When I was in school we were made to write an auto biography of sorts, titled All about me – We had to describe ourselves, what colour of hair and eyes we had, our friends, hobbies, interests… etc I didn’t have very much to say, I enjoyed nothing, I didn’t have many friends and I didn’t really do anything but sit in my room and brood or lie to make myself sound more interesting. I didn’t know myself and I doubt very much that any of my 14 year old classmates could have said that they knew themselves either but perhaps now they would have more to say than me, what should I have achieved at this point in my life? I am 28 years old, young and yet in my mind, not so young, not so oblivious to the person I have become, not as carefree as my peers; and my one and only achievement has been having my children and learning how to manage Bipolar disorder… It doesn’t seem enough and yet it swallows me whole and I see no time or energy for anything else.
I realised yesterday that my mind has once again become all about me. It used to be this way before, when I was a brooding teenager with an abysmal relationship with my father, a complex about every inch of me and resentment leaking from my pores. It was all about what everyone had done to me and what they had not done for me. I never felt cared for, I never saw the things they did do because even the good felt bad to me, even the fun was drenched in misery. Again I feel all alone with my illness and my problems. I have realised that all I focus on, day in and day out, is Bipolar disorder and what it does to me, how it treats me, what it makes me do. I am once again sitting in a pool of deadly resentment and misery and the people around me are bearing the brunt of that. I feel unloved, I feel as though the world is against me and unwilling to help, I feel that I am constantly making mistakes, constantly a burden. Nothing else penetrates the self loathing that I feel and so I care about nothing but my issues, I see only darkness, I feel nothing but pain. I go through the motions of living as though on auto-pilot, I am the living dead, I talk and I listen, help and care without every really being there, seeing nothing, feeling nothing – all of my worry is spoken for, all of the care is gone and all of my life is bleak.
What do you do when you realise you are being utterly selfish, when you know logically that you are mistaken in your beliefs but you cannot convince your sickly mind to accept it?
How do I balance managing my illness with living my life when the management is so all consuming, when my anxiety turns even the most mundane of tasks into something akin to jumping through flaming hoops whilst balancing on a unicycle and carrying a monkey…
How can it not be all about me when I need to analyse myself each and every day in order to manage whatever mood decides to spring itself on me in that moment?
Maybe Bipolar disorder is just a selfish thing and I need to come to terms with that. Maybe I will never achieve my dreams, never amount to anything more than who I am in this moment, maybe this is it and I need to make that ok, I need to learn to be ok with the status quo…
I don’t want to be this selfish, dark and self-absorbed person, but maybe this is just who I am. Maybe this is all I can be.