Educate or Suffer My Wrath
I hate waking up in the morning.
Every day is a constant struggle but mornings are a defining moment.
When I open my eyes, fate is decided for me.
Which side of the Bipolar spectrum will I be on today?
I never get to choose. It chooses for me.
What bothers me the most about carrying the weight of this mental illness, this label, is how others react to it. It’s the perception of others that makes me want to quit breathing.
I still get out of bed every single day, even when I don’t want to. I take a shower. I make myself presentable to society. I go to work. I shop at the grocery store. I take my son to school. I make dinner every night. I bake. I write creatively. I write to inform. I laugh. I cry. I dream.
I play my part.
For years I was brutally open about being Bipolar because I chose to educate the stupidity. Then one day I decided it was time to move on. I relocated my family to a new State. I traveled across the country to become someone else. I left the past behind. It was erased.
Then I pretended not to be sick anymore. I actually started to believe it myself until I got settled. The newness wore off and old demons came back to visit, as if they ever left.
I sat at my desk at my shiny new office hiding my symptoms of depression, paranoia, anxiety, self-harm, and anger. Always anger. I scratched my skin until it bled to get some release. I was medication free because I wasn’t sick anymore.
Nobody could know.
What did that do for me? It made me become one of them. I was part of the stigma. The stigma I fought hard to banish for years. I succumbed to the bullshit.
The difference with me, though, is that I still spoke up if situations surfaced with a group of people who talked about mental health like they knew how to live through it. Bitches, I’ve become one with my problems and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand back and listen to the words you’re spewing as if you know. I am the all knowing and you don’t know anything.
I hear you whispering and pointing your finger at the girl across the street. She’s Bipolar and a psycho. Then you pick up your hand and wave to the loon and pretend to be neighborly.
That’s was an eye opener into the future.
I got my ass back to a doctor. That’s not an easy feat. I’ve had about a dozen psychiatrists fail me miserably. This doctor is different. He spent three hours with me at my consultation, taking page upon page of notes. He asked me questions no other doctor ever had. It was like talking to a friend, crying my soul out, sending all of the pent up pain and pressure into the room for someone else to soak in.
By the end of the day I was back on medication.
And here I sit.
I still fear when my eyes open each morning because the day is already planned in advance. I just haven’t lived it yet.
On this day? I’m a badass mother who works her ass off to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. I banish the hell out of stigma through essays I write in the most raw form possible.
I will correct an imperfect stranger in broad daylight if I hear her talking about shit she knows nothing about.
Until you’ve walked a day in my shoes, lived with my intrusive thoughts, fought the urge to leave this world because it would be so much easier, then shut your mouth.
I will continue to educate through the power of words and I am going to be unstoppable in the process.
Pamela Gold was diagnosed six years ago with Bipolar 2 Disorder when she wasn’t healing from postpartum depression (PPD) after the birth of her third son. PPD awakened the fact that she was probably bipolar most of her life. She has been hospitalized, is medication resistant, and was brave enough to battle through rounds of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Contrary to popular belief…she is not crazy.
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