The Battle of Bipolar
My Proclamation of Isolation
I’m sitting in my truck watching the windshield wipers clear the rain as it pours onto the window. I haven’t left the driveway. I know I should. I need to go, but I can’t. Today is proven to be a difficult day. It’s a struggle.
If someone were to ask me to describe my experience with Bipolar disorder I would say I want to be left alone. I feel at my best when I’m isolated. When I’m depressed it consumes my soul. I want to spoon my pillow and drown my sorrows. When I’m manic I’m on a mission to complete 90 tasks in a five minute time span. I’m obsessive and impulsive. I’m filled with anger.
But that depends on the day.
If scientific research says that isolation is so bad for us then why does it feel safe?
When I’m depressed I don’t want to be bothered. Please don’t bother me. Please don’t suggest I’ll feel better if I get out of bed. I won’t. Partly because I have no intentions to and partly because it’s impossible. It’s not in my chemical imbalance to feel motivated when I feel depressed.
When I’m manic I don’t want to be bothered. I’m too busy chasing my tail and you’ll only get in my way. You’ll slow me down. I intend to do this, and that, and that, and this, and so on and so on. Please don’t suggest that I should get some sleep. You’re confusing me. Do you want me to get out of bed or get into bed?
It’s all too much. So I isolate. “The world is not calling me,” I say.
But that also depends on the day.
I may feel paranoid. Even though technically paranoia is in my head it’s still a real thing. It’s very real. It stops me from accomplishing goals, developing relationship, it riddles me with fear.
There is also the anxiety. Not the type of anxiety that causes panic attacks. That’s a entirely different type of anxiety. I’m talking about the every day anxiety that Bipolar Disorder lives with. The type where you walk around the house aimlessly because you can’t sit in your chair. It’s when people are speaking to you and you hear nothing because you’re lost inside your own head. I don’t feel well. I’m nauseous, and I have a headache, and I can’t think or see clear.
Panic attacks. I once told a counselor that I panic about having a panic attack. He asked me what would happen to me if I panic. After thinking about it I said, “Nothing, I’d have an attack and then it’d be over.” It sounds rational but it doesn’t change anything.
Why is it so important to other people that I don’t isolate?
I’m content. Shouldn’t that be all that matters? I have everything I need.
I contribute to my family and spend as much time with them as time allows. If I need exercise I can walk around the pond out back or hangout on the front lawn and kick around my hacky sack. With 15 rooms in my house I can change up my environment. I have social media and Netflix. I have my words and I can sell my stories. I can see food growing from where I’m sitting while typing. There are more than enough projects to keep me busy.
When I do leave the house it’s to go to the library or to see my therapist. I stay in town as much as I can because the city freaks me out.
Not to mention I leave the house every time I open a book. I leave it all behind and lose myself in the journey of the story.
If I were to change anything I would like to meet one new person each day for the experience of it, but that’s far too much effort. So screw it. I’m not going to do that.
My battle with Bipolar is in no way related to my isolating tendencies. It’s a random and bizarre coincidence.
Unless of course, I’m in denial. Which I’m not. So leave me alone.