I know I’m fucked up. I know I do things that are hurtful, and that I change my mind often and drastically. I know my moods shift rapidly and unpredictably. My mental illness isn’t a separate entity, it is a defining factor in my personality.
There is no depressed Tim, manic Tim, and normal Tim. There’s only Tim. These aspects brought on by being bipolar 2 aren’t separate from who I am, they ARE who I am. They have shaped me into the man I am, and without them, I wouldn’t be me. Do I need help managing it? Yes, and medication has been a savior to me. Do I expect to ever get rid of depression and hypomania? No, nor would I want to. These are part of my being.
My own personal journey to find peace and contentment is fraught with twists and turns that so many times come at the expense of others. I have an ongoing history of hurting people while I try to figure myself out and figure out what I need out of life. It’s unfair of me.
I know I’m fucked up. And it’s not a matter of what my mental illness “made me do,” because it doesn’t make me do anything. I make conscious decisions, good, bad, and in between. Proper and improper. Right and wrong. However you want to word it.
I haven’t written a blog entry in months. It’s not that nothing has been going on, it’s that so much has been going on that I can’t even get it out. I’ve created upheaval in all areas of my life, and it’s all at a point right now where I can’t tell if it’s for good or bad. The thing is, I don’t know if the words good or bad are even apt. These days I can’t look at anything as black and white, no matter how much I try.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this. Catharsis. Validation. Justification. All of the above? Maybe just the recognition that just because I have bipolar 2 doesn’t mean that my actions are because I’m mentally ill. Maybe, just MAYBE, I’m making decisions because I want to, not because of mood swings.
The fact is, people with far less mental issues than me make far stupider and rash decisions than I do every single day. I am very self aware. I know what I’m doing, even if I AM being crazy. If you have a friend or loved one with a mental illness, don’t write off decisions you may see as extreme or out of character as being their illness. There’s a very real chance it may not be, or that the decision has roots in a real issue that needs to be worked out.
Scapegoating people’s decisions onto their mental health can be degrading. Granted, sometimes decisions are clearly related to mental health, but just as often, they’re just a person trying to do what is right for them. Just like you. You don’t want people to disregard why you make decisions, don’t do it to someone else.
I don’t know where I’m going, I’m just writing at this point. I should probably stop before I start writing angry.