I am breaking one of my rules. It was not a hard fast set in stone rule but a rule nonetheless. But hey I run with scissors. Naked. What’s breaking another puny rule to me?
It is actually more of a boundary I set at the beginning of this blogging endeavor. This blog is not ABOUT me being or having, or whatever the accepted terminology is, bipolar disorder. Six to one half a dozen to the other as far as I am concerned, and I think besides mentioning and explaining as necessary I have kept to that pretty well. Or at least convinced myself it is so. This post however, as I am sure you may have picked up on by the title, is all about My Brain on Bipolar. So if that isn’t what you come here for, you are excused for the day.
I also should probably warn you although I don’t want to scare you away, this is a post with a ridiculously high word count. Just saying….
I suppose I am feeling a little miffed at the ignorance of people to the true nature of bipolar disorder. This usually comes on when I see a TV show that portrays the murderer as an out of control bipolar monster who outta be put out of everyone’s misery for their own good. Sad. That describes more of a Sociopath to me and I m not even sure if a bipolar person can be a sociopath…point to ponder… I would sure as hell rather be bipolar than a sociopath. They aren’t even the same ballpark but they didn’t say the out of control sociopath did they? Sorry Sociopaths. Today we are not talking about you (anymore). Get over it. Don’t think I am mean for picking on a Sociopath, they don’t care about murdering someone which is why I think they would be a better candidate for the murderer on said TV shows.
Mental illness is not one of those things you should choose to be ignorant about. What you don’t know CAN and often does hurt someone. Typically someone bipolar who already feels shitty enough about being different. I would say, educate yourself to at least not be a biased ignoramus dufusactyl when you cross paths with it and then you can choose ignorance after that if that’s what works for you.
The best way to go about this is to do a comparison of a Normal Brain to My Brain. I realize normal is somewhat subjective and we all have a few cracks here and there so for purpose of today, the accepted standards of brain function – as in not diagnosed cracked or off in some way. So here we go.
The Normal Brain has a rhythm, a circadian rhythm – a daily cycle of activity. The psychological and physiological changes of a person that can be affected by light and dark and thrown out of whack by say..jetlag. It’s a pattern over a 24 hour time period that generally has you going to bed and waling around the same times being hungry and tired etc. around the same time everyday. It is self sustaining yet changeable. It’s often referred to as the body clock. The Normal Brain takes a licking and keeps it ticking.
My Brain just flies by the seat of its pants left to its own devices. Bipolar disorder is associated with irregular circadian rhythms. I am a free running rhythm. Normal circadian rhythm is a huge effort for the bipolar mind. It is a goal for stability and when it is achieved it is extremely easy to knock it wonky, unlike the normal brain.
The Normal Brain keeps its surroundings based on it’s particular likes and taste in décor and level of cleanliness it is comfortable with. Upkeep of surroundings involves chores, set tasks, and a sense of order.
My Brain is like my surroundings. You really want to know how I am doing take a look at my room. The farther the disorganization reaches from the epicenter – the greater my loss of grasp on reality. If it’s a horrible mess you can bet your butt that My Brain is a mess too. I like neat and tidy. I long for one of those perfect clean light filled houses on cleaning commercials and I can do it. Sometimes. Structure is good for My Brain and calm peaceful clean surroundings are ideal and what I LIKE. But God’s honest truth, even in a moment of complete clarity at the state of my surroundings when there is a mess, I can not just fix it. It’s not an excuse to be a shitty house keeper. Or a sign of laziness. It is My Brain exploded. To me this is one of the easiest My Brain concepts, but instead of understanding and support and recognition that I may be in a small teeny weeny crisis, I get judged and harshly.
The Normal Brain in matters of the heart may proceed with caution and is observant of cues from the object of it’s affection and proceeds accordingly.
My Brain just gives to over to my heart and if my heart is in it My Brain is all for it.
The Normal Brain has several levels of openness with others, Intimate, best friend, family, acquaintance.
My Brain , you are either in or you are out. You either get me or you don’t. There is no half ass about My Brain and no guard at the door. There used to be but keeping it in or you out was just lonely exhausting business. Keeping up the façade of normal well adjusted blah blah blah was anxiety wrapped with a bow. If My Brain is vague it is because it toying with you, amusing itself by laughing at others reactions or it just doesn’t like you and My Brain is none of your business at all. Period.
