Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The heart of the topic(s)

I figured out what bothers me so much about the whole "i'll never date someone who is bipolar/schizophrenic" thing. It's generalization. Every single person who said that, and very often nearly anyone who says they won't ______ because someone is bipolar seems to have a commonality: they are basing it on their knowledge of ONE person with this disorder. Bipolar is rare, and obviously severe bipolar is more rare. Not everyone will ever meet someone with severe bipolar. Naturally some people with bipolar are not so great. Some people with no disorder at all are not so great. But bipolar sticks out and so people do this thing of assuming the one bipolar person they met is the only way it can be.

I did this too. One of the reasons I wasn't diagnosed for so long was my terror of the diagnosis. My father is bipolar as well and not treated and he is not a pleasant person. I refused to admit I was anything like him.

The thing is, in most ways I'm not. I am bipolar, and I have some of the same characteristics he did. He was a rapid cycler, although not as severe as me (probably because my treatments early on worsened this). He had mixed episodes. But he also had psychosis, and not just the rare auditory hallucination I've had. He was much more impulsive than I am. And most importantly, he lacked insight. Insight is my gift; I'm not supposed to be able to but I am able to understand and re-learn behaviors. My psychologist told me once that this is a weird trait of mine, that insight isn't supposed to be a particularly effective tool, but for me it works.

And that seques nicely into life's next issue for me....

I'm starting a very, very hard process. I have existed at a level of "I know my illness is very bad and that I am doing better than I should. I am grateful for that. I know what is bad, but I do not know how bad in specifics. I believe that knowledge is detrimental". I knew it was very unlikely I would continue to maintain at that level forever, and that eventually I'd have to admit that I needed to function more in line with the severity of my illness. That time has come. Unfortunately first I have to learn what the severity is and accept it because it is pretty clear I can no longer continue working the way I have been. This very painful and scary. I'm asking for patience as I go through a rough time while already functioning at a low enough level my psychologist's homework this time was to buy and eat something healthy.

Which I now need to make space for in the refrigerator.....

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