Mourning Ignorance

Q: When you received your Bipolar diagnosis, were you relieved to finally have a name for what you suffer from?

A: No, I mourned my ignorance instead.

Q: At first, did you feel you’d been labeled, or diagnosed?  

A: Labeled.  And later, the crushing weight I felt by having to carry around both a label and a diagnosis sent me spiraling into another depression.

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When I get into these maudlin moods, what I pine for are the days when I didn’t know I am Bipolar.   Everything seemed more carefree back then.  There was a time when I could wake up in the morning and just ask myself once, “What mood am I going to be in today?”and ride it out and adapt to it, and think all the while that this was what everyone else does.  No label, no stigma in the back of my mind, no diagnosis that would force me to check in and care about my mood and med several times each day.   Whether or not the pre-diagnosis days were really simpler is a moot point.  At this time, it feels like thy were and that only adds to the mourning I have for those times of ignorance.  Especially now, when agoraphobia has decided to rear its ugly head and complicate matters even more.

Does anyone else out there mourn the times before you knew you were Bipolar?  No matter how much better the pharmaceutical intervention can make me feel, there’s never quite been a time since D(iagnosis) Day that I don’t wish things were somewhat back to the way they were.  Because for me, in a lot of regards, ignorance was bliss.

I so understand…I stopped letting Dr’s hang tags on me along time ago…But the brain is funny… once you hear it you never forget it…I’m 47 single and have 4 children…My oldest daughter is 27 and really struggles being bi polor…to be honest i dont remember not being bi polor along with some other issues…I’d like to say it has gotton better over the years…but that wouldnt be exactly honest…its different now…I have more control over my action…But less control over the inner depression…I just get up every day and give it one hell of a fight. If you get by to check out my blog you’ll see I used drugs for years to treat myself…Ive been in recovery for about 3 plus years…Sometimes it seems harder sober…but I decided I didnt want to die because I lived under the label addict… enjoyed your blog.Thanx

Thanks so much for sharing. I did get a chance to stop by and read your blog – I applaud you for your courage and determination to fight the battle, and I hope your daughter is winning her struggle as well. Stay strong!

I always feel split depending on my moods. On the one hand, I’m happy to have the diagnosis and have reigned in the crippling depressions and alcoholic manias. It’s a breath of fresh air to have control. But at the same time, I liked it before when I was just eccentric instead of bipolar. Maybe it was because I wasn’t nearly as bad as I am now, but before I felt more accepted as just having bizarre behaviors that at times would make me retreat and at other times make me fun loving. I miss that old me that just used to ride the wave instead of fighting against it all the time by studying my moods. Maybe there’s a lesson in there to be learned from the old me, to just ride through it all and accept it as being eccentric and not ill.

Hi, James. Thanks for stopping by!
“I liked it before when I was just eccentric instead of bipolar.”
Exactly. People love someone who is eccentric. But the minute the tag of Bipolar comes into play, it’s a whole different story, isn’t it. Not just for them, butt for you as well. You bring up a good point – fighting against the wave is really exhausting and riding it out is probably healthier. I could never go back to just accepting myself as eccentric though, because I really am ‘that bad’ now. Sigh. Control comes with a price, doesn’t it? (Glad to hear you’re doing better!)

Even as a small child, I always knew there was something “wrong” with me. I searched all my life for a name to attach to it, and found many–sensitivity, a pituitary imbalance, anxiety, psychic abilities, etc. All the names did was give me new perspective. Nothing changed who I was or how i moved through the world.
Now, since the current perspective is “bipolar disorder,” I look at myself and the world through that lens. It doesn’t change who I am, either, it just gives me a different set of signposts to follow for awhile.
We try on these hats to see if they fit. Does a different class of medications work better than others in making us feel better? Does a particular method of self-awareness ease our suffering more than others? The most important hat is the one that allows us to be at ease with whoever we are, however we are. It’s hard work to be a human being. We need all the help we can get.

I so hear you with this one. I went through the same thing when I was young…am I gifted, special, psychic? You know, decades ago I even had a toy that would do your zodiac chart for you, and one of the items it came up with was, “Considered weird by others.” I think all of that wondering and trying on of different identities made me more resilient in the end. If Bipolar is the lens society wants to see me through today, then fine. The only things I resent about this label are the never ending drugs, weight gain and overall doped up feeling I have to put up with now. Somehow, I liked being a skinny, unmediated psychic better. 🙂

Which is your favorite tag? Is it something other than Bipolar?

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