The Normal Brain is the train ride around the zoo.
My Brain is the Super Duper biggest roller coaster in the park. .
The Normal Brain on Drugs is a fried egg.
My Brain on drugs is a Normal Brain. Ever wonder why bipolar people have a high incidence of self medicating? There you go. A drug that incapacitates the Normal Brain can gather mine in contain it calm and focus it. It can make me into a highly productive person not by affecting energy levels but by allowing focus and logical thought. When everyone else is tripping, acting like complete dufus heads, I am in wonderment that I feel what I think my normal should be. No discussion here. I don’t want to hear I am probably an addict and am making lame excuses to get high. Hooey Bunk. I self medicate periodically and that an addict does not make. I so do not get high on the Normal Brain highs. People take substances into their body to alter the state of consciousness they are in. If you don’t like where you are at take this and wait 5 minutes . So what do you think an altered state of consciousness might look like to the bipolar mind? Normal maybe? It’s at those times I can totally understand why people do what they do , how they can function, the endless possibilities of a normal life……
Lets put it like this…if you feel pressure building up and want to blow off some steam, altering our state of consciousness, in effect losing control for awhile may relieve your pressure. Gaining control of My Brain in the same way you lose it and I feel much better too. Get it?
The Normal Brain takes medications as prescribed and understands its necessity and function.
My Brain balks at being medicated and feels like the pills taken as prescribed steal my soul. My Brain experiments and takes them when it feels like it after having a good understanding of what each pill does. Which ones make you bigger, smaller etc., it’s much better than the chemical lobotomy effect of taking them all together everyday. Once I was on a cocktail that had me feeling nothing. I mean nothing. I told my med manager and was told that I need to stay on them for at least 6 months that because I was used to the emotional roller coaster, feeling normal to me, as in no ups and downs, no strong passionate bigger than life feelings….would probably feel like…nothing. um..No Thanks.
The Normal Brain will go to a twelve step program to deal with it’s vice.
My Brain is my vice. What’s the point?
The Normal Brain has to see it to believe it, or some concrete proof of it. It being what ever it is.
My Brain can see it if I believe it. No proof needed. I believe in ghosts, and fairies and magical things, I see them. No I don’t have pictures
The Normal Brain has a train of thought.
My Brain has bumper cars.
the Normal Brain sees words to describe life.
My Brain sees colors.
The Normal Brain is fairly steadfast in its fears and beliefs no matter the situation.
My Brain when too happy has no fears, and when sad no beliefs
The Normal Brain speaks English – or whatever your language is.
My Brain thinks in a different and I am convinced alien or ancient language. Of which I am only moderately fluent. I am learning though
The Normal Brain, thinks, filters and then speaks or writes.
My Brain thinks, attempts to translate, then only sometimes filters and speaks/or writes with the hope that the original meaning was not lost in translation. Quite often it comes out to a drawing or some form of art.
The Normal Brain can follow logical progression and form a plan then see it through to completion, even if slightly delayed.
My Brain sees pieces and – Oh Look! A Butterfly.
So there you have it folks, fascinating stuff I am sure. Next time you see a brain on bipolar, remember some of the things I have said. My brain isn’t a bad brain, just a little..ok maybe moderately more than a little cracked. I am not a horrible person, bipolar is not who I am…or the person down the street or your coworker . It is just another thing that is, not that defines me completely.
I will always be or have bipolar – again the terminology, unless someone comes up with a cure. I am not holding my breath. And so I will always have trouble controlling my emotions, handling social or work issues, relationships will never be easy because so often my lack of control will hurt the ones I love without any effort at all.I will probably always disappoint to an extent because follow though and focus are not my strengths and very much a factor of my emotions. Everything is about my emotions. My emotions are my sun, my life orbits around them. I will always be a sort of an oddball…..but I will also love fiercely, feel everything passionately, give my all when I can, be loyal to a fault, apologize for my misdeeds, have compassion more than most people and be the one laughing so hard I have milk coming out my nose. I will take special care of trust given to me and continue to trust openly. I will always be gullible which is only another form of innocence to the worlds cruelties and a special trait. I will always be a rule breaker and a little off….but I promise you won’t be bored and if you take the time to get to know me and my brain, you may find you are enlightened to a whole new view of the world.
I am smart and funny and bipolar. People like me and ya know what? I don’t blame them. I like me too.