the life of zooey who happens to be Bipolar 2
My name is Zooey. Well, not really. I fear for my career so I keep my Bipolar 2 quiet. At work, I prefer not to address any action I have into an area of improvement on my evaluations. I prefer not to have people constantly asking how I am and explaining any behavior with ‘oh she’s biopolar’. I wish I was braver. I wish….but there is a mortgage and a daughter, so I am silent there, but not here.
I will tell you up front I hate my disease. It often robs me of joy and seeing the day after today. I wish it would go away often. I feel like I will never be at peace. I often wonder if those who are most close to me will tire of my battle and move on. I wonder if I will ever stop fearing it.
I was diagnosed with BP 2 in my 40s, but looking back, I’ve been dealing with crappy chemistry since my mid teens. At times, I could survive on little to no sleep. I created and lived at what I believed to be an awesome superhuman level not many could match. I was an art-making machine. The familiar phrase from friends and colleagues was, “Don’t you sleep?” No, actually, I didn’t.
But with the highs of a BP2 (which don’t quite reach the heights of a BP 1), come the falls into deep depression. Sleep was still not a part of my repertoire. Hating myself, was. I am very good….and extremely quick at self-criticism. Harsh, hammering words about my body, my life and any little infraction I committed. This abominable litany is delivered by what I call “IT”. (see poem post here)
I am still functional when depressed. I realized early in my teens that being depressed in front of my parents made me feel even worse. That, I could not bear. I learned to function in my mask of ‘I’m ok’. I even believed the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps or it’s-all-in-your-attitude bullshit. Now, I fucking hate those trite quotes on Facebook. Bad chemistry sucks, people, this isn’t a bad day. It’s a bad day…month…even year.
In my 40s, after over 20 years of marriage to an emotionally stunted man, I began a downward slide that lead me to self harm, a year of depression and several plans to take my life. After several ‘talk me down from the ledge’ conversations with dear friends and with their encouragement, I sought help. Thank God for friends who care. They are a treasure that cannot be measured.
My blogs will feature times in my past and also what are current challenges and events. There are views about bipolar out there which persist. They are based on not asking questions about it and making suppositions based on incorrect information. I hope to make a dent in that. I just couldn’t be silent about this any longer. Anonymous or not, more conversations are needed about this disease.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I look forward to our conversations. I hope to be someones mindbender. Visit me on Facebook. 🙂
The Struggle, Carrie McGath
Originally part of this article