I’m tired of explaining myself. I understand that my history makes me high risk. If I can be thoroughly suicidal for weeks on end, multiple times within a twelve-month period, then I’m high risk. I get it. But it does get old, telling therapists and administrators the worst of my story. And feeling obligated to do so. But, compared to the best, it still shines pretty brightly: fucked up.
And worrying about every mood swing gets old too. Becoming frightened when I dip depressive, or hypomanic, or agitated, or all three in a period of twenty days. I can’t help but wonder, will I ever be stable again? Which begs the question, what is stable?
I guess being stable, to answer my own question, is walking through the mood swings, the highs and the lows, the agitation and the sloth, and letting them coexist in my presence, but not envelope me. But therein lies the problem. “Coexist.”
I’m not that pleasant of a person. I don’t simply coexist. My gut reaction is to, well, react: to raise my fists and fight. Which only makes it worse, doesn’t it? Because, I’m fighting an aspect of me. I am not depressed. But I have depressive moods. It’s a part of me.
The varying versions of Annie. Help. I don’t know how not to fight myself. How not to love a portion of myself and hate, with vehemence, other portions. How do I treat all parts of me equal? With respect, care, and utmost gentleness?
The depression allows me to be sensitive and empathic. The hypomania allows me to appreciate slow days. The agitation reminds me what an illusion control is. The euthymia makes me thankful for safe energy and manageable emotions. No. The euthymia makes me paranoid that stability will end when I get comfortable or the moment I take it for granted.
It's just a mood, Annie. It’ll pass. That’s what the psych tech told me in the hospital. She’s right. And she’s wrong. It’s not “just” a mood. It’s a mood in all its glory and hideous strength. But it’s not me, is what I think she was trying to say. It’s not permanent. (Nothing is permanent in the world of bipolar.) The mood puts a pretty convincing façade on reality, but it’s not reality.
Reality is I will feel depressed, hypomanic, agitated, and euthymic all over again. Reality is I will make it through with some amount of dexterity, and with some amount of pain. Reality is it’s so much more complicated than coexistence or fighting—it’s both. Fighting what I cannot accept and accepting what I cannot fight. Reality is, I can’t do this alone. So I will be explaining myself to therapists and administrators because I need them to understand and I need them to be on my side when what I can’t fight isn’t acceptable.
I don’t like it. I don’t want it to be this way. But I can’t continue to fight everything and accept nothing. And I can’t do this alone.