I’ll tell you what, sentience is a bitch. There’s days I’d rather have no knowledge of self and just be a slave to instinct, like an animal. Then I watch a video of a wild dog eating a gazelle alive and change my mind.
It’s funny how such brutal and aggressive behavior is just natural, and not considered cruel, yet if a human did it, it would be barbaric and evil. It’s funny the standard we hold ourselves to. I’m not sure at what point the conscience evolved, but the shifting moral standards we’ve applied are sort of self righteous.
That isn’t to say that’s bad, I just think it’s interesting. I mean, it’s obviously GOOD that we don’t eat the babies of other males to stop their bloodline from being dominant to ours. It’s good that we kill our food before we eat it.
What does this have to do with my bipolar diagnosis? Probably less than I’m going to say it does. In my mind, there’s a lot of observation of mankind as animals. There’s very often a disconnect from whatever people say it is to be “human.” At times, I go through the motions, but feel very little solidarity with the human race.
I remember the first time I felt that way and could actually form a cohesive thought around the feeling. I was 17, and my friends and I were on a pretty heavy acid trip. It was late, maybe midnight/1am, and I was walking down Broadway in Pennsville, my hometown. My jeans were wet almost up to my knees, as they always seemed to be when we took acid. My teeth would grind. My throat clinched and tingled when I swallowed.
As I walked, arms folded across my chest, I could feel every bend of the hinge joints of my knees. Every bend forcefully back, then kicking forward, almost as if there were spring tension backing it up. Then I started to think about how bizarre it is, to fold the arms over the chest and walk. Their natural position was just too uncomfortable to maintain. But even if it were comfortable, it’s still awkward, as limbs flail back and forth with the momentum of locomotion. And as they flailed, five tiny fingers at the end of each awkward limb.
I thought about how strange we would look to an alien species. Why don’t our knees bend backwards? Why don’t we have two knee joints? None of it really makes sense, other than natural selection millions of years ago that dictated those decisions. And I’m sure plenty of it was the LSD talking, but I felt a disconnect from humanity. I could see that we were awkward animals scurrying about the earth, applying meaning to everything for fear of meaninglessness.
That stuck with me. I always assumed it was the acid, but it stuck. It took more than a decade for that thought to develop into what I feel today. Or at least what I feel when I’m in a down cycle. It also showed me that not matter what I’m feeling, it doesn’t matter and really doesn’t make much sense.
That’s simultaneously terrifying and comforting. This idea that our natural thoughts often don’t make logical sense, and then the follow up idea that it doesn’t matter anyway. None of it really does, and oddly enough, that’s what gives me comfort. The idea that all of this is inconsequential, and over time it is all lost. Even the greatest of mankind becomes bones and dust, and all they did will be undone. It relieves the weight of all the trivial things we claim as important. And you should be terrified of that, and then you should feel freedom to do as you please.
I’m not sure where I’m taking this. I’m fucking ranting, as I always do. There’s too much to express and not enough words. Not enough time. If I wrote all day every day, I still couldn’t express these things the way I want. This obviously isn’t a discussion on bipolar from a manic stance. Look, I’m just working through things as they pop up.
So it’s official! I’m bipolar. And nothing is different.