Has anyone ever noticed that the longer they remain stable, the less serious their illness seems to be?
It’s weird. I know I went through a lot in the early years of my bipolar diagnosis, but it all seems like it happened to someone else. I didn’t start this blog till 2013, but I have spotty memories of a couple of manic whing-dings from 2012 when I completely lost my shit. I was newly diagnosed then and had not yet learned what my disordered brain was capable of. That became clearer when I started documenting my episodes. Now I can go back into the archives to see what a hot mess I really was, and the gaps between posts tell an even wilder story.
But even with the evidence of past cycles in black and white on my screen, I still wonder how the hell I managed to get myself slapped with the label of bipolar 1. Not once, but five times. I have friends with the same diagnosis whose manic episodes dwarf mine, and I can’t even imagine doing what one gal did…she ordered a Chinese dinner. From a restaurant in China. For pickup. Then she bought a plane ticket and flew to—wait for it—China. The worst thing I ever did was blow up my career by acting like a giddy 8-year-old at work, and then there were the times I spent myself into bankruptcy. Not to mention the religious delusions and paranoia…but we won’t talk about that.
I did, though, and my doctors through the years have all agreed that my personal constellation of symptoms merits the diagnosis that has stuck to me like shit sticks to a blanket. It’s just that I’ve been stable for three years, which is a long time in bipolar circles, and what happened in the past seems like it was nowhere near as bad as I’ve been told. My kids can tell Manic Mommy stories that I suspect are somewhat overblown, but I’m at a disadvantage because my memory of some events is faulty and they are unified in their recollections. So there’s that.
Anyway, just a few musings for a chilly October night. I’m thankful for the ability to evaluate and process these deep thoughts instead of driving myself nuts looking for answers to questions that have no answers. Everyone has those; the trick is to let them go so we don’t get bogged down in confusion and angst. I like that idea…even though I’m just asking for a friend. Haha!