Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Coming out...As Bipolar.

It’s April Fools’ Day and I decided I would use this day to tell the world I was bipolar II. I figured if people freaked out about it I could take it back and say that it was just an April fool’s prank.
I really didn’t think anyone would believe me anyway. Other than the family that I’ve already told, I didn’t believe anyone would believe that I was bipolar. I mean…really?
How shocked was I when no one questioned it. Some people even some family members  told  me how brave I was to admit that and then others were asking me what my next step was and how did I find out.
It reminded me of the day I came home and announced to my husband and 13-year-old daughter that I was diagnosed with bipolar II. I expected them to be surprised or deny the claims but my daughter said,
“I had a feeling you were.”
Now that comments threw me for a loop. For her to say that she thought I was bipolar shocked me but made me think.
Couldn’t there be another word to describe what I have?  I mean bipolar? That’s the one thing that I thought that I was not. It carries with it negativity from others and I didn’t want to be associated with that term.
Can I be called eccentric?
No, how don’t have enough money to be called eccentric. That word is reserved for crazy old man with millions of dollars. No one wants to call them crazy because…they have millions of dollars.
How about Scatterbrained?
No, I believe when you lock yourself out of your house four times, throw your house keys and wallet into the trash in a Taco Bell bag and one day leave the front door wide open reserves a much stronger verdict than “scatterbrained”.
Extremely emotional?
May be, but crying in the greeting card aisle like someone shot my cat over how sweet the greeting cards are is embarrassing but I think it’s a little bit more than just very emotional.
So here I am sitting with this bipolar diagnosis and I’m not sure what I want to do next. What should I do next? I wanted to be anything but bipolar not even bipolar II.
When you tell people you are bipolar they assume you’re crazy. They say things like “my uncle was bipolar and he killed three people.” OR “I know a lady who was bipolar and she drowned her kids.” And I literally had somebody tell me that they knew somebody who was bipolar and threw themselves over a bridge. (I think it is common sense this is the worst thing you can say to somebody who’s bipolar.)
I don’t think my husband really wants me to announce my diagnosis to people. I think he is afraid of how others will treat me. It is the same fear that I have myself.
Now that I know what is going on with me, I am actually relieved. I mean I knew that there was not quite right. I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder but now I feel I have the full diagnosis.  I feel relieved now after decades of not knowing what was wrong with me, I have some answers. I am also relieved that I have moved passed that high school mentality that I should care what others think about me. No matter what the diagnosis, I am still me. No, that’s not true. I am a better me, which makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin and friend.
I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and though I announced on April Fools’ Day…it’s no joke.

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