar bloggers. You have heart, Vic, and we need more people like you

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Okay you made me blush after reading that. I really don’t see that my support is anything special – I am just trying to be a good husband and father. I did realize (eventually) that I would have to educate myself more about my wife’s mental illness, so perhaps that is the one crucial piece that many miss. Ignorance is not bliss in this case.

        Liked by 2 people

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