Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Before I Go Insane

I wasn't sure if bipolarity was a word or not, so I just looked it up, and it is, which I guess is good since I'm about to use it, but in truth, if it wasn't a word I was just going to make it up and use it anyway because no other one fits me quite as well. Other words come close: indecisive, rash, cautious, inert, impatient, callous, empathetic, miserable, giddy, unbalanced. Choose any of those words at any given time, and they just might fit me, but they don't fit me the way bipolarity does. They go on, and they look decent, sometimes even good, but some of them gap in the back because of the small size of my waist and not-so-small size of my butt; some are just a little too long, dragging on the floor when I walk and fraying along the bottom; some are just a tiny bit too tight in the thighs and won't sit on my hips exactly where I want them to sit; and some have just a little too much stretch so that by the time I've worn them for a few hours, they slide down my body, button and zipper slipping too far below my belly button, crotch sagging just a little too much. Bipolarity, though. Bipolarity doesn't do any of these things. Bipolarity is exactly the right length and exactly the right width everywhere it touches me. It flatters my little legs by not being too long, hugs my hips and thighs instead of smooshing them in like sausage, and accentuates my butt without making it look too big. I'm telling you, nothing fits me, nothing has ever fit me, like bipolarity does.

And it's getting worse.

My extreme moods used to last for days, or even weeks, but they're starting to shift day-by-day and even hour-to-hour. I'm not kidding when I say that I can be getting ready for work, dancing around my bedroom; on my way to work, singing giddily along to some song, thinking about the great wide open that lies before me and all the possibilities it brings; then pull into the parking lot downtrodden and miserable, having been hit with the realization that life has no guarantees, and I can be just as miserable tomorrow as I was yesterday; and then walk through the halls, smile at a couple of kids, talk to one or two other ones, and then, before I know it, feel happy enough again to dance around my classroom when nobody is there. Now take that series of events I just gave you, repeat repeatedly throughout the day, and you have an idea of what my life has been like for the past month or so.

Like I said, it's more extreme now, but I've always exhibited bipolar tendencies. When I was fifteen and staying in a private psychiatric facility, I had to take some "spit test," which amounted to me spitting in some tube or something at intervals for a certain amount of time so my psychiatrist could test the chemicals in my brain. Everything checked out okay. Years later, and only a few years ago, my therapist told me she believed me to be "slightly bipolar." Another therapist who came after her agreed.

Since I don't like medication--I won't even take antibiotics, and it takes a headache that I believe is going to kill me to get me to take an ibuprofen--it  should come as no surprise that I've never considered taking any. It's not just that, though. It's also that I've always felt like my "condition" wasn't a condition at all--it's just me. It makes me who I am: zany, crazy, aspirational, defeated, conflicted, tumultuous, mopey, dichotomic me. It makes me a little less boring than I would be if I were on medication, and a lot less like everybody else. And up until the last month, I've been, for the most part, happy with that: I've enjoyed living a life that's a little bit crazy and a little bit sane.

But now...well, now the "little bit" and the "sane" feel kind of like a thing of the past, and I don't think saying I'm living the life of the insane would be entirely false.

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