I’ve got people in my life who deal with depression and anxiety, and those mental illnesses are big hitters, for sure. But if we were to stand at the base of a ladder and climb each rung, from my own experience, anxiety hovers around concrete where depression is a bit higher and a bit slippy. Bipolar disorder? You’ll find that rung if you squeeze your eyes shut, fall backwards onto a magic carpet and fly your ass up about 20 floors.
Bipolar means “two poles”: One pole is depression and one is mania. I think we’re all smart enough to know what depression is, but mania is a bit more convoluted, and just like anything (depression, anxiety, moods, condoms) it’s a bit different for each person. But typically, mania? Feels fucking amazing. Everything is super-sized. When you’re manic, you’re more spiritual, more awake, more sexual, more everything. It’s all so sensitive and it all feels euphoric. Your mind races. You’ve got these fantasmical ideas that will make you rich. You spend a shit tonne of money on the shopping channel. You don’t eat. You don’t sleep. Because you don’t need to.
Mania is fun. Until it goes too far.
There are two levels of mania: Hypo-mania, and hyper-mania.
Hypo-mania flies below the radar; It’s another way to say that someone has “functional bipolar disorder.” Their minds get busy for a bit, and then they settle back down.
Hyper-mania consists of disturbing shit, and often, a bipolar person will only have a handful of hypermanic (crisis) episodes. But trust me, one is enough. In this phase, it is normal to have a complete loss of reality, to feel god-like, and to hear voices (schizophrenic characteristics show up in hyper-mania). You can imagine how dangerous this can be.
A hospital is a safe place for recovery (mania hurts the brain just like inflammation hurts the gallbladder) and medication helps with healing and forward movement, but most people with bipolar disorder are addicted to the euphoric pull of mania and will typically go off their medication as a way to come back to themselves.
And this? Is the pattern. The cycle. It’s a ride that I not only signed up for, but participate in on a daily basis because the inhabitant happens to pour himself into the missing pieces of my heart and show me how to get back up after being humiliated and shamed. He’s taught me how to parent, how to work hard, how to cook steak. Thank God he doesn’t have gallstones.
Have you ever had gallstones? Do you know anyone who has had to have their gallbladder out?
Did you know all of this stuff about bipolar disorder or did Mrs. Slane teach you something new tonight?
I feel so sexy right now. My name makes me want to wear a full black pleather cat suit. “Suzy Slane.” Seriously hot af.