"Will I ever be normal? my doctor's reply was "It depends on what you call normal." I said pointing down to the crowd of people going about their business, "Like them." She replied "No, you will, no doubt hopefully with treatment and medication get better, but it will never leave you completely. You will not be like them."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What is normal?

Normal- what is normal and who defines it.  I have always been viewed as a person who walks to my own drummer.  If I were to be honest it's more like I have my own band.  Someone once said of me that if anyone was going to say anything inappropriate that it would be me and that I could get away with it because of who I am.  I have also been told and have experienced that you either love me or you can't stand to be around me, there is no in between.  I definitely find this to be true.  So it came as no surprise when I was diagnosed as bipolar in 2006.  I had known all along that I was different.  Bipolar does not make up my personality, it just ramps it up a bit.  I am considered an outgoing person with a big personality and a tell it like it is attitude.  I try never to mix words, I will speak my mind even, if it gets me in trouble.  When I'm manic, my personality gets bigger, I become more outgoing and speak my mind to the point of possibly even alienating people.  When I'm depressed, it is so much more than sadness or feeling down.  It can be crippling.  Depression is reaching the end of your rope and then being dropped.  When I am depressed, every thought, every breath, every conscious moment is agony and I just want to run away from myself....but where is there to go.  Mania on the other hand is almost defined as a lack of control.  Mania manifests itself differently for every person.  I will do everything I can to not be cooped up in my house.  I will make up errands to run.  I don't sleep that much....maybe 4 hours a night for many nights in a row.  I come up with wild ideas for me, my family, my friends or even my house.  I become very creative and can sit and write for hours.  I also go WAY OVERBOARD on the shopping.  Now I love to shop and always look for deals and since identifying that shopping sprees are a symptom of mania, I try and be very very careful of my spending.  But a few years ago it was COMPLETELY  out of control for many months.  Now at the time I didn't realize how bad it was and I didn't attribute it to mania.  I even tried to justify my spending.  Let's just say that there were months ago that I was completely out of control.  For most people this is not normal behavior but the people like me who  live with bipolar disorder, this is what we deal with every day of our lives.  Sometimes we have remissions but we will never be cured. 
Why do I tell you this?  I want the people who suffer with to understand that they are not alone.  I want you to comment on what I  have said and give me your opinions and thoughts and help me through the maze of this disease.  I will go into more detail as the blog goes on but I just wanted to let you know that there is someone out there who gets it.  For those who don't suffer with it but might know someone who does or who just wants to know more, I want you to feel free to ask questions and leave comments.  There is a stigma that goes along with mental illness and I want to shed the truth on what is real and what is exaggerated or even an outright lie. 
I hope everyone finds this helpful in some way or another and please leave comments or questions.  I  would love to get to know others who suffer from it or who wants to learn more. 

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