Depression Lies. And it would seem he has a bitchin relationship with bipolar disorder.

My sister had the mania today, and while she was basically trippin balls off her own brain chemicals she started talking about her boyfriend and this plan she has for trying to lose weight.

As many of you know, medications for bipolar disorder and depression often pack on the pounds despite your calorie counting for every last carrot stick to enter your body. It’s beyond annoying for anyone on them, especially those like my sister who are actively trying to lose weight.

I felt like writing about this here for a few reasons. First, her idea was actually kind of cool. It seems like something that could actually be done at some New York art gallery. One of those vaguely weird art installments that no one really “gets” but everyone can’t stop going to check out anyways.

Secondly because it just made me think about a couple things.

Her idea was that her boyfriend would paint her nude portrait every three months as she struggles against her medication to lose weight. At the end, whenever she reaches her goal she would simply stand, naked, in the gallery.

As she says, she wants to “shake her anorexic body flab in the gallery and have lesbians love me, and buy my body (the paintings) and feed me.”

Her boyfriend refuses. Though I think this is mostly because he probably can’t paint, and is shy about nudity.  Also he’s more of a literal thinker versus a symbolic one.

To me, anything that shows a human being’s ability to transform is something worth trying. The idea, while unusual, is actually quite artistic and defiant.

Reading her messages made me laugh, and actually think about painting again.

Unfortunately the same chemicals that can make a normally introverted woman want to “shake her anorexic body flab” at lesbians in an art gallery, can also tear a strong woman down.

Not even an hour after receiving these messages, my sister was crashing. She felt insecure and unlovable. Paranoid that her manic ranting was pushing people away.

It’s hard not to feel that way because often times something does push people away from you when you’re bipolar. The mania can be fun at first, but can reach a level of intensity that makes people uncomfortable, and the lows just flat out scare people who don’t know what it’s like to experience something like that. The quick shifts from one to the other can be confusing and make the lows seem like over reactions.

“You were fine just a second ago.”

And what kills is that, yes, just a second ago we really were fine. That feeling can disappear so quickly for us. We lack even the most basic control over our emotions.

I think this is why many bipolar people also have “self harm” on their long list of crazy-person hobbies. It’s about control. Definitely is for me.

Humans start out life with so little control already. You can’t control the kind of family you have, your environment. You can’t control the rude cashier at Kroger, or the boss that makes you feel worthless. You can’t control the fact that you’re bad at math or that you have a weird freckle on the palm of your hand.

What you do have some control over, to some degree, is the image you present to the world and the way you feel about things. If something upsetting happens, sure you’ll be sad, but as long as nothing bad happens you’re free to be happy.

People living with bipolar disorder don’t have that. The last feelings of control get stripped away so easily. Two days before my wedding I was inconsolably depressed. The day before I had been excited, adrenaline pumping, thrilled that I FINALLY found a pair of shoes I liked. Absolutely nothing happened, but when I woke up the next day I felt like my skin was made of concrete, suffocating me and anchoring me in the dirt.

All I could do was pray it would lift before the actual day. Pray that this disorder wouldn’t steal my ability to really smile when I reached the altar.

And all it takes is one ill-timed panic attack to ruin the “normal” image you work so hard to cultivate. One bad depression for your coworkers to look at you differently, for family to always ask “How are you today?” in that condescending, sympathetic way that makes your want to pluck out your eardrums, even though you know they don’t mean anything bad by it.

One bad freak out for people you thought were friends to start avoiding you.

It sucks.

So to my sister, whenever you are conscious enough to read this. You are far from unlovable. You are funny, and brave, and more compassionate than 98.329% of the people I’ve ever met.

Someday we will shake our bodies-flab, stretch marks, cut marks and all, together. Even if it’s only in our heads.

To anyone else whose struggling right now. You have more control than you think. Normal people could never handle the things you handle every single day, and go on surviving. You do. Even if it makes you feel weak, or makes people see you as weak, in reality you’re made of steel. You have an understanding of emotion that can only come from having SO DAMN MUCH of it that they just spill out of the dam and rush everyone around you.

If you think about it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Depression Lies, and it would seem he has a bitchin relationship with Bipolar Disorder.

Guess it’s a good thing she’s two-timing him with Mania and Artistic Frenzy.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. newbie
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 23:19:27

    Thank you. I’m just now getting diagnosed and what you said is exactly what I’m dealing with currently. This made a bigger difference than you can imagine and is helping me not choose the negative behaviors.

    Reply

    • psychofab
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 09:30:38

      Good luck to you. Everybody is a little different so it just takes time to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. I am sending positive vibes in your direction!

      Reply

  2. nosleepandcrazy
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 09:52:14

    This made me cry. I love you for writing the truth that most can not hear

    Reply

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